It was dinner time and William Shanley, Reggie Hawkins and Sarunyoo Tohchoodee were hit by a case of the munchies for Temple’s usual food-truck fare. The problem? None of them were hungry for the same type of food. After factoring in the walk to each individual truck and waiting in line, the trip hardly seemed worth it.
At that point, they realized there was no service on Main Campus that could offer them a meal with a mix of foods from different cultures. So, Shanley, Hawkins and Tohchoodee decided to open their own food delivery business: Legit Delivery was born.
Legit Delivery is exactly what it sounds like: a service that delivers food to students’ door. However, unlike other delivery services around, they cater to the customers’ unique palate, mixing foods from a variety of the trucks on Main Campus.
“We think the food trucks are a great combination of a lot of different cultures you see around the city,” said Shanley, a junior advertising major. “Our goal is to make the foods from all those different cultures more accessible for students.”
The service also delivers to people living both on and off campus.
“Our service ranges from north and south [from Susquehanna to] Girard [avenues, and] east and west from Eighth to 20th streets,” Shanley said. “We understand not all students live directly on campus, so we made our delivery square much larger than some of our competitors.”
What really sets Legit Delivery apart from other services is its ability to offer the Temple community a faster and more personalized way to experience the cuisine of some of the more popular foods in the area. They also operate on the same schedule as these trucks, making them available for delivery, rain or shine, whenever the desired truck is usually open.
“Our customers place orders via our call center and from there we call in their order at whichever food truck – or trucks – they choose,” Shanley said. “Within five minutes we hop on our bikes to pick up the order and then go on our way to deliver it to the customer.”
Instead of waiting in line, which can take more than 15 minutes, Legit Delivery has partnered with some of students’ favorites, including the Busz trucks and Wingo Taco, to ensure a fast and more affordable delivery process.
“We pay for the customer’s order out of our own pocket, and then upon delivery the customer pays the cost of the meal, plus a minimal delivery fee of $1.50 for our sponsored trucks and $2.50 for unsponsored places,” said Hawkins, a senior communications major. “We hope to combine all the good trucks and get students really excited about this.”
Sponsored vendors include both Busz trucks, Cookie Confidential, Mike’s Steaks, Ray’s Truck, Simply Yummy and Wingo Taco. Unsponsored vendors are Sexy Green Truck, The Creperie and Richie’s.
The delivery system seems to be appreciated by students who feel the $1.50 charge added to the bill for delivery is worth it if it means skipping the lines and not having to change out of their pajamas.
“I would definitely not mind paying a little extra money to have the food brought to me,” Jessica Snyder, a freshman education major, said. “If I didn’t have to wait that long, and I could stay in my dorm. It’s worth it, 100 percent.”
For the founders of Legit Delivery, the best part of running the business isn’t about the profit. Instead, it is about being involved in the North Philadelphia community and offering a unique service to the university.
“This whole neighborhood is an ecosystem that lives off of Temple,” Hawkins said. “You have people running these trucks that basically live off the university, and we just want to bring them closer to students.”
While the inclusion of Legit Delivery into the local food truck business is making an impact on the way students get their food, it is also changing the way owners and employees conduct business.
“The guys from Legit Delivery are young, so they’re just learning the business, but they’re really enthusiastic, which is important,” said Nam Kim, owner of the Wingo Taco truck. “For me, just having a third-party group that is willing to help with delivery allows us to better concentrate on the quality and service of the truck.”
Thus far, Shanley, Hawkins and Tohchoodee have dedicated most of their time to making sure Legit Delivery can successfully carry out their mission. Making the owners of the culturally diverse food trucks feel more connected to the students, and vice versa, is their No. 1 priority.
“It’s not a 9-to-5 job, it’s definitely more of a 24-hour operation,” Shanley said. “But you have all of these immigrants from different countries running these trucks and you just can’t get that stuff everywhere. Especially at those prices.”
Aside from its main goal, Legit Delivery is also looking to make an impact outside the delivery business.
“The end goal is to create a Temple University Food Truck Association,” Shanley said. “This will establish a network where customers can order through a mobile application that supports credit cards and cash on arrival orders. We’re also looking to expand to all of Philadelphia post-graduation.”
They have set their sights high, but as newcomers to the food delivery business, the Legit Delivery founders are not concerned with making a ton of money at the moment, as they receive about 10 orders a day. For now, they are just happy serving fellow students, they said..
“We’re just a bunch of friends running a business,” Hawkins said. “We’re not fat cats sitting around a table looking at ways to try to make money. We are really just trying to donate and get involved in the community as much as we can and have fun while doing it.”
Alexa Bricker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.