Philly veteran starts food delivery service to support small business

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "Small businesses are struggling and they need better deals," said Doug Besch.

A resident of Northeast Philadelphia for five years, Besch prioritizes supporting local businesses in the neighborhood. Each time he entered a restaurant, he noticed various logos of food-delivery corporations on the door.

"They take a big chunk of the restaurant's money," he said.

Besch thought these restaurants, some of which had closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, could use some extra help from within the community. He decided to create his own hyperlocal food delivery service called, "Time to Eat Pennsylvania."

"I'm offering restaurants a cheaper alternative than the big boys," he said. "It helps the small businesses grow. The money stays in the area and doesn't go out wherever the other companies are from. I'm the local guy. I'm a little guy, but little guys can do big things."

By logging on to the website or downloading the mobile app, hungry customers can select from a list of participating venues and place their orders. For the staff at Northeast Sandwich Co., Besch's service has been a game-changer.

"We used to offer delivery ourselves, but we're not able to anymore because we can't even find people to work," said owner Anthony Prisco. "So, he came in at the perfect time."

Besch believes it is his patriotic duty to give back to his community.

"When I graduated high school and I joined the army, I didn't know really what it means to be a United States citizen," he said. "Patriotism isn't just saluting the flag. It's getting out there in the community and trying to support all the local shops and businesses."

Besch hopes to expand the geographical scope of his business, but will always hold his Northeast Philadelphia community close to his heart.To learn more about Time to Eat Pennsylvania, visit their website.

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