Dine-In Victoria closed on Aug. 9, after 20 years of doing food delivery in Greater Victoria.
At its peak, in 2016, owner Maggie Rideout said the service launched a new website and employed about 50 drivers who made deliveries from about 60 restaurants to customers within the region.
“Then in 2017 Skip [the Dishes] came to Victoria,” Rideout said.
At first, she said her local web app seemed to be able to hold its own, but claims the corporation started “trying to get [her] clients.”
“Once they came to town it was just kind of like chaos was ensuing,” she said, adding that because Skip the Dishes charges restaurants for late orders, she thinks restaurants started prioritizing them, negatively impacting Dine-In Victoria delivery times.
“This is my baby. I’ve had it for 20 years,” she said. “I’ve raised my kids on this. A lot of love has gone into this.”
Rideout said she had been planning to launch a new app in two weeks, in an effort to compete, but ultimately decided to close because DoorDash also came to Victoria.
“I’ve already experienced what Skip the Dishes can do,” she said. “You can imagine what [DoorDash is] going to do.”
From 2017 until now, she said Dine-In Victoria was reduced to about a quarter of its customer base.
“It just becomes not an intelligent move to stay open if you’re losing every day,” she said. “Experience shows me the writing on the wall.”
On Thursday, she sent notifications to her remaining customers that Friday would be their last day of service.
“The orders are already coming in,” she said on Friday afternoon. “I think people are just trying to show their support.”
Despite Dine-In Victoria coming to a close, Rideout still has an appetite for the food industry. Already, the Dine-In Victoria office located at 829 Admirals Rd. in Esquimalt is being converted into a bistro.
She said they will do mostly take-out food at the bistro, which has yet to be named, though there will be enough seating to stop and have a coffee.
The bistro will be the new, public branch of a similar breakfast and lunch take-out business she has been running on private land for about 10 years.
“It’s very successful,” she said of the private business which services workers. “Our breakfast wrap is phenomenal.”
She said the front of the new public bistro has been completed, though the premises are still “a bit of a construction zone right now.” Once construction is complete and menus have been set up, she expects the bistro will open in November.
The bistro may even do delivery through other services, such as her former competitors, she added.
“If you can’t beat them, join them.”
The Langford resident has worked in the food industry for a long time. She was the manager of Cafe Mexico for a couple of years before motherhood inspired her to do Dine-In Victoria.
”Man it would be really nice to have somebody bring me food,” she remembers thinking on busy nights with her kids, before friends suggested buying Dine-In Victoria.