Food delivery company gears up for Alberta's tough winters — on bikes

As Edmontonians gear up for winter, a new food delivery company is gearing up for it as well — on bikes.

Germany-based Foodora delivers food in Edmonton, Calgary, most of the time by bicycle

Foodora has expanded to Edmonton and Calgary, hoping to corner some of the food delivery market on bicycles. (Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg)

As Albertans gear up for winter, a new food delivery company is gearing up for it as well — on bikes.

Foodora launched in Edmonton and Calgary two weeks ago, propelling themselves into cities of harsh winters and sometimes-unforgiving drivers.

The German company now offers its services in six cities in Canada, where it is hoping to carve out a share of the food delivery market.

Despite the inclement weather, David Albert, managing director of Foodora in Canada, said the company is committed to using delivery bicycles.

"We actually find it to be a faster way to get around urban cores," Albert told CBC's Edmonton AM Friday.

About 70 per cent of the company's deliveries are done by bicycle, with the remainder done by vehicle especially during the most treacherous winter days.

The company only delivers within a three-kilometre radius of any participating restaurant. Over short distances, the bicycle is an advantage — even in a winter city, Albert said.

"Winter definitely makes it tougher to get around on bikes," he said. "[But] there are some warriors on bikes that love to do it. But cars are used often."

Carve out some space

With the business still new in Alberta, it's still too early to determine whether it will be viable in the city, Albert said.

But with 30 active riders in each city, Albert said he's confident the company will succeed.

With Edmonton's bike lane network and support for the growing network in Calgary, Albert hopes they'll be able to expand to more restaurants in the cities in order to provide an environmentally-friendly alternative to food delivery.

"It's still very early on for everybody — we may be a bit later than some of our key competitors that already operate in [Alberta], but if you think about food delivery and with our business model, kind of everybody is really early to this space," Albert said.

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