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San Francisco free delivery program created to help restaurants amid pandemic is expanding

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Neighbors in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood are stepping up to help its restaurants stay open.

We first told you about the volunteer program called “North Beach Delivers” in April when neighbors began providing free deliveries to help restaurants save money that would otherwise go towards delivery service fees.

The program’s now generated more than $50,000 for North Beach restaurants and expanded to other parts of the city.

Through free deliveries, volunteers in North Beach have now helped generate $50,000 for North Beach restaurants over the past three months.

Its through a program called “North Beach Delivers” which started in April when the pandemic forced restaurants to move to a take out-delivery menu.

The volunteer-based program is free for customers, and the business since restaurants save money that would otherwise go towards delivery service fees.

“You know people are trying to support restaurants,” Danny Sauter said. “They’re ordering from them but often times that comes at heir expense because there’s really high deliver fees in that equation so we’re trying to take that out, trying to make it a little more community driven.”

Sauter created “North Beach Delivers” after watching his favorite neighborhood restaurants struggle to stay open.

The program does deliveries every Thursday night within this delivery zone, and features a different restaurant each week.

“Each week is really when it’s rewarding when were at that restaurant and we’re seeing their excitement because the restaurants see their busy and frankly, it’s probably the busiest it’s been in a couple months and at least for one night we can make it feel normal again,” Sauter said.

They’ve now served more than 20 North Beach restaurants and what started as a few people pitching in quickly turned into something much more.

They now have 10 to 12 volunteers…. and repeat customers each week.

Plus other communities in the city are now catching on.

“Most excited for us we’re growing outside of North Beach too. We helped other neighborhood associations and community groups start this same model in their own part of San Francisco,” Sauter said. “We’ve started in Russian Hill. We’ve started in middle Polk. We started in the east cut. We started in Richmond. We’re going to the Richmond in Balboa Village soon.”

Sauter says they’ll continue the service as long as they need to.

They’re also looking at ways to use this free service for groceries and other household items.

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