The pandemic has set all kinds of innovation in motion across the restaurant industry, so it makes sense that it would touch delivery, which many in the industry viewed as ripe for reinvention even before the pandemic. New models have been emerging in recent months in an attempt to make delivery work financially for restaurants, particularly for smaller ones that don’t have the scale to support in-house delivery or to be able to afford the fees charged by third-party vendors. One such model is community-based delivery services. Many of these services, which have been popping up in places as geographically diverse as Nebraska, Ohio and Washington, D.C., are cooperatives – the result of owners and workers pooling resources to provide delivery without the unmanageable costs. As The Counter reports, the participating restaurants pay membership fees to cover operating costs, as well as salaries for drivers and dispatchers. They receive a share of profits each year. In practice, this could amount to a $300 monthly fee for a restaurant to participate, along with a monthly subscription fee or a flat, per-order fee for customers. If you have a loyal following of customers and relationships with other restaurant operators around your community who struggle to make the math of third-party delivery work, joining (or starting) a community-based delivery service might be a helpful alternative.