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Bickle targets big bite - Jamaican builds delivery network for Caribbean restaurants in US

Published:Thursday | April 23, 2020 | 12:20 AMJudana Murphy/Gleaner Writer
Dominic Christopher has spearheaded the Bickle delivery service platform in the United States. Contributed
Dominic Christopher has spearheaded the Bickle delivery service platform in the United States. Contributed

A Jamaican who resides in the United States has launched a food-delivery platform for Caribbean restaurants in an effort to cushion the harsh impact of COVID-19 on business operations.

The US has become the epicentre of the virus over the last month, recording more than 47,000 deaths and around 850,000 infections.

Dominic Christopher, 33, was born and raised in Montego Bay, St James, before moving to the States as a college student 12 years ago.

He is the CEO of Deh Abroad, an online directory with referral-approved businesses crafted for the Caribbean community.

Christopher explained that his relationship with restaurants on Deh Abroad made him cognisant that employees, undocumented or not, would be affected by full or partial closures as a result of the virus.

“Bickle will allow the employees to find means to sustain themselves with the delivery. Everything is based on radius because we have Jamaican and Caribbean restaurants all over, so an employee can walk, or if they have transport, they can drive or ride a bicycle to do the delivery,” explained Christopher.

Customers are able to make orders from the various restaurants on the website and arrange for delivery.

Donnaray Roc is the owner of Roc Factory, a juicing lab, and is one of the many establishments that has been utilising the platform since its launch on Monday.

Roc told The Gleaner that deliveries were only offered occasionally, and though COVID-19 has triggered a collapse in markets, it has, in turn, brought new opportunities.

Her four-member team has carried out more than 50 deliveries to new and existing customers.

“Not only is Bickle helping employees and our community in such a crisis, it is also helping us to have direct access to our people who are really in need,” Roc said.

Meanwhile, Christopher has acquired personal protective equipment for restaurant employees making deliveries.

“We are also working with the restaurants to offer free and discounted dinners to essential workers and families that are affected, especially the children of undocumented parents who would depend on food from their public schools,” he said.

As time progresses, he hopes to offer assistance to members of the Caribbean diaspora who are engaged in the beauty services and auto mechanic industries.