If you’re a food business that makes deliveries, you’ve probably thought about how to reduce the environmental impact of your deliveries. Using bicycles or e-bikes is a great option — here’s how one Swiss company does it.
The mission: Fresh, fast, free delivery
Bowlz is a project of Zurich-based Shinsen AG, with a mission to “bring a delicious, freshly prepared lunch to all people in Zurich at home or in the office”. With a weekly changing menu, they have a big range of lunch bowls including salmon poké, plant-based chicken shawarma, pasta salad with mozzarella and much more.
On an average day Bowlz prepares and delivers around 300 meals, all prepared fresh in their own kitchen. Customers who order by 10:30 can choose a delivery time window between 11am-12pm or 12pm-1pm, while those who order before the final 11:30am cutoff can get their meals delivered between 12pm-1pm.
To enable their fast, free, and environmentally friendly delivery, Bowlz uses a lot of tech in the back office to streamline their operations. A team of dispatchers uses Routific to schedule orders as they come in, and plan the most efficient routes for their bike couriers — up to 15 a day! They described the process in a LinkedIn post:
“In order for such a large number of deliveries to work at all, enormously good planning and an experienced team of dispatchers are required. 😎 The different routes of our couriers, which we create with Routific, must cover all stops without gaps. In addition, it must also be taken into account that certain routes are steeper than others and the speed of the individual couriers must also be taken into account. 🚴🏻♂️ Our bike couriers can view their route via app and thus carry out all orders. In order for everything to go well, we need full mobile phone batteries! 😉 All in all, a great challenge that is mastered day after day. In any case, we are very proud of our great team! 💚”
Emission-free deliveries aren’t the only way Bowlz tries to improve its ecological footprint. . Their bowls are made of compostable cardboard, with lids of recycled plastic, and they don’t include disposable napkins or cutlery. There are no carrier bags either, with all deliveries being made in locally manufactured backpacks.
Finally, Bowlz works with Too Good To Go and local store Äss-Bar (it’s a pun in German 😉) to redistribute leftover food so it doesn’t go to waste.
The rewards are clear in their glowing Google reviews — 4.7 stars, with a lot of reviews noting their timely delivery.
Bowlz is a great demonstration of how easy and profitable it can be to offer environmentally friendly deliveries. Route optimization isn’t just for cars and trucks on long routes — it’s a great enabler for bicycle deliveries as well!
Suzanne Ma is a former journalist and published author turned co-founder at Routific, a route optimization platform. She loves to capture inspiring stories from small business entrepreneurs, and share their journeys of growth alongside Routific. As a Product Marketer, she ensures that the community stays up to date on the latest innovations at Routific.
Frequently Asked Questions
No items found.
Liked this article? See below for more recommended reading!