Interview with Beto Hinojosa
Owner of Delivery Bite
Beto, Tell us a little about background.
To date I have been pretty blessed with many amazing opportunities. After graduating from Sharyland in 2001 I attended Texas State University in beautiful San Marcos, Texas. There I earned my bachelor’s and master’s degree in Education and Ed Leadership. I taught and coached at Lake Travis ISD and had a great time there, even winning a football state championship. After 4 years of teaching, I became a school administrator which is what I currently continue to do, and enjoy thoroughly. Besides that I love to trek around the world. Last year I did a 5,000+ mile road trip straight up to Canada then back through the East Coast avoiding highways as much as possible. I also did a Europe loop stopping by 6 countries or so. The highlight of this one was running with the bulls in Pamplona. That was quite the thrill! In addition to all that fun I am currently working on my doctorate and am in the final step...the dissertation. I am also marrying my beautiful fiancé Mariana July 14th of this year.
I started RGV To Go two years ago and changed the name to DeliveryBite.com about a year ago since we are expanding to other areas in Texas including San Antonio and Houston. Starting a restaurant delivery service was an idea I had had for quite some time and decided to make it a reality. I have always had the entrepreneurial spirit. I remember back in elementary school I would sell my mom’s delicious breakfast tacos to my classmates for $1. My mom would make me five for breakfast - I would eat two and sell the rest. Those $3 a day sure helped!
One thing that motivated me to start DeliveryBite.com was the fact that every time I came down to my precious hometown I would see a changing landscape, most of which a result of the addition of new restaurants. Using delivery services in other cities was so convenient and I felt it was a wonderful way to make the McAllen area a better place to live by giving valley residents and visitors delivery options different than your typical pizza choices. The service also would bring local restaurants additional sales and in this hurting economy anything certainly could help.
To get it off the ground we hired a national consultant for the industry, I traveled and met about a dozen RDS's across the country and made our McAllen plan based on what was learned from each. Our current GM Roman Salinas decided to jump on board from the start and he has been vital to our success.
McAllen has embraced the service and we are happy to say that our mobile waiters have knocked on over 10,000 different home, office, and hotel doors the past year.
You have traveled to many countries. If you had to pick one besides the U.S., which place did you like the best? Tell us about it.
Every place has its own gems. One of my best experiences was in Costa Rica. Although beautiful, the gem was not the rainforest, lakes, beaches or attractions. The gem was its people. Costa Rican’s (Ticos) are humble, kind, and family oriented. One particular trip I took about 20 students around the country for 10 days. We planned the route with a few stops to visit a few rural schools. We took them school supplies and planted trees. Playing “bola” with the kids was great! The welcome we received at each place was incredible. Other than Costa Rica, my top spots are Barcelona’s Ramblas, San Sebastian’s Playa de la Concha, Pamplona’s San Fermin Festival and almost every plaza in Rome.
What makes the RGV unique to the rest of the world?
Every city around the world has its own unique charm and the RGV certainly doesn’t disappoint. From beautiful South Padre Island to the delicious food, its culture is as unique as you can get. It also provides a great platform for the incredible people that are hungry to succeed. It's isolated yet connected geographical location makes it an ideal place for new ideas to be born, or in our case to be brought in. Lately it seems like it has become a breeding ground for entrepreneur's both young and old alike. The valley is quickly growing, while still retaining its small town charm. One minute you can be stuck in 10th street traffic in McAllen, and the other you can be enjoying the beautiful citrus landscapes.
Concerning Delivery Bite, how did you know you would need to hire a consultant and visit other RDS throughout the country? It seems most people would not have done this.
Before venturing into any kind of business, especially one like the RDS industry which is relatively unknown to many, one has to be well informed about what you are getting into, how others in the industry operate, what has worked for them, marketing strategies, etc. You’ve got to be humble and assume you don’t know a thing. Once that knowledge pours in, then you make decisions. By visiting other RDS's we got to see how they functioned. As for the consultant, I felt it was necessary to have that little push from a seasoned veteran in the industry; we took the best of his ideas and added some valley spice to make it what it is today.
What prevents a larger company coming in and taking over your territory?
I think we have earned our restaurant and customer’s loyalty through our service. In the event a larger company comes in our partner restaurants will continue working with us and our customers will keep ordering. Our software makes ordering extremely easy and our website doesn’t have much flash. Looking at large competitors across the state we see loads of advertisements, lots of distracting information, etc. Our site is clean and simple with the goal of being quick and simple to order.
Having some competition would not necessarily be a bad thing, either. Since our marketing budget is small and we heavily rely on word of mouth, a larger competitor like Takeout Taxi out of Houston would help bring the restaurant delivery concept to more people. In this case, the pie would be bigger and we would rather have half of a larger pie rather than a small one all to ourselves. J
How do you keep the food warm and fresh while out with delivery drivers?
The logistics for our deliveries is very efficient. Once an order is received online or called in, it is placed with the restaurant and our mobile waiters automatically receive a text message with information. Our golden rule is “Food never waits for the driver, the driver waits for the food.” As soon as the order is done, we place it in our top of the line thermal bag (which are incredible!) and the time from restaurant to home is about 10 minutes, sometimes less.
What plans do you have in the future?
Personally, continue traveling, finish my doctorate, and live happily ever after. For DeliveryBite.com I have lots of plans. We recently introduced breakfast and are looking into delivering wine and beer as well. Many services around the country do this and it is quite convenient. We would like our name to be synonymous with delivery and for more people to know about us. As a small business, word of mouth goes a long way. Right now I am guessing that only about 10% of the McAllen, Sharyland, and Edinburg population knows about our service. We also have plans to open in San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas within the next year so the future is certainly going to be exciting. :)
More profiles on RGVPride.com
Add you business to the directory
More about the Rio Grande Valley