Waffle House to Assist with Package Delivery
Waffle House might be better known for its breakfast foods, but now its set to become a helping hand in package delivery. In a partnership with Roadie Inc.—the Atlanta-based maker of a mobile shipping app—Waffle House, the 24-hour restaurant chain, announced last week that it has become the first Roadie Roadhouse.
Roadie, which launched last month, connects senders with drivers, or "Roadies," who already are heading toward the package's desired destination. Ten southeastern states are currently eligible, but Roadie aims to expand its reach with the creation of a network of meetup locations, which now includes 1,750 Waffle House locations across 25 states. After downloading the app, roadies receive a free waffle and then a free beverage when on a delivery.
"For the last 60 years, Waffle House has been a place for travelers and a preferred meeting place for our customers," said Walt Ehmer, CEO of Waffle House. "Roadie combines the two, making it easy for senders and drivers who love waffles to meet at the nearest Waffle House. And who doesn't love waffles?"
Roadies are compensated with 80 percent of the delivery fee, which ranges from $12 to $200 per delivery, but must pay $1 for insurance, according to The Verge. Both sides must take before and after photos to ensure the delivery is made in good condition, and agree to not deliver drugs or other illegal products. Roadie also keeps copies of drivers' licenses on file and allows users to track package locations in real time.
Roadie is the first neighbor-to-neighbor shipping network, and according to a Nielsen survey, 68 percent of consumers worldwide, including about half in North America, trust this type of collaborative model.
"A sense of community and Americana is at the heart of the Roadie story, and we couldn't have asked for a better partner than Waffle House, a beloved brand that shares that same spirit," Marc Gorlin, founder and CEO of Roadie, said. "Waffle House provides a friendly, comfortable place for our folks to meet, and grab a plate of scattered, smothered and covered while they're at it."
The app may seem like more competition for the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx and UPS, but the endeavor is backed by the UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund among other entities. The fund is the private equity strategic investment arm of UPS, which explores emerging markets and technologies that may enhance UPS' business model.
"Depending on the item, Roadie may be more expensive than FedEx or UPS, but the company says it will be most cost-effective for transporting large packages," The Verge reported.