Beloved southern breakfast diner Waffle House, has announced a partnership with Atlanta-based delivery app, Roadie.
Roadie is bringing a well-tested concept in commercial shipping brokerage – connecting those with cargo to tankers with capacity – to package delivery. Leveraging the popular sharing economy movement, the startup is building an app that connects people who need to have a package delivered to a certain destination with those bound for that direction and have extra room for freight. Those delivering the package charge a small fee to do so.
Waffle House will be serving as a meet-up spot between the delivery drivers and consumers:
The restaurant chain will be promoting the app across its 1,750 location in 25 states, and will serve as the first of several official “Roadie Roadhouses.”
As an additional, tasty incentive, Waffle House will also be offering a free waffle and drink to Roadie drivers who use their restaurant to coordinate deliveries.
BuzzFeed predicts this move is just the first in what will probably be a series of similar partnerships with brick and mortar businesses to extend Roadie’s physical network.
Roadie is not the first peer-to-peer delivery service pop up in the last few years, or even the first to launch in Atlanta. Atlanta’s on-demand delivery startup, Kanga, launched last year. In bigger cities like San Francisco and New York, companies like WunWun have been offering similar disruptive delivery services for years. Amazon has even jumped on the wagon, and recently launched Amazon Prime Now.
More significantly, companies like Roadie are posied to disrupt traditional shipping titans like FedEx and UPS just as Uber and companies like it are disrupting the taxi industry.
But as Busiess Day Live points out:
So far, no delivery start-ups that rely on the so-called sharing economy have made significant inroads.”
Roadie’s decision to give its software a physical presence, however, especially at a community staple, albeit in the South, like Waffle House, is a crucial point of differentiation for the startup, and may be what gives it the edge it needs to compete with traditional delivery companies.
“A sense of community and Americana is at the heart of the Roadie story,” shares founder and CEO of Roadie, Marc Gorlin. It’s this sense of community, existing simultaneously with modern technology and convenience, that could allow Roadie to succeed in a tough market.
Photo Credit: Roadie