Looking to do to shipping what Uber did to taxi service, startup delivery firm Roadie hopes to use a smartphone app and free waffles to entice travelers to take along a package with them to deliver along the way.
Roadie, which began operations last month, lets travelers earn some money delivering packages along the route they plan to drive anyway.
At the moment, deliveries are concentrated in a 10 state area in the southeastern part of the United States. While most of the deliveries are of the door to door type, Roadie hopes to set up a network of public locations where packages can be handed off. That’s where the free waffles come in…
With a partnership announced today, Roadie users will be able to meet in order to hand-off packages for pickup or delivery at over 1,750 Waffle House restaurants across the U.S. Waffle House locations are open 24 hours a day, making them the perfect place to transfer a package anytime, day or night.
Waffle House will offer Roadie drivers free food and beverages, and provide a convenient meeting location for drivers and senders. Roadies will get a free waffle upon downloading the app, and a free beverage when they’re making 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?”
“We’re just bacon and eggs over here,” says Ehmer. “I’ve been amazed with the explosion of Uber and Airbnb and other technology that kind of enables people to get together and conduct business together.”
Roadie is aiming to make a dent in the number of packages the major services like UPS and FedEx deliver every day, but it is still in a startup phase, as the app currently has around 7.500 downloads, and only around 50 items have been delivered so far.
Drivers currently keep 80% of the delivery fee, which ranges from $12 to $200 per delivery, and they also pay $1 to cover insurance. While Roadie may prove more expensive than FedEx or UPS for some items, the company believes it will be more cost-effective for large packages.
As part of an effort to regulate the possibility of stolen or damaged packages, both drivers and senders are required to take a photo of the package, both before and after delivery. Both parties must also agree not to deliver drugs or other illegal products. Roadie keeps a copy of the driver’s license on file, and users can track their package in real-time via the app.
If Roadie sounds like something you’d like to look into, you can get more details about the service at the Roadie website.
The Roadie app is available FREE for the iPhone in the App Store. [DIRECT LINK]