1 of 2
2 of 2
A new local restaurant delivery service was rolled out a few weeks ago and it's taking off like the yellow '32 Deuce Coupe in American Graffiti. Local restaurateur/consultant Gary Tripp is playing the part of John Milner.
GrubGo launched with a handful of participating restaurants, three weeks later the count stands at 20, and Tripp and partner Matt Hanley will add another 20 restaurants next week. GrubGo has several noteworthy goals:
- To deliver more inexpensively than its competitors: "For about the same price as a gallon of gas," according to Tripp. Within 5 miles of the member restaurant, the charge is a flat $3.95, plus $1 for each additional mile. Delivery charges will cap at $20. So if you live in Chesterfield and want something from Mike Shannon's, it is theoretically possible (and, says Tripp, has been done).
- To use technology more effectively: The customer will soon be able to track Grub's drivers in real time via GPS, or be notified of the order status via text or email, if desired. Payment can be made by cash, credit card, PayPal, or Square (at the destination). GrubCo will also be the first delivery company in the country to accept Bitcoin, an alternative digital currency that has the 'nets abuzz.
- To keep the customer entertained while they wait for delivery: "When you're hungry, 10 minutes seems like an hour," says Tripp."So the website has some 80s-style video games to help pass the time."
- To be the greenest delivery company in the country: GrubCo purchases carbon credits to neutralize its carbon footprint, and within a month or so, will take delivery on a small fleet of logoed-up SmartCars. All boxes and to-go materials are bio-pack quality, which translates to, as Tripp puts it, "expensive but worth it."
- To gear the service to online use: Tripp says the service was designed for internet use "because today eveyone is online, all day long," but customers can still place a traditional call for delivery as well.
- Only independents need apply: GrubGo will only solicit locally-owned restaurants. If you're wanting GrubGo to hustle you over a styro container full of Applebees' Riblets, you're out of luck.
- Perhaps most admirably, it is a goal of GrubCo to forge restaurant partnerships and not take all comers. They felt a kinship with Pi Pizzeria, for example, so Pi will be the pizza company of choice. "Among other reasons, we felt Pi was the best of the genre," Tripp explained, "and we want to build loyalty and long-term relationships. We want our help our suppliers build their brand as well." That means you won't be seeing any of Pi's competitors in Grub's stable of restaurants.
Independent delivery companies receive a percentage discount on orders from participating restaurants and GrubGo is no different. That's how such businesses make money. The $3.95 charge and any gratuities go directly to the driver.
If all goes as planned, look for GrubGo's SmartCars in Columbia, Mo in several months, and in the Metro East soon after that, with Chicago at the end of that road. "The architectural platform is already in place," Tripp said. "There's no reason not to move quickly once it gets rolling here."
The Deuce Coupe's a gas-eating dinosaur, Gary. You'll look good in that SmartCar.