More food delivery options will soon be available for Washington-area residents with the expansion of a West Virginia-based online ordering service.
EatInNow.com began a “soft launch” in Washington Thursday, with four restaurants trying out the online ordering and delivery service, including Shorty’s Lunch in Wolfdale, Adams Pine Creek, Legacy Tavern and Mr. Gyros.
The company started in Bellaire, Ohio, in September, before expanding into Wheeling, W.Va., St. Clairsville and now Washington, according to owner and founder Josh Broverman.
“We’re really just getting started,” Broverman said, “We’ve only been (in Washington) for about a week.”
Broverman said EatInNow.com allows restaurants to sell foods that are not traditionally available for delivery.
John Alexas, owner of Shorty’s Lunch in Wolfdale, said he began working with EatInNow after hearing interest in adding a delivery service in the past.
“We’ve had people wanting to do it for a lot of years, and I couldn’t do it myself,” Alexas said. “If a company’s going to do it, I’ll try to work with them and see how it works.”
Chris Hepinger, owner of Hepinger’s Legacy Tavern on South Main Street in Washington, also said EatInNow.com’s service would allow them to take advantage of customer interest in delivery.
“The problem was we weren’t busy enough with delivery orders to have a specific person,” Hepinger said, explaining sending an employee out for delivery would leave the restaurant short-staffed.
Delivery orders can be placed online at eatinnow.com or by calling 304-280-7676.
While the current order number has a West Virginia area code, Broverman said he plans to have a local number set up soon for Washington residents.
Once an order is placed, the restaurant is alerted via fax, and the delivery driver then calls the restaurant to provide an estimated time of arrival, according to Hepinger.
The fee for the service run is $5 for up to five miles, with a $1-per-mile charge for each additional mile.
Drivers for the service are hired as independent contractors. While they are not paid a base salary, drivers receive all of the delivery fees charged, as well as tips.
While Mr. Gyros in Washington already has online ordering and delivery services, owner Junior Todd said he was still interested in trying EatInNow.com’s platform.
“For me, personally, the more the merrier,” Todd said, adding Broverman’s service will be “more profitable” than his current options “if it all works out.”
Broverman said the company has a goal of adding more than 15 restaurants to the service by October.
“We want to create jobs in the area and provide a cool service and make money for restaurants,” Broverman said.
Broverman said he also owns a marketing company that has several clients in Washington – including Shorty’s Lunch – and it made sense to expand EatInNow.com to the area.
“Washington is, mathematically speaking, very ideal for us,” Broverman said, with the city boasting a large number of restaurants in the area for the number of residents.
Washington’s proximity to Pittsburgh is another benefit for the up-and-coming company.
“Ultimately, we want to move toward metropolitan areas,” Broverman said.
While Shorty’s had not received any orders through EatInNow.com early Thursday, Alexas was hopeful of it picking up when word of mouth spreads during the soft launch.
“I hope he does well,” Alexas said of Broverman. “If he does well, I can do well with it.”