Waffle House Angling to Replace the Post Office

Waffle House
A Waffle House spread. Sam Howzit/Flickr Creative Commons

Like sweet tea and hospitality, Waffle House is a southern staple. But instead of sticking to its typical routine of providing cheap breakfast foods, the 24-hour eatery is delving into the world of mail delivery.

On Tuesday, Waffle House announced its new partnership with Roadie, a month-old app that hopes to become the "Uber of package delivery." The app allows drivers to make money by delivering packages to places along their routes, typically the package's intended destination.

But now when app users find a driver heading in the general direction of their yet-to-be delivered package, the driver can deliver the item to one of Waffle House's 1,750 locations in 25 states. (Though for now, Roadie users can only send packages within 10 states in the Southeast U.S.)

After downloading the app, Waffle House will give customers a free waffle. When on a delivery, drivers will also be given a free beverage.

"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, in a statement. "Roadie combines the two, making it easy for senders and drivers who love waffles to meet at the nearest Waffle House."

Though still in its infancy—the app has around 7,500 downloads and about 50 items delivered so far—Roadie is in direct competition with traditional delivery services like FedEx and UPS.

Roadie drivers keep 80 percent of the delivery fee, which so far ranges from $12 to $200, with a $1 fee for insurance, according to The Wall Street Journal. Though it can be more expensive than its competitors, Roadie claims it is the most cost-effective method for shipping large packages.

Addressing concerns of stolen or damaged packages, Marc Gorlin, Roadie's founder, told the Verge that both drivers and senders are required to take a picture of the package prior to and following delivery to ensure it remains in good condition. Additionally, Roadie keeps driver licenses on file and plans to conduct background checks in the near future.