Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.
GoWaiter is a chain of restaurant delivery services. Stephen Altenbach has opened a franchise in north Fulton. They went live this week with a handful of restaurants participating. My wife and I tried the service on opening day and were impressed.
The restaurant options are a little thin at this point in time. Their success will hinge upon increasing restaurant participation. On the flip side, I’ve witnessed several local restaurants express interest in GoWaiter on twitter.
My wife and I settled on Mambo Jambo as our restaurant choice. Ordering was simple on their webpage, like any online shopping experience for the most part. We picked a few Cuban entrees and added an empanada appetizer. The empanadas were an experiment to see how well they would travel. I was reasonably sure ropa vieja and black beans would survive the trip. Plus, Mambo Jambo makes a killer empanada! I scheduled our delivery for 8:00 and my order was a go.
As my time approached I started getting emails on my order’s progress. It was nice to know that the order didn’t disappear into an internet tube or something. I was told when the restaurant began cooking, when my driver arrived at the restaurant and when he was enroute. The email alerts are customizable, something I would imagine regular customers would want to turn off after a few orders.
My order arrived a little ahead of schedule. The driver introduced himself and shook my hand. What? The stoner-boy pizza delivery guy never shakes my hand! It was a very professional exchange that really was more like a waiter and less like a delivery.
Next he opened a huge insulated suitcase which contained my order. To say my order was still hot is an understatement. I’m pretty sure I burned the roof of my mouth with my first bite of black beans. The empanadas were still in reasonable condition, although they had steamed a little in the box.
All in all, it was a positive experience with no opening day glitches. A fee of $5 is very reasonable for a service like this, especially if they can boost their list of participating restaurants. I love the thought of getting grub delivered to my house from as far away as Crabapple or Holcomb Bridge. Saving the hassle of traffic is worth the five spot.
Also, watch these guys in the social media space as they seem pretty savvy with it. I’d suggest following on twitter @GoWaiter_Alpha
Disclosure: I received a promotional discount from GoWaiter on opening day. My disclosure policy can be found on my about page.