Ending Soon! Save 33% on All Access

From Bacon and Eggs to Parcels and Packages: Waffle House Joins Roadie in Sharing Economy Partnership The ubiquitous diner has partnered with an Atlanta-based startup, offering its restaurants as a meeting place for the peer-to-peer delivery service's users.

By Carly Okyle

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Just as Uber and Lyft allow people to earn some extra money as cab drivers, Atlanta-based startup Roadie is letting people embrace their inner mail carrier. And it just gained an unlikely partner: trucker-favorite Waffle House.

Roadie relies on a simple premise -- it connects people who want a package delivered with drivers who are already on their way to that destination. The DIY-shipping company is still very new -- it launched late last month -- operating in just 10 states in the southeast region of the country and has delivered an estimated 50 parcels.

Roadie drivers have to arrange to pick up packages from the sender and drop them off with the receiver, which means they need a meeting spot. That's where Waffle House comes in.

Related: 3 Things Happy Marriages and Successful Business Partnerships Have in Common

As of today, all of the restaurant's locations can be used as meeting points for Roadie package exchanges, according to the Wall Street Journal, which originally reported the story. Because its restaurants are open 24 hours a day and are usually situated close to major throughways, Waffle House seems to make for a pretty sweet drop spot. The restaurant will also offer Roadie drivers a free waffle and drink when they use one of the Waffle House locations.

Venturing into the sharing economy is an interesting move for the nearly 60-year old chain; as CEO Walt Ehmer told the Journal, "We're just bacon and eggs over here." Yet, it seems that Ehmer has his eye on innovation, and the peer-to-peer market has been particularly inspiring. "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," he said.

Beyond Waffle House, Roadie has caught the attention of other well-known business professionals. Investors including Alan Schwartz of Guggenheim Partners, Tommorow Ventures (started by Google's Eric Schmidt) and -- wait for it -- the UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund have contributed to the more than $10 million that Roadie raised in its first investment round.

Related: Borrow These 8 Lessons From a New Entrant in the Sharing Economy

Carly Okyle

Assistant Editor, Contributed Content

Carly Okyle is an assistant editor for contributed content at Entrepreneur.com.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Apple iPhone 7 Users May Be Owed a Slice of a $35 Million Settlement — Here's How to Claim Your Share

Previous (and current, no judgment) iPhone 7 users may be entitled to up to $349. The deadline to file a claim is June 3.

Business News

Did OpenAI steal Scarlett Johansson's voice? 5 Critical Lessons for Entrepreneurs in The AI Era

Did OpenAI steal Scarlett Johansson's voice? OpenAI has since paused the "Sky" voice feature, but Johansson argues that this is no coincidence. In response, Johansson delivers a masterclass for entrepreneurs on navigating the AI era successfully.


How Corporate Investment Helps Startups Deploy Technology Faster Than Ever

Financial resources, strategic alignment, access to expertise, market validation and operational support make this deployment possible.

Growing a Business

The Power of Networking — 5 Tips on Building Strategic Alliances for Business Growth

Who is on your side? Who has your back? It doesn't have to be lonely at the top. We look at five practical ways you can network to achieve the best for you and your business.