New food delivery app expands to Odessa

The food delivery app Waitr is expanding its services to Odessa and Midland this week, allowing residents to order food for delivery from several local restaurants across town.
Waitr is scheduled to begin serving to Odessa and Midland Thursday, and there are already more than 50 area restaurants signed on—including several local eateries like French Press Café, Curb Side Bistro and Jack Jordan’s Bar-B-Que.
There are already several food delivery apps, such as Uber Eats and Grubhub. The difference here, Waitr Market Development Director Whitney Savoie said, is Waitr charges a flat $5 delivery fee for all orders, regardless of distance or how much food is ordered. They also partner with each of the restaurants they deliver for, meeting with them to help grow their business and take professional pictures of their food for menus and social media promotion.
Waitr has been expanding rapidly since it began in Lake Charles, La. and now has more than 235 cities in 10 states. This is the furthest west Waitr has been to Texas, where they also serve a number of cities including Houston, Corpus Christi and San Angelo. Savoie said they typically look to expand in small- to mid-sized markets where they see a demand.
“We saw the demand and we saw that the area is thriving with business and a lot of individuals in the oilfield who I’m sure at the end of a long day are not worried about cooking,” Savoie said. “So we thought it would be a win for not only Waitr but the community.”
Savoie also said they expect to add 150 new jobs to the region to keep up with deliveries, and already have hired on around 15 to 20 drivers ready to start Thursday. They estimated 150 by using past knowledge based on the amount of orders they receive in similar sized markets, she added.
This isn’t like Uber Eats, where the drivers pick and choose when they go out and deliver and it’s more like extra income on the side. Savoie said they have both full-time and part-time drivers who are scheduled on shifts. Waitr employees are given background checks and face-to-face interviews. They also offer full-time benefits, she said, including dental, vision and health insurance.
“We know in a market this size at lunch we’ll have this many orders and this many drivers on schedule, so we use an algorithm to schedule drivers so we are meeting demand,” Savoie said.
Waitr will officially launch Thursday, and they will be hosting a launch party at 5 p.m. that evening at 10 Sports Bar & Grill, 4101 E. 42nd St, where Odessans can meet the local teams, eat and drink, and receive some free items.