Pando

Waffle House offers a safe(r) place to use Roadie, the scandal waiting to happen

By Nathaniel Mott , written on February 24, 2015

From The News Desk

Here's a sentence I never thought I'd write: Waffle House is getting into the tech industry.

The greasy diner chain is partnering with Roadie, a peer-to-peer delivery service that -- like all "Uber for X" startups -- is probably going to face more than its fair share of scandals, to provide a place for shoppers to receive their items from Roadie drivers without risking injury.

You read that right. A startup is being built around an idea so risky its users are less likely to be stabbed at a Waffle House. This has to be the first time that's been true.

Roadie's problem is that it doesn't conduct background checks on its drivers. It merely asks them to provide a driver's license so it knows they can legally deliver goods and makes customers pay $1 to cover insurance.

How could anyone think that would be a good idea? Uber has faced scandal after scandal because its background checks weren't stringent enough. Now another company has made its debut without requiring any background checks whatsoever.

The company told the Wall Street Journal that a "proprietary background-checking system" will be implemented "soon." Until then its users are supposed to seek safety by meeting with the person delivering their goods in a nice, public, well-lit setting.

Or a Waffle House. But hey, at least the restaurant chain will be offering Roadie drivers a free drink whenever they're making a delivery! I'm sure that'll be enough to stop anyone from mugging, assaulting, or otherwise attacking Roadie's customers.

Here's what Waffle House chief executive Walt Ehmer told the Wall Street Journal about his company's surprising (to say the very least) partnership with Roadie:

“We’re just bacon and eggs over here,” Mr. Ehmer said in an interview. “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.”
You might've been better off sticking with the bacon and eggs, Walt.

[photo by Sam Howzit]