NedEx adds convenience for local residents
– Linda Alexander –
” — This is awesome. I hope Stage Stop will get in on the action for sushi nights.
— I probably wouldn’t use it because I live in town…well, maybe if I’m jonesin’ for pizza.
— I almost thought about using the service tonight, but my friends were here, so I came down.
— I live two blocks from here, but this is great for people who live farther away, especially when the weather is crappy.
— I’ll use it if the drivers can get up my driveway.
— Sure, if I’m too lazy to come out and pick up the food myself … I live in Old Town.
— This is great for people who don’t have transportation.
— No, I live in Old Town. If I lived out of town, I’d probably use it.
— If Salto comes on board, I’m totally in … coffee and the brioche with ham and Swiss every Saturday morning. ”
This sampling of comments is from a discussion last week in a downtown Nederland establishment about NedEx, the new food delivery service that debuted at First Street Pub & Grill two weeks ago.
For a $5 fee, those jonesing for a pizza from Back Country Pizza, a burger from Pioneer Inn, or the evening special at First Street can call up the restaurant of their choice, order their food and have it delivered to their door—almost regardless of the weather.
“Our priority is getting food to people in a fast, fresh, and in a reasonable time,” says Neal Kahn, who started the business. “But our drivers’ safety is foremost. If the weather’s too bad, we’ll let the restaurants know that we won’t be going out.”
Neal grew up in Chicago and has lived in Boulder for going on four years. He hopes to be moving to Ned soon. He said he worked for many years in industrial distribution, often handling orders of millions of nuts and bolts. He also operated a café in the Caribbean, and so knows the restaurant business, too.
“I saw a niche up here and had experience in both businesses,” he said. “I got the idea when a friend of mine who lives in Ned said ‘I’m so tired that I don’t feel like cooking. I wish someone would deliver my dinner.’ The light bulb went off and I started looking into starting the delivery service.”
First Street was first to sign on.
“I think this is terrific,” First Street co-owner Lisa Plank said. “There was some hesitation at first, you know, how will it work, will the drivers be good, those kinds of questions. But Neal is connecting all the dots to make this work.”
First Street’s entire menu is available for delivery, and so far drivers haven’t had problems getting food to people quickly.
Back Country Pizza just came on board, starting home delivery December 29. Pioneer Inn will begin delivery Wednesday, February 6. PI co-owner Cindy Shaw said select items from the Inn’s new menu will be available.
“We’ll only deliver items that we think can travel well—burgers and sandwiches, and our new chicken masala,” Cindy said. “Once a chimichanga sits for a while, it just doesn’t do well.”
Neal said he is in discussions with the Stage Stop to add them to the growing list of deliveries. “I want to start pretty slow and make sure that each restaurant’s needs are being served.”
On his website, NedExFast.com, Neal has posted simple directions for how to place orders, hours of service, and a map of the current delivery area. Delivery hours currently are 5-9 p.m. seven days a week, but later in the evening, patrons need to check with the restaurant to make sure its kitchen is open.
Drivers will take food anywhere in Nederland as well as to Rollinsville and Eldora. Neal said he hopes to expand the area, but he won’t go any farther than he can get meals to people in a reasonable time and in a hot and tasty condition. But, he said, he’s open to the idea of meeting people at the boundary of the delivery area.
He said he doesn’t want to keep people from coming in to local restaurants, so along with the ordered food, his drivers will deliver flyers about upcoming events and entertainment, and specials at the restaurants. He said he hopes the restaurants will use the service to do some special marketing. One of the offers he’s working on is a dinner-and-a-movie concept.
He also tells his drivers to be sure to tip out staff at the restaurants from which they take deliveries. “Those people are still cooking the food and getting it ready to go,” Neal said. “We need to take care of them.”
Eventually, he said, he’d like to deliver groceries, prescriptions, and other items, if there’s interest. He’d like to hear by email from anyone with ideas, restaurants and other businesses interested in joining the service, and others, at firstname.lastname@example.org