WaitrApp food delivery launches in Sacramento, hopes to best competition

WaitrApp, the restaurant delivery service with the $6.99 flat rate, launched in Sacramento Thursday with 20 restaurants and many more to come in the weeks ahead.

The company, based in Louisiana, is a newcomer in the Sacramento (including West Sacramento) and Roseville markets and has already signed up several high-profile restaurants, including Hot Italian, Ernesto’s, Selland’s Market-Cafe and Ettore’s European Bakery and Restaurant. Roseville has 25 restaurants and counting in the Waitr system.

“There are probably four or five players in that space already,” Ettore’s president Craig Powell said of the food delivery industry. “We did a fair amount of due diligence and really came away with the distinct impression that Waitr has really done a good job in a couple of areas. We believe the delivery experience is really an extension of our brand. The customer is going to reflect on that experience — good, bad or indifferent — and attribute it to us.

“I was very impressed with Waitr’s process in terms of who they hire, why they hire them and the fact that they have a uniform.”

Powell also noted that WaitrApp dispatched a professional photographer to take pictures of all of the menu items that will be available for delivery.

Last August, WaitrApp bought the locally created app Requested, which sought to give customers a degree of negotiating power by offering a lower price to dine during off-peak hours. Requested’s creator, Sonny Mayugba, is also a partner in Red Rabbit Kitchen and Bar in midtown. His position with Waitr is chief marketing officer.

He said restaurants partner with WaitrApp because of the proprietary payment and menu infrastructure it installs at each restaurant, the detailed menu with quality photos and the fact that Waitr doesn’t increase prices on the restaurants menu.

“The number one benefit is increased sales,” said Mayugba, noting that Waitr users tend to order more food than typical takeout orders. “We have 1,600 restaurants and many have been on for two years. We have real data.”

To access WaitrApp, go to the website or download the app for iPhone and Android.

Blair Anthony Robertson: 916-321-1099, @Blarob