A new way to buy snacks, beer, and toilet paper has landed in South Florida.
Philadelphia-based goPuff has begun servicing Miami and Fort Lauderdale. The company promises to deliver practically anything — from Double Stuf Oreos to vape pens to toilet paper — in 30 minutes.
GoPuff isn't a third-party delivery service like Shipt or Instacart. The company sets up giant virtual convenience stores in warehouses, stocking up to 2,500 different items, and allows customers to order online or through a smartphone app.
"As soon as we receive your order, we run around picking it from our shelves," goPuff's communications director, Liz Romaine, explains. "The items are then picked up by one of our driver partners, who delivers it to your door, usually in 30 minutes or less."
GoPuff, which charges a flat $1.95 delivery fee, will bring you stuff until 3 a.m., and its online inventory is updated in real time, virtually guaranteeing that if you are able to order toilet paper, it'll arrive on your doorstep. "We're not shopping at a store on your behalf," Romaine reminds. "We own all the inventory. We know what we have in stock."
Founded in late 2013, the company is the brainchild of two Drexel University students — Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola — who dreamed it up while on a snack run for some fellow students. Today it boasts 175 locations serving dozens of metro areas besides its home base in Philadelphia, including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Houston, Minneapolis, Phoenix, and St. Louis.
GoPuff has a warehouse in Fort Lauderdale and one in Miami near Wynwood, each of which serves a radius that equates to a 20-minute drive. If delivery isn't yet available in your zip code, Romaine advises to be patient and check back often. A facility is expected to open in Miami Gardens this week, and one in North Miami is slated to come online in mid-May.
The company is also hiring warehouse staff and drivers. Romaine says each location employs up to 25 warehouse workers to restock inventory and assemble orders, plus about 50 drivers.
She also touts goPuff's efforts to keep its employees and customers safe during the coronavirus pandemic. The company provides drivers with masks, gloves, disinfectant wipes, and hand sanitizer. Employees are subject to temperature checks and adhere to social-distancing guidelines. The facilities are professionally cleaned on a regular basis, and employees clean every four hours. GoPuff has also implemented contactless delivery, wherein drivers leave an order at a spot specified by the customer and then call to confirm its arrival.
Romaine says the company welcomes feedback and requests for new products to add to its inventory. Though goPuff strives to stock regional favorites and locally produced items such as craft beer, she notes that some preferences are immune to borders: "The popularity of Flamin' Hot Cheetos and Ben & Jerry's is universal."
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