Alex Vasilkin, Co-Founder of Cartwheel, chats to DeliveryRank about their top notch delivery management software and shares his views on the industry and the future it holds.
Cartwheel consists of three partners and we all met about 16 years ago when we worked together in one of the leading product distribution companies in Eastern Europe. We all moved to the US to start our careers and various projects.
Our most relevant experience to Cartwheel started with a restaurant that we owned. Back in 2012 it was the highest performing restaurant in the country on the Grubhub platform for delivery. Dine-in was not super successful but delivery was an outrageous success - we had eight drivers per shift on average.
Due to our success, in 2014 we decided to outsource delivery for other restaurants in LA. We started working with some local restaurants with good delivery volumes. The company started to grow and we realized that there was no efficient software out there to manage these deliveries. We started building our own internal product so we could manage our own delivery operations efficiently.
At some point we started to license it, but then came the pandemic. We then decided to focus solely on the software as we could reach out to restaurants nationwide.
We looked at the demand and one thing led to the other. We never thought we would be a software company serving other restaurants. It was a gradual and organic process, not necessarily an inspiration.
I would say the real launch date of Cartwheel as we know it today was just as Covid hit. This is when the restaurant industry had to switch to delivery in order to survive. They started to employ delivery drivers as the dine-in feature was no longer an option by law.
One of those restaurant brands happens to be Portillo's (now public), who we launched the first pilot with. They were very happy with the results and after seeing the future potential of hybrid deliveries they became our first investor.
I would say Cartwheel has two main themes:
Delivery management software for in-house deliveries for companies large or small (restaurants, alcohol delivery marketplaces, cannabis deliveries). We have all the tools to take care of their operations revolving around the drivers and deliveries
We offer Hybrid Delivery where restaurants can establish their rules in Cartwheel and based on these rules, we decide if their in-house driver takes the order or whether we send it to a third party.
These are the basic tools we provide restaurants with to make their delivery super efficient.
There are many companies that manage logistics, but not many are built from the ground up to manage on-demand operations. You have to understand restaurants to work with them efficiently and most other logistic software companies out there do not.
Our software was built from day one to power on-demand operations - route optimization for tomorrow is no good - NOW is of the essence. We have the most advanced hybrid delivery engine out there that makes the lives of restaurant managers stress-free and eezy peezy when it comes to drivers and deliveries. That is our baby!
It seems like it is becoming more and more prevalent for restaurants, and for liquor stores alike. With labor shortages hybrid delivery is definitely the future. The operators maintain their flexibility and can choose to outsource when and where they need to.
We are absolutely continuing to head in the direction of hybrid delivery but we also have many other projects in our pipeline that we look forward to exploring further and developing. Watch the space!
Want to find out more about Cartwheel, visit https://trycartwheel.com/ or follow on https://www.linkedin.com/company/trycartwheel/