food pedaler owner alex ward photo by carrie zukoski

Bike-powered food delivery service Food Pedaler​ celebrates 10 years in St. Louis

Bike-powered delivery service Food Pedaler celebrates 10 years of delivering local restaurant meals to diners this year. Current owner Alex Ward first joined the business in 2018, when he started as a pedaler following an internship that involved spending most of the day behind a desk. When Ward expressed interest in growing the business around the same time founder Tim Kiefer showed interest in selling, it was the “right place, right time” for Kiefer to pass the torch to Ward. Here, Ward takes us behind the scenes at Food Pedaler and explains some of the finer details of the job of a pedaler, like how they keep deliveries dry in wet weather.

“I've been a lifelong cyclist. I've always loved riding my bike. I grew up in Webster, so growing up, I would go on Grant’s Trail like three times a week, just long bike rides.”

 “We work with approximately 25 restaurants. I would say we do about 30 orders a day.”

 “We deliver with restaurants in and around downtown and Central West End. The delivery zones meet at about Compton. So, you could order [from] Central West End-area restaurants to Midtown, on the west side of Compton. And then on the east side, we work with downtown restaurants.”

 “People can order through our website or our mobile app, and then we get a notification of what the order is, who's ordering, where's it going to, where's it coming from. And then we send the restaurant the order details.”

 “I've been able to automate a lot of that process. So, there are a lot of orders that I don't even need to manage; they go straight to a printer at the restaurant.”

 “Owning this business and working on the tech side of things has really given me a huge education on automation technology that's out there and making things as simple and streamlined as possible, for my own sanity and so I can have the capacity to focus on the more creative side of things like marketing and PR.”

 “At the moment, I'm focusing on reaching as many people as possible within our delivery area. There are still a lot of people in these few neighborhoods that we could reach, and who could benefit from our service, as well as a lot of really great restaurants who we've not partnered with yet. That would be the goal – to expand our list of partners in our current area.”

 “Down the line, I certainly would love to expand to other areas – my first choice would be Tower Grove. But it all really depends on the interest that we get from restaurants in different parts of the city.”

 “We deliver on everything besides ice and really thick snow, which remarkably, the winter this year has been so mild, that I think we only closed like one or two days when it was dangerously cold to be outside.”

 “We all have really nice courier packs that are insulated and waterproof that keep the food at the right temperature, and they keep moisture from getting in.”


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