Blacksburg adapts to new age food delivery, pick up

Blacksburg, Va., Oct. 22 – A quick delivery: UberEats Driver Grant Lydon greets customer Mia Esposito with a smile as he delivers her food. Esposito was able to track the entire food preparation and delivery process through the Uber app. Photo: Riley Wyant


by Riley Wyant–

Food services have gotten creative in recent times due to the spike in app usage and online ordering. Many grocery stores have developed delivery and pick up systems while many apps have been developed for these same purposes.

Now, the small town of Blacksburg has caught up with these enhanced systems and become part of the advancement.

“It’s crazy how much Blacksburg has added delivery wise,” said JoyRun growth marketing ambassador, Molly Beck. “I work for JoyRun, which is a new app that allows students to become the delivery people for other students. It’s just a super innovative concept.”

Along with JoyRun, Blacksburg also welcomed UberEats to the community, which is the fastest growing meal-delivery service in the US, according to a Business Insider research report.

“With the amount of students and visitors that are constantly in Blacksburg, it was obvious that they needed to up their game and get another faster, better delivery service out here,” said UberEats driver, Grant Lydon. “As a driver with UberEats, I go all over the New River Valley and deliver a lot more variety of food than the standard pizza guy.”

However, the expansion of these systems doesn’t stop at apps. Kroger, a popular grocery store in Blacksburg, has a grocery pick-up operation called ClickList.

Tracy Coffman, a ClickList supervisor for Kroger, says customer demand for online efficiency is the reason it all began.

According to The Wall Street Journal, food retailers such as Kroger are spending tens of millions of dollars to acquire digital-ordering technologies, implement home-delivery systems and build thousands of store pickup points for online orders. Kroger has hired or assigned nearly 19,000 workers to run the pickup sites.

ClickList enables customers to order their groceries online and pick them up curbside without even exiting their vehicle.

“I would say 90 percent of our customers with ClickList are moms with children…they love this service and they describe it as life-changing,” said Coffman.

ClickList has been installed at the Kroger located on South Main St and in just one day, ClickList will be installed at the University City Blvd location as well.

Alayna Francis, a Food Science and Technology major at Virginia Tech gives feedback on these new and improved strategies and how they have positively affected her lifestyle.