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Interview: Munchies on Wheels
Munchies on Wheels is an idea so cleverly simple, you can't believe you didn't think of it — Veronica Hernandez and Ryan Metzdorff did.
Of course, coming up with the idea is the easy part.
"What we're really proud of is not so much that we thought of it, but that we actually did it. The reason MOW got started was a combination of desperation and guts. Unemployed, broke and in a slight state of panic. Suddenly a comment made in passing turned into a very real goal for us. It's funny, but I'm not sure we thought it could work. I don't think we thought much outside of trying to create a job for ourselves," Hernandez says.
Below, Henandez talks about late-night snacks, expanding the business and the wheels behind Munchies on Wheels.
What is Munchies on Wheels? How/when did the business start?
MOW is a late night food delivery service. The concept is just like ordering pizza except we have our own sandwiches, we can deliver restaurant food and almost anything from a corner store. The idea came to us one summer night in June '09, like it probably does for most our customers; it was late, we were hungry, and nobody wanted to drive. We launched MOW in Sept. '09, so we're coming up on a year. Woot!
What's the most-ordered item on your menu?
Now that we have our own commercial kitchen Our MOW Sandwiches are by far our best selling item. They're hoagie sandwiches on a french roll made to order, and most people just make it a combo by adding a bag of chips and a can of soda. It's a pretty filling meal delivered right to your door — pretty awesome I'd say.
You deliver until 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. No question, I'm just impressed. Actually, why the focus on late-night service? Do you get a lot of calls at 1:30 on a Tuesday morning?
The focus on late night delivery might be a little selfish. As night owls, sleeping-in is high on our priority list, so we weren't looking to change into early birds. We just winged it and tried to match the hours from when people get off work to when the bars close. Not too many people calling on Tuesday nights, but Thursday to Sunday it gets pretty busy. Sometimes our day starts right at 4 p.m. because of the wide range of clients, but we're happy to be as busy as we are.
You've got to know your late-night eats. What's the best late-night food in town?
Actually there aren't a lot of late-night restaurants in town, so we're always trying to find anything that's open. What's ordered most often is Robertito's, because it's open 24hrs.
Would you pick me up some organic granola from the farmer's market?
Most likely not. We are only able to quickly and efficiently pick up items from corner stores and restaurants. This is because we go all over Fresno and we are almost always pressed for time.
The website says soon you'll have home-baked snacks and daily specials. Tell us about that?
We would like to include one of a kind home-style baked dishes into our menu. Our friends and people we've met through MOW are very good at baking and would like the opportunity to share their talents with Fresno. Our menu would be perfect for that.
What are the plans for future expansion? Any thoughts of franchising? Hiring out delivery people?
I''d be sweet for our company to reach the point where we can have regular employees. Already we've had many customers ask if we're hiring. Currently we're a small business. A really small business. But we've had many thoughts about expansion, franchising, and hiring a team. We'd like to see that happen.
Is there a special Munchies on Wheels car, with special Munchies on Wheels decals? because that would be cool. What kind of wheels are we talking about?
Our car became special because of MOW. Our branding for MOW is based loosely on our car and it's what we use today. We have a car top light (similar to a pizza delivery light) and it's on our car whenever we're on an order. We're talking about a 4-cylinder, standard, gas sipping, economy car. That's what's up.
Without incriminating anyone, you deliver to a lot of stoners, don't you?
We deliver to people who like to have a good time. If they got the munchies, we got the wheels.
Is there anything else you would want people to know about the business?
Sorry about the aggressive driving. I'm trying to tone it down.