Your tummy is growling but there is no one to cover the phones at work. You could tough it out and make do with those stale peanut butter crackers in the bottom drawer, or you could call Mike Charboneau's delivery service, diner2door.com.
For a fee, Charboneau, or one of his four drivers, will swing by the restaurant of your choice, pick up your order and deliver it to you.
Not hungry, but still need something picked up? Flip Charboneau's business card over for his second delivery service, www.stores2door.com. He and his drivers can pick up or deliver everything -- from groceries to dry cleaning.
Delivery fees are based on the cost of the item or food, and range from $8 to $10 and up.
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Charboneau, who works full time for Richland as a cable communications coordinator, started his delivery services about 18 months ago as a sideline.
"I've always liked the restaurant business but it's a rough, rough business to own. Yet I wanted to do something part time that fit my restaurant niche. I thought, 'I can't run a restaurant part-time but I can make deliveries,' " he said.
And the service is free to restaurants.
"There are services like mine all over the country, but I'm the only one I know of in the Tri-Cities," he said.
His drivers travel throughout the Tri-Cities and most of West Richland.
"With the highways you can go anywhere you want to in the Tri-Cities in 20 minutes. That's our guide. My goal is complete pick up and delivery within an hour," Charboneau said.
Each driver has a food handling permit and insulated bags for restaurant orders.
Between the two services, runs are averaging about 200 a month.
The majority are dinner orders, though drivers are available from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
"Periodically we get a breakfast order, or a handful of lunch orders, but most calls come between 5 and 10 p.m.," he said.
"Chinese food is one of our top orders, then come all the chains: Applebee's, Olive Garden, Famous Dave's."
The www.diner2door.com website has more than 60 menus. Customers make their selection and place an order either via email or by calling 509-554-6643. Payment can be done online or at the time of delivery.
Deliveries from the www.stores2door.com site work the same way.
"We have everything from clothing shops to hardware stores signed up. But it's the grocery stores that get the most business. We do more grocery deliveries than you could imagine," Charboneau said. But drivers don't deliver alcohol or tobacco products.
There are no membership fees for stores, restaurants or customers. Delivery fees are based on the cost of the item or food.
"We charge $8 for orders from $1 to $60, $10 (for) orders up to $100, and anything over that is 10 percent," he said.
-- Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; firstname.lastname@example.org