Chef Shuttle Grows With New Ownership, LaFrance Investment

by Lee Hogan  on Monday, Apr. 28, 2014 3:39 pm  

Wes Kirtley (left), Ryan Herget (middle) and Kyle Crossland (right) became the owners of Chef Shuttle in January. Since the trio, all in their 20s, took over, the local restaurant food delivery company has grown into four markets with more than 50 restaurants. (Photo by Lee Hogan)

Chef Shuttle was a small, restaurant food delivery company in Little Rock for about two years, but when young entreprenuer Ryan Herget and two friends purchased the company in January, they wanted more.

"We saw the bigger vision," Herget, the 23-year-old president of Chef Shuttle, said. "We saw there was a market for it."

Before Herget and his partners - Kyle Crossland, 22, and Wes Kirtley, 23 - came aboard, the company delivered food to Little Rock residents from less than 10 restaurants. Now Chef Shuttle delivers food to Little Rock, North Little Rock, Sherwood and Maumelle residents from more than 50 restaurants in the four cities.

More: Read a Q&A with Herget over at our sister publication, Little Rock Soirée.

Some of those restaurants include Big Whiskey's, Bruno's Little Italy and Bruno's Italian Bistro, Cantina Laredo, Corky's Ribs & BBQ, Las Palmas, Mexico Chiquito, Shorty Small's and Texas Roadhouse.

The growth has not come without its fair share of work, though.

"It's been seven days a week, 15 hours a day for the last four months," Herget says, "but there is not too much else I'd rather be doing."

The business has a straightforward idea: bring hot restaurant food to the homes of central Arkansas residents within 60 minutes for a $4.95 fee. Customers looking to have food delivered to their homes go to the website, scour the menus of the participating restaurants and place their order, which must be a minimum of $15.

From there, Chef Shuttle contacts the restaurant, the food is prepared, a Chef Shuttle delivery driver picks up the food and brings it to the customer's door step within an hour. Chef Shuttle has operating hours seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and 5-10 p.m. for dinner.

Right now, the company has more than 30 employees, including more than 20 drivers. Herget says there's usually about five to six dispatchers working at a time, and anywhere between eight to 15 drivers stationed throughout the company's four markets, depending on the shift and day.

While it's a simple concept, Herget and his pals are capitalizing on it. Being in four markets in three months has "blown my original plan out of the water," Herget said.

To better prepare for the future, Chef Shuttle's three owners recently reached an agreement to enter into a partnership with Jason and Stephen LaFrance and Dan Andrews of Dale Capital Partners. The partnership is expected help Chef Shuttle's young owners with experience and capital.



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