HAMPTON — After noticing that larger food delivery companies were only available in big cities, lifelong friends Tom Wilbur and Adam Weiner decided to start their own local company, Gofer Restaurant Delivery Service.
Three years later, the duo hopes to expand their company across the Seacoast region.
“We’re a mom and pop shop compared to the bigger, more corporate businesses,” Wilbur said. “Because we’re local we’re able to get a hold of customers and owners easier. Customer service is where we have a leg up.”
Gofer, which has been in business since March of 2016, works similarly to their larger counterparts. They are currently partnered with 35 restaurants in the Hampton area including Community Oven, M&Y Pizza, Barley House, Old Salt, 401 Tavern, and more. Customers interested in ordering from any of these locations can use the Gofer website, app, or phone number to place their order. Average delivery time ranges from 45-55 minutes depending on traffic, weather conditions, and the restaurant’s ability to prepare food. Delivery fees are based on distance, with no fee exceeding $7. Both cash and card are accepted.
The idea for Gofer came to Weiner during a visit to New York City in late 2015. He said that he used services like GrubHub to get his food. When he realized that these larger companies focused primarily on the big cities, he realized there was an opening in the market for places like his hometown of Hampton.
Once home, Weiner shared the idea with Wilbur. The two have known each other since second grade, both graduating from Winnacunnet High School in 2005. Neither one had a background in business, Wilbur went to UNH to study English while Weiner has a degree in audio technology. Nevertheless, the idea of starting their own business intrigued them.
“We thought it was something we could do and it wouldn’t leave our minds,” Weiner said. “We decided to roll the dice and somehow it became our lives.”
Since that decision, Gofer delivery service has grown, allowing Wilbur and Weiner to open an office in town and hire 10-15 employees. Wilbur and Weiner also sometimes drive their deliveries, but both admitted that success has lessened some of the burden.
While starting their business has been exciting for the two, they both agree that becoming entrepreneurs has its struggles.
“One of the hardest aspects is staffing,” Weiner said. “You have to decide whether you think the day will be busy. The key is having not too many but also not too little drivers on the road.”
The two also have found a lot of joy in this new venture and the opportunities it has given them.
“We deliver to a lot of older people who are unable to leave their house to eat,” Weiner said. “It’s good to see how much they value it.”
“I’ve learned more personally about myself,” Wilbur added. “Yeah, it’s a lot of responsibility, but it’s also cool to be your own boss.”
Now that Gofer delivery service has cemented itself in the Hampton area, Wilbur and Weiner are looking to expand across New Hampshire. In addition to their Hampton restaurants, they have also partnered with 12 locations in Portsmouth, and are currently looking for places in Exeter and Epping. For the summer they have even experimented with delivering straight to the sand, a good idea for beachgoers. Their goal is to cover most of New Hampshire and move over to neighboring states.
For those interested in ordering from Gofer, or those who are interested in applying as a driver, visit their website at www.gofernh.com or call 603-274-9339. They also have the Gofer app for smartphones and are present on Facebook and Instagram.
Meanwhile, Wilbur and Weiner are staying committed to their business.
“We would like to emphasize, or at least mention that we are a local company,” Weiner said. “Two guys that grew up in Hampton, and most of our drivers actually grew up in the area as well. These are local people serving their neighbors and fellow citizens. That’s what sets us aside from the national companies - we care about our customers and we make sure they are satisfied.”