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Pete’s to Roll Out Pizza Delivery by Segway

by ARLnow.com June 24, 2011 at 10:02 am 7,078 78 Comments

Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza in Clarendon may be the first D.C. area pizzeria to offer delivery via Segway.

The three-month old restaurant will soon be launching delivery service, and co-owner Joel Mehr says the newly-purchased Segway will allow his delivery staff to serve residents of Arlington’s dense urban core faster than traditional delivery methods.

The Segway — once it’s outfitted with a custom pizza-holding basket — will be able to transport multiple pies at a time, unlike deliveries by foot, and will be able to park anywhere, unlike deliveries by car. Plus, Mehr said, it’s cheap and eco-friendly — only requiring a $0.20 overnight charge for eight hours of operation.

“We just thought this would be an extremely efficient way to deliver to urban residents within a mile radius,” said Mehr, who noted that the original idea for Segway deliveries came from an offhand suggestion from a customer.

The personal transportation device will not be the only vehicle in the delivery fleet, however. While the Segway will handle deliveries within a mile of the store, a gas-powered scooter will handle deliveries within two miles. Cars will be used for more distant deliveries and during bad weather.

Segways can travel up to 12 miles per hour. Expect to see the Pete’s Segway, decked out with stickers and other decorations, out and about in Clarendon in a couple of weeks.

  • JamesE

    I think walking would be faster

  • TGEoA

    Whats with a bike?

  • YTK

    That’s more than Bronx Pizza (around the corner) can say — their storefront is still EMPTY–
    Eh! Bronx! When yoo gonna get here, huh???!!!

    • CW

      Bronx Pizza and Trader Joe’s ran away together. Someone should put out a “missing” poster; maybe we can find them.

      • YTK

        LOL!!!

  • CW

    It seems that Segways, while never the world-changing device that they were initially made out to be before their launch, are slowly starting to find more mainstream use. What are the rules governing them? One usually sees them on the sidewalk, but they’re not exactly appropriate there given their size and speed, especially in an area where there are as many pedestrians as Clarendon. I could see this backfiring with some negative PR after the first couple times the delivery dude goes tear-assing through a crowded sidewalk or runs over somebody’s dog.

    • JamesE

      I am waiting for ATV pizza delivery.

    • YTK

      I hope they get to tangle with the joggers– some of whom even run between the passengers getting off a bus and the bus.

    • OddNumber

      The sidewalks are bad enough now given the heavy foot traffic and side walk restaurant seating in Clarendon. I’m not a big fan of businesses using Segways in an already crowded area. Bike delivery sounds much more realistic.

      • CW

        Exactly. I hate to use “slippery slope” arguments, but what if every business started doing this? Even 10 segways perpetually out in Clarendon would be a lot.

        • doodly

          I wish someone would think about that when they build roads.

  • Lyon Park Matt

    Segways are the devil’s mode of transportation. I like Pete’s, but I won’t be ordering delivery from them. Boo Segways!

    • YTK

      I hear the Devil used a Segway to get to the ABC store
      after he lost his tail — because that’s where they retail spirits.

      • Satan

        Even I thought that joke was horrible.

      • NomNom

        Har Har

  • steve

    PS: How did they get Ehud Barak to pose in that picture?

  • Arlwhenever

    Here is a real entrepreneur and savvy businessman, figuring out how to serve customers effectively and efficiently. If the product is good this fellow is going to be incredibly successful.

    • doodly

      Yep, taking advantage of our walkable/Segwayable, business-friendly community.

      • Arlwhenever

        Actually @doodly, I am scoping out the nearest parking garage. I am not about to ask my 10 year old, 9 year old and 5 year old to walk a mile and a quarter to get a pizza. This walkability thing is a fiction for most in Arlington most of the time. But if it makes y’all good to say it, go ahead, be my guest.

        • Maria

          You do know that not everyone lives as far away from Clarendon/Wilson as you do, right? Also, some people (me, for example) are actually willing to walk a mile instead of getting in a car. Just because the walkability thing is “fiction” for your family doesn’t mean it is for everyone else.

        • doodly

          @Arlwhenever:

          Ah, because you can’t walk there, nobody can! That makes alot of sense.

          Hundreds, maybe thousands of people live close enough to walk to Pete’s. Thousands certainly live close enough to walk to some places they would otherwise use a car for. If that doesn’t include you, I didn’t say it did. Not every single Arlington resident is part of it, but a whole lot are.

          And hey, here’s a whacky idea – drive with your kids, park in the neighborhood, and then walk around from restuarant to farmer’s market to movies, or whatever. Or stop on your way from work on Metro and walk to shop. That’s part of walkability too.

          • CW

            Sure does.

          • Thes

            +1 I like that alot!

          • Arlwhenever

            Ya, get my wild-eyed 5-year old running about and criss-crossing streets in heavy traffic. Sure. Thanks for the advice. I hope you never become a parent.

          • Maria

            Holy moly, do you think every problem you have applies to everyone else? Just because you haven’t bothered to teach your child how to walk on a sidewalk and look both ways before crossing the street doesn’t mean the rest of the world never got that far in parenting. And I don’t know if doodly is a parent or not, but I’m going to guess he’ll be like 95% of other parents in the world and teach his kids those skills instead of using that as an excuse to just drive everywhere.

            Congratulations on one of the most absurd insults ever given on this site (and if you’ve been here a while, you know that’s saying a lot).

          • RealWorld

            I’m not a parent, but I am a manager at an engineering firm and I think I get to see in our interviewees and new hires a lot of these 5 year olds that have never been taught by their parents to look both ways before crossing the street. They are the ones that either end of doing something so lacking in common sense (and expect not to get blamed) or are too scared to do anything on their own without a lot of hand-holding.

            Bless all of you parents who teach your children responsibilty at an early age and give them freedom to discover their own sense of independence.

          • Maria

            I’m a high school teacher. Before they get to you, they come through me. I try to teach them these skills as best I can when they are lacking, but I apologize if it doesn’t always work 🙂

    • Tabby

      Definitely.

  • Abe Froman

    All I wanna know is what the delivery area is going to be.

    • snooty maitre d

      you’re most likely screwed up there in chicago…

    • LP

      It’s in the article, Abe.

      “While the Segway will handle deliveries within a mile of the store, a gas-powered scooter will handle deliveries within two miles. Cars will be used for more distant deliveries and during bad weather.”

      • CrystalMikey

        Yeah, but what is the maximum range.

        • Aaron

          I’d presume that any place in Arlington is theoretically within their delivery radius. Places on the Pike and even farther will deliver to me in Rosslyn and it seldom ever takes more than 45 minutes inclusive.

        • CW

          You mean of the car deliveries?

    • Amerigo Vespucci

      I will draw you a map

  • LP

    Curious to see if the pizza carrier on the Segway will have a lock-able pizza box on it. Can just imagine a Segway locked in front of a building with 4-5 warm pies on it while the delivery man runs upstairs to deliver.

    Or will they be taking the Segway in Condo/Apartment lobbies, elevators and hallways? Hmm….

  • ArlSouthie

    Segway? Really? They are a complete menace on the sidewalk. Look at the DC tours by Segway. Get a bike, it will be cheaper in the long run and may even be faster.

    See how long Segway delivery lasts when they start getting crumpled trying to cross Wilson & Wash Blvd. Or when the next bank robber knocks off the delivery guy and makes it his getaway vehicle. Hmmm… I think I might be onto something.

    • doodly

      Okay, I’m looking at the DC Segway tours.

      Any accidents or hazards reported? I haven’t heard of any. You?

  • SoCo Resident

    Unlike yesterday’s “advertisement” unethically deguised as a news story for WTD and Mad Rose, this actually appears to be a news story.

    • John Fontain

      I don’t care if yesterday’s post about Mad Rose was an ad or not (and it certainly was not “disguised as news” given that it was listed as a promotion), but I appreciate knowing about deals like getting half off a meal. Keep up the good work ARLnow and be sure to let me know about any other good deals I can get!

      • SoCo Resident

        Most news readers care to know that they are reading a legitimate news article or an sneaky advertisement. They do not like to be fooled as ARLNOW did yesterday Interesting, that comments were prohibited on yesterday’s Mad Rose “story”? Why? ARLNOW has previously identified What’s the Deal as a “friend”, and “affiliate” etc. Good news and journalistic practices demand that advertising be clearly identified and that business connections be clarified. Readers do care.

        • Stu Pendus

          cry moar

        • GM

          I’d rather read advertisements than someone still trying to use a fake neighborhood name in the hopes that anyone besides him will help make it stick.

        • Michael H.

          Darn. I was completely fooled by the Mad Rose/What’s the Deal post yesterday. ARLNOW has never posted about any shortcomings of Mad Rose Tavern. Oh wait a minute, yes he has.

          It’s pretty clear that it was a promotional item when he states that What’s the Deal is a “partner”. Not everything is some great scandal requiring protests and emotional “letters to the editor”.

      • SoCo Resident

        Glad you think Mad Rose is a “good deal” but before you spend any money read the 35 reviews on Yelp, especially the ones since the “new managment” in May. BTW, ARLNOW forgot to mention that the popular outside patio is smoking, — cough, cough — plus exhaust fumes. Course, ARLNOW mysteriously kept its readers from commenting on yesterday’s WTF-Mad Rose advertisment.

        • Thes

          ArlNow has been consistent in not allowing comments on promotional stories. It’s one of the ways readers can tell the difference between them and regular news stories.

          • CW

            I’m pretty neutral to this specific discussion, but I think it would help the flow of the site in general to have the promotional posts look a little different, while still keeping them visually in line with the rest of the stories (as opposed to off to the side, etc.).

            Any way to put a border or a box or something around them? Or just anything else that makes them stand out as separate?

          • That’s not possible using our Content Management System, but any posts about sponsored contests or affiliates — WTD being the only one right now — will be labeled promotion and will include some sort of reference to the partnership at the top of the post.

            As of right now, we limit these kind of posts to promotions where there is a prize, discount or other benefit to readers. If that policy ever changes — and it may, if that’s what it takes to, say, be able to afford another reporter — we will run a separate post explaining the policy change and outlining what readers can expect.

            We strive for transparency, and we take your feedback very seriously. So far we have not asked for donations from readers, like some other independent local sites do, but in order to pay for our operations we must take advantage of these kind of partnerships when appropriate. Thank you, everyone, for your support.

          • SoCo Resident

            “we take your feedback very seriously” EXCEPT NO COMMENTS were allowed on the WTD-Mad Rose 50% off article yesterday. So, this isn’t taking feedback seriously AT ALL! And, read the Yelp review about problems using ARLNOW’s “affiliate’s” WTD coupon at Madrose. The wait staff don’t even know what this is about! See a guy in the “back room.”

            DON’T seek out “journalism” awards when you pull this stuff.

          • Josh S

            I’d like to point out that ARLnow refers to the need/desire/hope to “afford another reporter.” The use of the word “reporter” seems to indicate an acknowledgment that what is going on here is journalism. I think this is a good thing, but does preclude the use of “oh, it’s just blogging” arguments in the future. Which is not an argument that ARLnow has made (that I can remember), but is certainly something that others have made in the comments sections. Journalism implies certain standards, I believe, primarily of objectivity and neutrality and of course of attempts at thoroughness. ARLnow does not appear to be set up for investigative journalism, so thoroughness may suffer in order to get news out quickly or to just report basic facts. Which is fine. But I do think that even a local news blog can be held to high standards when it comes to objectivity and neutrality.

          • SoCo Resident

            CW is absolutely correct in urging that “promotions” stand out from regular stories, as any reputable news site would do. And, ARLNOW should recuse itself from regular reporting on establishments about which it has some sort of financial interest. On ARNLNOW’s original over-the-top coverage of Mad Rose months ago, readers had serious questions about the relationship between Mad Rose and ARLNOW.

          • Courthouse Lady

            you really need to calm down. its friday.

          • Thes

            I certainly hope ArlNow does not recuse itself from reporting on matters related to advertisers. ArlNow is, by a wide margin, the best local reporting in Arlington. I would prefer ArlNow’s potentially biased (if disclosed) coverage on any matter to the half-baked or non-coverage we get from other news sources around here.

  • John Fontain

    Transporting “multiple pies at a time” – this is the best way to ensure cold pizza and long delivery times. Nothing says “customer service” like knowing your pizza has been driven back and forth across town while pizzas are being delivered to other customers first.

    • LP

      Doesn’t every deliver pizza place transport multiple pies/orders at the same time?

      Look at Dominos/Pizza Hut’s heat bags, they do the trick.

      • John Fontain

        I’ve had pizzas at the door 20 minutes after I placed the order. Certainly in those cases, the driver wasn’t stopping at multiple other customers before me.

        I’ve also had the rare instance or two where the delivery took well over an hour. One of those times, I called the store and asked for a status update. They said the driver left 30 minutes ago. It then took another 15 minutes for the driver to show up even though the store was 1.5 miles from my house. Upon arrival, I asked the driver why it took so long and he admitted he had picked up mulitple orders (to hog up the tips from the other drivers) and was running them to other customers first. His desire to screw over the other drivers that night and his disregard for promptness in deliverying my food was reflected in his tip. It’s a bad practice and one I wouldn’t put up with if I was the owner of the store.

        • CW

          This is why I don’t order delivery pizza. If I’m going to get pizza, it’s going to be slices cut off of a fresh pie or a whole pie cooked to my order.

    • Take it down a notch

      Some customers might actually order multiple pies at one time…

  • VA^2

    This seems like the first somewhat good use of a segway, which i think is one of the dumbest inventions ever.

    Boston just banned segways from sidewalks: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/boston-bans-segway-tours-city-tour-company-files/story?id=13907202

    Anyone else ever want to push over the lazy people using one for their commute?

  • NOVApologist

    The very first words in that Mad Rose piece were “Our partners at WTD..”

    Unless one is unfamiliar with the words “our” and “partners” the connection was pretty apparent from the start.

    • CW

      How dare you make inferences based upon explicit denotations!

    • SoCo Resident

      Yes, it was an advertisement!

      • NoVapologist

        No way!!!!

        • Stu Pendus

          Way!

      • GM

        “Most news readers care to know that they are reading a legitimate news article or an sneaky advertisement.”

        Which it was noted right at the beginning. Quit your whining. Also, there is no SoCo except in your head.

      • Michael H.

        Oh no! An advertisement? On the Internet? How can this be allowed to happen?

  • Black Flag

    No comment

    • Thes

      @Black Flag — You’re doing it wrong.

  • Michael H.

    I remember the giddy news articles that would get posted before the Segway was officially unveiled about how the inventor may have created a personal hovercraft. Those stories actually got posted on legitimate tech news sites.

    Even after the Segway was revealed to be sort of a two-wheeled scooter with gyroscopes, some noted figures in the tech world continued to hype it up. Some of them said that they say early prototypes and thought it would completely change the way that cities would be designed. Still waiting on that one.

  • johnny b

    Segways follow basically the same laws as bikes. They are deemed “electric personal assistive mobility devices” and are regulated by the ‘consumer product safety commision’ rather than the Dept of Transportation. In other words, if its ok for a wheelchair, its ok for the segway. However I couldn’t find anything particular as to tthe “commercial use” of one as a delivery vehicle. I did find that they are not allowed on any street in virginia with a speed limit above 25 mph….are Wilson & Clarendon Blvds 25 or 30 mph….could certainly make a difference?
    As far as sidewalks go, with the thing emblazoned with company signs and logos, I’d say the first pedestrian run over by it will be the new owner of Petes…..I’ve always wanted to own a pizza joint….

  • NOVApologist

    I’m guessing SoCo is shorthand for Southern Comfort since so many of SoCo Resident’s posts read like angry drunk rants.

    • SoCo Resident

      Another personal attack. Total abstainer unlike most here, and I frequently question the flood of liquor licenses being granted since you follow my posts so closely “NOVApologist.” You label me a drunk rather than deal with the issue at hand. What’s interesting is that any criticism or review of ARNLNOW is met with personal attacks by the truly loyal following.

      • billj

        lol, why are you so butthurt? Take it easy dude

  • NOVApologist

    Lighten up Francis.

  • ArlForester

    I hope they actually use them unlike the claim by Doctor Delivery that they use electric powered bikes to make deliveries.

  • Deeps

    Ew. That pizza has RICE on it ~shudder~

  • Tabby

    Does this Segway make my butt look big?

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