Imagine having milk, bread, eggs and other necessities brought to your door in less time than it takes to order a pizza. That’s the goal with Zing Basket, an on-demand grocery delivery service that just launched in Pittsburgh. Described as the nation’s first 45-minute online grocery delivery service, Zing Basket allows customers to choose from over 2,000 products and then place their orders by website or phone. The orders are fulfilled on-site at Zing Basket’s 9,000-square-foot warehouse in Green Tree and delivered to doors throughout Pittsburgh. Right now, the service extends to Downtown, Oakland, Mt. Washington, Mt. Lebanon, Robinson, Scott Township, Dormont and Crafton. The company’s inventory encompasses a wide selection of fruits and vegetables, frozen and brand-name grocery items, as well as baby products, pet care, and specialty offerings such as local produce and gluten-free food. Need a last-minute flat screen TV? They also stock and deliver electronics, appliances and other home goods. In addition to variety and speed, Zing Basket also offers perks like free delivery on orders over $50 and a 100 percent money-back satisfaction guarantee. There is a $3 fee for orders under $50.
The concept is the latest creation from CEO Varol Ablak, a Turkish-American entrepreneur who has spent nearly 30 years starting and acquiring franchise businesses—among them Vocelli Pizza and Sincerely Yogurt—through his Pittsburgh-based company Ablak Holdings. He believes that combining his expertise in pizza delivery with the business models of grocery giants like Costco gives Zing Basket a competitive edge. “What people expect today is quicker and quicker service,” says Ablak. “Home delivery should be the same way. If you need something, we should be there within 30 minutes.”
More changes are in store for Zing Basket as the business rolls out. Over the next six months, the list of grocery items should increase to around 5,000. Ablak says they also want to include alcohol and pharmacy prescription pick-ups in orders. In addition, their hours of operation will go from the current 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. schedule to 24/7. Much like his previous ventures, Ablak also foresees expanding Zing Basket. He and his team are currently looking to build four new warehouse facilities in various locations, including in the North Hills and the East End.
“Right now, we’re delivering to those areas, but based on the demand, we will expand to give even quicker service,” says Ablak. “This is a better approach. With the franchise model, you have owner operators in each individual fulfillment center that are really taking care of the customer.” By Amanda Waltz/ nectpittsburgh.com