SoulFood Coffehouse co-owner Makia Oaks (left) and FlyBuy CEO Wil Merritt at the FlyBuy pick-up point behind the coffee shop. Samantha Pak, Redmond Reporter

FlyBuy Technologies launches with Redmond restaurants

A number of restaurants and coffee shops in Redmond are now offering customers one more way to get their grub, thanks to a Seattle-based startup.

With the mobile app FlyBuy, customers can place their orders and pay for coffee or meals ahead of time and have their order ready and hand delivered to their car for a curbside pickup. The app uses GPS locating to allow businesses to see when a customer is arriving so they can bring out the order — no parking necessary, no need to stand in line.

Evan Ziebell, marketing manager for FlyBuy, said the Pioneer Square company is about two years old, having started providing services in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Redmond has been FlyBuy’s first venture onto the Eastside, Ziebell said. The restaurants that are currently participating are SoulFood CoffeeHouse, Chaat N Roll (two locations), Flying Saucer Pizza, Grand Peking, Gyro World, Hugo’s, Nasai Teriyaki, Taqueria El Gallo, River Trail Roasters, Hoffman’s Fine Cakes and Pastries and Creperie de Paris.

There are also a few restaurants in Issaquah, Bellevue and Kent that are participating.

“Most restaurants take very well to the idea,” Ziebell said about FlyBuy’s concept, adding that they are always working to bring more businesses on board.

FlyBuy CEO Wil Merritt added that people are looking to get their food in different ways.

“I think there’s some evolution in the restaurant business,” he said.

Merritt initially got involved with the company about a year ago and became CEO in September 2016. He said when he learned about FlyBuy’s curbside pickup model, he thought, “Wow, this is amazing.”

According to a FlyBuy press release, Merritt is excited for the opportunity to expand in Redmond.

“We chose Redmond because it has the perfect blend of great restaurants and tech savvy consumers,” Merritt said in the release. “FlyBuy provides more convenient options for people to ‘Live better on the fly.’”

Merritt’s wife agreed. He said when he first discussed it with her, he said she wished they’d had this option when she was ferrying around their son’s water polo team — as a lot of times fast food would be the quick option to feed a lot of people.

Merritt said FlyBuy gives people a healthier option than fast food.

For now, FlyBuy has focused on working with independent companies as a way to support local businesses, with added convenience.

“You can support these businesses on a daily basis,” Ziebell said.

FlyBuy is also a new way for businesses to bring in customers.

Makia Oaks, one of the co-owners at SoulFood Coffeehouse, said they added the FlyBuy service in hopes to bring in more customers in the morning. She said while they are typically slow in the mornings, there is usually a line of cars in the drive-thru lane at the Starbucks that shares the same parking lot.

Oaks said they want to give the community a chance to support local businesses and for those who want to stay in their car when picking up their morning coffee, SoulFood now offers that option.

She said from a business owner’s perspective, it was simple to set up and work the FlyBuy app. When an order comes in, their tablet “dings” until someone confirms that they have seen the order or they receive a phone call to let them know about the order.

Merritt said since the app uses GPS locating, businesses can track where a customer is when they are on their way and their location is color coded based on their distance from the business. Businesses can see when a customer arrives and bring out their order in a manner of seconds.

In addition to the convenience of not having to get out of the car — a benefit for anyone, ranging from people commuting to work in the morning to parents with kids in the car to pet owners who don’t want to leave their animals in the car alone — Merritt said FlyBuy also frees up parking spaces as drivers just have to stop for the pick up and carry on their way.

“Parking really is at a premium in most cities,” he said.

According to FlyBuy’s research, Merritt said about 30 percent of traffic in cities is due to people circling around looking for parking, adding that there are also those who have given up a trip to a restaurant or coffee shop because they couldn’t find parking.

FlyBuy’s curbside pickup is also convenient for those who end up eating in their cars, Merritt said.

“We’re giving them some new options (for where to eat or get coffee),” he said.

FlyBuy is free and available on iTunes at and Google Play at For the month of March, FlyBuy is offering an introductory promotional code “REDMOND” for new users to download the app and receive 20 percent off food orders.

More in Business

Selection and steady sales characterize local market

Buyers can enjoy additional selection this summer as they look for the home of their choice.

Eastside business booms with summer options

Locals can visit numerous new developments this summer, all within Eastside communities.

Local real estate market brings more opportunities for buyers

Homebuyers are also benefiting from lower interest rates, which are currently are less than four percent.

From left: Craig Olson, Joan Schrammeck, and Paula Paula DelGiudice with a solar panel. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
Little Bit in Redmond goes solar

Northwest Electric and Solar of Kenmore donates a solar energy system to the therapeutic riding center.

Nir Pechuk won second prize at the national competition. Photo courtesy of LWSD
Redmond Middle School student advances to national entrepreneur competition

Nir Pechuk won second prize at the national competition.

Microsoft reveals project criteria for $500 million affordable housing funds

The company will soon accept applications for projects related to affordable housing on the Eastside.

Vertex Arena offers a turfed and netted 3,000 square feet battlefield for bow and arrow tag, nerf tag, and field dodgeball. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
Vertex Arena comes to Redmond

The new business hopes to connect people through the power of play.

Woodblock owners open spiritual successor to Frankie’s Pizza in downtown Redmond

Spark Pizza aims to preserve the community-based restaurant hub as development floods the Eastside.

Kristina Hudson currently serves as OneRedmond’s Executive Director, the position replacing a former CEO. Kristina Hudson / courtesy photo
OneRedmond solidifies executive director, replacing CEO position

Kristina Hudson, former vice president of business expansion, will now lead the nonprofit.

‘Busy’ housing market enters pre-summer phase

As the pre-summer market begins, standing out from the crowd is crucial for buyers.

The data visualized here was compiled from Apartment List’s monthly rent reports. See an interactive chart below. Kailan Manandic / data illustration
Eastside rental market could balance out with the region

Eastside rent medians increased by 2.8 in the past year, a decrease in growth from previous years.

Phillips to step down as CEO of OneRedmond

He came to Redmond from Vancouver, Washington with more than 20 years of experience in economic development.