Instacart, the fast-growing grocery delivery service whose personal shoppers hand pick and deliver items from trusted local stores, announced today that it is now offering its contractor in-store shoppers in Houston and Austin, Texas, the option of applying for new employee roles with expanded responsibilities. Currently, Instacart has several hundred in-store shoppers across Houston and Austin, embedded in retail partner stores.

The employee option already exists for Instacart’s in-store shoppers in Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami and Washington, DC. With today’s Texas additions, Instacart now offers this option in 7 of its 16 cities, with more to come. After making in-store shoppers Instacart employees, the company will provide additional training and supervision that’s been proven to boost the efficiency and quality of order picking, resulting in higher customer satisfaction.

Based on its experience in other cities, Instacart expects approximately three-quarters of its Houston and Austin in-store shoppers to apply for these part-time positions. Those who choose to remain contractors can move into driver or combined driver/shopper roles.

“We’re pleased to expand the employee model into Houston and Austin,” said Apoorva Mehta, founder and CEO of Instacart. “Our order volume in both cities is growing quickly, and we want to ensure that our customers have the best possible experience. Attracting, training and retaining high-quality shoppers is key to that effort.”

Instacart offers part-time employees competitive wages that exceed the local minimum wage in each of its markets.

Originally launched in San Francisco and since expanded into many other cities, Instacart has fundamentally changed the traditional grocery delivery space by connecting customers with personal shoppers who shop for and deliver grocery orders in as little as one hour. This eliminates the need for costly infrastructure such as inventory, warehouses and trucks. In January 2015, Forbes named Instacart “America’s Most Promising Company.”

New customers can open an account at www.Instacart.com, and get free delivery on their first order of $10 or more. Instacart also offers Instacart Express — an annual membership that eliminates delivery fees for all orders of $35 or more. The cost is just $99 per year.

Source: MarketWatch