Drone deliveries taking off and adding new meaning to fast food
By Centre Contributor
We are always on the lookout for exciting new innovations in retailing, particularly those converging with the latest technological advances to re-invent the traditional rules of retail.
Fast food drone deliveries appear to be one of the next frontiers, with Mexican food franchise Guzman y Gomez recently launching a major drone delivery trial in rural NSW.
While pizza chain Domino’s has been experimenting with drone deliveries in New Zealand, the Guzman y Gomez initiative is believed to be one of the largest scale commercial drone delivery trials to be undertaken in Australia.
In an effort to start delivering burritos to customers via drones, Guzman Y Gomez has partnered with Google parent company Alphabet on a landmark trial named Project Wing.
Project Wing will focus on the rural town of Royalla on the border of New South Wales and the ACT. A select group of testers can download the test app to order and pay for burritos that will then be delivered via drone to their homes.
“In the same way delivery by car has changed the way we eat, we hope that drone delivery may be the next evolution of food delivery,” Guzman Y Gomez said in announcing the trial.
The company said a lot of planning work has gone into getting the Project Wing trial up and running, including working closely with Local and State Governments and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. A special package was also designed by Project Wing’s engineers to ensure the burritos are kept hot and fresh and stable and secure during the drone delivery.
Guzman Y Gomez staff members have been trained on how the drone technology works, how orders are received, how to bring the drone to a landing pad at the custom made trial kitchen and then send it off to homes.
The drones travel at speeds of up to 120km per hour, can carry a 1kg load and deliver up to 10km away for the take-off location.
After numerous test flights, the first paid commercial delivery of Guzman Y Gomez burritos have been delivered to Royalla residents and will continue for at least a few more months.
So where does it all go from here? Guzman Y Gomez said it is still in test mode but the ground-breaking project is an exciting development for the future of food delivery. “We are committed to re-inventing fast food for the 21st century,” said CEO Steven Marks.
Given the rapid technological advances and trial testing now underway, coupled with consumers’ ever growing appetite for convenience and desire for products to come directly to them, it seems the sky really could be the limit for the future of retail drone deliveries sooner than we may think.