According to reports, Chick-fil-a is testing robotic delivery in California.
Chick-fil-a’s news comes as robots are becoming more widespread in foodservice and in food delivery. Industry-wide adoption may not be far behind as operators look to reduce reliance on third-party delivery. While third-party marketplaces increase brands’ reach, third-party delivery fees are increasingly under fire as many restaurants are depending on off-prem to survive the pandemic. Restaurants are also struggling with labor issues such as finding and retaining staff and the increasing minimum wage.
Earlier this month, Domino’s announced it is teaming up with Nuro to launch autonomous pizza delivery with on-road robot in Houston. Nuro, by the way, was approved for Autonomous Delivery in California in late December. And just last month, Chipotle invested in the autonomous delivery company.
Other players in the next gen delivery robot space include:
- Serve Robotics, the former robotics division of Postmates which is now an independent company. Its fleet has been serving thousands of households in Los Angeles, offering contactless delivery during the pandemic.
- After raising $4.2 million, Refraction AI has deployed the first application of its technology serving restaurants and grocery stores in its Ann Arbor, Mich., location.
- In Stockholm Tele2 and foodora Accelerate Testing of Delivery Robot
- In South Korea, Woowa Brothers, operator of South Korea's largest food delivery app, are developing robots that can carry meals from restaurant to door.
- And Sushi Island, a restaurant St. John's, NL, Canada, uses Pudu Robotics' BellaBot to serve and deliver food to dine-in guests' tables.