QSRs Use Delivery to Gain Competitive Ground on Pizza
When it comes to delivery, restaurant operators are doing their best to improve the experience for guests. Delivery services integration more than tripled in importance (from 7% to 36%) between the time Hospitality Technology polled operators for the 2016 and 2017 Restaurant Technology Study. While pizzerias have been a long-time player in the delivery game, QSRs have begun to enter the delivery space with interesting innovations and are giving pizzerias some new delivery competition.
Jack in the Box recently partnered with Marble, a maker of autonomous ground-delivery robots and DoorDash, to begin testing deliveries of its food via robot in San Francisco. After placing an order for delivery through the DoorDash app or website, DoorDash will identify if a person or robot is best able to complete the order. If a robot is selected, the details of the order and its location are entered into the robot's software and after being loaded up with food, it navigates San Francisco – even crossing busy streets – to reach its destination. Once it arrives, the customer receives a notification and can use a passcode sent to their phone to unlock the robot's cargo area.
McDonald's has taken a different approach. It recently announced it expanded McDelivery with UberEATS to 13 countries, including 3,500 restaurants in the United States. While not known for delivery services in the United States, globally the QSR has been actively involved in delivery for decades. In fact, it has annual system wide delivery sales of nearly $1 billion across various markets in Asia and the Middle East.
Of course, pizzerias are not going to sit idly by and allow QSRs to beat them "at their own game." To that end, Pizza Hut, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., developed a proprietary delivery network algorithm to improve the accuracy and reliability of its deliveries. The system is capable of predicting how long a delivery will take and will account for variable factors such as weather, construction, traffic and other irregularities in the delivery pattern to enable safe, accurate deliveries. The global chain also transformed its online mapping and location services with Google Maps technology to improve its ability to accurately locate customers and identify the most convenient restaurant locations for both faster delivery and carry-out options.