Fortune is reporting that the first drone delivery has been carried out in the United States. This paves the way for Restaurant Drone Delivery which will make a massive impact for Restaurants around the world. This is the first delivery that has been federally sanctioned drone delivery in an urban area and was flown without the aid of a human to steer the drone. The flight was a half mile and delivered water, food and a first-aid kit in a box which was tethered to one of the companies drones. Flirtey CEO Matt Sweeny explained that the delivery was important because it showed a drone could deliver packages without hitting powerlines, rooftops, street lamps and other obstacles.
Sweeny was able to win FAA approval ahead of larger companies like Google and Amazon because of deliveries that have been conducted in Sydney and New Zealand, with over 100 successful deliveries being completed in Australia.
There is increasing work being done on creating autonomous aerial delivery drones. This follows on from MIT’s work allowing drones to avoid obstacles such as trees when travelling at high speed. The other problem that will need to be addresses is the issue of payload weight, or how much each drone can carry. Some take out orders weigh over 5 kg, especially when including drinks, so the ability to carry enough weight, along with the dimensions of the food, such as a pizza box, in a container that ensures that the hot food stays hot and the cold food stays cold.
What Restaurant Drone Delivery means for your Restaurant.
The management of Home Deliveries for Take Out has been a logistics nightmare for many restaurant owners since the beginning of home delivery. Whether they are specialised drivers, or back of house staff are used to deliver the food, it always creates issues for the Restaurants, with staying on top of the kitchen and linking it to getting the food delivered to the customer being very difficult on busy nights. Compounding this are issues like staff absences, traffic fines, accidents, inability to find addresses and wrong deliveries. The true cost of delivering the product is often not calculated, with Owners knowing that the cost of the delivery is offset by the increasing the maximum amount of revenue that can be generated in a night, along with decreased front of house staff costs and other costs like linen.
Many companies like Suppertime, and Foodera offer to deliver food for Restaurants, but they have been charging commission rates that are probably unsustainable for Restaurants, often as high as 30%.
The introduction of drones will mean that multiple deliveries can be made at the same time if multiple drones are available and delivery time will be dramatically decreased as drones will fly in line of sight, rather than following roads with their congestion and traffic lights. The price of drones has plummeted over the last 5 years, with hobbyists spending $2,000 to get the capabilities that Armies where paying $100,000 only 7 years ago. We expect this trend to continue, with autonomous flying, increasing payloads and faster flight times all adding up to create a huge opportunity for Restaurant owners to decrease delivery costs, increase customer satisfaction and most importantly, to make more profit as they move to Drone delivery.