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Drone Delivery Stunt Becoming a Lifestyle for Consumers

Avatar for Ciara Williams
Monday, July 24th, 2017
By Ciara Williams
convenient store drone commercial

2016 Drone food delivery stunt by 7-Eleven | Source: UseofTechnology.com

Drone food delivery- it’s exactly what it sounds like, and it’s not science fiction anymore. The automation that flies food to your home has increased in popularity since 7-Eleven’s experiment last year when Flirty flew food orders to customers’ doorsteps. The convenience store-chain had customers “thanking the heavens”, as their motto proclaims, after accomplishing “77 autonomous drone deliveries to customers’ homes in the United States in November”, CSPdailynews.com said.

Since then, drones have made a huge impact on the consumers’ appeal for innovative technology, and the Federal Aviation Administration notices it. The administration predicted in their latest report for up to 7 million drones to be sold in the US by 2020, and have already granted more than 3,000 certifications to businesses that are embracing the device for better customer service.

field research on drones

Virginia Tech’s Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership venture out to conduct aerial research on drones.  | Source: VT News

What about flying burritos? As silly as the concept may sound, an FAA approved drone site, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, is testing the burrito-by-drone project through a program that conducts research flights in realistic settings. The Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership involves a small group of students and employees who invent aerial technology and test its safety measures. While some of their research phases are disclosed from the public, they are focused on creating sensory robotic technology to travel in more urbanized environments and navigate through traffic systems. To learn more about this Bloomberg report, click here.

What’s in it for restaurants? Drone delivery services could widely revolutionize the logistics of supply chain management. Operators use technologies such as kiosks, tablets, mobile devices, and now drones to improve the customer service experience. So it’s no secret that delivery performance via drone versus the way we know it (by car and foot) share no comparison. Overseers of restaurant establishments taking advantage of this opportunity benefit from reduced labor costs, and avoid the risk of overbudgeting when hiring employees. They also benefit from the price consumers are willing to pay for drone food delivery. Statista.com illustrated a chart revealing how much its respondents are willing to pay if a drone delivered their order within an hour. 32% of respondents believe drones are worth paying up to $20 extra for food delivery. If every customer isn’t willing to pay that much for a drone delivery service, 23% of respondents would pay up to $5 extra, which is awesome when tips are going directly towards your business.

food delivery to table by drone

London restaurant serves Sushi on a drone known as “iTray” – Source: Slate.com

What are your thoughts on drone food delivery?

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