Drones: the next big thing in food delivery services?

Foodservice delivery has seen a massive growth worldwide in 2020, as global delivery sales went up by 30%, and even more so in Europe and North America. Another study found that almost half of all consumers in the U.S. are currently ordering food for delivery at least somewhat more often than before the start of the pandemic.

Restaurant owners did not have much choice but to start using delivery services to meet their customers’ needs, and many customers felt a near sense of obligation to order food online to help keep their favourite restaurants in business.

However, what at first site looks like a food delivery boom may have been less profitable for most restaurants and third-party services. In the U.S., large app-based services DoorDash and GrubHub lost $155.9 million and $145 million last year. This trend has not been equally profitable for all types of restaurants either – with chain restaurants adapting better than fine dining or independent restaurants.

Particularly smaller restaurants have a hard time making a profit whether they cover delivery costs or use a third-party service. At the same time, consumers are becoming aware of the negative effects of these services on their favourite restaurants.

Some changes will need to be made to make this trend more sustainable in the long run for restaurants and delivery businesses alike.

Flytrex offers an innovative solution: use drones to deliver food and cut delivery costs.

Naturally consumers are concerned about how drone delivery will affect the price of their meal. According to Flytrex’s CEO drones will become the cheapest alternative in delivery services. A drone operator will be able to guide up to 20 deliveries at once, while each drone will be able to deliver four to six meals an hour.

Another concern consumers may have about drones is privacy. These drones do not operate with cameras but with satellite, making them less invasive than normal delivery. Finally, the company is working on reducing the noise made by the drones to a minimum.

Most importantly, drones will be replacing humans.
Drivers and riders who work in this gig economy have been struggling to get ‘worker’ status rather than ‘self-employment’ status, which would provide them with greater security as well as sick leave. Working long shifts, being mostly paid per delivery rather than per hour, riders have been demanding better working conditions.

The main advantage of drone delivery seems to be cutting costs for delivery services. It remains to be seen whether restaurants or consumers will profit from this alternative delivery system.

Read more here.

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