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Saturday 25 June 2022

Will Domino’s really be delivering pizza by drone?

3rd March 2022 By Staff Reporter | news@foodticker.co.nz | @foodtickernz

Quick service restaurant chain Domino’s sees drone deliveries as a way of fortifying its position in an increasingly competitive food delivery – and labour – market.

Domino’s NZ GM Cameron Toomey

Speaking to the Ticker, New Zealand general manager Cameron Toomey said while delivery drivers were an integral part of the business model, drones would help the business lean into its position as a leading delivery company.

“We see drone delivery as being complementary to our current delivery driver system in the future – we will have electric scooters, electric cars and drones doing delivery,” Toomey said.

“As you look forward into the future, people to deliver products will be very scarce and hard to find due to the majority of items being delivered – as everyone starts to get food delivered, shoes delivered, parcels delivered.

“We need to be able to look to the future to ensure our aim is to continue to get a hot and fresh pizza delivered to a customer in that 10 minute period, the drones will allow us to continue doing that if there are some pressures on people in the future.”

Drone delivery would not become a reality until later this year in any case. The company signed an agreement with Flirtey Inc, which operates SkyDrop, in January to expand its trials in New Zealand, and was currently assessing locations for drops to begin later this year.

It undertook what it said was the world’s first pizza delivery by drone from the Domino’s Whangaparaoa store in Auckland in 2016. The latest agreement comes after SkyDrop developed drones capable of carrying increased payloads of up to 3.5kg for a 5km out and 5km back trip.

“Covid has accelerated that growth for New Zealand in particular in moving towards delivery,” Toomey said.

“New Zealand was a bit behind the rest of the world in that move to delivery.

“It is no secret that the delivery business is becoming a lot more competitive. From our perspective, our business started worldwide as a delivery business, delivery is at its core and that is one of the things we are leaning into.”

The chain is pushing forward with an ambitious expansion plan to have 200 outlets across the country in the next 4-5 years – up from the current 141 – including some in containers.

Toomey said another 10 stores were underway at the moment and would open over the next six to twelve months, Covid permitting.

 

 


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