Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Limited (Domino’s) has joined forces with the global leader in drone deliveries, Flirtey to launch the first commercial drone delivery service in the world.
The two companies exhibited the first stage of their partnership with a demonstration of pizza delivery by drone in Auckland, New Zealand on August 25th 2016. The successful demonstration was also attended by the Civil Aviation Authority and Minister of Transport Simon Bridges (pictured).
The demonstration was conducted under Civil Aviation Rules Part 101 and marks a final step in Flirtey’s approval process, following which the partnership will aim to connect people with pizza via CAA-approved trial store-to-door drone deliveries from a selected Domino’s New Zealand store with flights to customer homes later this year.
New Zealand was selected as the launch market given its current regulations allow for businesses to embrace unmanned aircraft opportunities, which enable the gradual testing of new and innovative technologies.
Domino’s Group CEO and Managing Director, Don Meij said the Company’s growth over the past few years had led to a significant increase in the number of deliveries and that Domino’s is constantly looking for innovative and futuristic ways to deliver pizzas to customers. “With the increased number of deliveries we make each year, we were faced with the challenge of ensuring our delivery times continue to decrease and that we strive to offer our customers new and progressive ways of ordering from us.
“Research into different delivery methods led us to Flirtey. Their success within the airborne delivery space has been impressive and it’s something we have wanted to offer our customers,” Meij said
The use of drones as a delivery method is designed to work alongside Domino’s current delivery fleet and will be fully integrated into online ordering and GPS systems.
“Domino’s is all about providing customers with choice and making customer’s lives easier. Adding innovation such as drone deliveries means customers can experience cutting-edge technology and the convenience of having their Supreme pizza delivered via air to their door. This is the future.
“We have invested heavily to provide our stores with different delivery fleet options such as electric scooters, e-bikes and even the Domino’s Robotic Unit – DRU that we launched earlier this year.
“We’ve always said that it doesn’t make sense to have a 2-tonne machine delivering a 2-kilogram order.
“Dru Drone is the next stage of the Company’s expansion into the Artificial Intelligence space and gives us the ability to learn and adopt new technologies in the business.”
The reach that a drone offers is far greater than other current options which are restricted by traffic, roads and sheer distance. Domino’s will look to the results of the trial to determine where drones are implemented further.
“What drones allow us to do is to extend that delivery area by removing barriers such as traffic and access, as well as offering a much faster, safer delivery option, which means we can deliver further afield than we currently do to our rural customers while reaching our urban customers in a much more efficient time.”
The trial flights are set to commence later this year following the beginning of daylight savings in New Zealand. Domino’s will offer Drone Delivery Specials at the launch of the trial with the plans to extend the dimensions, weight and distance of the deliveries throughout the trial based on results and customer feedback.
Domino’s is looking at opportunities for drone delivery trials in its six other markets – Australia, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Japan and Germany.
Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Limited is the master franchisor for the Domino’s Pizza brand in Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Japan and Germany. Across these seven markets, DPE and its franchisees operate over 2,000 stores.