"We want to be the technology company that can pioneer this"
The trend of using robots to do everyday tasks is growing. The fast food sector is looking at using them to deliver food.
David Buttress, CEO of the popular fast food ordering service, Just Eat, is not looking at using robots for PR stunts in London, as his company recently did, but keen to utilise them for delivering fast food.
Just Eat has toyed with the idea since 2008, when in an executive management meeting they discussed that “at some point in time it will be inevitable, actually inevitable that the kind of deliveries we’re doing would be automated.”
How are Just Eat going to achieve this? This is where Starship Technologies will help.
Starship Technologies, based in London, has developed robots to revolutionise local delivery. They see a world where you can send and receive anything you want, anytime and anywhere.
Buttress told Memo: “We want to be the technology company that can pioneer this, get it out into the market early and try to scale it, because everything we want to do, we want to do at scale.”
“So I’m not interested in doing this in just one or two London postcodes for PR, I want to do this for thousands of restaurants across millions of consumers over the next five, six, seven years.” he adds.
It’s not just about cutting costs by replacing humans with robots. A key driver is demand fluctuation. Weekends are are busy period for fast food restaurants where the shortage of drivers is a problem, then in the weekdays there is a surplus of drivers. So, the robots can heavily assist with this issue.
With the growth of the fast food delivery market, companies like Hungry House, UberEats and Deliveroo have contributed to increasing the prices of delivery drivers.
In London, a delivery driver can earn between £11-£15 per hour. By using robots, Buttress says: “We’re saying today we think we can do the delivery initially about £1 per delivery.”
With testing due to start in the next few months, seeing a robot delivering food in London and cities across the UK will become a reality.