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A Wendy's restaurant in Virginia is testing drone delivery

A Virginia Wendy's restaurant is testing drone delivery

A single Wendy’s location in Christiansburg, Virginia, is testing drone delivery in partnership with DoorDash and Alphabet’s Wing.

Wendy’s is testing drone delivery in the Christiansburg, Virginia, market in partnership with DoorDash and Wing. Wing is a part of Google parent company, Alphabet, that offers automated delivery drones to transport smaller packages from businesses to homes.

Starting today, customers in the test market can order eligible menu items from Wendy’s at 2355 N. Franklin St., through the DoorDash app. The location will include the option to choose delivery by drone on the checkout page. Once they select drone delivery and place their order, it will be prepared and packaged at the Wendy’s location and delivered via a Wing drone, typically in 30 minutes or less, according to the company.

The pilot will initially be available in Christiansburg with plans to explore other cities in the U.S. later this year. The drone delivery partnership with Wing was born out of DoorDash Labs, DoorDash’s robotics and automation arm, and builds on a similar pilot launched in Australia in 2022. It has since expanded to three locations in Queensland with over 60 participating businesses.

“Expanding our partnership with DoorDash and launching in the U.S. is a direct result of the success we’ve seen from our initial collaboration in Australia, where Wing has served tens of thousands of customers via the DoorDash app for over a year now,” Cosimo Leipold, head of Partnerships at Wing, said in a statement. “Wing has now made over 350,000 deliveries across three countries and looking ahead we are focused on providing a fast, affordable, and safe service to our partners so they can better serve their customers. This moment continues our meaningful expansion of this service in the U.S. and advances our shared goal to better the last-mile delivery ecosystem.”

Wendy’s digital sales mix has grown to nearly 30%, including delivery. With this test, it becomes the latest chain to dip its toes into drone delivery. In November, a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Brandon, Fla., began testing the model. Several other brands, including Freddy’s, Jersey Mike’s, Little Caesars, and Papa Johns have piloted drone delivery with Flytrex, while  Sweetgreen is also testing drone delivery with Zipline, and Nekter Juice Bar, Mad Greens and Tokyo Joe’s are piloting drone delivery with Flyby.

Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]


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