Monday, January 15, 2018

Foodservice Partnerships on Auto Pilot

While regular readers of this blog know Steven Johnson, our Grocerant Guru® and senior food industry strategic advisor has been pontificating that partnership’s would be a continued leading industry trend in 2018.  The simple fact is he missed the fact that auto-pilot would be partnership that just might elevate food delivery to new a level of consumer awareness.
This week when Pizza Hut announced that it is one of the partners in a Toyota-led effort to develop self-driving delivery vehicles. Then they showed the picture it even looked like they were trying to ‘one-up’ the now famous Domino’s delivery car.
Toyota unveiled the e-Palette concept vehicle at the Consumer Electronics Show as part of its “mobility service business alliance” that also includes Amazon, Uber, Mazda and Chinese ride-sharing company Didi. So here is the scoop according press reports:
The first U.S. road tests of the e-Palette, an autonomous battery-electric vehicle that looks like a toaster on wheels, are at least two years away, according to a company press release. The business alliance will create a “broad-based ecosystem” of hardware and software to help companies take advantage of the new technology.
The e-Palette is being pitched as not only a potential human-free delivery vehicle for Pizza Hut, but as a possible mobile kitchen for the global pizza chain. Starting early this year, Pizza Hut and Toyota will jointly test communication technology in pizza delivery vehicles to gather data on driver patterns and behaviors, the release says.
Domino’s last fall tested delivery via driverless cars outfitted with pizza ovens as part of a partnership with Ford. However we have all seen Domino’s cars on the road and don’t you for one minute think that they are through elevating their game.

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