The year is 2030. A notification pops up on your watch: “Food arrived”.
You look out your window, wave goodbye to the drone buzzing above, and retrieve the steaming-hot Chinese food sitting on your porch steps.
You think to yourself, “I could get used to this”.
This is likely a fairly accurate depiction of what you imagine when you hear the phrase ‘future of food delivery logistics’. It is for me, at least. But is this really where we’re headed? And how soon can I expect my takeout via drone?
Let’s take a look at a few delivery trends that can help us predict where we’re at and where we’re going.
A recent survey by Soti, a Mississauga-based mobility-software company, showed that 78% of Canadian logistic companies agree that the ‘last-mile delivery’ (or home delivery) is the least efficient part of the delivery supply chain.
Why? Last-mile delivery is the least predictable. Couriers often have to carry food of varying sizes, heats, and shapes to unpredictable living conditions; into apartment buildings, past guard dogs, on a street with nowhere to park. This not only makes delivery hard to perfect and optimize, but it makes it extremely expensive.
As a solution, many start-ups are now looking to automate their delivery practices. In theory, autonomous couriers could deliver goods more efficiently and for less cost in the long run — McKinsey & Co reports that autonomous deliveries could save companies up to 10–40 percent.
One Toronto-based robotics firm, Tiny Mile, is currently partnering with UberEats and local restaurants to deliver their food using their remote-controlled bright pink Geoffrey units. Using on-board cameras and GPS, remote pilots steer Geoffrey to the restaurant, through neighbourhoods, into apartment complexes, and directly to the customer’s door.
In the skies, Drone Delivery Canada is currently working with Transport Canada to explore the possibilities of automated delivery systems on a higher level (much like Amazon, Alphabet, and UPS are testing in the United States). There are quite a few hurdles to jump before we’ll see delivery drones, though, the biggest being that these drones are currently not allowed to fly over people, according to Michael Zahra, DDC’s CEO. He does assert, however, that drone delivery is the future, and it’s on its way.
New Ways of Ordering
Domino’s Pizza is a trailblazer in unique food ordering, with over 17 ways to hail your favourite pizza.
From Facebook Messenger, to SMS, to your desktop computer, Domino’s Pizza has now made it easier than ever to order a slice. Provided, of course, that you have an account with Domino’s, allow them access to your data, and use their Easy Order System. Convenience is key, and novelty is enticing — who wouldn’t want to try to order a pizza with their Google Home or Amazon Alexa?
These new innovations are indicative of where we can expect to see from food ordering in the future. Anticipate more voice-activated delivery, automated ordering bots, more personalized recommendations, and being able to order with just one emoji.
Reminder: Stay ahead of the curve
With the increased convenience and efficiency of food delivery comes the increased potential for smaller mom-and-pop restaurants to fall further behind the innovation curve. The high up-front costs for small businesses to stay competitive with the large corporations like UberEats or Domino’s can prevent them from staying in business.
At DineEasy, our mission is to go beyond offering last-mile delivery services by equipping small businesses with the economies of scale that large corporations benefit from — enabling them to compete on a more even playing field. We recognize that the only way to do this is to stay ahead of the curve — constantly innovating and staying on the cutting edge of technology.
We do this with a vision of the future where every community, no matter the size, will be able to manage their own last-mile delivery services.