Flynn Group and Jet's Pizza to add drone delivery from select units

Locations of Flynn's Panera Bread units in Seattle and some Jet's restaurants in Detroit plan to offer drone delivery using the Zipline system.
Drone delivery
Zipline's Platform 2 drones have been cleared for takeoff in the U.S. and will roll out this year. | Photo courtesy of Zipline.

Mega franchisee The Flynn Group and Jet’s Pizza are taking to the skies with drone delivery.

The San Francisco-based drone operator Zipline said Friday that the Flynn Group will begin using the delivery system from select Panera Bread units in Seattle. Jet’s Pizza, meanwhile, is looking to add drone delivery in the chain’s home city of Detroit.

Zipline says it’s the world’s largest autonomous delivery system and that it has completed 1 million commercial drone deliveries across various industries. The drones are used for retail deliveries by Walmart, for example, and Memorial Hermann Health System, and internationally in Africa and Japan.

Restaurants are increasingly signing on as the company’s Platform 2, or P2, begins rolling out this year and regulatory approvals allow “beyond visual line of sight” operations, the company said. Zipline expects to serve more than 30 million in the U.S. in 10 states within the next few years.

For Flynn Group, which is the largest franchise operator in the country, the hope is that drones will help speed the delivery process.

“We’re excited to take the guest experience we provide at our Panera Bread restaurants to new heights, literally, thanks to our partnership with Zipline,” said Flynn, founder, chair and CEO of Flynn Group, in a statement. “Delivery delays, especially in metro-areas like Seattle, are unpredictable; however, utilizing Zipline’s state-of-the-art drone technology, we’re addressing those challenges and significantly reducing the wait times from when orders are placed, to when guests can enjoy them.”

The 400-unit Jet’s Pizza will start using Zipline drones in Detroit. The P2 is capable of delivering two large Detroit-tyle pizzas with sides.

“Having the best pizza in the world doesn’t matter if it doesn’t arrive fresh from the oven,” said John Jetts, CEO of Jet’s Pizza, in a statement. “Zipline will let us expand our delivery area to bring great, hot food to even more of our loyal customers.”

Other restaurant chains that have looked into drone delivery include Mendocino Farms, Sweetgreen and Chili’s.



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