Guzman y Gomez, a Mexican fast food restaurant chain based in Australia and now serving Japan and Singapore, partnered up with Alphabet’s “Project Wing” to discover and implement new food delivery methods.
Alphabet’s holding company has several divisions, and Division X is in charge of Project Wing. Guzman y Gomez were approached by Alphabet to test this “moonshot” project; ultimately, the two groups collaborated to create a Drone Mothership. This drone base has a custom-built Guzman y Gomez kitchen at a test site close to Canberra, to help testers gauge the effectiveness of drone delivery.
Guzman y Gomez wanted to be able to deliver fresh high-quality food despite the remoteness of this drone kitchen. Authentic Mexican food had to be able to be prepared at the kitchen every day, otherwise Guzman y Gomez could not serve it to customers. The restaurant made an effort to make sure they would not compromise on the quality of their food, and wanted their Royalla customers who lived near Canberra to get delicious food delivered by drones without sacrificing taste.
Alphabet’s drones were designed to resemble model aircraft, and are able to carry up to 1 kilogram of food while flying. The drones are also quite fast, and can travel up to 120 kmh for a distance of 10 km from their start point. It is expected that the drone delivery system will be tested for the next several months with only a small group of testers, so that final decisions can be made.
Drones in the food industry are nothing new—Domino’s was the first in the world to deliver food by drone, as they sent a pizza to a customer in New Zealand. They used a Flirety DRU drone to make the delivery. The CEO at that time, Don Meij, expected that drones would become a key part of delivery processes for the pizza chain.