Chick-fil-A has been delivering meals via robot in Georgia, Texas, Florida and California.
The robots, made by Refraction AI, can handle multiple deliveries.
The Austin, Texas, company makes delivery bots that are capable of navigating around busy sidewalks and pedestrians and can reach speeds of up to 15 miles per hour.
As Luke Steigmeyer, operator of Chick-fil-A in Austin, told a company internal newsletter, “Two-thirds of my business is delivery, and I have built a team that is hungry for the next wave of digital advancements as our business continues to grow. The autonomous vehicles have been instrumental in growing awareness of delivery at my restaurant, allowing us to reach even more customers in the area.”
Patrons ordering food on the app or online within one mile of Steigmeyer’s Chick-fil-A could find their meal delivered by autonomous vehicle.
The robots are equipped with AI systems and advanced depth-perception cameras, which allow them to navigate traffic. Chick-fil-A also uses human “safety chasers” to ensure a smooth journey and to answer any questions guests may have.
“It’s always going to be about well-prepared, quality food,” John Featherston, senior director of new ventures, said in a press release. “But where and how you consume your Chick-fil-A meal based on your daily needs is constantly changing. We want to learn how to extend our hospitality from our restaurants to meet you where you are.”
Last year, Chick-fil-A also tested robots that are used in-store to help customers who ordered via mobile. Such robots inform customers when their order will be ready and give the order to them.