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In other news… From delivery robots to Domino’s and Just Eat

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Robotic delivery from Starship Technologies

Starship Technologies is rolling out its robots for autonomous deliveries on corporate and academic campuses in the US and Europe, including the UK. The robots can be summoned via an app to deliver goods from food and coffee to other items.

In the US, they are in action on Intuit’s 4.3 acre Mountain View campus, where Starship robots take an average of 17 minutes to deliver food, coffee and snacks, with the most common delivery item breakfast sandwiches. “It didn’t take long after injuring my foot to fully appreciate the capabilities of Starship’s campus delivery,” said Srivathsan Canchi, a product lead at Intuit. “I love that I was able to get my coffee delivered to my doorstep! From the first time that you use this service, it’s easy to see all the ways it can enhance your work experience.

The robots have also been trialled for deliveries by takeaway platforms including Just Eat. 

Just Eat: ‘breathtaking growth’

The platform for takeaway food orders today reported revenue of £177.4m in the first quarter of its financial year – to March 31. That’s 49% up on the same time last year. Orders rose by 32% to 51.6m, with UK orders 24% up at 29.7m. That included 1.4m orders from Hungryhouse in the period from January 31, when the acquisition completed. International orders rose by 46% to 21.9m, with particularly strong growth in Canada.

Just Eat chief executive Peter Plumb said: “Just Eat has had a strong start to the year. We delivered our 400 millionth order in the UK.”

Commenting, Paul Hickman, analyst at Edison Investment Research said the figures showed “breathtaking growth”. He added: “One of the most impressive features in this report is the 21% implied increase in average value per order from £4.95 to £5.97. Numbers like these are emphatic evidence of the channel shift underway in the eating out space and serve as a grim warning to traditional restaurant operators.”

Domino’s: developing ‘pizza purchasing trigger’ moments

Domino’s Pizza today said it was to sponsor Sky Sports News as it looks to build awareness among sports fans in a way that’s relevant to “pizza purchasing triggers” such as around the World Cup, Premier League football and Box Office boxing. “By sponsoring this multi-platform brand we can continue to be at the centre of the sporting conversation particularly during what is sure to be a huge summer of sport,” said Tony Holdway, sales and marketing director at Domino’s. 

The update comes days after Domino’s Pizza Group reported sales of £311.1m in the 13 weeks to April 1 – 18.3% up on the same time last year. In the UK and Republic of Ireland, sales of £285.5m were 10.4% ahead, with online sales growing by 16.2% to account for 78.9% of first quarter sales. This, said Domino’s, came as “customers increasingly choose to engage with us over our range of digital platforms.” International sales of £25.6m were 17.6% ahead.

Chief executive David Wild said, at the time: “The year has started well, with continued good growth in all of our markets. In the UK, customers are responding very positively to our clearer value proposition, with strong scores for value for money and overall satisfaction. We have also made excellent operational progress, with the rapid roll-out of GPS continuing. I am encouraged by our international operations, which are gaining scale as more customers grow to love our great tasting pizzas.”

Image courtesy of Starship Technologies

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