Brinker International has partnered with Flytrex and Serve Robotics to test drone and sidewalk robot deliveries in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. Details are scarce, but the Texas-based restaurant giant is including its brick-and-mortar brands Chili’s and Maggiano’s Little Italy, as well as its virtual It’s Just Wings and Maggiano’s Italian Classics concepts in the projects.
In an email to sister publication Food On Demand, Brinker said he wasn’t ready to share details about his future plans, but said he was “very focused on the customer experience as we test our innovation efforts and work with Flytrex and Serve Robotics. “
Israeli drone delivery provider Flytrex has partnered with Brinker to launch its drone delivery service in Granbury, Texas, just outside of DFW. As part of the agreement, Flytrex will expand its partnership with Chili’s and Maggiano’s Little Italy, as well as the company’s virtual brands, to deliver orders to the suburban market with a flight time of five minutes or less.
The service will operate in cooperation with a long-standing partner Causey Aviation Unmanned under a waiver recently granted by the Federal Aviation Administration allowing a delivery radius of one nautical mile, reaching thousands of potential homes. Eligible households who have opted in to the service can order food through the Flytrex app.
“We are thrilled to be flying to the Lone Star State, an outsized achievement for super-fast home delivery,” Yariv Bash, CEO and co-founder of Flytrex, said in a statement. “After establishing drone delivery as the preferred option in North Carolina, we’re excited to bring our unmatched speed and convenience to Texas, where great things happen. We look forward to bringing drone delivery to backyards across the United States as we expand our service nationwide.
Dallas innovatesa local tech-focused publication said Brinker is also testing Bear Robotics’ “Rita” table serving robots at Chili’s locations in the Dallas area, in addition to his work with Flytrex and Serve Robotics.
Flytrex spreading its wings
For Flytrex, this launch follows a series of additional milestones. Most recently, the drone delivery company received a waiver from the FAA allowing it to expand delivery service to 10,000 homes in North Carolina cities as a partner of the North Carolina Department of Transportation in under the FAA. BEYOND program.
Flytrex has been operating in the state since September 2020, starting in Fayetteville and expanding to the town of Raeford. In October 2021, Flytrex launched its third drone delivery station in North Carolina at the Holly Springs Towne Center, delivering food orders from It’s Just Wings, front and back to residents. Flytrex has already performed thousands of drone deliveries – more drone deliveries than any other company in the United States – conducting all operations while maintaining “the highest safety standards”.
“As we continue to build awareness and grow our virtual brand, It’s Just Wings, we continue to explore and leverage technology and innovation,” said Wade Allen, senior vice president of innovation at Brinker. “With a focus on customer experience and convenience – alongside our killer wings – this new outpost in partnership with Flytrex is another exciting step in the right direction.”
While Dallas-Fort Worth is a big city with two downtown areas, Flytrex focuses on the suburbs. Although there are approximately 80 million homes in American suburbs, on-demand delivery has been widely considered commercially unviable, as traditional couriers can only make approximately two deliveries per hour in these areas. Flytrex claims to provide on-demand drone delivery directly to consumers’ homes in these underserved neighborhoods, providing better, faster and more sustainable service at more affordable prices.
Since the successful launch of the world’s first fully autonomous urban drone delivery system in Reykjavik, Iceland in 2017, Flytrex has played a vital role in pioneering drone delivery. Flytrex works with the North Carolina Department of Transportation, a major FAA participant BEYOND program, tackling the remaining challenges of UAS integration.