James Shea

“The food industry wants to meet customers where they are.  And customers are interested in getting things delivered to their home. So drone delivery will most likely be in the suburban areas. I don’t see drones flying around in big cities.”

James Shea

This Week’s Key Question

“How Are Drones Affecting The Food Delivery Industry?”

This Week’s Guests

James Shea is Founder and Publisher of the Food Delivery News.  The Food Delivery News is a multi-media business publication that covers the intersection of food, technology, supply chain and delivery. It covers the changing world of food and how it travels from the farm to the kitchen and finally to a consumer’s table.  The Food Delivery News is a division of Media Lab Studios, a content studio that works with small and large businesses, helping them tell their stories through a variety of media.  James has over 20 years of experience in the media business and writes about the intersection of food and technology.

What We Learn

James talks about the Food Delivery News, what restaurants are looking for in food delivery, and how drones are filling that growing need. 

 

Mentioned Links

Show Notes
  • 03:05   Introduction to James Shea, Founder and Publisher of the Food Delivery News, a multi-media business publication that covers the intersection of food, technology, supply chain and delivery.  The publication is 2 years old.  James started the Food Delivery News out of an interest in how food  travels from the farm to the kitchen and finally to a consumer’s table
  • 04:18   The Food Delivery News focuses primarily on restaurant food delivery, but also has begun to include food delivery by grocery stores.  The trend in food delivery accelerated during the pandemic, and continues as customers have become accustomed to the convenience.
  • 05:37   James talks about the rise in drones in delivering food, touching upon the advantages of drones to get food to homes more efficiently and quickly, especially in suburban locations. 
  • 06:52   Much of the current activity in drone delivery is still experimental, at least from the restaurants side – how it works, how to package the food and how to get it the customer.  Current brands looking at drone food delivery includes Walmart, Maggiano’s, Just Wings, El Pollo Loco are some using drones in some capacity to deliver food.
  • 11:33  Restaurants and grocery stores are looking for ways to serve their customers in the most efficient manner.  Current third party delivery services can add as much as 30% to the cost of an order.  There’s also the traffic, which adds time.  Both of these obstacles can be overcome with drones.  Drone’s offer the greatest value in the suburbs, where flights do not have to contend with high buildings, dense development patterns and potentially more air traffic.
  • 17:05  James discusses the rise of Ghost Kitchens, storefronts that primarily prepare food for delivery or pick up.  They emerged in response to the pandemic, and the model offers opportunities for drone deliveries. 
  • 20:56  James stresses that the industry is still in an experimentation mode, evaluating various drone delivery cost and operation models.  Much will revolve around FAA regulatory posture.  The current state of the economy and increasing gas prices creates added pressures on providing food delivery.  Drones and electric vehicles will play a role in that area.
  • 22:50  The Food Delivery News is sponsoring a Electric Vehicle Food Delivery Conference in March 2023 to inform and demonstrate to restaurant brands on how drone food delivery works and how it can benefit their businesses.
  • 24:00   Closing – James’ message on the future of the drones and restaurant and grocery store food delivery.