Dunkin’ announced this morning it is now available for delivery in all five boroughs of New York City.
Dunkin’ is already in select cities in the U.S. through partnerships with Grubhub as well as DoorDash. For the NYC test market, Dunkin’ will be available exclusively through Grubhub and Seamless (Grubhub’s NYC-specific brand).
Grubhub isn’t a surprising choice here. In major urban areas — like NYC, LA, Philadephia, Boston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. — the company is still the leader of third-party delivery when it comes to market share.
For the Dunkin’-NYC partnership, Grubhub will integrate orders directly into each store location’s POS system, a feature that’s getting more and more important with each new delivery partnership that surfaces.
But Grubhub didn’t stop there in terms of using technology to enhance the Dunkin’ deal. It also drew a geofence around each Dunkin’ location in NYC (there are over 400) in order to monitor traffic in surrounding areas and where couriers are in relation to the store making their order.
Seth Priebatsch, the head of enterprise at Grubhub, referred to this as “our ‘just in time delivery flow’” when he spoke to NRN this morning. Thanks to the technology, Dunkin’ will start a delivery order based on how far away the courier is and how large the order is. For bigger orders, Dunkin’ starts making an them when the courier is 10 minutes away; for smaller orders, the store will probably need just a few minutes to time an order with a courier’s arrival.
This geofencing method is something we’ll see more of as restaurant chains look to improve both timeliness and quality of their delivery orders. And Dunkin’ isn’t the first — McDonald’s already uses it, and Burger King pulled a well-publicized geofencing stunt late last year that wound up highlighting the value of the technology when it comes to attracting and retaining customers.
Packaging is the other aspect of the Dunkin’-Grubhub deal that bears noting. Grubhub said all couriers are equipped with insulated bags with which to deliver drinks, whether hot or cold. But it seems time and temperature are still the two major hurdles when it comes to coffee delivery, even for a chain as large as Dunkin’ (or, for that matter, Starbucks and Uber Eats). Even Priebatsch noted that Dunkin’ is currently trying to walk the line between serving a large delivery radius without making travelers go so far that the quality of the product gets diminished in the process.
While there was no news of Grubhub using anything beyond the standard insulated bag, packaging seems an areas ripe for disruption in food delivery, especially as as more and more goods like hot coffee and frozen smoothies go mobile.