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Talk to most individuals in today’s restaurant biz, and they’ll tell you that delivery is table stakes at this point. But a slew of news stories from the last week suggests some aren’t satisfied with simply inking a deal with a third-party service. Now, companies are adding haute cuisine, drones, and alternative locations to the list of things they can offer via delivery.

Yesterday, 7-Eleven joined these efforts by releasing 7NOW Pins, a feature that lets customers order via the convenience store chain’s 7NOW app and get their goods delivered to public places like parks, beaches, and sports stadiums. For 7-Eleven, delivering to these so-called hot spots makes a lot of sense, since drinking Slurpees is practically as common an outdoor activity as volleyball.

7-Eleven’s idea isn’t new. Domino’s launched a similar program in April of 2018 and has since been delivering pies to more than 200,000 of these public spaces around the country.

Domino’s, however, was focused more this past week on another delivery-related initiative: in-car ordering. Ever since it announced a partnership with Xevo, who makes in-car commerce technology, the pizza chain has been working to bring in-car ordering for delivery and pickup orders to more drivers around the U.S. As of last week, Chevrolet owners whose cars are equipped with the company’s Marketplace platform can order Domino’s while they’re still en route to home, and, because of the way Marketplace is configured, can do so without ever having to touch their smartphone.

Uber Eats Takes Haute Cuisine to New Heights
But maybe pizza and Slurpees aren’t your thing. No worries. Other companies are applying the convenience of delivery to more upscale foods, including Juniper & Ivy’s “In-N-Haute” burger, which Uber Eats will soon make available via drone in San Diego. While as of right now the drones will be dropping orders off with an Uber Eats driver who will finish the delivery, using them for even part of the process can save significant time, which means the $21 dollar hamburger would theoretically reach your door in a much fresher state.

Interestingly, Uber Eats’ other drone delivery test is with McDonald’s, the polar opposite of haute cuisine. But testing with two such extremes makes sense. As I wrote recently:

Whichever is more successful in terms of both quality of the food when it finally arrives at your door step as well as overall customer satisfaction with the experience, will tell Uber a lot about where to bet its hand in the upcoming drone delivery race.

Now if they could just figure out how to drone-drop haute burgers to my next beach trip . . .

The mycusini chocolate 3D printer

Impractical Cooking Fun for the Whole Family
Back in the world of at-home culinary devices, Mike Wolf dug into an impractical-but-so-cool activity for the kitchen: 3D printing chocolate.

The mycusini printer functions much like other 3D printers, only in this case it dispenses chocolate layer by layer. The device is expected to ship to backers by the end of 2019. Sadly for Mike and other U.S. fans of choco-printing, mycusini will only be available in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand initially.

Statesiders might instead look to McCormick’s new gimmick: a grill integrated with a DJ system that changes tracks based on what you’re cooking. As Catherine Lamb wrote this week, the SUMR HITS 5000 grill “links pre-recorded music and sounds to a weight-sensitive condiment tray and the grill itself. So when you pick up the hot sauce or flip your veggie burger, new sound bites play from a speaker presumably embedded somewhere inside the grill.”

While the SUMR HITS 5000 grill probably won’t be making it on checklists of any serious grillers, it could at the very least provide a few entertaining moments for upcoming summer BBQs this year. Throw in an order of delivery Slurpees, and you have yourself a legit party.

Until next time,

Jenn

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