Back in May, Levy and its DBK Studio technology team conducted a first-ever drone delivery of food and beverage at a sporting event during a college baseball game at Purdue University, where Levy and DBK partnered with delivery locker firm Valqari and drone company Unmanned Systems Operation Group to fulfill orders of hot dogs, bottles of water and chips as a way to “pressure-test the delivery experience for higher fan volume at future events.” The meals were prepared about half a mile away and were delivered into secure lockers at the ballpark in about four minutes. At the time, the DBK Studio team said they thought the drones can deliver up to 45 combo meals per hour in perfect weather conditions.
Now, three months later, FM caught up with DBK Studio Managing Director Sandeep Satish to ask three quick questions about the pilot, it’s lessons and what’s next for the company’s autonomous food delivery program…
What did you learn from that pilot and what adjustments to the initiative have been the result?
Satish: “This pilot was really one of the first examples of a safe and secure remote autonomous food delivery at a sports venue, and there were so many key learnings. Specifically, we identified opportunities with our drone partner, Valqari and USOG, like flight path adjustments to account for wind, as well as temperature standards for the locker system. We’re really bullish on the value that a service like this has for remote, outdoor venues that might not have their own kitchen facilities.”
What’s happened since and what are the next steps?
Satish: “Since the pilot, we’ve been building out a roadmap to improve the technology, optimize the service, and scale it across multiple venues. It’s still quite early, but the feedback we’ve heard from other venues has been very positive and our plan is to continue with phase two pilots at other large scale, outdoor venues.”
What are possible viable applications for the technology for a company like Levy?
Satish: “Pilots like these are the reason we created DBK Studio, to identify and work with truly cutting-edge technologies that have the potential to create value for fans in new ways. Drone service isn’t just cool, it has the potential to significantly expand the breadth of food service at large, outdoor venues located in remote places.”