Drones don’t exactly have a good reputation nowadays, as most people associate them with flying killer robots raining death from above on militants and anyone who happens to get in the way. However, they can be fun, they can be used to save lives or in this case alleviate hunger.
Domino’s Pizza is testing a pizza delivery drone, but we’re not sold on the concept, which basically looks like an elaborate PR stunt. The DomiCopter is a project cooked up by T+Biscuits and designed by UK based drone specialist AeroSight. Although it doesn’t pack Hellfire missiles, it can deliver a pizza to anywhere in a four mile radius in under 10 minutes, faster than a bloke on a scooter.
Of course, this is just a stunt and we won’t see a fleet of drones carrying around pizzas, curries and kebabs anytime soon. It probably costs a pretty penny, the range is limited and we’re not sure about efficiency, either. It also needs a human operator and trained drone operators tend to get paid a bit more than delivery boys.
A couple of decades ago Domino’s used to guarantee pizza delivery in 30 minutes or less. Eventually it dropped the promise for whatever reason, but not before it was borrowed by Minuteman missile crews who came up with an iconic and rather morbid Cold War joke.
Although we are suckers for PR stunts, we believe Domino’s would be better off investing the time and effort into making better tasting pizzas.
It seems the current economic climate hasn’t got in the way of fast food fans, with Domino’s Pizza announcing that our appetite for the “treat” will help it generate 1,500 jobs this year.
The news comes after the cheesy chain, which promises to deliver within 30 mins, announced that it had sold 61 million pizzas last year, resulting in its 2012 annual profits rising by 11 percent to £46.7 million.
However, it admitted that on average its serving area was small, estimating that on average 19 percent of households were customers.
As a result the company has baked a plan to create more franchise-run stores as part of a drive for around 1,200 outlets, which it hopes will expand its customer waistlines, reach.
More than half of sales were made online, with 56 percent accounting for internet orders compared to 44 percent a year earlier.
The chain said the rise was as a result of a range of factors. This included store openings, online demand, new stuffed-crust products and a busy summer of sporting events.
Its UK franchisees opened 57 new shops – taking the total to 727.
However 2013 had seen a flat start as a result of the snowy weather which forced 498 UK stores to close at some point during the first seven weeks of the year.
And it’s not just Domino’s which is raking in the cash, with Associated British Foods claiming it will see a rise in its profits this year as a result of its clothing arm Primark riding high on the highstreet waves.
The company said sales at the cheap clothing chain had risen by 25 percent in the last six months and by seven percent from shops which had been open at least a year.
Over this period the company had opened 15 new stores, including a second store on London’s Oxford Street.