Truebird Swoops Into New York with Robotic Specialty Coffee Kiosks

Truebird coffee

“(…) Could the surly and spirited humans of old New York embrace a joe by droid? A new company called Truebird has fluttered in to find out.

Like its predecessors, Truebird pitches its system squarely at the specialty coffee crowd, claiming that its automated coffee kiosks offer drinks that are “consistently as good as those made by the best baristas using the finest ingredients and equipment.”

At a Truebird coffee station, customers are able to choose a fresh and locally roasted coffee from a touchscreen menu, then designate a type of milk and an espresso beverage style for the machine to execute.

The flat ceramic “standard” burrs of one of the machine’s two integrated grinders break the beans. An extraction occurs, and milk is stretched by unseen internals as the customer waits, while a trio of cute, black magnet-driven pucks charmingly coordinate to nudge cups around on the visible surface behind glass.

“We chose our magnetic transport solution versus other options, including an articulated robotic arm, for a variety of reasons, but chief among them was the surprisingly warm, approachable, and magical experience it creates,” Truebird CEO and Co-Founder Josh Feuerstein told Daily Coffee News. “We believe a coffee break is not just about the quality of the drink, but about the feel of the experience. We’ve tried to make every element of our product warm, approachable, and beautiful, from the design of the micro-cafe itself, to the mesmerizing experience of watching your cup glide from the espresso machine towards your hand. We keep that emotional component top-of-mind in our design process. It’s a fascinating challenge, especially for an automated product.”

See more here.

Approaching a Quarter Century, Intelligentsia Unveils New Bag Designs

Intelligentsia Coffee

“Fast approaching quadranscentennial age, Chicago-based Intelligentsia Coffee has just unveiled new packaging, representing the roasting and retail company’s first across-the-board package refresh in years.

With design firm Pearlfisher NYC, Intelligentsia attempted through the redesign to reinforce several philosophical and practical pillars that have helped sustain and build the business since 1995 — including the concepts of direct trade relationships with farmers and producers, seasonality, and exceptional coffee quality.

The company’s signature red provides the base for single-origin coffee packaging, with the name and logo replaced by only a reinforced, larger wings-and-star logo. The black-bordered pinkish overlay sticker showing the coffee’s origin has been replaced by a blood red sticker with white and pink copy. On the sticker, Intelligentsia is highlighting the number of years the company has had a partnership with that particular producer, while also including a brief coffee description, flavor notes, and any special release notes.”

Read more here.

DoorDash Closes $400 Million Funding Round

Image result for doordash funding round

“In the last month, a pair of food delivery startups were battling complaints about their tipping policies. Customers and workers chastised the companies for unfairly using tips to subsidize worker pay. As the furor grew, one of the companies, Instacart Inc., changed its compensation policies to match some of workers’ demands.

Meanwhile, the other company, DoorDash Inc., stood firm. It still uses tips from customers to offset some of the minimum payment that a worker gets for each delivery job, in which “Dashers” travel to restaurants or stores and bring food to customers. That decision apparently hasn’t harmed DoorDash’s reputation in the eyes of investors. The company said on Thursday that it received a new round of funding that values it at $7.1 billion.

In an interview Thursday to promote the investment, DoorDash Chief Executive Officer Tony Xu defended the tipping practice, which has been in use since 2017. Xu said internal data show that under the current pay model, Dashers stay on the platform longer, are more satisfied with their jobs and make deliveries in a more timely manner. He blamed recent backlash on Instacart’s implementation of its own policy.”

See more here.

Taco Bell and Chipotle Want to Shave Time off Food Deliveries

Image result for Taco Bell and Chipotle Want to Shave Time off Food Deliveries

“When it comes to restaurant delivery, speed matters. And the burrito chains want to be faster.

Taco Bell –– which now offers delivery at roughly two-thirds of its U.S. restaurants through GrubHub Inc. with plans to continue expanding the service –– says its average delivery time is 34 minutes. The company acknowledges that’s not good enough for today’s demanding customer.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., meanwhile, says it’s averaging between 28 and 32 minutes for delivery, but it thinks it can shave four minutes or so as it expands pickup shelves across the nation. It’s also introducing prepaid delivery so drivers don’t have to pay in stores. It’s all part of a digital push that is a key part of the comeback plan laid out under Chief Executive Officer Brian Niccol in his first year on the job.”

“While restaurant delivery has long been part of the culture in major cities like New York and San Francisco, pizza was often the only option in many markets. That has started to change as on-demand delivery services like DoorDash, Postmates and Uber Eats have proliferated, joining GrubHub to expand delivery options.”

Read more here.

Chipotle skips sponsorship of college bowl games, offers free delivery instead

Image result for Chipotle skips sponsorship of college bowl games, offers free delivery instead

In honor of college football season, Chipotle Mexican Grill is offering free delivery now through Jan. 7 on any Chipotle order worth $10 or more.

“Given the iconic nature of Chipotle’s Burrito Bowl, many consumers have pointed out that we should sponsor a bowl game,” Chipotle CMO Chris Brandt, said in a company press release. “We listened and decided to do something about it. But, rather than spending millions on a traditional game sponsorship, we decided to give that money back to our fans in the form of free delivery.”

With the help of expanded delivery partnerships and the ability to offer delivery directly within Chipotle’s mobile app and website, the company has seen steady growth in digital orders. Last quarter, digital sales grew 48 percent, with digital orders accounting for 11.2 percent of sales, according to the release.

Read more here.

Taco Bell’s Strategy to Win in Urban Markets Involves Delivery, Kiosks and Alcohol

Screen Shot 2018-12-19 at 9.10.26 AM.png

“Throughout its company history, Taco Bell has dominated with a development strategy that focused on sprawling suburban locations equipped with drive thrus wrapped around the side. That is beginning to change.

The gigantic American Mexican quick service chain has been testing a handful of small-format restaurant concepts, branded as Taco Bell Cantina and Urban In-Line restaurants, in various urban centers for the past three years. The Urban In-Line format is essentially a regular Taco Bell, modernized and shrunk to fit on a street corner. The Cantina format is similar but also features twists on the traditional menu, including alcoholic drinks and shared platters of food.

Both concepts are tailored for densely populated locations where the rent is overwhelming, the foot traffic is high, and there’s no space to fit a traditional Taco Bell unit.”

See more here.

 

Ford teaming up with Walmart and Postmates on robot deliveries

“Ford is joining forces with Walmart and Postmates to create a grocery delivery service using self-driving vehicles in Miami, the companies announced Wednesday.

Ford has been using Miami as a test bed for its self-driving vehicles since earlier this year. And more recently, the auto giant joined with Postmates to see how people ordering takeout food would interact with an autonomous delivery van.

Now Ford is moving to the next stage: grocery delivery. The company says it will experiment with different vehicle types, as well as modifications to those vehicles needed to keep perishable food items fresh. It will also experiment with a variety of scenarios, such as multiple deliveries on one trip and the user experience of retrieving delivery items from a fully driverless vehicle.”

See more here.