Wendy’s Partners with Pipedream

Wendys, Pipedream Underground delivery

Robotic System Will Move Digital Orders from the Kitchen to Car in Seconds

Wendy’s seems to grow more high-tech by the day. On Wednesday, May 17, the fast-food restaurant chain announced that it’s working with Pipedream, an Austin, Texas-based company, to pilot a robotic system that will move digitally placed food orders underground from the kitchen to parked customers. 

Making its robotic-delivery plans public in a news release, Wendy’s staked its claim to being the first quick-service restaurant to implement the state-of-the-art food pick-up system. It works like this: An autonomous robot will convey food underground to the above-ground Pipedream Instant Pickup portal that’s adjacent to the customer’s designated parking place. The system will be able to deliver digital food orders from the kitchen to the parking area in seconds, faster than human employees can.

Only a few days earlier in May, Wendy’s disclosed it would soon test the use of an artificial intelligence chatbot to take orders from customers in its drive-through lane. That test will begin in June at a corporate-owned restaurant in the Columbus, Ohio, area, according to Wendy’s. The Pipedream Instant Pickup system is expected to debut later in 2023 at an undisclosed, existing Wendy’s restaurant as opposed to a newly built one. 

Wendy’s, Pipedream Execs Excited

In the news release, spokesmen for both companies hailed the partnership as a groundbreaking way to please customers. Wendy’s U.S. Chief Operations Officer Deepak Ajmani explained that serving orders quickly “leads to increased customer satisfaction,” and added that Pipedream’s Instant Pickup system should do exactly that. 

Matt Spessard, senior vice president and global chief technology officer for Wendy’s, said his company is “consistently innovating to meet our customers however they choose to engage with us. As mobile ordering preferences increase, we’re thrilled to be the first quick-service restaurant to partner with Pipedream, leveraging their unique delivery technology and system with the goal of reinventing digital pick-ups.” 

And Pipedream CEO Garrett McCurrach said his company will “bring the future of mobile order pick-up to the quick-service industry. By solving order handoff, the final leg of the digital experience, our Instant Pickup technology allows Wendy’s restaurant team members to focus on what matters: serving delicious, high-quality food and connecting with customers in this digital-first world.”

About Pipedream and Wendy’s

Pipedream described itself in the news release as “an autonomous underground delivery company on a mission to make hyperlogistics possible this decade.” The 2-year-old company’s electric-powered robotic delivery system includes above-ground portals that interface with underground robots to move food, packages, groceries and more in seconds. Pipedream’s system is designed to help merchants, cities, developers and others streamline their delivery processes. 

Founded 54 years ago, Wendy’s is best known for made-to-order burgers that use fresh, not frozen, beef in square-shaped patties. Wendy’s has about 7,000 corporate- and franchisee-owned restaurants around the globe. The company supports two major philanthropic programs: Wendy’s Wonderful Kids and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, which is named for the founder of Wendy’s.

Photo: Wendy’s

Previous ArticleNext Article
Mary Vinnedge is an award-winning journalist who has served as editor in chief, managing editor and senior editor at national and regional publications, including SUCCESS and Design NJ magazines. She also held reporting and editing roles at The Dallas Morning News and Charlotte Observer newspapers.

Before Mary began covering franchise news and trends as a staff writer for FranchiseWire and Franchise Consultant Magazine, she developed articles on topics ranging from lifestyle, education, health and science to home projects, horticulture, gardening, interior design and architecture. These articles included her reporting on academic news at her alma mater, Texas A&M University, when Mary worked in the marketing department of the Texas A&M Foundation. She continues to be a news junkie and subscribes to several publications.

Today Mary and her husband are empty nesters living on Galveston Island near Houston. The couple’s blended family – scattered around the United States – includes five children, four grandchildren and two very spoiled, very barky miniature schnauzer rescues.
Send this to a friend