Brinker testing drone delivery in Texas

A drone makes a food delivery.

Written by James Shea

Brinker International is testing the viability of drone delivery in Texas. The project is a partnership with drone delivery companies Flytrex and Causey Aviation Unlimited.

Brinker is the holding company for Chili’s Bar and Grill and Maggiano’s Little Italy. The company has also started two virtual brands — It’s Just Wings and Maggiano’s Italian Classics. Brinker is seeing if drone delivery can reduce delivery times and create a better customer experience. The machines lower the food into people’s backyards and front yards.

“As we continue to drive awareness and grow our virtual brand, It’s Just Wings, we continue to explore and leverage technology and innovation,” said Wade Allen, SVP of innovation at Brinker International. “With a focus on guest experience and convenience – alongside our killer wings – this new outpost in partnership with Flytrex is another exciting step in the right direction.”

Flytrex and Causey have worked together before. They partnered on testing drone delivery in North Carolina and will use Causey’s newly granted Federal Aviation Administration waiver, which allows delivery within one nautical mile. While Dallas-Fort Worth is often referred to as a “metroplex,” Flytrex’s focus is on the suburbs. Although there are roughly 80 million homes in U.S. suburban areas, on-demand delivery has been largely seen as commercially unviable as traditional couriers are only able to make around two deliveries per hour in such areas. Flytrex is providing on-demand drone delivery directly to consumers’ homes in these underserved neighborhoods, offering a better, faster, more sustainable service at more affordable prices.

“We’re thrilled to be soaring into the Lone Star State – an outsized achievement for ultrafast home delivery,” said Yariv Bash, CEO and cofounder of Flytrex. “After establishing drone delivery as a preferred option in North Carolina, we are excited to bring our unrivaled speed and convenience to Texas, where big things happen. We look forward to bringing drone delivery to backyards across the U.S. as we expand our service nationwide.”

This launch follows a series of additional milestones for Flytrex. Most recently, the ultrafast drone delivery company received a waiver from the FAA enabling it to expand delivery service to 10,000 homes in cities across North Carolina as the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s partner in the FAA’s BEYOND program. Flytrex has been operating in the state since September 2020, beginning in Fayetteville, and expanding to the town of Raeford.

The effort is not the first time that Flytrex has worked with Brinker. In October 2021, Flytrex launched its third drone delivery station in North Carolina at the Holly Springs Towne Center, delivering food orders from It’s Just Wings.

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