- Charleys Philly Steaks has partnered with Flytrex to provide drone delivery to customers in Durham, North Carolina, the companies said in an email to Restaurant Dive.
- The addition of Durham marks Flytrex’s fifth station in the U.S. and fourth in North Carolina.
- Flytrex will offer drone delivery from Charleys to customers’ backyards within about three minutes on average, a speedier timeframe than traditional delivery platforms can fulfill.
This partnership with Charleys comes over two months after Flytrex expanded its delivery radius to reach up to 100,000 customers. Flytrex, which works with longtime partner Causey Aviation Unmanned, has also previously worked with Brinker International and El Pollo Loco.
Customers place orders on Flytrex’s app for Charleys as well as other food and goods from local restaurants, cafes and retailers. The app will update customers on their order status along the route until the package is delivered to their backyards. Other stations in North Carolina are in Fayetteville, Raeford and Holly Springs. It also has a station in Granbury, Texas, which is outside Dallas-Fort Worth.
Drone delivery aligns with Charleys’ digital initiatives, which include the launch of an online ordering platform and improvement of an app-based loyalty program in 2020. Charleys Rewards has since grown to over 1 million members. The company, which is testing kiosks in stores and growing third-party delivery, reported 40% digital sales in 2021. Charleys is also planning to open 200 units this year as it eyes 1,000 units by the end of 2023.