- Jamba by Blendid plans to bring its autonomous robotic kiosks to Love’s Travel Shops, the company announced Tuesday in an email to Restaurant Dive.
- The first kiosk will be piloted at a Love’s Travel Shop in Williams, California, this summer. More details on additional locations and kiosk offerings will be available once plans are finalized, the companies said.
- This partnership comes just a few months after Jamba by Blendid kiosks opened at two college campuses in February, a shopping mall in 2021 and a Walmart in 2020.
Love’s could hold significant growth opportunity for Jamba by Blendid. The travel stop chain boasts over 590 locations across 41 states, and will allow the robotic smoothie kiosks to operate 24 hours a day. The units can be set up within 24 to 48 hours and be ready for operator training.
Jamba by Blendid units also could create a fast and easy food option for truckers, commuters and travelers seeking a quick snack. The robots installed in Walmart locations can create up to 45 drinks per hour and nine drinks at the same time, completing a smoothie in three minutes.
Jamba by Blendid kiosks also use Blendid’s contactless food automation platform foodOS to provide motorists with a way to customize and order their drinks at any time of day, according to the press release. The smoothie machines won’t increasing staff demands for facility managers, either, the press release said.
“It is exciting to see more opportunities for Jamba by Blendid kiosks to expand across retail properties, college campuses and now along highways and major thoroughfares across the country in the years ahead,” Vipin Jain, CEO and co-founder of Blendid, said in a statement.
This strategy also aligns with Jamba parent Focus Brands’ strategy to expand into more non-traditional locations such as airports, convenience stores, amusement parks, colleges and ghost kitchens.
Focus Brands has been opening more Jambas in airports and is targeting locations near college campuses. It is expected to open a co-branded Jamba/Auntie Anne’s near Auburn University this year. The company opened its first Jamba/Auntie Anne’s co-branded drive-thru last year in Wylie, Texas.
Chains are increasingly turning to automation as a way to expand their customer reach. Wow Bao, for example, is expanding via hot food vending machines to reach into places like hotels, hospitals, military bases and airports. Piestro and Serve Robotics partnered in July to provide robotic delivery from automated pizzerias.