When the team from Project Wing, a division of X (they’re part of Alphabet, like Google) approached Guzman y Gomez to be their first launch partner for Project Wing in the delivery of Guzman y Gomez burritos to people via drone, the decision was a very simple: YES, we’re in!
(Founder and Global CEO of Guzman y Gomez Steven Marks waits for the drone to drop a hook to attach an order)
Once we decided we were onboard, we immediately got to work on creating the Guzman y Gomez Drone Mothership. We created and built the Drone Mothership, our custom kitchen to be located at Wing’s test site, in Sydney and then packed it up and headed south to Project Wing’s drone test site.
We needed to replicate the Guzman y Gomez kitchens and still deliver quality food in a remote area where our authentic Mexican menu could be prepared on site fresh daily. We won’t compromise on quality so it was important we deliver our consistent Guzman y Gomez experience to the people of Royalla (near Canberra), and fast!
(The Guzman y Gomez Drone Mothership was custom built and now serves burritos, chips & guac via drone to a number of chosen testers in the suburb of Royalla, ACT)
In 2012, X started working on Project Wing, developing their own technology and custom built drones. Fast forward five years, and GYG and Project Wing are testing delivery drones (that are carrying our burritos!) Yes, it’s happening NOW (close to the NSW and ACT border).
Currently a select group of testers can download the test app to order and pay for burritos that will be delivered via drone to their homes (we know, lucky them!).
In the same way delivery by car has changed the way we eat, we hope that drone delivery may be the next evolution of food delivery.
(Founder and Global CEO of Guzman y Gomez Steven Marks at the drone nest inspecting Project Wing drones)
Next came all of the logistics – how was this all going to work? The Project Wing team have been working closely with the local & State Governments and CASA (the Civil Aviation Safety Authority) to ensure our skies are safe and our deliveries are regulated according to Australian law.
We also needed to test if our food would hold and stay fresh in a drone that travelled through the skies at 120kms per hour. In a special ‘package’ designed by Project Wing’s engineers, our burritos are able to stay hot and fresh but most importantly stable and secure as the drone travels so your food is delivered ready to enjoy.
(Project Wing specially designed packages ready to have burritos made for delivery via drone)
Our crew were trained up on how the tech works, how orders would be received, how to bring the drone to our landing pad and how to send it off to homes. It was fascinating to watch. You can read more about Project Wing HERE.
(Guzman y Gomez crew hooking a package to the drone)
How does it work? The selected Project Wing testers order via an app, their order is sent to the Guzman y Gomez Drone Mothership, we make and complete their meal, at which point we order the drone to pick it up. The drone leaves the launch site (where it’s on-charge waiting for our call) and hovers over the Guzman y Gomez landing pad (because it knows where the Guzman y Gomez pick up point is) at about 5m above the ground. The drone drops a hook, we attach the order, and it’s winched up into place and takes off to the delivery destination! The drone drops the order gently on the ground, the hook detaches and winches back up, and the drone then flies back to the launch site.
After numerous test flights, the first paid delivery of Guzman y Gomez burritos were delivered to the outskirts of Royalla (rural Canberra) and they are continuing today. Where does this go from here? Whilst we’re still in test mode, this is an exciting development in making drone delivery a reality, and Guzman y Gomez are incredibly proud to be part of such a ground-breaking moment.
Our founder and Global CEO, Steven Marks said “When I started Guzman y Gomez in Newtown, Sydney 10 years ago, I could not have imagined we would be partnering with X which is part of one of my favourite tech companies in the world to bring this ground-breaking project to life. It’s a dream come true for Guzman y Gomez, and this is just one of the ways we are committed to re-inventing fast food for the 21st century.”
(Founder and Global CEO of Guzman y Gomez Steven Marks using the bespoke app used to order GYG burrito delivery via drone)
At Guzman y Gomez, we want to completely reinvent fast food for the 21st century. We have already started by making fast food better for you – by using fresher and healthier ingredients -, but this is just the beginning. We plan to completely change the way people order and eat GYG and we look forward to partnering with Project Wing on what we think may be the future of food delivery.
What are Guzman y Gomez and Project Wing doing together?
We’re helping Project Wing test their drone delivery system in the Queanbeyan & ACT regions of Australia. Wing’s testers will be able to order a range of GyG burritos and burrito bowls using the Wing App on their smartphone and have them delivered to their yard by a Project Wing delivery drone in a manner of minutes. Our staff will be cooking, packing and loading our food onto Project Wing’s delivery drone from our food truck, located a few kilometers from the testers’ households. Throughout the trial, we’ll be providing Project Wing with regular feedback on how their delivery systems integrate with our kitchen operations, and passing on any observations our staff make while loading the delivery drones with packages of our food.
Why did GYG choose to participate in this trial?
When Project Wing approached Guzman y Gomez (GYG) and asked us to participate in their e drone delivery trial, the decision was a very simple, “YES, we’re in!”
GYG are on a mission to reinvent fast food for the 21st century. We believe fast food doesn’t have to be bad food but we also want to re-invent delivery channels and provide convenience to our customers by making GYG available, anytime, anyhow, anywhere. Drone delivery is simply the next evolution in delivery and we wanted to be part of this ground-breaking moment.
Our partnership with Project Wing is one of our proudest achievements to date.
Will you be Wing’s first commercial partner?
We’re helping Wing test their technology with households in the ACT & Queanbeyan regions of Australia.
How long will this be available?
At least for the next few months.
Do testers have to pay money for Guzman y Gomez’s goods?
Yes – eligible testers will be able to purchase Guzman y Gomez food using the Project Wing App on their smartphone. Project Wing will deliver these items without a delivery charge through October.
What food are Guzman y Gomez serving?
A range of burritos and burrito bowls, as well as sides like guacamole and chips.
How fast does the drone fly?
The drones can travel at speeds of up to 120 km per hour.
What distance can the drone travel?
The drones can travel up to 10km from their take off location.
Where is this available?
Currently available to a group of pre-selected testers in Royalla (approximately 35kms from Canberra), ACT.
Where do I get more information?
We will continue to update the web page as the project progresses and additional information becomes available.
Is there a limited weight on what the drone can handle?
Yes, the drones currently carry a payload of up to 1kg.
Has this been done anywhere else in the world?
While there have been a handful of staged demonstrations, this is the first time all the pieces have come together.
– Going directly to people’s backyards or doorsteps. Others are using fixed pickup points and doesn’t land at customer location which isn’t scalable.
– The aircraft is custom designed by Project Wing over the last 5 years, designed for speed (120km/h) and stability, not an off the shelf quad/hexacopter
– Backed by a complete air traffic control system, scale to manage complex flight paths into the future as the skies fill up
– Most others have done a handful of deliveries to test, all about demonstrating it’s possible which is still great. This however is an ongoing phased test with members of the public ordering and well beyond the initial stages.
– Beyond line of sight approved and the drones can travel up to 10km from their take off location, a 20km delivery footprint diameter. Others requiring line of sight or limited range e.g 2 kms, 1 mile, 400 meters etc.
Is the price of the food different?
No. The price remains the same.