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Wendy's to pilot underground robot system to deliver food to cars in seconds

By Tomi Kilgore

Burger chain is partnering with 'hyperlogistics' company Pipedream to deliver food orders to parking spots

Wendy's Co. is partnering with "hyperlogistics" company Pipedream to pilot a system that can deliver food orders to designated parking spots "in seconds," the fast-food chain said Wednesday.

"We know that serving orders quickly and accurately leads to increased customer satisfaction," said Deepak Ajmani, Wendy's U.S. chief operations officer.

Wendy's (WEN) said Pipedream's Instant Pickup system uses an "underground autonomous robot system" to deliver meals from the kitchen to an outside portal, allowing customers who place orders online to receive their orders without leaving their cars.

Wendy's said it plans to set up Pipedream's underground delivery system at an existing restaurant later this year. The company did not provide additional details about where the pilot program will be introduced.

"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 to bring more Wendy's to more people as quickly and efficiently as possible," said Wendy's Global Chief Technology Officer Matt Spessard.

The Pipedream partnership announcement comes a week after Wendy's reported first-quarter results that beat expectations, while keeping its full-year outlook intact.

Wendy's stock rose 0.2% in morning trading. It has edged up 3.9% year to date, while shares of rival McDonald's Corp. (MCD) have rallied 11.5% and shares of Jack in the Box Inc. (JACK) have soared 39.4%. The S&P 500 has advanced 7.4% this year.

-Tomi Kilgore

This content was created by MarketWatch, which is operated by Dow Jones & Co. MarketWatch is published independently from Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal.


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05-17-23 1059ET

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