Grubhub Expands Robotic Deliveries on College Campuses

The delivery app adds Kiwibot to its robot delivery portfolio.

December 09, 2022

CHICAGO and BERKELEY, Calif.—Grubhub is partnering with another robotics company for last-mile delivery on college campuses. The third-party food delivery app has struck a deal with Kiwibot, a last-mile robotic delivery company.

Robot delivery from Kiwibot and Grubhub will first be available at the University of North Dakota before rolling out to additional schools next semester. Kiwibot joins Grubhub’s existing robotic partners, including Cartken and Starship, on nearly a dozen campuses offering robot delivery.

“When it comes to the campus dining experience, we see robot delivery as a complementary offering to traditional delivery since the robots can navigate hard-to-reach areas on campuses,” said Adam Herbert, senior director of campus partnerships at Grubhub. “Our campus partners have been asking for us to help bring this delivery option to their school, and we are excited to partner with Kiwibot to expand this innovative and convenient type of delivery to more colleges across the country.”

 Students will be able to select this delivery via the Grubhub app from on-campus dining locations, including the Memorial Union Food court and Wilkerson Dining Center. The Kiwibots rely on  advanced technology with a high-driving autonomous system and can operate in snow and extreme weather conditions. For safety, they move at the same speed as a human walking pace and can hold up to 25 pounds.

 “It is an exciting endeavor for Kiwibot to expand our partner base,” said Felipe Chávez, CEO of Kiwibot. “Our partnership with Grubhub means we’ll be able to provide an integrated delivery service that allows students to experience Kiwibot delivery right from Grubhub’s app.”
Grubhub partners with more than 250 college campuses across the United States to give students access to restaurants both on- and off-campus for delivery and pickup.

In October, Grubhub partnered with Starship Technologies, an autonomous delivery service, to provide robot deliveries at the University of Kentucky, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), Wayne State University, Southern Methodist University and Fairfield University.

Automation is becoming a way for businesses to navigate the labor shortage and increase production. Love’s Travel Stops opened the Jamba by Blendid autonomous robotic kiosk at two California locations. The self-operating kiosk allows customers to customize their smoothie orders by adjusting ingredient quantities or adding boosts directly through the Blendid app. They can order on-site or schedule a preferred pickup time in advance via the mobile app.

Miso Robotics’ Flippy 2 robot is automating the process of deep-frying potatoes, onion rings and other foods, which can help speed up drive-thru times for fast-food restaurants.

Earlier this year, Panera Bread tested an automated coffee machine by Miso Robotics in two locations that use AI to monitor coffee volume and temperature. Data collected by the machines allow Panera to analyze what kind of coffee its customers enjoy most and when.

More insights on last-mile solutions was captured in the NACS Magazine feature, “Robots Deliver.” NACS also explored AI and machine learnings applications for the c-store industry, especially in foodservice, in “Welcome to an Intelligent 2022” in the January 2022 issue.