Sweetgreen Plans Salad Delivery Via Drone

A drone flies to a location and then releases a delivery droid.

March 30, 2023

LOS ANGELES—Sweetgreen wants to provide customers with faster food delivery. Last week, the company announced a partnership with Zipline, a San Francisco-based technology company that specializes in autonomous delivery systems, according to Restaurant Technology News.

Sweetgreen is partnering with Zipline to step closer to its pledge to be carbon-neutral by 2027. By ordering through Zipline's marketplace, Sweetgreen customers can get their orders using 97% less energy than traditional automotive methods.

Other drone delivery companies, such as Wing and Flytrex, already deliver meals to customers.

According to a press release from Zipline, its drones fly more than 300 feet above the ground and are nearly inaudible. They reportedly hover safely and quietly at that altitude while a fully autonomous delivery droid maneuvers down a tether, moves to the correct location and gently drops off its package to areas as small as a patio table or the front steps of a home. The drones can carry up to an eight-pound payload while flying up to 24 miles one way from dock to dock, charging at each dock before picking up the next delivery.

“Over the last decade, global demand for instant delivery has skyrocketed, but the technology we’re using to deliver is 100 years old. We’re still using the same 3,000-pound, gas-combustion vehicles, driven by humans, to make billions of deliveries that usually weigh less than five pounds. It’s slow, it’s expensive and it’s terrible for the planet,” said Keller Rinaudo Cliffton, co-founder and CEO of Zipline. “Our new service is changing that and will finally make deliveries work for you and around your schedule. We have built the closest thing to teleportation ever created.”

In November, Amazon announced that it would start delivering orders by drones in select locations.