Evolving from Farm-to-Table to Farm-to-Desk

Evolving from Farm-to-Table to Farm-to-Desk

As digital deliveries now account for a sizable portion of their business, several restaurants are trying to bypass third-party ordering platforms such as Grubhub and Uber Eats with their own ordering and delivery systems.

To lure customers away from third-party marketplaces, they offer a variety of incentives that are only available through their own Web sites or mobile apps. They also adapt their cooking methods to account for delivery time.


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This post is based on the Bloomberg article, Dig Inn Wants to Optimize Your Sad Desk Lunch, by E.G. Dunn, January 29, 2019; the YouTube video, Dig Inn – Boston, by phantomgourmet, August 17, 2017; and the Fortune article and video, Restaurants face digital dilemma, by J. Kell,  June 9, 2017. Image source: Shutterstock/MSSA.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the quality problems associated with meal deliveries?

Guidance: As Scott Landers mentioned in the article, the delivery portion of the business has grown faster than capacity, resulting in longer lead times, errors, foods at the wrong temperature, and food quality degradation during delivery.

2. What are some of the product and process design changes Continue reading

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Weather Stopped Beer Delivery With Super Bowl Looming

Weather Stopped Beer Delivery With Super Bowl Looming

February 11, 2019

Several beer distributors in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area stopped delivery of their products on Wednesday, January 30, 2019.  With extremely cold weather in the area, many organizations shut-down for the day, including several beer distributors.  Many of the beer distributors decided that it was unsafe for their delivery drivers to be out in the extreme cold.  Additionally, their products don’t handle cold weather well.

Bad timing, with the Super Bowl only 4 days away, but winter weather shows no mercy for kickoffs.

This post is based on the Journal Sentinel article, No beer deliveries in Milwaukee today. Thanks a lot, Mother Nature, by Kathy Flanigan, January 30, 2019. Image source: Getty Images/iStockphoto.

Discussion Questions:

1. What operational problems does a shutdown present?

Guidance: Unexpected disruptions in the supply chain are difficult.  With the Super bowl approaching, beer distributors want to have the store shelves full of their product.  However, cancellations occurred in a relatively short time period.  If they had substantial warnings of the impending cold, distributors could have made extra or larger deliveries before the temperatures forced a shut-down.  Weather forecasts can be unpredictable, making it difficult to anticipate such Continue reading

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Next Big Thing? Driverless Delivery with Amazon Scout

Next Big Thing? Driverless Delivery with Amazon Scout

February 10, 2019

Your Amazon Prime packages will soon be delivered to your doorstep by Scout, Amazon’s new six-wheeled autonomous delivery robot.

Amazon is field testing Scout in Snohomish, Washington, to ensure its bot can navigate sidewalk chaos and street traffic. The company is betting that Scout will make last-mile package delivery cheaper, faster, and more efficient.


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This post is based on the Wired article, The Prime Challenges for Amazon’s New Delivery Robot, by Matt Simon and Arielle Pardes, January 23, 2019; and the YouTube videos, Amazon Scout, by Amazon, January 23, 2019, and Amazon Scout will usher in the age of autonomous delivery, by TWiT Netcast Network, January 28, 2019. Image source: Tetra Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the benefits of employing robots to deliver packages?

Guidance: Multiple benefits come to mind. It can make the last-mile delivery from a transportation hub to customers’ homes cheaper, faster, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly. It may make economic sense to augment a human delivery fleet with robots.

2. What are the challenges for Amazon’s delivery robot?

Guidance: The robot Continue reading

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