If you live in the Mission or Potrero Hill neighborhoods in San Francisco, very soon you may be sharing the sidewalk with robots working hard to deliver food to hungry Yelp Eat24 diners!
Today we’re excited to announce our partnership with Marble, a robotics company based in San Francisco, which will allow Yelp Eat24 to test robot delivery. Right now, if you place an order to the Yelp Eat24 app or Eat24.com from restaurants including DOSA on Valencia, Truly Mediterranean, Aslam’s Rasoi, or Alhamra, your delivery might be coming from a robot. How does it work, exactly? After an order is placed from one of these participating restaurants, diners receive a text message asking if they are willing to accept the delivery from a robot. If they say yes, one of the robots will pick up the order from the restaurant and make its way to the diner. When the robot is close, the diner will receive a text message with a code to unlock the cargo bin, and voila! Delicious food delivered via robot.
During this limited rollout, we are excited to learn about how humans and robots interact – from both restaurant employees and diners. We see robots as a way to increase the delivery options that are currently available to consumers, and envision them working side-by-side with humans – on bikes, on foot, or in cars – to deliver amazing food to the masses. There are many restaurants that only offer takeout and don’t have the means or manpower to provide a delivery option. But someday, at least a few years down the road, robots could help make food delivery more accessible to more people.