El Pollo Loco To Test Drone Delivery For Restaurant Orders

El Pollo LoCo Holdings Inc. LOCO has announced plans to become the first national restaurant company to conduct test flights for door-to-backyard drone delivery.

What Happened: Beginning on June 24, El Pollo Loco will partner with the Israeli drone start-up Flytrex in an unnamed Southern California market. The “Air Loco” drone will be outfitted with a fastened delivery box to keep the meal contents intact.

The company promised customers participating in the pilot program that the drone will “gently lower their food order from high above their home.” The Flytrex drone uses a wire release mechanism designed to lower food orders from 80 feet.

“We want to offer drone food deliveries that are fast, convenient and safe,” said Andy Rebhun, vice president of digital for El Pollo Loco. "The insights gleaned during this test-and-learn pilot will play a crucial role in helping us shape this exciting new service ahead of its rollout.”

Related Link: Ohio Restaurant Debuts Spicy Thai Cicada Pizza: What You Need To Know (If Not Eat)

What Else Happened: For customers who prefer to receive their fire-grilled chicken meals via ground-based deliveries, El Pollo Loco also announced a limited-time promotion for free deliveries for those who place orders of $20 or more on its app or website.

Separately, the Costa Mesa, California-based company announced last month it would cease using Styrofoam packaging in favor of clear Thermo-To-Go packaging made from partially recycled materials.

The company noted the new packaging would result in removing 1.9 cubic feet of Styrofoam — the equivalent of 21 Olympic-size swimming pools — from the national waste stream annually.

(Photo courtesy of El Pollo Loco.)

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