The hottest trend in delivery might just be hot spots.
7-Eleven Inc. on Monday announced delivery to 2,000 hot spot locations, which it calls “7NOW Pins,” through the company’s delivery app, 7NOW. These locations are commonly accessible locations like parks, beaches or concert venue.
“7NOW Pins makes convenience more convenient, by keeping customers in the moment, whether at a game, in the park or enjoying the sun on the beach. Our customers asked for it and we are delivering," said Gurmeet Singh, 7-Eleven chief digital, information and marketing officer, in a statement.
Through the 7-Eleven app, customers can locate the nearest pin and order as usual. In the release, the Irving, Tex.-based convenience store listed Central Park in New York City, Mile High Stadium in Denver, Venice Beach in Los Angeles and Fenway Park in Boston as potential hot spots for delivery.
“We continuously challenge ourselves to find even more ways to offer convenience and value to our customers—when and where people need it most,” said Raghu Mahadevan, 7-Eleven vice president of delivery.
7-Eleven isn’t the first brand to offer this out-side-the-box delivery. In April of last year, Domino’s started delivery with Domino’s Hotspots. Over 200,000 delivery locations are available nationwide.
“It really is another way for our customers to be able to access us anytime, anywhere that they want to,” said Richard Allison, Domino’s CEO, during the Ann Arbor, Mich-based company’s second-quarter earnings call last year. “The Hotspots are contained inside of the delivery areas that our franchisees have already, and those Hotspots are defined by our franchisees. So customers request them, but franchisees select those areas that we can deliver to. And quite often, they’re landmarks, which are easier to find than someone's residential address. In many cases, it might be at a beach or at a baseball field or at a park, areas that are well-known within the community.”
Hot spots are part of a growing trend of delivering to alternative spaces.
The Culver City, Calif.-based chain Sweetgreen recently launched Outpost, a centralized location for free lunch deliveries in office buildings. Pre-ordered salads are placed in Outpost shelving units in centralized office locations for employees at Nike, Vice, Refinery29 and other companies.
“As we see it, Outpost is a new revenue stream for our team, and we think it’ll permeate other categories in the food and beverage space,” the company said.
Minnow, a Portland, Ore.-based startup, left, created insulated pickup pods for installation in office lobbies in response to an office-delivery pain point.
“One of the issues that comes up with delivery in office buildings (especially buildings where the delivery driver is not allowed past the lobby) is that most delivery services have a five or 10-minute handoff rule. If the driver can't connect with the consumer within five or 10 minutes after arriving at the building, he or she will leave— with the food,” said Steven Sperry, Minnow’s CEO. “That creates a negative customer experience, which leads to churn. It also reflects poorly on both the delivery service and the restaurant.”
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