RocoMamas Bedfordview recently posted on Facebook that the restaurant was set to offer drone deliveries.
With the burger joint already a popular choice in delivery apps like UberEATS, customers were interested in the development.
The drone delivery offered by the franchise was a tongue-in-cheek post, however, and was intended as a bit of fun for consumers.
As shown in the post below, a drone is used to take a food order from the counter at the restaurant to a delivery driver in its parking lot.
While the Facebook post was in jest, the franchise told MyBroadband that drone deliveries are a possibility for it in the future.
RocoMamas Bedfordview said there are several factors which make drone deliveries unsustainable at the moment, however.
According to its research, drone deliveries are a long way away from being a reality for many businesses South Africa, due to a number of reasons.
The first issue is cost.
Drones are expensive, and units with the power and range to transport a food order are not commonplace.
Even consumer drones made to record video over short periods, and piloted by a user, can cost over R30,000.
Insuring the drone is another hurdle, and Business Insider reported that local insurance companies refuse to cover drones – due to the high risk.
Drone flight laws are yet another barrier, as drones used by a business must be operated by a licensed drone pilot.
Drones also have restrictions on where they can fly, with height and distance-to-civilians restrictions in place. Drones also cannot fly anywhere near airports.
RocoMamas Bedfordview said legislation on flying drones long distances over public areas is also unclear, and an important factor which must be understood.
Theft and privacy
As with many businesses in South Africa, protecting assets from theft or damage is an ongoing concern.
If drones were affordable, powerful enough, and automated to deliver food orders, there is the challenge of keeping the order and the drone safe when flying over residential areas.
This is especially relevant when the drone lands to deliver an order, as it is vulnerable when on the ground.
Civilians may also feel their privacy is being invaded if a drone flies near their property to make a delivery, said the franchise.
“While drone deliveries offer convenience, there may be a strong backlash from consumers who find them annoying in terms of the noise they make,” it said.
Until these factors are dealt with, food deliveries by drone are a “long way away”.