(Pizza) Pie in the Sky: Papa Johns pilots program to deliver pizzas via drones

June 16, 2022
June 16, 2022

Papa Johns today announced a partnership with woman-owned logistics company Drone Express to explore the use of drones in delivering its premium pizza to customers. The pilot program will launch at a Papa Johns restaurant in Powder Springs, Ga., where Drone Express has installed a mobile drone command center.  The program marks the first time pizza delivery has been available by drone in the state of Georgia.

Through the pilot program, Papa Johns and Drone Express will develop intelligence that will potentially allow Papa Johns to expand delivery via drone and capitalize on the benefits drones offer, including quicker delivery times, reduced traffic congestion, the ability to deliver to locations other than physical addresses and decreased environmental impact via carbon emissions.

“At Papa Johns, we are always working to deliver better experiences for our customers – better experiences ordering pizza and better experiences as their pizza is delivered,” said Kevin Carfa, Papa Johns VP of Digital. “Our partnership with Drone Express is one way we are looking ahead to ensure our delivery options remain compatible for different lifestyles, schedules and occasions.”

“Delivering products via drones is allowing companies to provide consistently quick delivery to their customers, who continue to adjust their habits and preferences in the face of changing realities,” said Beth Flippo, CEO of Drone Express. “Our mission is to bring customers what they want, when and where they want it, and we’re excited to team up with Papa Johns and take pizza delivery to the skies of Georgia for the first time.”

Get an inside look at how we are earning our wings below!

After preparing, baking and boxing an order, a Papa Johns team member hands the box to a Drone Express pilot, who heads to the drone launch pad.

The box is first wrapped in a thermal covering to ensure the pizza inside arrives piping hot, and then secured to a cable controlled through the drone’s winch.

The drone takes to the air and heads to the customer’s location. Once it arrives, the drone’s winch begins safely lowering the pizza to the ground.

Once the pizza is on the ground, the drone’s cable is pulled back into the winch, and the drone heads back to the Papa Johns restaurant.

The customer is alerted that their hot pizza has just been delivered from the air and that they can safely grab it and enjoy!