Tech Tracker: Pizza Hut to test autonomous cart delivery

Mar 2, 2019

NANCY LUNA — Nation’s Restaurant News, March 2, 2019 |

ShiftPixy, which matches employers with a pool of trained “gig” workers, is expanding its business model to include delivery drivers.

The move could be a new disruption in the industry as ShiftPixy aims to offer restaurants an alternative to margin hurting third-party operators.

CEO Scott Absher said restaurants working with third-party delivery companies give up their brand by having a non-employee deliver their food.

His company is now adding insured “gig economy” workers who have been cross-trained as delivery drivers. The workers could be flipping burgers for a few hours, then delivering meals later in a shift, he said.

Irvine, Calif.-based ShiftPixy, a modern-day temp agency, hires and trains workers who have experience working in various industries including restaurants.  The workers, who are paid by ShiftPixy, check the ShiftPixy app for available “gigs.”

A food delivery driver will be a new option.

ShiftPixy plans to test the cross-trained employees with a few McDonald’s operators in the coming weeks, Absher said.

Absher said his gig workforce allows restaurants to maintain their image by not surrendering their brand and data to “a kid in a red golf shirt and cap.”

The fact that a McDonald’s operator is involved in early phase testing with ShiftPixy is not surprising. In recent survey by an independent franchisee group, formed last year to represent their concerns with the Chicago-based company, a majority said they would like to work with other delivery companies to see if they can cut a better deal. Third-party rates can range between 20 percent and 30 percent.

Currently, McDonald’s works with Uber Eats.

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