Digesting Costco's $200 Thanksgiving Delivery
Cruise heads to Japan, Tattle + Lunchbox, Deliverect dining data
Okay when we say we’re “digesting” the Costco news, we don’t mean it literally, we mean we’re sinking our teeth into the details so you can understand the latest and greatest in delivery developments. Plus we’ve got a big expansion into Japan, an interesting partnership, and some fun new customer discovery data.
This week’s edition is brought to you by Cambridge Mobile Telematics.
Costco Serves Up a Special Holiday Delivery
Cruise — Big in Japan
Chart Time | How Customers Discover Restaurants
Tattle Tells Lunchbox Your Feedback Data
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GROCERY | Costco Offers $200 Thanksgiving Delivery
Meal kits have shown themselves to be a wobbly business, but maybe companies just haven’t been thinking big enough. Costco is challenging that assumption, literally, as it rolls out a mondo-sized $199.99 “Fortune Gourmet” Thanksgiving Dinner. This feast for eight includes a pre-brined and ready to roast five pound turkey breast, two pounds of stuffing (you can have my portion…), a pound and a half of mashed potatoes, eight ounces of gravy, a pound and a quarter of mac and cheese, not one but two pies, plus the usual assortment of corn and green beans and everything else that Grandma used to make. Preorders start November 5th, while laggard shoppers have until the 17th to make their friends and family think they’re basically Martha Stewart.
The Big Picture: Obviously we love kicking the tires on any sort of novel delivery arrangement. This beast of a box is handled by FedEx two-day air shipping. We hope those workers lift with their legs, as this package must weigh at least 20-25 pounds, once you factor in the dry ice and shipping materials. Americans spent $1.1 billion on Thanksgiving last year, so it’s a smart move by Costco to try to capture the entire purchase in one foul (fowl?) swoop, as opposed to having shoppers dabble between different stores. Other players in the pilgrim-friendly meal kit game include Omaha Steaks and Blue Apron. Of course clever restaurateurs can also get into the action — it seems there are 11 kitchens already offering Thanksgiving delivery in the Minneapolis region alone.
PARTNER | Save Money and Make Drivers Safer
Insurance costs are skyrocketing for gig companies. Companies are turning to telematics to reduce expenses by making their drivers safer. With real-time coaching and driving feedback about risky behaviors, telematics programs have a direct impact on driver safety. Telematics can reduce distracted driving by 25% and make drivers 65% safer overall.
AUTONOMY | Cruise AVs Head to Japan
General Motors had plenty to talk about in its third quarter financial update — $44.1 billion in revenue, $200 million per week in costs associated with the UAW strike, improved battery production — but the real kicker was that the automaker is bringing its Cruise autonomous vehicle service to Japan. The program is set to launch in 2026, and is in partnership with Honda, which co-invested in Cruise way back in 2018. The service is set to begin in central Tokyo before expanding outward.
The Big Picture: One big question is if this partnership will also touch on autonomous delivery — Cruise has worked with Walmart in Arizona, while Honda has developed robots for Rakuten in Tsukuba. Even if the partnership sticks with moving people around for now, that’s a huge opportunity: despite having a world-class public transit system, Tokyo currently suffers from a shortage of cab drivers so severe that the government is (gasp) considering letting in TNC and rideshare operators like Uber. Back in the U.S. the robotaxi player has had a rocky road as of late, while it just expanded its service to Houston, it’s had to reinstate the use of safety drivers in San Francisco.
CHART TIME | Deliverect’s Diner Decision-Making Data
Deliverect surveyed 5,000 diners to better understand loyalty and growth in the digital / delivery space. Evidently, 42% of respondents found restaurants through family & friends, 40% through Google and 38% via delivery apps. Most people prefer to place orders directly with the restaurant (see above) with 44% of respondents thinking that option allows them better personalization of the order.
INTEGRATIONS | Lunchbox Partners w/ Tattle for Customer Feedback
Restaurant management and ordering provider Lunchbox has partnered with guest experience / feedback tool Tattle to integrate customer feedback data into its multi-channel ordering solution. The integration pulls in 50 plus guest data points, allowing for better segmentation and messaging based on diner behavior. An initial deployment with Northeastern bakery chain Maman led to a 7.4% increase in guest satisfaction, an 8% drop in incidents and 93% growth in patrons YoY (although we’d chalk most of that growth to the brand’s general expansion plans.)
The Big Picture: As Lunchbox has grown from scrappy startup to full fledged ordering and restaurant management tool, its started to bump its heads against some of the bigger players. Offering more and more integrations is one way it can keep a competitive edge and prove that it’s worth the not-insubstantial price. Currently Tattle’s customers include Chili’s, Hooters, Mod Pizza, Quiznos, Dave’s Hot Chicken and Yoshinoya, while Lunchbox’s stable features Clean Juice, Wing Shack, Bare Burger, Fuku and Serafina.
A Few Good Links
Grubhub doles out $1M in microgrants to Chicago-area nonprofits. Fat Brands looking to buy more snack-oriented concepts. Car payment delinquencies hit record high. Penske Automotive Group sees revenue up 7% to $22.3 billion, commercial truck revenue falls. Domino’s giving away $1M in free pizza in student loan-themed promo. Kroger expands EBT / SNAP payments to all web-based brands. Vsblty buys Shelf Nine to create in-store advertising giant. MariMed expands cannabis delivery operations to Massachusetts. Carlsbad, CA okays medicinal cannabis delivery. Visa unveils new savings for SMBs.
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