If you’ve ever sat on a sweltering beach and felt like you could murder an iced coffee, the idea of having one delivered to you by drone will probably sound heavenly. This became a reality for lucky customers in the Kite Beach area of Dubai, when Costa’s Jumeirah Beach Drive-Thru store trialled a drone delivery service for a day earlier this week.
Dubbed the Coffee-Copter, the drone provided local beach-goers with an instant blast of cool refreshment from the new Frostino and Cold Brew range. We guess that at this trial stage, it was obviously inadvisable to test the service with hot cappuccinos and macchiatos flying through the air.
The trial was conducted because 82% of Costa’s UAE customers said they would use a service where a drone delivered food and beverages directly to them. Providing people with a glimpse of what the future could hold, customers on Kite beach were given the opportunity to call and order one of Costa’s new ice-cold drinks. Skilled baristas then created them, and sent them straight to the beach by a specially engineered drone within 15 minutes of receiving the order.
“Dubai is known for leading the way with innovative technology and drones are the next frontier for instant delivery,” says Shemaine Jones, head of marketing at Costa Coffee UAE. “Our customers told us they’d love to have their favourite drinks dropped off by drones, so we’re super excited to have successfully tested this service, enabling beach-goers to enjoy ice cold beverages without leaving the comfort of their sun loungers.”
When asked if the Coffee-Copter delivery service is likely to be permanently introduced soon, the answer is that we will have to wait a while longer. “This was very much a trial that Costa undertook as part of an activation and feasibility study on Kite Beach in Jumeirah,” PR executive Nikita Marie tells Lonely Planet. “Our fans asked for this on social, so we put it to the test.”
“While innovation in both product and delivery are a key focus for Costa, we couldn’t give you a hard date that this would be rolled out at scale. As you can imagine, there are a lot of regulatory hurdles we’d need to overcome for this to be commercially viable across the UAE.”