You Can Now Order Pizza Hut With Your Sneakers (Video)


By Cooking Panda

Springtime is fast approaching in the U.S., which for many people means both spring cleaning as well as spring wardrobe shopping. Soon, the time for winter coats will be behind us all, and more weather-appropriate clothing is in order!

Apparently, no food chain knows this better than Pizza Hut, because not only is it hoping to infiltrate your wardrobe, its hoping that its brand new high-top sneakers will also help you order a meal to welcome in the spring (video below).

That’s right, Pizza Hut has come up with perhaps its zaniest marketing gig yet: pairs of high-tops  that are called Pie Tops, of course, that allow consumers and wearers to order their favorite variety of Pizza Hut pizza by pushing a button on the shoes.

For fans who cannot afford the shoes, the pizza chain is also offering up a massive discount offer.

David Daniels, Pizza Hut’s VP of advertising and media, told AdAge of the shoes (designed by the Los Angeles-based Dominic Chambrone, aka “The Shoe Surgeon,”) that:

“The bulk of these will go to influencers (and) media, just to create buzz and talk value and we’ve reserved some for the opportunity for a select few Pizza Hut super fans to receive a pair of these custom Pie Top high-top tennis shoes.”

The deals don’t end with the shoes though: from March and into April 2017, customers can order a large, two-topping pizza online for $7.99; usually the same order would run pizza lovers $12.99.

How generous!

Check out the ad for the ridiculous Pie Tops below:

Sources: AdAgePizza Hut/YouTube / Photo Credit: Pizza Hut/YouTube

Tags: delivery service, pizza hut, pizza shoes, weird food, YouTube
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2017 Already Looks Great: McDonald’s Testing Delivery


By Cooking Panda

I always knew the day would come when I could finally order a Big Mac to be delivered to my door. Let’s hope that this is a sign that 2017 will bring great things.

USA Today reports that McDonald’s will be testing delivery services starting in January of 2017. The option will be available to nearly 200 restaurants in Florida: Miami, Tampa and Orlando. While I wish it was being tested in a more spread-out area (like in Washington, D.C., hint), I’m still happy to hear it’s happening at all! This will be great for my midnight Big Mac craving. Maybe not so great for my health.

Customers will be able to order delivery from the Mickey D’s menu via an UberEATS. This company is currently serving 50 cities in the States, but hopefully as new developments such as these grow, they’ll have a chance to expand even further.

McDonald’s hasn’t been the first to jump onboard with this new service, although there haven’t been many. Yet. According to Business Insider, Taco Bell beat them to the game when they made an alliance with DoorDash. Starbucks and Chick-fil-A have offered the service as well, and they’re seeing great success. It’s only natural that McDonald’s would follow suit.

The testing is great news, but what’s also great is that McDonald’s is preparing to offer mobile ordering as well, as its own service in itself. So, even if the delivery doesn’t make it to the rest of us, I expect the mobile ordering app to do so. Then again, I’m not sure how much more convenient that can be than just driving up to the window like we normally do? The service is already extremely fast.

However, it’s said that the reason the delivery is becoming so popular is that it cuts down on wait times for customers and increases order accuracy. Now, that I can understand. Of course, I was already a believer in the delivery as soon as I heard it, but an increase in order accuracy would be an obvious advantage to mobile ordering as well. Bring it on!

Sources: USA Today, Business Insider / Photo Credit: McDonald's/Instagram

Tags: delivery service, food delivery, mcdonald's
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Finally, The Tinder Of Food Apps Is Here


By Cooking Panda

Raise your hand if you’ve ever gotten into a fight with somebody over what to eat for dinner.

If you’re anything like me, both hands are up and swinging wildly around in the air — in fact, I’m beginning to wish I had more hands to raise. Infinite hands. Out of all the many petty fights I could engage in on a day-to-day basis, the are-you-hungry-me-too-what-are-you-in-the-mood-for battle seems to be a recurring one.

Why is it so dang hard to agree on a place to go to eat?

Thankfully a new app called Entree is here to save us from ourselves, by appealing to humanity’s tendency to eat with our eyes, yes, but also our newfound obsession with swiping images on a screen (thanks, Tinder!).

Let me explain.

Essentially, Entree allows users to swipe left or right on specific dishes from nearby restaurants. Once you alight upon a photo you find appetizing, you can select the dish and Entree provides further ordering and delivery information (think a more interactive, image-heavy Seamless).

The more you use Entree, the better it gets at predicting your appetite; its unique algorithm will eventually use your preferences to present you with options you are more likely to want.

“With Entree’s easy swipe-to-save interface, finding your lunch or dinner has never been easier! You know what you’re hungry for when you see it. Visually choose your next meal by swiping through dishes from restaurants around you. Order delivery, make reservations and order an Uber directly from the app, so what are you hungry for?” reads the app’s website.

Currently, Entree is available only regionally; if you’re in Los Angeles, New York, or Washington D.C., you can try out Entree now. But despair not: other major cities are on the way!

Sources: Entree / Photo credit: Entree, Take Sushi House/Google+

Tags: delivery service, entree, food app, tinder
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Students At Virginia Tech Can Now Have Their Chipotle Burritos Delivered By Drone


By Cooking Panda

Alright, we’ll give them this one: Out of all of their desperate marketing campaigns of late, this one is probably Chipotle’s best.

Per Bloomberg, Chipotle will begin an experimental service at the Blacksburg, Virginia university — Virginia Tech — this month in collaboration with Project Wing, a unit of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc.

What is it, you ask? Oh, just the delivery of Chipotle burritos — via drone — to students on the Virginia Tech campus.

The Federal Aviation Administration has given the venture the go-ahead, making this the most extensive drone test yet in the United States.

Companies like Amazon, Wal-Mart and more have all expressed interest in drone-deliveries of products, so if the test goes well, this may become a more routine delivery system.

“It’s the first time that we’re actually out there delivering stuff to people who want that stuff,” Dave Vos, who heads Project Wing, said to Bloomberg.

Essentially, Project Wing will use self-guided hybrids that are able to hover like helicopters and fly just like planes — these hybrids will then make deliveries from a Chipotle food truck and assess the accuracy of the navigational systems, and customer response.

Using a winch, the hybrids will hover overhead and lower the food to waiting customers.

In addition to customer response, the experiment will be testing how well the airborne packaging  manages to hold up — will food still be warm and in tact? 

Just in case things don’t go to plan, human pilots will be standing by to take control of the burrito-carrying hybrids if necessary. Additionally, drones are not actually allowed to fly over people (it’s a safety hazard), so participants in the trial will be shielded as an extra precaution.

“It sounds simple, but it’s not,” Vos said to Bloomberg. “There are a lot of things to work out from a safety point of view and a policy point of view.”

Luckily, there are plenty of volunteers lining up to help test out the drone-delivery service. Virginia Tech employees, students, and other recruits are all slated to help out in the trial run, Mark Blanks, the director of the partnership, told Bloomberg.

“This is the most complex delivery flight operation that I am aware of that’s occurred on U.S. soil,” Blanks said.

Sources: Bloomberg / Photo credit: Favim

Tags: burrito, Chipotle, delivery service, Drone, hybrid, virginia tech
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Brewing Company Launches Controversial “Beer From A Bird” Contest (Video)


By Cooking Panda

While many people are content to trust human-staffed delivery services to dispatch food and beverages to their home, one Canadian brewery has decided to leave that job for the birds — or, more specifically, for a Vancouver Island-based bald eagle named Hercules (video below).

In a promotional stunt for the debut of a new Pilsner by Phillips Brewery, the company recently launched a one-time contest called “Beer From a Bird.” Three guesses as to what the lucky winner of the contest will receive.

Here’s a hint: it’s a beverage that rhymes with shmeer, and it’ll be delivered aerially by a shmald shmeagle.

“This is actually happening,” reads the Phillips Brewery website. “A bald eagle is going to deliver fresh cans of Phillips Pilsner to some very lucky craft beer lovers. In an era where innovation often means digitization, we’re ditching the drone and going analogue.”

According to CTV News, Phillips Brewery has partnered with Duncan-based Pacific Northwest Raptors, an organization which aims to raise awareness and promote conservation for birds of pray, for the contest.

The Pacific Northwest Raptors are supplying the brewery with the four-year-old bald eagle named Hercules to deliver the beer to the winner, reports CTV News.

“We wanted to be involved because our goal is to get people closer to these incredible birds,” said Pacific Northwest Raptors’ operations manager Robyn Radcliffe. “So they’ll hopefully feel more inspired to protect them in their natural habitats, to learn more about ways that they can do that and to get more involved in conservation.”

If you are like me and have watched Hitchcock’s film, “The Birds,” then you too are already less-than enthusiastic about the premise of avian creatures being trained to locate and track human beings from above.

As it transpires, the B.C. Legislature harbors similar — albeit more relevant — reservations about the contest. CTV News reports that PNR’s permit states that in accordance with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, eagles can only be free-flown for bird abatement, or educational flight demonstration at the Duncan facility.

“If the promotional activity does occur as currently planned, it will be in violation of the permit and the Ministry of Environment’s Conservation Officer Service will be asked to investigate the incident,” it said in a statement, as reported by CTV News.

Matt Phillips maintains that his company’s campaign serves a purpose other than to sell beer, and that although his company hasn’t yet spoken with the ministry, a compromise might be reached.

“We definitely have a pretty serious educational component along with this campaign,” he said. “We can’t think of a better way to demonstrate the intelligence, the strength and the agility of these birds than to see them doing something people can connect with.”

For now, Hercules is expected to deliver the beer in early June to the contest winner.

Check out the Phillips Beer promotional video for yourself below:

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Sources: Phillips Beer, CTV News / Photo credit: Phillips Beer

Tags: bald eagle, Beer, delivery service, phillips brewery
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Amazon Partners With Tyson Foods To Create Recipe Delivery Service


By Cooking Panda

Amazon is preparing to launch its own recipe delivery service, for those of us who wish to spend yet more money with the nation’s largest Internet-based retailer.

Donald Smith, president and CEO of Tyson Foods, confirmed that the company is partnering with Amazon Fresh on a “chef-inspired, meal kits service.”

“We’re expanding our relationship with Amazon Fresh to sell fresh protein as well as partner with them around innovation,” Smith explained at a conference, as noted by Business Insider. “We plan to launch Tyson Tastemakers, a line of chef-inspired meal kits in premium proteins for home delivery with Amazon Fresh this fall.”

This incentive would be a way for Amazon to tap into the ever-increasing recipe-delivery market and acquire a larger share of the food and grocery market. Similar to Blue Apron and HelloFresh, which are worth $2 billion and $2.9 billion, respectively, this partnership would provide customers with a ready-to-cook ingredients delivery service.

“We’ll empower that at-home chef by answering three questions that they have around knowledge, preparation, and exploration,” Smith added, according to Food Business News. “We’ll teach them about the cuts of meat and where they come from. We’ll help pre-cut, trim, dry age, smoke, marinate, and do the prep so all they have to do is cook it. And then we’ll inspire them to explore and cook with ingredients that they may have never used before.”

As I imagine various promotions will be offered to Amazon Prime members, this certainly has the potential to revolutionize the one-stop Internet shopping experience.

Sources: Business Insider, Food Business News / Photo credit: Food Business News

Tags: Amazon, delivery service, meal kits, Tyson Foods
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