Jersey Mike’s is taking its motto quite literally. The sandwich chain, which brands itself as “A Sub Above,” on Thursday announced a partnership with Israeli drone delivery provider Flytrex to deliver subs through the sky to customers in Holly Springs, North Carolina. Customers will be able to have Jersey Mike’s orders airdropped directly into their backyards within five minutes.
The new partnership adds to Flytrex’s presence in North Carolina, where it delivers everything from groceries to chicken wings to around 10,000 residents in the tri-city hub of Holly Springs, Fayetteville and Raeford.
Flytrex conducts flights in the state in conjunction with a local partner, Causey Aviation Unmanned. The companies’ recent agreement with the FAA permits drone deliveries within 1 nautical mile.
Watch: Drones in the backyard FAA grants home delivery to Flytrex
“Partnering with Flytrex, we’re thrilled our fans can enjoy the freshest sub sandwiches flown directly to their backyards – it truly is a sub from above,” said Scott Scherer, CIO of Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems Inc.
Jersey Mike’s customers can order drone delivery through the Flytrex app. The app provides updates to customers along the route, similar to third-party food delivery services like Uber Eats or DoorDash. Once the drone arrives, the order is lowered into the customer’s backyard by wire.
Flytrex CEO Yariv Bash hinted that the partnership is only in its early stages. “We’re excited to team up with Jersey Mike’s to deliver subs throughout the skies of North Carolina and look forward to expanding our partnership everywhere they deliver their delicious food,” he said in a press release.
“Drone delivery is accelerating quicker than anyone could have anticipated,” Bash continued, “and we are thrilled to be at the forefront of that movement — using our technology to ensure retailers and restaurants can stay ahead of the ultrafast delivery curve.”
Bash and Flytrex have been busy in recent months. Most notably, the drone delivery provider launched a service in Granbury, Texas, last month in collaboration with Brinker International, which owns brands like Chili’s Grill & Bar and Maggiano’s Little Italy. That comes after Flytrex secured a $40 million funding raise in November to expand its operations.
According to Flytrex, the company has completed more drone deliveries than any other company operating in the U.S.
But Bash is aiming higher still. Flytrex is nearing the end of a yearslong regulatory process to secure an airworthiness certification from the FAA. That would give the company’s drone delivery network much more leeway than a commercial drone certification, which is limited by the FAA’s regulations for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
”The difference is huge. You can buy a commercial drone from Best Buy, versus it takes three to five years to certify an airplane. So to the untrained eye, they all look the same: a box with a few propellers,” Bash explained to Modern Shipper in an interview in October. “But aviation-wise, these are very different machines than most of those you see flying over your head.”