Today in Food Commerce: Instacart Reaches 90% of Canada; Yum Brands Expands ‘Quick Pick-Up’ Program


Today in food commerce, Instacart expands its reach in the Great White North, and KFC parent Yum Brands leverages pickup shelves to boost off-premise efficiency. Plus, Chili’s parent Brinker International rolls out new back-of-house technology.

Instacart Expands in Canada; Now Can Reach 90% of Households

Instacart will be partnering with more than 10 new retailers to make more accessible same-day deliveries, including retailers like Metro, Giant Tiger, specialty grocer Galleria Supermarket and others. Chris Rogers, vice president of retail with the delivery company, said Instacart is “proud to deepen [its] presence” among various parts of the world.

Yum Brands Leans on ‘Quick Pick-Up’ to Weather Delivery, Drive-Thru Labor Challenges

As restaurants’ labor challenges lead to longer wait times at the drive-thru, and as driver shortages put pressure on the delivery channel, many brands are doing everything in their power to incentivize pickup ordering. Yum Brands, parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and The Habit Burger Grill, is leveraging its “Quick Pick-Up” option, whereby consumers can collect their order from a designated pickup shelf, eliminating the step of waiting at the counter, to make the channel more appealing.

Chili’s Parent Brinker International Turns Tech Focus From Front-of-House to Back

In the early stages of the pandemic, restaurants’ technology efforts were focused on consumer-facing initiatives, building out digital ordering platforms and channels to remove friction and boost convenience. Now, with labor challenges compounded by the return of dine-in and the continuing stickiness of off-premise orders, restaurants are focusing their innovation efforts on boosting efficiency.

Jay-Z-Backed Food Platform HUNGRY Buys NatureBox

HUNGRY, a tech-enabled food catering and delivery platform backed by Jay-Z’s Marcy Partners among others, has acquired NatureBox. According to CEO Jeff Grass, the company’s momentum was the reason for the buy. He said he thinks more people will come back to the office as companies and cities lift pandemic-era protocols, which will add to HUNGRY’s services.