DoorDash seems to be ramping up development of its recently acquired robotics business.
The third-party delivery company has filed trademark applications for a robotic food prep system and two automated restaurant brands, providing a glimpse into its plans for Chowbotics, the robotics company it bought last February.
According to filings from December and early February, DoorDash is looking to trademark the name DashBotics for a robotic food preparation and vending system. It also filed applications for the names Tex-Mess and Queso Your Way for restaurant brands that would be prepared by the bots.
“DashBotics” would appear to be a new name for its current robot division known as Chowbotics by DoorDash. Eateries can use the bots to extend their brands into new locations or add new menu items and dayparts. The 3-foot-by-3-foot bots can prepare bowl-based meals like salad and cereal.
The company also filed an application for the name “Dash2Go” for a robotic food machine.
And it also appears to be developing its own brands to put in the bots. Both Tex-Mess and Queso Your Way would serve “prepared entrees of dips, toppings and sides,” according to the filings. The Tex-Mess filing specifically mentions chili.
It was unclear whether these brands are intended to be add-ons for existing restaurants, or concepts in and of themselves. But in a statement, the company reiterated that its robots are intended to help restaurants.
“Chowbotics technology is an incredible innovation that has the potential to enable merchants to expand their current menu, while also reaching new customers and generating incremental revenue within the walls of their existing store,” the company said.
Umanned robotic food kiosks like this are a growing trend in the foodservice industry. Chains including Jamba and 800 Degrees Pizza are exploring them as a way to extend their brands and get their food closer to customers in places like Walmart and apartment lobbies—without having to build a new restaurant or hire additional workers.
Chowbotics is part of a growing list of services that DoorDash offers. In addition to delivery, it also provides online ordering tools, nationwide shipping, self-delivery and even, as of last week, financing.