Barbecue fans are often willing to make a drive to try good ’cue, especially at a place that gets as much buzz as Dallas’ Pecan Lodge in Deep Ellum. But as anyone who’s ever dealt with traffic knows, getting there can be a struggle even if you live in the big city. And then there’s the line!
To help people get around that, UberEats, a food-delivery spinoff of the popular ride-sharing service, is throwing a party at a secret location on Thursday afternoon, featuring Pecan Lodge’s food — delivered via drone.
Sounds cool, right? Imagine barbecue coming from the sky, delivered by drones to some top-secret picnic at a park in Dallas. We can practically hear the Wagner music, a la Apocalypse Now.
If you happen to live in the delivery area, there are just a few things you have to do.
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First you have to download the UberEats app, if you haven’t done that already.
Then, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, via the app, request Pecan Lodge on UberEats’ Instant menu. All meals get you a ticket to the private party, which, we feel bears reiterating, is on Thursday at some secret location, although we know it’s a park.
On Thursday, Uber drivers will pick up diners and their guests and take them to the secret location, where the food will be delivered by drones.
The Dallas Morning News, which initially reported on this, says that during the Wednesday ordering window, UberEats will offer a Pecan brisket sandwich with a side of mac and cheese via the Instant menu, “a curated list of lunch food that’s available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.” Each order is $12. limited to the first 300 people. So you might not be standing in a physical line, but you could stand in a virtual one.
Which you might need to do because, unfortunately, there are also limitations to UberEats.
Such as, it serves Dallas, but in a narrow area roughly bordered by I-30, I-35E, U.S. 75 and the LBJ Freeway. While it does go a outside of those boundaries, it doesn’t go that far — according to a map on the app, Garland and Plano are outside the delivery area.
After downloading the app, we put in the address of the Star-Telegram offices in downtown Fort Worth and got the map, with a message saying, “We’re almost there” and a promise of expansion that will include Fort Worth (and we’re guessing elsewhere in North Texas) — eventually.
UberEats is doing this in partnership with Dialexa, a product-development company based in Dallas. The News report describes it more specifically as a tech company that builds software and hardware, from apps to drones.
Doug Platts, Dialexa’s vice president of marketing, told the News that Dialexa is always exploring uses for emerging technology, and that this would be a fun way to show what drones can do.
“Dialexa's employees sometimes have drone races through Hula Hoops stuck to their office ceiling,” the News’ Melissa Repko reports, which gives us some ideas for what to do in our own offices.
Unfortunately, there are limitations to drones that prevent people from flying them, say, 35 miles west to Fort Worth and delivering the food someplace there.