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Today in Restaurant and Grocery Tech: Robotics Hit the Supermarket

Today in restaurant and grocery tech news, Midwestern supermarket chain Hy-Vee announced that it is testing shelf-scanning inventory management robots in its stores, while ShopRite is piloting robotic delivery in partnership with Tortoise. Plus, New York City continues to regulate food delivery services, this time with a host of labor protections, including a provision that delivery services must let drivers use their bathrooms on the job.

Hy-Vee Joins Grocers in Optimizing Labor With Automated Inventory Management

Shoppers at Hy-Vee will have to get used to sharing the aisle with robots. The Iowa-based supermarket chain, which operates over 240 stores throughout the Midwest, announced on Thursday (Sept. 23) that it is deploying Simbe Robotics’ Tally inventory management robots at locations in Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri.

ShopRite Pilots Fast Delivery With Tortoise Robots

Wakefern’s ShopRite supermarkets are piloting fast delivery of grocery items with Tortoise robotic carts, according to reports on Friday (Sept. 24). The remote-controlled, battery-operated carts will first roll out in Pennsylvania at ShopRite of Yardley, followed by ShopRite of Bethlehem next month. They will be the first supermarkets in the Northeast to employ this technology.

Rite Aid On-Demand Delivery Goes National With Uber Eats  

Rite Aid on Friday (Sept. 24) broadened its partnership with Uber Technologies, Inc., and is now offering delivery of healthcare items, groceries and Rite Aid products through the Uber Eats platform from 2,185 Rite Aid locations across the U.S. in 17 states.

Restaurant Roundup: NYC Passes Delivery Driver Protections

New York City passes a range of gig delivery worker protections, Nathan’s Famous comes to France, Denny’s relaunches its digital platforms and Subway sees its best sales since 2013.

AMZN vs. WMT Weekly: Walmart Cancels Holiday Layaway; Amazon Extends a Hand to SMBs

Walmart still has a nearly 10-to-1 lead over Amazon when it comes to grocery, with food and beverage making up over 56% of its overall sales — but the friction between placing separate orders for same-day groceries and retail items may have caused fewer consumers to see Walmart as a place to do much of their shopping while trapped inside during the pandemic.

Nonalcoholic Spirits Retailer Boisson Predicts eCommerce Growth in the Next 12 Months

The change in consumers’ alcohol consumption behaviors occasioned by the pandemic has left a gap ready to be filled by novel nonalcoholic beverages. Nick Bodkins, co-founder of NYC nonalcoholic retailer and e-tailer Boisson, speaks with PYMNTS about building an omnichannel following in the burgeoning category.

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