Smart Lockers and the Rise of Contactless Restaurant Takeout

The rise of online ordering has changed a lot for restaurants, offering convenience to customers and an expanded revenue stream for businesses. However, takeout’s expanded popularity came a new operational hurdle for restaurants. With takeout, efficiency is paramount since customers expect their food to be ready at a designated time; restaurants must streamline the takeout experience for both their staff and customers. The technology to do this has improved significantly in the last four years. 

Why Do I Need to Add Pickup Technology?

Here are just a few reasons why implementing a pickup system can improve your restaurant operations:

  • Reduced Wait Times: Eliminate order confusion and long lines at the counter. Pickup technology allows customers to track their order status in real time, arriving only when their food is ready. 
  • Improved Order Accuracy:  Pickup systems integrate with online ordering platforms, ensuring your kitchen receives the exact order specifications.
  • Increased Efficiency: Free up staff time by automating the notification process. When an order is ready, the system can send a quick text or notification to the customer, eliminating the need for manual check-ins.
  • Enhanced Customer Experience: Offer a modern and convenient pickup experience. Customers appreciate the transparency and control provided by pickup technology.

Exploring Pickup Technology Options

The type of pickup system you choose will depend on your specific needs and budget. Here are a few popular options:

  • Order Tracking Apps: Apps can display estimated wait times and allow customers to track their order’s progress in real-time.
  • Smart Lockers: For a contactless experience, replace your pickup table where orders can be confused or stolen and upgrade to offering heated or refrigerated lockers where customers can retrieve their orders using a unique code.

Create a designated pickup area to ensure you meet customer’s expectations. Ensure your pickup area is easy to find and navigate, with clear signage and instructions. This could include a dedicated drive-thru or walk-up pickup window if you have the space. You may also need to allocate a dedicated staff member to your pickup area to help troubleshoot issues or answer any questions. 

Investing in pickup technology is an investment in your customer experience. Streamlining the process and offering a modern, convenient solution can boost customer satisfaction, improve efficiency, and, ultimately, increase your bottom line. Even as COVID waned, this trend appears here to stay.

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