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Executive Insight: The Benefits of Digital Food Lockers

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Mike Rizzo, CGO, Apex Order Pickup Solutions

Our research suggests that guest expectations have evolved quickly in favor of convenience and self-service. How are restaurants responding?

This is really the omnichannel impact we are seeing accelerate through Covid and emerge into several macro trends, really changes to consumer behaviors. Despite more people working from home, consumers are embracing technologies that will help them save time and avoid friction. Restaurants have embraced online ordering, curbside delivery and other ways to expedite the ordering and order fulfillment process.

Contactless ordering, payments, and pickup are more popular than ever among restaurant guests. How can contactless transactions and food pickup enhance guest confidence and satisfaction?

There is a certain level of trust that must go into the transaction of digital delivery. If people didn’t trust the restaurant to be able to produce a safe meal, they wouldn’t have ordered from that restaurant. I think we are starting to see a second wave of ecommerce spread from the retail world into the foodservice space. Operators who can demonstrate to their customer base that they have thought about all the different ways that orders might come into their restaurant, these omni channel orders we refer to, are the ones that have the opportunity to demonstrate to off premise customers that they can deliver a good experience for takeout or delivery.

Hiring and retention of an effective restaurant workforce has become an unprecedented challenge. How can contactless food pickup help with the labor crisis?

The labor challenge is really putting pressure on those employees that are trying to operate restaurants with less staff than they were designed for originally. Over time restaurants will be designed with less space allocated to in-store dining and more consideration for the omnichannel digital orders that continue to grow year over year. Having a digital locker solution is just one way that restaurant brands and operators can help front line restaurant workers meet the demands of increased digital orders. By removing the food expeditor role for takeout and delivery orders, restaurant managers can redeploy their staff to better meet the needs of drive thru or in-store guests.

How can contactless transactions enhance a restaurant’s ability to collect and leverage guest data for future personalization and optimization?

The value of the Apex OrderHQ digital locker solution is that it provides foodservice operators with a level of security and fidelity for their off-premise orders that simply does not exist today. This data allows operators to recapture their consumers, to leverage the value of their own native mobile app and to create a deeper connection with their guest through their loyalty programs. Additionally, operators can better understand things like dwell time, which is the amount of time that an order is in a position and ready for pick up. Our proprietary software also allows operators to know that the right customer picked up the right order…..every time.

Learn more at ApexOrderPickup.com