Rise Southern Biscuits & Righteous Chicken introduced a heated locker system at its flagship location in Durham, North Carolina, to enhance contactless ordering options for guests. The food lockers keep delivery and to-go orders hot and fresh, while reducing customer and employee interaction.
“I expect these innovative food locker systems to become commonplace in the U.S. as customers seek safer ways to visit restaurants,” says Tom Ferguson, founder and CEO of Rise. “The lockers are glass cubicles stacked on top of one another, each equipped with its own heating system to keep food piping hot, even if you pick up your order an hour after it was made.”
A Breakthrough Solution
One of the first restaurants to rollout pickup lockers on a wide scale was Little Caesars. In 2017, Little Caesars Pizza began testing a number of new technologies to make buying and eating pizza quicker and easier -- a custom POS system, a mobile ordering application and an industry-first, self-service mobile order pick-up station, better known as the Pizza Portal. For its comprehensive ordering solution, Little Caesars received HT's 2019 Breakthrough Award.
At Rise, this new installation builds upon its revamp, which began in spring of 2019. To help create consistency across franchise locations, Ferguson traveled to each location over a six-month period evaluating products, equipment and workflow. After getting a clearer picture, he decided it was best to start fresh and focus on what Rise does best — biscuits. The new menu placed biscuits at its core, along with the quick service restaurant’s “Righteous Chicken,” which is tenderized and brined in buttermilk before being fried to a golden brown. Along with menu changes, the rebranding also involved implementing delivery and to-go services.
“I never thought I would do delivery, that was not in my original vision,” says Ferguson. “However, I am thankful I pushed myself past the lines I drew in the sand, because we fully implemented our delivery and to-go services in February 2020, which left us in good shape once the pandemic hit.”
Kiosk Ordering & Curbside
To create a more comfortable environment for guests during the pandemic, Rise also implemented kiosk ordering and curbside pickup. Adding to the contactless ordering options, the new locker system creates an even safer way for customers to enjoy their food and keep the menu items fresh. The system is being installed in two additional corporate locations in North Carolina this March, and Ferguson is encouraging franchisees to follow suit.