Food lockers are popping up more and more everywhere, from 7-11 and Whole Foods to apartment buildings. They’ve been so successful that Amazon, one of the world’s foremost brands for locker use, plans to double its locker program by the end of the year. While the concept appears to be achieving success, they are still quite new, meaning most people are unfamiliar with them. So, what benefits do food lockers provide that has led them to achieve their success?
First and foremost, food lockers are an effective contactless solution for the modern era. Employees at a restaurant or business simply leave food in the lockers for customers to pay for (with a self-ordering kiosk) and then take home. Food lockers offer the exact same health benefits as contactless delivery, as they both eliminate contact between people.
While food lockers don’t provide the convenience of a delivery service, they are a safer alternative due to their built-in security features. When couriers leave food outside someone’s door for a contactless delivery order, the food can sit there for seconds to hours. This delay in a customer actually receiving their order opens a window of opportunity for a thief to strike.
Food lockers eliminate this possibility with their security features. Just like their name suggests, these lockers “lock”, preventing anyone from accessing them without paying for an item. The whole point of stealing an item is to get it for free, so food lockers eliminate thieves’ incentive to steal. This measure is especially helpful in a city or busy apartment building.
In addition to enhanced security features, food lockers help prevent order mishaps. Many people have experienced the displeasure of a takeout order with an incorrect or missing item, and these mistakes hurt the trust built between businesses and customers. Even if a business does everything they can to amend the situation by way of a free replacement or future coupon, a customer will still be less likely to trust that business.
By assigning each locker to individual orders, the orders can’t be mixed up by a delivery driver. In addition, if an order is incorrect, the customer will already be at the restaurant, so they can quickly rectify their order. A decrease in mistakes can lead to more satisfied customers and, ultimately, more consistent income.
The in-person aspect of food lockers can also lure customers into making spur of the moment purchases. Amazon has reported some success with incentivizing customers into buying extra items when picking up orders from one of their lockers outside of Whole Foods. An addition as simple as a drink display could allow small businesses to use Amazon’s tactic to achieve similar results.
Food lockers improve upon current takeout and delivery methods with their enhanced safety features, accuracy, and sales opportunities. If a restaurant wishes to get ahead of their competitors with technology employed by Amazon, they should immediately implement food lockers into their business model.