With life becoming more rapid, food lockers help consumers by placing an emphasis on convenience more than they did in previous years. Even though self service lockers have been around for decades, their popularity has grown since the pandemic. In fact, the National Retail Federation (NRF) report claims 83 percent of consumers value convenience more than they did in the past five years, and 93 percent of consumers consider convenience when choosing a retailer.

The benefits of food lockers range from ease of transaction for the consumer to safety, offering a solution for crowded pickup lines and face-to-face ordering.

Customers prefer quick, convenient ordering processes that fit into their busy lifestyles and food lockers are an ideal way to grab and go. With this shift in food ordering, restaurant automation and high tech storage allows businesses to adapt to meet the needs of their customers, but sometimes, choosing the most effective solution can be difficult. To mitigate this, consider food lockers for self service.

What are food lockers?

In the food and beverage industry, food lockers are a typical locker unit with cubicles that to hold food inside of them for pick-up. Throughout the pick-up locker system, each cubicle is insulated and has its own customizable temperature control.

No longer will your food grow cold as it awaits you! This isn’t the only feature of food lockers, though.

In addition to a customizable temperature control system, the dimensions of food lockers and the cubicles often are customizable to tailor to the needs of the restaurant. Dunkin Donuts tested out food lockers in their innovation lab back in 2018 large enough to house a dozen donuts and their Box of Joe, a catering size coffee container which serves 10 cups.

Furthermore, food lockers can integrate with ordering and restaurant management systems, and customers can use a PIN or QR code to unlock the cubicle containing their food. Moreover, the lockers are two-sided, so employees can directly place orders into the locker cubicles after preparing them. This allows the food to stay warm while eliminating unnecessary additional human contact with the food.

How Do Food Lockers Work?

You’re hungry, so you decide to order from your favorite restaurant. But it’s 1 pm and the lunch rush has just begun. Luckily, with self-service food lockers, long lines and crowded dining rooms are a thing of the past. Just arrive at the location of the food locker, open the temperature regulated compartment…and that’s it! Let’s review…It’s as easy as:

  1. Place your order – You can choose either to order online or at the location, through a kiosk or cashier, and sometimes, even select an exact pick-up time.
  2. Receive a text or code to pick up your meal – Depending on your ordering choice, you’ll either receive a text notification that your food is ready or at the location, you’ll see your order number completed on a digital board.
  3. Grab and go! – The final step is simply scanning a QR code or entering a PIN code in the self-service food locker to retrieve your order. Food lockers ensure the right food goes to the right person at the right temperature!

What Is The Future Of Food Lockers?

Since its beginnings in 1954, Burger King has been serving up Whoppers and fries to the masses, but even a long-established chain must keep up with the times. This past year, brands like Burger King and KFC have tested food lockers in various locations and many other businesses have begun to implement lockers for food and merchandise as well.

Not only can food lockers reduce restaurant costs, like staffing and real estate, but they provide a feeling of safety in a post-COVID world by reducing the need for face-to-face interaction.

The sky is the limit when it comes to selling goods and services from food lockers, just ask Candance Nelson, the founder of the famous Cupcake ATM that started in 2012. With new, fresh ideas popping up every year, like made-to-order Automat Kitchen in New Jersey and Brooklyn Dumpling Shop with 24-hour service, a cornucopia of needs are met in style.

Not to mention satisfying the increased safety demands of a tech savvy culture. Food lockers are the future of quick service and may even be the smarter way to operate a business, cutting costs in half and keeping people safe in the process.

Considering Food Lockers for Your Business?

Whether you’re investing in a ghost kitchen with food lockers or looking to add self-service lockers to your existing business, this ingenious method for keeping food fresh and ready is expected to continue trending in the right direction.

Want to test the waters before diving in? Request a demo today to find out how our temperature controlled, fully integrated food lockers can change your business.