With rising food prices, wafer-thin margins, and intense competition, it’s no wonder that restaurateurs need to be able to measure and manage every aspect of their business to deliver a quality customer experience. Yet despite this focus on measurement and continuous improvement, operators still face significant blind spots related to offsite orders.
Restaurants have always been able to measure nearly every detail of their business performance – from drive-thru speed and car counts to inventory levels and staffing levels – through point-of-sale and back-end systems. -office. However, with the growth of digital ordering and the adoption of a more omnichannel operating model, restaurant owners can no longer rely solely on these technologies, says Mike Rizzo, director of growth at Apex Order Pickup Solutions.
“Restaurants have a good idea of the entire chain of custody for orders placed through the drive-thru or POS terminal,” Rizzo says. “However, for offsite orders, a large blind spot occurs when that order is waiting to be picked up by an end user or delivery driver. Operators have no idea who picked up a specific order or when it has been picked up. Despite better packaging and communication to facilitate the transfer, this is still a huge problem that causes order errors and a lack of data to be able to solve the problem. ”
Yet one simple solution can help restaurants ensure off-premises customers get the right order while providing valuable information operators need to improve accountability and streamline operations: smart food lockers.
Rather than allowing anyone to enter an order from a shelf, smart lockers secure orders until the delivery driver or intended end user enters or scans a code to access the correct order. Not only does this ensure that the correct order gets to the correct user, but it also provides critical data that the operator can use to validate order accuracy and order pick-up metrics.
“Our digital lockers offer restaurants the benefit of asynchronous delivery, allowing the end user or driver to safely pick up orders without contact and without interrupting busy workers,” says Rizzo. “They also log when the order entered the locker and when it was picked up by the intended person. Meanwhile, hardware and software can integrate into a restaurant’s technology stack to provide data the operator can use to improve guest satisfaction for off-premises customers.
Plus, says Rizzo, by using the system to communicate with customers when orders are ready and making the transfer seamless, restaurants can actually reduce the dwell time of orders in lockers to six minutes or less in nearly every location. cases and as little as four minutes in the majority of cases. This not only ensures maximum food freshness, but also availability of rack spaces during peak hours and eliminates the need to heat or cool racks.
“The restaurant industry is at a critical juncture,” says Rizzo. “We’re going to continue to see the growth of digital ordering, and it’s crucial for restaurants to think about the dining experience of this off-premises customer. Our solution is the most efficient way to faithfully manage the automated transfer from a restaurant to the end user or delivery driver. It effectively closes the loop and provides restaurants with the data they need to create a complete end-to-end experience that builds customer loyalty.
To learn more, visit the apex website.
By Peggy Carouthers