Technology & Equipment

Student Perspectives: How Smart Food Lockers Save Time And Reduce Stress

Apex Order Pickup Solutions

Collegiate foodservice directors are often looking for ways to help busy students achieve more balance in their lives and make healthy food choices. That’s one reason so many campus dining programs now offer mobile ordering. College students love this time-saving convenience because it lets them order in advance and schedule pickup for whenever they have a break in their day.

However, their easy digital ordering experience often ends with a slow, manual pickup process. If mobile orders are placed on a counter or shelf, the student must search through multiple bags and receipts to find the right one. Sometimes their order isn’t there, and they find that it’s been picked up by someone else (accidentally or deliberately). If orders are kept behind the counter, the student has to wait for an employee to help them. What should have been a fast, convenient dining option becomes an unplanned glitch in their schedule.

To provide a better experience, more than 40 colleges and universities have added smart food lockers that make order pickup the fast, seamless experience students want. Here’s what some of those had to say about why they now use food lockers to save time and get more control of their day.

They make it easy to squeeze in a meal

Convenience plays a big role in why students love using smart food lockers. A student at the University of South Carolina, John Bennett, said, “I come to Twisted Taco about once a day, and I usually pick up from the locker. It makes my life really easy.”

Food lockers also help keep students dining on campus, because students know they can skip the line and avoid crowds at the register. Another student, Payton Vereen, added, “I’d say I probably stay on campus more often. It’s very convenient for me not having to wait in a line. It’s just there, and you just get it yourself.”

Senior Michaiah Fields said, “I honestly like the convenience of it, and it’s really simple. It's so easy to just skip the line and go get your food. And of course, no one can steal my food, I have a specific locker to go to.”

They make order pickup more reliable and secure

Sarah, an upcoming junior at the University of South Carolina, recalled an experience during her freshman year, before the dining team from the Carolina Food Co. added food lockers. “One time I ordered in advance on the app but was running late because I stayed behind to talk to a professor. When I got to the dining location, someone else had already picked up my order. This was frustrating for both me and the staff as it took more of my time and the staff’s time to remake my order. Now that they have the food lockers, I'm able to walk up to the locker, and even if I'm running a few minutes late, I know that no one has taken my order on purpose or by mistake.”

They provide food options in remote areas of campus

The University of Arizona dining program offers food lockers in busy dining locations as well as in areas of campus with limited dining options. The dining team realized they could expand dining variety by using a “hub-and-spoke” system based out of the food court at the Student Union Memorial Center.

They placed Apex food lockers in the popular Bear Down Building, where the only food option used to be a grab-and-go market. Now students can order from any restaurant at the Student Union, and employees deliver it to the Bear Down food lockers. Arizona student Morgan Greseth paused as she picked up her order from the locker to say, “I think they’re super useful, especially for busy students. It's easy to just put in your order in even when you're in class and then come pick it up and then go right to your next class.”

As college students continue to juggle more responsibilities than ever, smart food lockers from Apex Order Pickup Solutions give dining programs the time-saving technology to help students get it all done, with less worry and stress, too.

This post is sponsored by Apex Order Pickup Solutions