Technology & Equipment

Why pickup shelves are a black hole for profits and efficiency

Apex Order Pickup Solutions

While order pickup shelves can be found in virtually every dining facility, they can be a tremendous drain on the bottom line, staff efficiency and guest satisfaction.

A shelf may be used dozens, if not hundreds, of times a day by takeout guests and third-party delivery drivers across all types of foodservice operations. For example, at limited-service facilities, wheremore than 70% of orders are for takeout or delivery, the messy pickup shelf is often the only point where guests interact with the brand.

In fact, pickup shelves have so many problems, they’ve become the black hole of profitability—causing lost orders, lost labor and lost revenue. In the end, guest satisfaction rates also decline.

The biggest risk of pickup shelves is that they provide absolutely no security for valuable pickup orders. Any person can take any order, no questions asked. Orders can be picked up by the wrong people, either accidentally or deliberately. A pickup shelf makes it easy for fraudsters to pick up a free meal, or claim they didn’t receive their order when they actually did and request a refund. After all, a shelf provides no record of what actually happened.

Multiple problems across the operation

Of course, lost orders are just the beginning. Labor efficiency also takes a hit because employees have to stop what they’re doing to help guests figure out what happened, then double back to remake the missing orders.

To get control of takeout and delivery orders, dozens of universities and other non-commercial operators are replacing their risky order pickup shelves with a secure, tech-driven solution:OrderHQ™ Smart Food Lockers from Apex.

The Apex solution helps dining programs ensure the right order goes to the right guest, at the right time. It also provides a simple workflow that increases the security of the order. Employees can set it and forget it. They don't have to worry about that product disappearing to the wrong person and having to remake that product later on.

A smart solution that keeps guests coming back

OrderHQ Smart Food Lockers are driven by ApexIQ™ software—combining security, automation, and data into any existing tech stack to ensure operators get the right order to the right person at the right time. Simple workflows bring immediate improvements in labor efficiency, help increase throughput, and virtually eliminate waiting. When the right person gets the right order, operators can drive down the cost of order remakes. They can also identify discrepancies when an order pickup is disputed. This system takes out the guessing—the data speaks.

The pickup process is more efficient for guests, too. There’s no confusion, no checking multiple bags, and no worries that other people handled their order. They just scan or enter the order code and the right compartment door pops open. They get their order and are on their way in less than 10 seconds.

From black hole to data clarity

Once an order is placed on a pickup shelf, an operator can only guess what happens next. The order may be picked up, but  they won’t know who took it or when. ApexIQ software gives operators the data to manage their entire order pickup business with metrics. Operators know when the order was placed in the locker, how much time it spent in the compartment, when the notification was sent, and precisely what time the guest picked it up.

As a result, operators have full visibility of every step in the order fulfillment and pickup process. The black hole disappears and profits return.

Find out how OrderHQ Smart Food Lockers can help operators reclaim lost profits and make pickup orders as efficient and smart as the rest of their business.

This post is sponsored by Apex Order Pickup Solutions