Apex Order Pickup Solutions officially launches its OrderHQ Exterior Smart Food Locker at FSTec today at booth #503 on the showroom floor at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas. The OrderHQ Exterior is designed to provide pickup in less than 10 seconds through the exterior wall of a restaurant, while employees load orders from inside.  

This solution was designed in response to restaurants continuing to see high demand for pickup orders and struggling with lobbies crowded with delivery service providers (DSPs) and consumers awaiting their off-premises orders. This smart food locker also provides valuable data insights that are missing from third-party delivery orders, giving the operator a complete digital chain of custody for every order. 

Apex CEO Mike Wills notes, “One of the trends we’re seeing now is a shift in operational investment from the back of house into that connection point where back of house meets  front of house. Automations such as the OrderHQ Exterior Smart Food Locker help operators ensure a highly accurate, highly secure order handoff to off-premises customers and delivery drivers, so their team members can focus on providing the best experience for dine-in customers.” 

The OrderHQ Exterior Smart Food Locker is designed to provide pickup in less than 10 seconds through the exterior wall of a restaurant, while employees load orders from inside. This streamlined process and state-of-the-art technology optimizes staff capacity, aiding with labor shortage concerns. Kinetic12’s “Emergence Q2 2022 Insight Report,” states 60 percent of operators say staff shortages and labor are among their top three business challenges.  

With an exterior pickup option, the chaos and congestion in the front of the house (FOH) is mitigated, while consumers and DSP drivers enjoy fast service without having to enter the  building. Offering flexible service options also creates a competitive advantage for operators and drives loyalty for today’s mobile-focused customers. In May of this year, Door Dash stated, 86 percent of consumers are ordering takeout as much or more than they did last year. In that same report, 79 percent of diners said they had ordered pickup in the past month. (“2022 Restaurant Online Ordering Trends, U.S. Edition”) 

Operators love the streamlined process OrderHQ Smart Food Lockers provide and the increased profitability due to increased throughput, optimized labor, and decreased waste (i.e. orders are picked up promptly by their rightful owner.) And the locker’s scalable, enterprise-grade ApexIQ software provides real-time operational data that helps operators create the most delightful customer experiences. 

The OrderHQ Exterior Smart Food Locker will be manufactured by Merco, a Welbilt brand, and is expected to be available in 2023.  

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