Automated Locker Idea of the Day - Food Services

17 Nov 2020

If you’re looking for a way to add something extra to your food services business, then automated lockers could be the perfect option.


Order for pick up is only getting bigger, and with the right technology, you can make sure your system is seamless. With the help of Meridian, you can have a pick-up process that makes your life easy, but most importantly, keeps customers coming back time and again.


With the introduction of social distancing and other measures, restaurants and other food service businesses are having to find different ways of increasing revenues, and investing in this area can make a big difference.


So, how do automated lockers work in food service and how can they benefit your business?


How Automated Lockers Work for Food Services


Automated lockers boost your ability to fulfil orders by integrating with an online menu. Through your website or app, people can place an order and receive a unique QR code which allows them to pick up their food when it’s ready.






Once you’ve received the order, you simply cook the food and place it in the automated lockers which can be placed anywhere in your restaurant. When your customer is ready, they collect their food using the unique QR code to open the correct locker.


The system is simple to use, can be largely automated, and is adaptable to the individual needs of your business. This helps streamline your pick-up process and brings a number of benefits.


The Benefits of Automated Lockers for Food Services


When you’re investing in new technology, you’re not doing it just to look trendy; it’s got to bring tangible benefits to your business. Automated lockers offer a wide variety of benefits, and can be adapted to ensure you maximize your return on your investment.


Hot and Cold Lockers


When you’ve lovingly cooked your customer’s order, you don’t want to put it in a locker and hope it’s still warm when they come to pick it up. If you’re going to see repeat business, then your food has to be of the highest quality, and part of that is making sure it’s ready to eat when the customer picks it up.


Automated lockers are extremely beneficial in this area because you can make use of hot and cold lockers as needed. For example, if you’re serving homemade ice cream for dessert, you need to ensure it’s not going to be slush by the time the customer comes to pick it up, and with complete control over the temperature of your lockers, this can be achieved.


A tricky aspect of doing take-out is making sure food is still served at the right temperature, and automated lockers make this much easier.


Manage Busy Periods


A good takeout system can help you manage the flow of people, maximizing the amount of orders you can get through. For example, if you’ve got a sandwich restaurant in a big city, you know that lunchtime is going to be extremely busy. With automated lockers that integrate into an online order system, you can plan ahead though, allowing customers to drop in when they want and pick up their order.




When people order ahead, you can space out the prep work as needed, allowing you to serve more customers without the rush.


You’re always going to get drop-ins and unexpected mad rushes, but the more orders you can take ahead of time, the easier it is to plan and adapt to footfall. With automated lockers, all you’ve got to worry about is cooking great food, and popping it in the locker, the rest is taken care of.


Reduce Waiting Times


When someone comes in to take food away, they have to wait in line, make their order, wait for the food to be cooked, and return to the counter to collect their order. This leaves lots of time standing around and potentially waiting in line (something we all hate.)


The more people you can get out of the line the better and this is something automated lockers can help with. With a good online ordering process, customers simply drop into your restaurant at the designated time, open the locker with their QR code, and head off with their meal. If you’ve got the space, then they don’t even need to come into the restaurant because with hot and cold lockers they can be placed outside.


This means people who want to order online can do some more efficiently and people who want to order in store can also get faster service.


Collect Important Data


Automated lockers can be useful for collecting important data. With people ordering online, you have an opportunity to collect information such as email addresses in line with GDPR and integrate them into your marketing to improve your offerings to your customers.


With interactive screens, automated lockers are also a great way to collect feedback and reviews from customers. There’s always room for improvement and your clientele can give you important insight into the things you’re doing well and the bits you can do better.


Reviews play an important role in attracting customers in the modern-day, and automated lockers not only help to improve your performance but also collect more reviews. This looks great on your Google listing and other social media platforms.


Adapt to Changing Regulations


With restrictions on social interactions, it’s been important for businesses in the foodservice industry to find ways of complying with regulations whilst still continuing to serve their customers.


This hasn’t been easy, but an extra focus on boosting the number of orders for collection has been helpful for some businesses. Automated lockers make a big difference in this process because they are the last link in the chain for a streamlined click and collect process.


Automated lockers limit the amount of person to person contact, and allow customers to pick up their orders in a sanitary, safe setting.


You can still cook great food and give your customers an amazing experience, but you don’t have to worry about the face to face contact that is limited by restrictions. Ideally, you might want people to be dining in your restaurant, but take out is the next best thing, and automated lockers make this process more efficient.


You might be investing in an automated locker due to the pandemic, but even after it’s gone, you’re left with a product that can greatly boost your offering to customers.




Automated lockers can help your business through these difficult times, but they are so much more than just a short-term fix.


Consumers want options, and this is as true when they’re ordering food as it is with anything else. Order to pick-up is one of the options people want to benefit from, and automated lockers are the ultimate way to facilitate this.


With customisable software that’s designed to fit the needs of your business, the options for hot and cold lockers, and the ability to streamline your pick-up process, self-service lockers can make a big difference to your business and quickly earn a return on your investment.


At Meridian, our aim is to make sure you get the most out of your technology, so we will work with you to make sure you’ve got the ideal automated locker system to suit your business. Technology is great, but we firmly believe that it’s only useful if it helps you achieve your business goals and that’s what we’re here to help with.


Fill out a contact form to find out how automated lockers can help your business!


More like this