The high-tech environment is being accelerated in response to the worldwide spread of COVID-19 infection. In recent years, new infectious diseases have caused pandemics around the world every few years. In the future, it will be a key point for all industries to promote high technology.
Take out all non-contact. Will restaurant "pick-up lockers" become the next trend?
As a hygienic ordering method all over the world, "mobile ordering", in which customers order from their own smartphones, is flourishing. For customers who want to prevent corona infections as much as possible, mobile orders that minimize contact with others may be a very safe means. Under such circumstances, there is another service that is suddenly showing excitement. It is a "receipt locker" that allows you to order and receive mobile orders without contact.
What is the "pick-up locker" that attracts attention?
What kind of receiving lockers are widely used in restaurants? First of all, I would like to introduce an introduction example in the United States and Japan.
USA: Sweet Green
Called a "high-tech company that makes salads," "Sweet Green" is counted as one of the unicorn companies and is one of the hottest salad specialty stores. Sweet Green uses a combination of mobile ordering and locker receipt. The company currently has an order rate of 50% of sales by mobile order, and has installed a huge locker in the store to handle this large amount of pick-up salad. We have realized an operation that customers and delivery staff can pick up freely. Through these efforts, we are also opening new stores in Corona.
Sushiro, a conveyor belt sushi restaurant, has a receiving locker called an "automatic souvenir locker." A service that allows you to pick up sushi for takeout ordered online, by phone, by fax, or in the store without waiting. The door opens when you read the QR code issued when ordering online into the reading terminal of the locker. Since the pickup time can be set, you can receive it at any time you like.
Automatic souvenir locker. (Source: Akindo Sushiro Co., Ltd.)
Japan: TOUCH-AND-GO COFFEE
The coffee stand "TOUCH-AND-GO COFFEE Nihonbashi" in Nihonbashi is an unmanned restaurant specializing in pick-up, and orders and payments are completed with "LINE". The mechanism is such that freshly made coffee can be picked up from the locker at the time specified by the customer.
(Photo by editorial department)
Why face-to-face reception replaces lockers
Up until now, there has been an in-store pick-up service based on mobile orders. There are two main operation methods, both of which are interpersonal pickups.
1. McDonald's type: The clerk in charge of delivery picks up the finished product and puts it in the counter. After visiting the store, the customer shows the order number displayed on the smartphone to the clerk and delivers the product. It is often carried out at fast food restaurants such as McDonald's.
2. Starbucks type: Post the name and order number of the customer who ordered on the package, and arrange them on the receiving counter in the order of the finished products. After coming to the store, the customer collates and picks up the products ordered by himself / herself. It is often found in Starbucks and salad shops.
With the reopening of stores in the United States, delivery services that were once popular have decreased by 20% compared to a month ago. Instead, in-store food and drink is increasing by 11% and take-out is increasing by 16%. As customers' purchasing methods change in this way, it is highly likely that the burden on the store side will increase if the in-store eating and drinking and take-out pick-up are handled by the same interpersonal operation as before. As the number of pickups in stores increases, the following are possible concerns.
1. McDonald's formula:
・ Increased work to sort finished take-out and delivery products and deliver them to customers and delivery delivery staff
・ There is a high possibility of contact with an unspecified number of other customers while waiting for the product to be received.
・ Face-to-face delivery causes congestion and contact at the delivery location.
2. Starbucks type:
・ Increasing complaints due to mistaking customers' products
・ Worry about poor hygiene caused by leaving the finished product for a long time
As a method that can solve these problems at once, the automation of operations by "delivery by locker" is attracting attention. Before Corona, many stores would have been satisfied with the above-mentioned interpersonal operations. However, in order for both parties to exchange product purchases with peace of mind, the operation of ordering by mobile order and picking up from the lockers installed in the store may increase in the future.
Lockers that enhance the store experience
Lockers are attracting attention not only as a non-face-to-face reception, but also as a means of labor saving. However, simply placing lockers that occupy the space inside the store will greatly affect the atmosphere of the store, so I would like to avoid it as much as possible. When installing, it is important to utilize the design of the entire store and the locker-type pickup as a new store experience. In particular, it is necessary to carefully consider the two points of "functionality" such as cold storage, sterilization, and how to open the lock, and "design" such as harmony with the store, clarification of the receiving port, and customer lead. While ensuring the safety of purchases, we would like to devise and plan something that makes customers feel playful so that they can enjoy a new store experience.