CINCINNATI–Self-serve automation technology is redefining the concept of speed, convenience and efficiency to address a vexing issue for QSRs, restaurants, foodservice providers and their customers – waiting in line to pick up carryout orders. Little Caesars® is a leading example, recently co-developing the first, heated, self-serve order pickup station with Apex Supply Chain Technologies™.
Little Caesars proprietary Pizza Portal™ pickup has since been implemented in thousands of its stores nationwide. The customer-pleasing devices are part of RESERVE-N-READY, Little Caesars new mobile order pick-up program that provides busy customers with a fast, easy way to get their own custom pizza.
“Every second counts when it comes to order pick-up,” said David Scrivano, President and CEO of Little Caesars. “This insight inspired our HOT-N-READY model and continues to inspire our entire business. By harnessing this innovative technology, we continue to enhance the guest experience as we expand our product offering and evolve our business model.”
The instant, overwhelming popularity of mobile order and pay apps and online ordering has created significant order pick-up issues for the restaurant and foodservice industries.
“By leveraging innovative technology like ours to give customers what they want, when they want it, we’re witnessing a profound shift in the QSR, restaurant and foodservice industries,” said Kent Savage, Apex founder and CEO. “This game-changing technology is helping Little Caesars transform the way customers get pizza along with the company’s business model. It’s a realization of Little Caesars broader strategic vision and helps them leap past the competition.”
A $75 Billion Issue Points to Significant Opportunity
U.S. companies lose as much as $75 billion annually due to a bad customer experience caused by poor or slow service, according to NewVoiceMedia. As order-ahead programs grow in number and popularity, they risk making a bad customer experience worse by creating long lines and confusion in the store’s order pick-up area.
This is because most of the restaurant and foodservice industry programs do not consider how store operations will handle additional order throughput. As a result, order pick-up service can be inefficient, requiring multiple employee touches. And order ahead customers are often unsure of how to pick up their order. Combined with in-store customer traffic, this leads to congestion, line anxiety and lost sales.
Yet by reducing customer wait as little as seven seconds, research shows it can increase QSR or restaurant unit sales by 1 percent, according to Kellogg School of Management.
Fast, Simple & Convenient Order Pick-Up
“The QSR, restaurant and foodservice industries will follow Little Caesars lead to give customers what they want, when they want it,” Savage continued. “But to truly make order pick-up as easy as mobile order and pay, the solution must address employee- and customer-facing issues.”
The heated, self-serve order pick-up station has an innovative, two-sided design for rear loading of orders. This allows employees to focus on order preparation while giving mobile order customers an instantly-recognizable destination to quickly and easily pick up their orders. This pioneering device improves throughput and makes for a more clear, consistent experience for mobile order customers.
This technology extends existing mobile apps, allowing customers to order and pay using their smartphone. As finished orders are placed in one of its heated compartments, a notification is automatically triggered. This alerts the customer their food is ready and gives them a custom code. Upon arrival, customers skip the line and go to the self-serve order pickup station to input their code. Their secure compartment opens automatically getting the customer in and out of the store in seconds.
In addition to pizza, the heated, self-serve order pick-up station from Apex is ideal for a variety of hot food, including chicken, ribs, as well as prepared meals in hospitals, corporate campuses, educational facilities and more.
About Little Caesars® Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, Little Caesars® is the largest carryout-only pizza chain in the United States*. Founded in 1959 as a single, family-owned restaurant, Little Caesars® has become the third largest pizza chain in the world** with stores in 23 countries and territories worldwide, including in each of the 50 U.S. states.
Apex Order Supply Chain Technologies is the world’s leading provider of self-serve automation for use in retail, restaurants and the foodservice industries. Our automated pick-up technologies create an order fulfillment experience for customers and employees that’s as simple and convenient as the order and pay process. To learn how leading retailers and restaurants are using our solutions, visit Apex online at https://www.apexsupplychain.com/Foodservice.
*Largest carry-out only pizza chain in the US – based on net number of stores in 2017
**Third largest pizza chain in the world – based on net number of stores in 2017