Pickup and delivery orders require solutions that work for both a restaurant operation and customers. 

It’s no secret that off-premises channels have exploded during the pandemic. While takeout orders were once a great way to pad revenue, now they are a key piece of running a profitable restaurant.

But the rapid ascent of off-premises sales has uncovered new pain points, too. These pain points require modern solutions and, often, new equipment. For example, brands have found that an influx of pick-up and third-party delivery orders require different modes of getting food out the door. If customers and delivery drivers don’t know where to go to pick their order up, it can cause chaos in the front of the house. 

“So many people have gotten used to apps and online ordering, and third-party is obviously here to stay,” says Ryan Catarozoli, key accounts sales manager at Hatco. “Congestion is a problem that comes with that—you end up with people in the lobby not knowing what to do. People start waiting in line while their food is sitting on a shelf, ready to be picked up, getting cold.” 

One solution is to develop pick-up stations where delivery drivers and customers can grab their food without disrupting the flow of in-house service. Here’s a look at some things to consider when installing pick-up stations—and how two products from Hatco can unlock a better system for quick-service brands. 

Operational Fit

Every restaurant has unique needs. In fact, every order from a restaurant has unique needs—rarely does a restaurant only have hot or cold food and beverage, for example. That means there is no one-size-fits-all solution to problems like security and maintaining food quality throughout the off-premises journey. It also means it’s important to partner with a company that offers custom solutions built for operationally specific needs. 

For example, Hatco has two solutions that help brands offer quality takeout food, and either or both might work best for a given brand. The first is the Hatco MPP Pickup Pod, propelled by Minnow, that helps automate food pickups. The second is the Flav-R 2-Go® Locker System that is available in countertop, floor mount, or built-in models and is capable of holding multiple orders in either hot or ambient lockers with quick and secure access. 

“The biggest key to our solutions is that every restaurant is different, right?” Catarozoli says. “At some stores, you might need food and drinks in the same locker, but you don’t want cold drinks put in a hot locker. We have solutions that are perfect for that, the Hatco Pickup Pod uses ambient, individually-insulated cubbies to store hot or cold items in separate locations. Also, our locker systems can be programmed to have heated or ambient cubbies to achieve the same results.”


Ever been to a coffee or restaurant chain that leaves its orders on a counter, waiting for someone to walk in and pick it up? Unfortunately, a system like that isn’t exactly secure—whether by mistake or not, food can be taken by the wrong person. 

Both the Flav-R 2-Go® Locker System and Pickup Pod are equipped with technology that helps ensure only the right person—delivery driver or customer—has access to the food inside. The Pickup Pod can be easily accessed by scanning a QR code or using an embedded link sent via SMS messaging, while the Flav-R 2-Go® Locker System requires an access code to be entered. 

“I know that restaurants all over the country are dealing with that problem where orders are being taken by the wrong person,” Catarozoli says. “Our products instantly solve that issue. As long as lockers or pods are secured, each customer will get access to only their order.”


One of the biggest keys in implementing a brand-wide system that solves pickup and delivery challenges is in ensuring the system can be integrated into ordering platforms. The price tag associated with that integration can be daunting for some brands, especially those just getting into the off-premises space. 

“SaaS fees are necessary when integrating with a POS System.” Catarozoli says. “Hatco has locker solutions that offer plug-and-play options, perfect for those with a small operation just starting out in the pickup and delivery space.

“I really think this is something that’s here to stay,” Catarozoli says. “It’s something that’s not a fad—there’s a home for this. Whenever we go to trade shows, people’s jaws are literally on the floor when they see a demo of our product. It’s because it’s exactly what they’ve been missing.” 

For more on Hatco’s solutions, visit the company’s website

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