As people move further down the path of to-go and curbside pickup meals, improving efficiency in these processes is a major priority for many foodservice operations. Two areas that we will be focusing on are the staging and pickup process.
Create an Efficient Staging Process
Staging is the process of getting everything ready to serve customers efficiently and effectively. To be successful at order processing, it is imperative to have systems in place to get orders turned over quickly.
Order staging is an efficient kitting process where all of the materials for orders are compiled for a customer. At this point, the food has already been made. Staging is the process of putting the finished goods into one container for pickup. This process may seem minuscule in the overall scheme of order fulfillment, but it can be one of the most vital in customer satisfaction. Have you ever received an order that was missing a sauce or utensil? It can change a customer’s entire perspective of a restaurant. To limit the number of orders that go out missing needed materials, create a designated order staging station.
Staging stations should include all add-ons, including sauce, napkins, utensils and bags available for quick order organization. Having everything in one space can help minimize the number of orders that have mistakes.
Pickup processes are often challenging to optimize because you are not only adjusting techniques based on the actions of your team, you also have to take into account the actions of your customers.
Having a streamlined process is extremely important to minimize customer confusion, order mix-ups, and mistakes. Giving orders to the wrong car or having orders go out cold can be costly to fix. Having it happen consistently can be detrimental to the bottom-line of your business.
To keep orders organized while maintaining their overall quality, invest in a portable order delivery solution. Utility carts can be an ideal solution to move orders from the kitchen to cars efficiently. To maintain the quality of the product, consider investing in holding cabinets or pan carriers that can be used to maintain the temperature of the products as they are brought out.
Provide a Safe Order Pickup Process
Another challenge facing businesses as they switch to curbside or pickup is the challenge of maintaining proper social distancing guidelines. As the world continues to limit physical interaction, foodservice operations are faced with finding ways to hand-off orders with minimal contact. To achieve this, restaurants have turned to the use of trays and carts to pass orders to customers waiting in their car.
Restaurants who don't have the option of curbside delivery also have the challenge of adjusting operations for the safety of customers. Order pickup stations can also be a valuable tool for easy order retrieval without unnecessary interactions for pickup systems. Some stations can be sectioned off for individual order retrieval and sanitized after each order is acquired.
Pickup and delivery are not exclusive to the commercial foodservice industry. School lunch programs have also seen an adjustment towards pre-made deliverable options. Classrooms have seen a pivot towards in-class lunches delivered directly to students from the cafeteria kitchen. For proper delivery, many schools have invested in wire carts that can hold all the lunches needed on a single floor.
Pan carriers can be paired with carts for efficient temperature control to maintain safe food temperature and overall dish quality.
To transport other materials, consider the use of coolers that can be added to the cart to keep items like milk readily available as meals are distributed.
Invest in Solutions the Work
At Metro, we offer solutions that can help to create an efficient curbside, pickup, or delivery solution.
For efficient order staging, Metro offers workstations with bin storage that are the perfect size for condiments and utensils. This is a great way to ensure that orders receive all needed add-ons while also providing a designated area solely for bagging and organizing orders.
For efficient order movement, consider Metro MyCart and utility cart options. Metro wire utility carts come in various configurations and can be made with a variety of shelf options.
Each cart can be designed with your needs in mind. Whether you want to focus on an ergonomic solution or a solution that focuses on maintaining social distancing, Metro has the perfect solution for your operation.
To maintain food quality, consider Mightylite pan carriers. These carriers can be used with heated or cold dishes. They are also a perfect solution for carrying orders out to the curb or to students on different floors.
The unique build of the Mightylite carrier makes them lighter than other carriers and 100% recycleable. They also maintain safe temperatures for up to 5 hours.
For more tips, keep up with our Metro webinar content.