Hot food parcel lockers rolled out in North Carolina

Heated, hot food parcel lockers have been developed and installed by North Carolina based Rise Southern Biscuits & Righteous Chicken in response to demand brought about by the pandemic.

“I expect these innovative food locker systems to become commonplace in the U.S. as customers seek safer ways to visit restaurants,” says Tom Ferguson, founder and CEO of Rise. “The lockers are glass cubicles stacked on top of one another, each equipped with its own heating system to keep food piping hot, even if you pick up your order an hour after it was made.”

The new hot food click & collect lockers have been installed as part of a revamp of the company by Ferguson. The company has focused on its biscuits and tenderised buttermilk fried chicken, and customers can now collect them from the heated parcel lockers, thereby minimising contact with staff.

“I never thought I would do delivery, that was not in my original vision,” says Ferguson. “However, I am thankful I pushed myself past the lines I drew in the sand, because we fully implemented our delivery and to-go services in February 2020, which left us in good shape once the pandemic hit.”

To improve its trade during lockdowns, Rise started with kiosk ordering and kerb-side pickup but the new hot food parcel lockers is an innovation beyond. It has already been installed in one store, with two new installations at other restaurants to follow in March. Ferguson is asking his franchisees to follow suit.