Blog Post

From farm to food locker: Serve fresh produce day or night

Veg at a farm shop

It’s not just the workplace catering industry that’s reaping the rewards of using food lockers – the retail sector has also embraced the concept, receiving a fantastic response from its customers as a result.

As food-tech fanatics, we keep our ear close to the ground for news of businesses adopting a more innovative approach to their catering operations. So, you can imagine how excited we were when reading this piece on Derbyshire Live, which highlights the futuristic farm shop, Betty’s. An entirely self-service store, customers pay for their farm-fresh food via a touch-screen before collecting their order from a chilled, automated locker.

The beauty of this system is that food can be picked fresh from the farm, such as eggs, fruit or vegetables, and stored safely in a cold compartment until it is purchased. A win-win for both the business and its customer base.

For retailers looking to implement a similar set-up, we can help you go one step further.

In addition to offering chilled pods, we also offer hot lockers, so that as well as raw produce being held at a safe temperature until it is sold, cooked meals can also be stored, with both hot and cold able to sit side-by-side with no contamination risk. This is thanks to each column of Pre Order Pods having its own individual air loop, meaning you can choose the correct temperature for every locker on a use-by-use basis, entirely dependent on what’s going in.

Plant the seeds of change

Over the last 18 months, the retail and hospitality industries have seen a monumental shift in the way they can operate, with some outlets merging the two entities. Garden centres, for example, have become an important destination for consumers hoping to shop, socialise and pick up some refreshments whilst there.

Many garden centre retailers have cafes and farm shops on-site, offering customers the opportunity to pick up local produce or eat a freshly cooked meal while on the premises. But with the introduction of Pre Order Pods, this offering can be further extended, allowing punters to purchase food or a warm meal to enjoy at home. This is especially beneficial in light of the ever-changing government guidelines around dining-in, and also helps support the surrounding community by presenting a reliant source of nutritious sustenance, any time.

All customers are required to do is download an app to order and pay for their food. The kitchen or retailer is then alerted via a dashboard, and the items can be prepared before being stored in a pod ready for collection. Alternatively, food items can be pre-added to the lockers – such as for after a café has closed, for example – and customers can order from a set menu of what’s available.

Pre Order Pods was founded on a passionate belief that everyone should have access to nutritious, fresh food. And when it comes to ‘fresh’, it doesn’t come much better than when it’s directly from the ground.

For more information on how futuristic Pre Order pods can freshen up your café, farm shop or garden retail business, get in touch with our team.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels