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Future-proofing food retail for ‘Freedom Day’ and beyond

Following ‘Freedom Day’, which marked the end of most Covid-19-related restrictions here in the UK, we explore some of the ways F&B retailers can capitalise on increased footfall, while keeping customers safe.

Deter queueing, use click-and-collect

Us Brits are fairly used to queueing, but the Coronavirus pandemic has taken the queue to the next level. Due to restrictions on capacity, queueing has now become custom at super markets, shopping centres, restaurants, schools, and everywhere in between.

But with the end of enforced social distancing, mask-wearing and hand sanitisation, it’s likely that some people will be more cautious when occupying spaces with others, avoiding the humble queue unless absolutely necessary.

If you’re a food and drink retailer hoping to encourage customers back safely, why not avoid queueing all together? By offering a click and collect service, punters can browse your menu and pay for items remotely and digitally using an app, before receiving a notification when their order is ready to collect from a pre-assigned pod at your venue, or a chosen location.

Every part of the process is safe and secure, for both the customer and your staff. And the best part is, there’s absolutely no need to queue.

Pull a marketing stunt, but make it safe

After 18-months of lockdowns, and changes to almost every aspect of daily life, people are craving ‘experience’. Something different to the monotony they’ve lived through since 2019. Ultimately, something to put a smile on their face.

What better way to do this than by offering your customers a novelty way to purchase your goods? Pre-pandemic, the wonderful bakery brand Lola’s Cupcakes put a chilled food pod in a bright red London telephone box. Customers can order their cakes online and then head to the unique destination for collection. Not only did it allow for entirely contactless delivery, but it also found a new use for the otherwise redundant – though undeniably iconic – phone box.

The brand also uses a similar set-up at a range of shopping centres, enabling customers to select from a large touch screen menu – or through their phone – before using a contactless payment method, and accessing their items from the chilled pod.

With super cool stunts like this, it’s no surprise that Lola’s has an Instagram following of over 74k. Fancy getting in on the action? We can help.

Make your services available, day and night

Just because the rules have been lifted, it doesn’t mean that everyone will rush out to their local town centre mask-free. Some people – especially the most vulnerable – will seek to avoid the crowds, so may go out early, or late. But this doesn’t mean you can’t provide them with fresh food. Even if it doesn’t quite fit with your hours of operation.

With Pre Order Pods, you can keep freshly made food hot or cold, depending on what the best environment for the particular item is, until it is ready to be collected. This means you can offer breakfast before you open, or meals after you close. All customers need to do is order and pay via an app, and pick-up their food at a time that suits them.

While Freedom Day casts a wave of relief over the hospitality industry, the journey to normality could be winding. At Pre Order Pods we’re dedicated to supporting you in serving your customer base, safely and efficiently. Get in touch to find out how we can help you future-proof your business for ‘Freedom Day’ and beyond.

Photo by Dan Burton on Unsplash