Apex Order Pickup Brings Portfolio of Innovative Takeout & Delivery Pickup Lockers

Apex Order Pickup Solutions Merco
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Apex Order Pickup Solutions is innovating the way restaurants fulfill the increased customer demand for takeout and delivery services by increasing operational efficiency.

Apex is a leading global provider of self-serve, contactless smart order pickup lockers for foodservice, retail, and B2B ecommerce, with over 5,000 locations in restaurants, collegiate dining, hotels, cinemas, hospitals, and shopping malls. “We are a non-start-up start-up. It feels very much like a start-up because we’ve pivoted into a relatively new space in the last three to four years, but we are a 16-plus year-old company that has always been all about automating handoff of goods and orders,” said Mike Rizzo, Chief Growth Officer of Apex.

Apex Order Pickup Solutions MercoApex has been at the forefront of innovating the order pickup process for many years. Their click & collect smart lockers were first introduced in 2015 to transform productivity, reduce wait times and cost in retail and food service, and provide the operator with real-time data and insights to improve the customer experience. Their progress in the food service industry accelerated as the pandemic forced restaurants to evolve their interaction with customers. Today the intelligent OrderHQ food pickup lockers provide secure, labor-efficient order handoff, helping operators make those offerings more efficient and profitable. They are manufactured in partnership with Merco, a Welbilt brand.

The pandemic has changed consumer behavior and expectations for food service. Mobile ordering and contactless pickup are now considered normal food service offerings. Consumers are accustomed to the adaptations restaurants made to survive through the pandemic and continue to expect the availability of these options, if not continued development in takeout and delivery methods. The ease at which these services are offered can significantly impact the restaurant’s ability to satisfy customers. “We are here to help restaurants get the right order to the right customer at the right time, in the most efficient way possible,” stated Rizzo.

“With the growth of off-premise orders and third-party delivery services like DoorDash and Uber Eats, we saw an opportunity,” said Rizzo. Although third-party delivery companies are certainly competitive, Rizzo believes there will be a shift back to takeout and delivery through apps native to the restaurant to avoid high commissions and fees. Apex enables restaurants to make takeout and delivery services more efficient for both the operators and consumers without the aid of third-party delivery companies or additional labor to meet those requests.

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  • T&S Brass Eversteel Pre-Rinse Units
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  • Imperial Dade
  • Atosa USA
  • AHF National Conference 2024
  • Easy Ice
  • Inline Plastics
  • DAVO by Avalara
  • RAK Porcelain
  • RATIONAL USA
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“Our founder focused on efficiency, by automating the order hand-off. It’s this fundamental idea of asynchronous delivery. If we can suspend the need for you and I to be at the same place at the same time, we can create supply chain efficiency.  It’s the same thing for an order. Once that order is placed, the digital order comes into the restaurant, they prepare the food, they package it, and they put it into a locker. An employee doesn’t have to hand it to the customer or driver, because they know they’ll get the right order when they scan the QR code and pop open the locker.”

“We first started working with Little Caesars where we co-developed the Pizza Portal. They wanted to be able to manage their customized pizza for their Hot-N-Ready product,” explained Rizzo. “Apex worked with Little Caesars to co-develop a device that allows them to take digital orders and fulfill them by sliding a custom-made pizza into the back of the Pizza Portal, which then sends a message to the consumer that their pizza is ready for pickup. The consumer receives a QR code, they scan it, and go.”

The Apex software also allows the restaurant to manage the amount of time orders spend in a compartment by communicating with the customer to streamline the process compared to a typical curbside pickup method. “It makes it easy for the back-of-house team to take orders, scan a code at the back of the lockers, place it in the compartment, and immediately send a message to the customer to pick up their order.” The pickup process is so quick that more expensive heated or chilled lockers are not necessary.

Even restaurants with drive-thru services are finding Apex to be a successful solution to streamline their pickup services. “Our solutions are being used in two ways in restaurants,” Rizzo said. “Some operators want to use the solution to separate pickup traffic from the restaurant because it’s disruptive to their in-store guests. Others are saying I don’t have a drive-thru or I have a drive-thru, but the lines are way too long. I want to give consumers another opportunity to order through our native app and come into the restaurant without having to interface with any of my employees. They can grab their order and go. Either strategy provides the opportunity for labor reallocation and convenience for the operator and customer.”

The pandemic has shed light on what the future holds for the food service industry. “The pandemic accelerated progress in digital ordering that the industry will maintain even with the return of in-restaurant dining. Younger consumers today are going to be even further down the continuum of digital ordering and wanting things quickly,” stated Rizzo. Apex Order Pickup Solutions offers the efficiency necessary to adapt to the growing demands of takeout and delivery.


For more information on how these solutions can be incorporated in various foodservice settings, visit their website.

  • McKee Foodservice Sunbelt Bakery
  • Day & Nite
  • Simplot Frozen Avocado
  • Inline Plastics
  • AyrKing Mixstir
  • Epiq Global Payment Card Settlement
  • RATIONAL USA
  • AHF National Conference 2024
  • T&S Brass Eversteel Pre-Rinse Units
  • DAVO by Avalara
  • Imperial Dade
  • Atosa USA
  • Easy Ice
  • BelGioioso Burrata
  • RAK Porcelain