Pizza Hut is testing new technology at a restaurant in Hollywood, California: digital cubbies. Pizza Hut says the cubbies will allow customers to simply walk in, tap on a screen, and confirm their order before picking it up.
Pizza Hut launched the pilot program on July 16 at the newly-renovated restaurant at 6660 Sunset Boulevard. The free service will enable the customers to order and pay through any channel like the Pizza Hut app, online, or over the phone, before picking up the items from the digital cubbies instead of the front counter. The cubbies are specially designed to keep the food hot and the drinks cold.
How does the pizza chain ensure the customers have the right order? With two taps on the screen of the digital locker, the customer will see their name on the screen before confirming and picking up their meal.
However, how can Pizza Hut prevent other people from double-tapping the screen to steal a meal?
A spokeswoman for Pizza Hut told The Takeout: “If you order through the Pizza Hut app and pay ahead of time, customers will simply sign a receipt when they arrive in-store to pick up their food. Once the receipt is signed, the customer’s name and cubby number will appear on the digital display above the cubby wall and on the upper corner of the designated cubby. Then their designated cubby will unlock and the customer will just tap twice to open the cubby and retrieve his or her food.”
This implies that the customers might have to wait in a line to sign a receipt, but Pizza Hut insists this innovation is meant to streamline the carry-out experience.
“Designed for the time-strapped introvert in all of us, our new pilot carry-out experience aims to be a quick, easy alternative for city-dwellers on the move,” said Nicolas Burquier, chief customer and operations officer at Pizza Hut U.S.
Burquier said the company chose the Los Angeles area to test the new service because of the number of on-the-go customers looking for convenience.
“As one of the largest cities in the U.S., Los Angeles, and more specifically the heavy-foot traffic area of Hollywood, rose to the top of our list,” Burquier said.
In the meantime, the Hollywood location will remain fully staffed with delivery service. If the pilot program is a success, Pizza Hut plans to expand this service through the West Coast cities by 2020.