Houston, TX

University of Houston debuts its first Apex smart self-serve automated food lockers

Jessica Yang

HOUSTON, TX - University of Houston or UH and their food service provider Chartwells Higher Education collaborated with Apex Order Pick Up solution to provide smart self-serve automated food lockers on campus. The food lockers allow the staff, faculty, and over 53,000 students at UH to pick up their foods conveniently without physical contact with other people.

This innovation marks UH as the first higher education in Texas with the contactless and effective food pick-up solution. Employees at Chartwells process orders from the back of the two-sided flow-thru food lockers and customers can pick up their orders from the front. This new effective technology ensures contactless food pick-up amidst the ongoing pandemic.

The smart food lockers are utilized with the new dining concept created by Chartwells named "Asado Burritos and Bowls" located at Student Center South. As Chartwells' new dining brand, Asado serves Tex-Mex such as burritos, classic sides, low-carb bowls and many more.

These Apex food lockers help increasing throughput and transactions, reducing crowds as well as providing real-time data and insights to advance the dining experience. The food lockers premiered on August 2, 2021 and a grand opening event will take place on August 24, when students officially return to campus.

Charles Pereira, Vice President of Operations for Chartwells Higher Education at UH system stated that the pandemic has impacted the landscape of the on-campus dining experience and their approach to guest service should continue to acclimate.

Pereira also claimed that with social distancing as a current critical strategy to lessen the spread of COVID-19, the Apex food lockers provide a peace of mind because customers can simply place their order through mobile ordering app. When their meal is ready for pickup, they will obtain an email with a unique code.

UH Associate Vice President for Administration Emily Messa explained that more people are discovering the convenience of online and mobile ordering as well as contactless service, and UH recognizes that their dining operations must evolve with these changing preferences. Messa continued, "We are always looking for ways to enhance the dining experience for our students, faculty and staff and these innovative food lockers do just that."

Further details and information about the Apex food lockers are available at dineoncampus.com/uh/food-lockers. Visit UH website for more information about the campus at https://uh.edu/.

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