Demand for Efficient Order Handoff Inspires OrderHQ™ Lockers

by | Sep 1, 2021 | Press Releases, Restaurant

Smart solution powered by advanced software platform reduces dwell times and provides enterprise data visibility.

MASON, OH (September 1, 2021) — Apex Order Pickup Solutions, a leading global provider of self-serve automated pickup solutions for use in foodservice, retail and b-to-b ecommerce, and Welbilt, Inc. (NYSE:WBT), a leading global provider of commercial foodservice equipment, today announce the launch of OrderHQ™, a smart locker series that integrates with existing point of sale and other back-of-house management systems to make it easier for restaurants to offer quick and convenient order pickup experiences.

The 3rd-generation of smart lockers designed by Apex, the OrderHQ Series will be manufactured by Welbilt’s Merco®brand in the United States and sold under both the Apex and Merco brands.

Contactless pickup in seconds

The OrderHQ Series automates the last inch of the digital journey, providing customers and delivery service providers with a secure, quick, and easy way to pick up their order and be on their way. Order-ready notifications are sent at the optimal time to minimize wait time and include a unique pickup code to authenticate at the locker. The compartments also feature indicator lights to help guide customers to find their order for pickup. The entire pickup process lasts less than 10 seconds.

Enhanced data visibility

Powered by ApexIQ™ software, the OrderHQ locker solution provides restaurant operators data insights to enhance the customer experience and improve efficiency for off-premises orders.  Using enhanced sensing technology combined with integration to front and back of house systems, operators will know the time it took to prepare and load the order, as well as the dwell time of the order in the pickup locker. This helps operators minimize dwell time and maintain food quality while gaining valuable insights into their operations.

Increasing labor efficiency

The OrderHQ Series offers both Flow-Thru and Front-Load options. The lockers come in floor and countertop models to optimize usage within a variety of restaurant footprints. The system is also easily scalable by adding lockers as needed. Branding options are available to allow operators to design the lockers as an extension of their brand experience. Employees can now focus almost exclusively on making and loading orders: the order load is frictionless, while the order hand-off is automated. This significantly reduces the amount of labor required to manage off-premises orders.

“With OrderHQ, restaurant and foodservice operators have a secure and contactless way to streamline order fulfillment and pickup,” said Apex Order Pickup Solutions Chief Executive Officer Mike Wills. “This next-generation design incorporates features to further streamline the operational experience and make it easier for their team members to load orders into the locker and move on to the next customer.”

Commenting of the joint launch of the OrderHQ Series, Nick Patterson, Vice President and Managing Director at Merco, said: “Restaurants and foodservice operators have increasingly turned to Apex to help them successfully offer contactless order pickup options during the pandemic and provide expert guidance in making this process as efficient as possible. The launch of the OrderHQ Series brings together two leaders in the foodservice industry and expands the solutions Merco can offer restaurant operators around the world.”

The new OrderHQ Series will be on display during The Show Beyond The Show live broadcast from Welbilt Headquarters on Thursday, September 2 and at FSTec in Dallas, TX at Apex Order Pickup Solutions Booth 602.

About Apex Order Pickup Solutions 

Apex is a leading global provider of self-serve automated pickup solutions for use in foodservice, retail and b-to-b ecommerce. The Apex Heated Pickup Station was a recipient of the 2019 Kitchen Innovations Award from the National Restaurant Association. Apex contactless order pickup solutions are in use in over 5,000 locations globally. Apex is headquartered in Mason, Ohio. For more information, visit

About Welbilt, Inc.

Welbilt, Inc. provides the world’s top chefs, premier chain operators and growing independents with industry-leading equipment and solutions. Our innovative products and solutions are powered by our deep knowledge, operator insights, and culinary expertise. Our portfolio of award-winning product brands includes Cleveland™, Convotherm®, Crem®, Delfield®, Frymaster®, Garland®, Kolpak®, Lincoln®, Manitowoc® Ice, Merco®, Merrychef® and Multiplex®. These product brands are supported by three service brands: KitchenCare®, our aftermarket parts and service brand, FitKitchen®, our fully-integrated kitchen systems brand, and KitchenConnect®, our cloud-based digital platform brand. Headquartered in the Tampa Bay region of Florida and operating 19 manufacturing facilities throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, we sell through a global network of over 5,000 distributors, dealers, buying groups and manufacturers’ representatives in over 100 countries. We have approximately 4,600 employees and generated sales of $1.2 billion in 2020. For more information, visit