HOUSTON, TX August 5, 2021 – The University of Houston and its food service provider Chartwells Higher Education have partnered with Apex Order Pickup Solutions to offer self-serve automated food lockers on campus, becoming the first institution of higher education in the state of Texas with the convenient and contactless food pick-up solution.
The more than 53,000 students, faculty and staff at UH can use the smart lockers with the new dining concept, Asado Burritos and Bowls located at Student Center South. Asado is a Chartwells-created dining brand offering customizable Tex-Mex such as burritos, low-carb bowls, classic sides and more.
Employees load orders from the back of the two-sided flow-thru Apex food lockers while busy customers pick up their orders from the front, ensuring fast and contactless pick-up. The innovative technology increases throughput and transactions, reduces crowds and lines while also providing real-time data and insights to enhance the overall dining experience.
“The pandemic has impacted the landscape of the on-campus dining experience and our approach to guest service should continue to acclimate,” said Charles Pereira, vice president of operations for Chartwells HE at the University of Houston System.
With social distancing still a critical strategy to lessening the spread of COVID-19, the Apex food lockers also provide peace of mind, according to Pereira. Customers simply place their order through a mobile ordering app and receive an email with a unique code when their meal is ready for pickup.
“More people are discovering the convenience of online and mobile ordering as well as contactless service and we recognize that our dining operations must evolve with these changing preferences. 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,” said Emily Messa, UHassociate vice president for administration.
The Apex food lockers at Asado opened on August 2, 2021 and a grand opening event is scheduled for August 24, when students return to campus. For more information on the lockers please visit dineoncampus.com/uh/food-lockers.
About University of Houston
The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter for excellence in undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation’s fourth-largest city and one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse regions in the country, UH is a federally designated Hispanic- and Asian-American-Serving institution with enrollment of more than 46,000 students.
About Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services
Chartwells is the recognized leader in contract food service management, hospitality and award-winning guest service within 290 college and university dining environments throughout academic institutions across the U.S. Chartwells’ nutritious cuisine not only satisfies the unique appetites, lifestyles and dietary needs of every guest dining on campus, but it also brings people together to promote the high-intensity relationships that will prepare students for the future. For more information, visit www.ChartwellsHigherEd.com, www.ChartwellsMonthly.com, www.DineonCampus.com.
About Apex Order Pickup Solutions
Apex is the world’s leading provider of self-serve automated pickup solutions for use in foodservice and retail industries. 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 restaurant, foodservice and retail locations globally. Visit https://apexorderpickup.com for more details.