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Improving the residential food delivery experience

Written by Christopher Stanvick

For anyone living in a single-family home, the food delivery experience is relatively straightforward. Consumers place an order via an app, and then less than an hour later the food magically shows up on their doorstep.

But for the 20% of Americans who live in apartments, it’s a slightly different story.

In September 2020, Minnow conducted a survey to gauge how the residential food delivery experience could be improved. We already had some ideas, but it’s always good practice to see if your theories mesh with reality.

If apartment residents and condo dwellers happen to have an on-site doorman or concierge, that’s great, but more often than not, people need to go and meet the delivery person at the front entrance or buzz them in and do the handoff in their doorway.

These were the norms established pre-pandemic, though. What worked fine last year doesn’t exactly cut it now. Everyone has become more security-and-safety-minded even while performing activities that were once routine and carefree.

We’re forming new habits

That means little things we didn’t used to think twice about like doing face-to-face handoffs and letting countless delivery people in and out of buildings multiple times per day is much more fraught.

While the world has changed, consumers’ appetite for convenience hasn’t waned. It’s just taken new forms.

According to our recent survey, the vast majority (61.5%) of consumers order delivery to their homes once a week, while one-in-five order delivery twice as often. Even if you only account for casual users of food delivery services, that’s a lot of potential comings and goings in and out of a residential building.

Managing foot traffic is a valid concern and has greatly influenced attitudes surrounding safe and secure food pickup, so it makes sense that 71.9% of consumers said it was important to have a contact-free method of picking up their food orders.

q4 residential survey

Nearly one-third went one step further by deeming contact-free pickup to be “very” important.

What consumers want From a food pickup solution

When specifically asked about the importance of being able to pick up an order without having to ask for help, 63.7% considered that feature to be very important. Some other key findings include:

  • 84.5% believe it's very important to receive a notification when an order is ready to pick up

  • 71.3% indicate it’s very important for their food to be in a secure compartment while waiting to be picked up

  • 70.0% want their food kept in an insulated compartment while it's waiting 

What we do know, unequivocally, is that only 8.7% of consumers prefer to pick up their orders from an unattended table or shelf in the lobby. Just because it's commonly offered, doesn't mean it's the best solution. 

There's no question that the residential food delivery experience could be better. It's simply a matter of reassessing tried-and-true methods that might not be serving everyone as well as they once did. 

How do I get a Pickup Pod?

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  • Contact us and tell us about your needs.
  • We'll answer your questions and give you a quote.
  • After you accept the quote we'll start building your Pickup Pod.
  • We'll deliver your Pickup Pod in
    4 - 6 weeks.
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