Minnow Makes Lockable Pods the New Key to Restaurant Delivery

November 9, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

Sometimes great ideas are borne out of the most mundane circumstances. Take Minnow, for example; it got its start from a guy waiting in line for lunch, and noticing how pretty much everyone around him was annoyed—he didn’t mention if he too was annoyed, but he likely was—and ultimately leaving because the wait just ran too long. That prompted a whole new idea that Minnow took up actively: lockable pods for meals.

Minnow’s pods effectively work like lockers that respond to individual customers. While cubbyholes and the like were a decent idea—they allowed orders to be completed and set out rather than waiting for a customer to pick them up—they still came with some problems. The biggest of these was the possibility of picking up the wrong order, which left everybody involved in kind of a mess.

With Minnow’s system, diners use an app to unlock a locked pod containing their order after it’s been paid for. That helps ensure that the right order goes to the right person thanks to the pod’s wireless locking mechanism and app control.  

Some might immediately recognize a parallel between the Minnow pod and Little Caesars’ “Pizza Portal.” There is an important difference here; the Pizza Portal relies on a number code that could be forgotten, throwing a wrench into the process. Minnow opens only with an app. It becomes possible to incorporate order and payment functions with these tools. The pods are even insulated to help ensure the food stays hot as long as possible.

Something like this could have some real ramifications throughout the industry. Start with an app, with a mobile payments component, so you can order and pay for the food from the same interface. Now, expand this into a fine-dining restaurant. It becomes possible to have anybody be their own waitstaff, and leave when they’re done. That improves turnaround and adds to revenue. It’s also a great option for anything that might have had a carside-to-go or equivalent measure.

That’s just a couple potential use cases. Minnow’s pods—and those like it—could be a very big deal in the future because they’re so well-suited to the field. Cutting expenses with minimal quality loss is generally a worthwhile outcome.