This Week in Pods

Tired of standing around in restaurant lobbies waiting for your takeout order? Worried that your jerk coworker might grab your burrito by “mistake?” A new startup has the answer, and YES IT’S PODS:

Restaurant pickup pod company Minnow was born after its co-founder was waiting in a long line at a restaurant for lunch. He noticed that the customers around him were annoyed with the wait, and they were actually leaving the premises: “You had a business with customers [who] weren’t really happy, and you also had lost business because the lines were too long,” Minnow Co-Founder and CEO Steven Sperry told in an interview.

As reports, more and more people are turning to takeout — and that’s causing problems for restaurants. Either you’ve got a long line of people waiting to order food and carry it back to their homes or offices, or you’ve got a cluster of people waiting to pick up the food they ordered online. If a restaurant tries to streamline the process by, say, putting takeout orders in labeled clamshells on a shelf, then people start stealing the clamshells. (As CNBC reports, 1 in 5 office workers have no problem taking someone else’s lunch.)

Clearly, it’s time for pods. Insulated, lockable, pods. Like Amazon Lockers, but for food. Or, if you’d rather, for food delivery workers:

But Sperry is looking beyond restaurants as use cases for his pods. The company has, for instance, tested the concept in the lobby of a class-A office building. With the system, employees could order their meals and have them delivered to the pod. That setup allows the customer to collect the food order when it is convenient for them rather than when a delivery person arrives, which could provide some flexibility if the customer has a meeting or a phone call at work.

If this pod system works, it will no doubt expand from restaurants to office buildings to apartments, and people will tweet about how uncomfortable they are to be happy that they no longer have to take their food delivery out of the hands of another human. The delivery person can arrive in a golf-cart-sized travel pod, and then the food can go in the food pod and the person who bought the food can take it back to the pod they use to create a private space in their shared apartment! Pods for everything!

Photo credit: Geoff Peters, CC BY 2.0.

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