Heated food lockers appear in Melbourne buildings

by Sophie Berrill
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heated food locker

A convenient new amenity keeping food delivery items warm and secure is rolling out in building foyers across Melbourne.

The thermal lockers, created by Australian tech company Foodifox, have been installed in 36 buildings so far, including corporate workplaces and residential towers. This innovation follows the success of similar models in Asia and addresses the booming online food ordering and delivery industry in Australia now worth $1.3 billion, according to market researchers IBISWorld

How do the heated food lockers work?

Hungry users can place their orders through a partnering delivery app or via the Foodifox app. The driver then drops the order into a secure locker at its destination where it is kept warm for up to three hours, and the user can retrieve it using an app.

Foodifox co-founder Tim Pagram says that the storage solution has been designed to benefit multiple stakeholders. The first is the end-users, who are concerned about the timeliness and ease of their food delivery. The second is the delivery platforms whose drivers might have trouble getting into buildings. And the third is the building managers. 

“The buildings themselves are finding a fair amount of tension being caused by delivery platforms, the drivers having to enter the buildings and then wander around trying to find the tenant,” Pagram told 3AW on 19 September.

Who pays for the lockers?

Apart from an installation fee, there are no ongoing maintenance or service fees associated with the thermal lockers, according to Foodifox’s website. It is actually the food delivery platforms that cover the costs.

“The commercial model is built around the platforms themselves, because of the efficiency they gain, paying a small fee for delivery through the locker,” says Pagram. 

According to The Age, food delivery companies HungryPanda and Fantuan currently use Foodifox’s heated lockers. The company plans to expand beyond Melbourne and to sign up more food delivery companies such as Uber Eats and DoorDash.

A new report has found the flex office market is recovering as people seek versatile work environments.

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