Like many others, our CEO Rea Huntley experienced her share of frustration when picking up food from restaurants. After 20 minutes in line waiting for an order that was sitting behind the counter, Huntley finally reached her boiling point.
After yet another frustrating experience when picking up food, Huntley thought of an idea to improve the pickup experience for customers like herself. Her idea was to build a smart food locker that restaurant and customers could use to provide a seamless pickup process for all parties involved. She began sketching designs and researching all the necessary components she would need to build this solution.
With the idea for a solution mapped out, Huntley made her way to the local hardware store and purchased wood and other materials needed to build the outer casing for the first prototype. This prototype would be powered by a Raspberry Pi that she purchased online.
Huntley decides to bring on two partners, Marcus and James, to help further develop the solution and the software behind it. This team, consisting of three engineers, functions as a cohesive unit as each member brings a unique set of skills that compliment one another.
With the right people on board, Huntley and the team continued to build on the initial prototype. They built a 15 compartment locker unit made of plastic. This prototype was powered by a new robust software solution that was able to handle all transactions needed to operate the unit.
After the concept was proven and the beta version of the software in place, the team focused their efforts on further developing a more reliable and scalable hardware solution. The team made the decision to ditch plastic and instead build a locker made of metal. A 10 inch touch screen and acrylic glass doors were also added to the design.
Feeling confident in their solution, the team set out to find pilot partners that would allow them to test their product in the market. After a meeting with a budding local business, Crab Boss, Lavii was able to secure their first pilot partner and place their smart food lockers in the restaurants' two locations. Soon after, a second restaurant, Shark Bar and Seafood Grill, also came on board as a pilot partner and Lavii was off and running.
After 60 days and over 3000 error free orders processed through the locker, Lavii's Pilot Program was a success. The company was overwhelmed with the positive feedback from their pilot partners and the customers using the smart food lockers. With dozens of messages and positive reviews in person and on social media, the team knew they were on to something.
After a successful pilot, Lavii was able to convert both pilot partners to paying customers and additionally secure another customer, Judy's Island Grill.