Queueing for street food at outdoor events could be a thing of the past following a Stratford-upon-Avon business trialling a new click-and-collect service at the town’s late-night festive shopping markets.
Feast Streat – a Stratford event catering business – is encouraging customers to download its smartphone app from QR codes dotted around the market, which will be at Waterside on Thursday and Sunday evenings.
Visitors can then use the app to order their food from Feast Streat’s many food stalls at the market in advance.
The customer is then given a time and a pick-up point to collect their food. When the food is ready the customer can simply head to the pick-up point and get their order, instead of having to spend a long time waiting in a queue.
Ryan Patrick, Commercial Director of Feast Streat, said the idea came to him during the first lockdown.
“Click-and-collect works in lots of other situations, so why can’t it be offered at outdoor events?
“At busy times, queues for food can be very long, and with COVID-19 restrictions, customers could be waiting even longer than usual.
“The biggest factor in customers waiting for their food at these events is the ordering process and the cooking process. Handing the food over takes seconds.
“Our click-and-collect system enables customers to be elsewhere for the first two steps. They only need to be at the pick-up point when their food is ready, which prevents long and potentially unsafe queues.
“The pick-up times will be staggered strategically so we don’t have too many people collecting at once.
“What’s also great is that the app allows people to order from multiple street food stalls at the same time, and pick up everything from one collection point.
“Of course, if people do not have a smartphone or would prefer to queue anyway, that option is still open to them.
“This new system will not only enable visitors to the market to stay COVID-safe, it will allow them to spend more time browsing other stalls or visiting other shops, which will do Stratford-upon-Avon’s businesses a world of good.
“We’re really excited to pilot this new system in town, and I’m confident visitors to the Thursday and Sunday markets on Waterside, will find it very useful.”
Feast Streat has been working with start-up tech firm NOQ – pronounced ‘no queue’ – to develop the click-and-collect service.
Ryan is hoping to fine-tune the operation of the service as Stratford’s festive season opens, with markets taking place every Thursday and Sunday through December, up until the 20th.
Once the system has been perfected, Ryan is aiming to roll it out across Feast Streat’s many events all over the country, including other markets, sporting events, concerts and music festivals.
Cllr Ian Shenton, Operations Portfolio Holder at Stratford District Council, said: “Feast Streat’s click-and-collect service is a fantastic idea, and we’re really pleased it’s being piloted at our Waterside markets over the festive period.
“It will give visitors to our markets a safe and convenient way to order food, instead of them having to wait in a queue for a long time.
“It’s fantastic to see a Stratford-upon-Avon business innovating like this to improve experiences for event-goers not only in Stratford, but hopefully all over the UK as well as we head into 2021.
“I’d encourage people to visit the market, download the app and give it a try.”