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UNSW students tuck-in to hundreds of hot meals served in innovative thermal food lockers

Foodifox delivers improved student dining experience in collaboration with 4 mins read
Students access meals from Foodifox thermal food lockers at UNSW

Students living in fully-catered on-campus residences at UNSW Sydney have enjoyed more than a thousand hot meals served in a high-tech thermal food locker within the first 41 days of a pilot launched in March to give students more dining choices.


With more than 600 students dining at Goldstein Hall each day, mealtimes can be a little chaotic. Thermal lockers from Australian startup Foodifox have now made it possible for students unable to eat at the set lunch or dinner times to access hot and fresh meals outside of core dining hours.


Almost 150 students have wasted no time in taking up the new dining experience in the first six weeks, with the locker filling to capacity with student orders just three days into the pilot. Students requiring a late-night meal were most common, with the lockers 142% utilised at dinner (average 25 meals per session) and 76% at lunchtime (average 13 meals).


Located at the entrance of the main dining hall, the locker unit consisting of 17 individually heated cubicles has served 1,141 late meals in the first 41 days, keeping food hot, safe and secure.


UNSW College resident, Alex, said: “Many times, I skip a meal during dining times due to my busy study schedule. With Foodifox lockers being installed in the dining hall, it allows me more flexibility and caters to many other busy academic students. The new system is way more user-friendly. It makes me feel like I’m ordering electronically from a fast-food chain, which is efficient and convenient!”


The pilot – the first of its kind in the Australian education sector – was initiated by corporate caterer Catering Project, to help improve the dining, and overall university experience for students at UNSW.


Students would previously have to locate and reheat their allocated meals from a refrigerator, often leading to mix-ups and meals not reflecting the Chefs’ care and effort they pride themselves on.


Through integration with the University’s existing online ordering and cashless payments partner, students are now able to request late lunches and late dinners through the My School Connect app.


Once the request is made, the student is assigned a locker cubicle where Catering Project places the meal ready for collection. The heated cubicle keeps the meal hot until collected by the student. For added peace of mind the Foodifox lockers are fitted with UV self-cleaning technology ensuring that all lockers are hygienic and ready for the next meal service.


To pick up a meal the hungry students simply scan a unique QR code on their phone and the secure cubicle pops open to give them access to their hot meal ready to enjoy.


Tim Pagram, Foodifox Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder said: “The best meals are served hot, fresh and right when you’re ready to enjoy them. We’re thrilled by the rapid take-up of the service and that so many UNSW students have been able to enjoy the high-quality food experience provided by UNSW through our lockers.


“The integration with My School Connect and Catering Project, is a strong demonstration of the highly-flexible and scalable ‘Self-Serve’ platform we have built at Foodifox to solve the food delivery and collection challenges at high-volume catering, residential and corporate locations around Australia.”


Luke Jones UNSW Sydney, Operations, Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Education & Student Experience, said: “The main dining hall is a vibrant hub of activity and an important opportunity for our students to build social connections while refueling their minds and bodies between studies. But we understand that students have increasingly busy academic and social lives, so this pilot will provide more opportunities for those students to enjoy the wonderful nutritious food provided to all students living on campus, in an innovative and convenient way.”


Catering Project, Executive Chef Dominique Heitz, said: “As a chef I’m always looking for ways to improve the dining experience for my customers, through delicious, nutritious, and high-quality food. The Foodifox lockers give us confidence that students are enjoying their meals the way we prepared them.”


UNSW College resident, Jeremy, said “I use the late meal order quite often. Trying out the new system it’s pretty straight forward and handy.”


Rob Rossi, My SchoolConnect CEO & Founder said: “Our platform is already the hub of cashless purchases and food ordering for students around the country, so this pilot integration with Foodifox provides yet another convenient way for students to access their meals.”


The UNSW pilot marks Foodifox’s first location within NSW. With nearly 50 corporate and residential locations already in operation across the startup’s native Melbourne, Foodifox is leveraging the global momentum of thermal lockers and domestic growth in food delivery with over 7 million Australians using a meal delivery service and 7,000 food orders made hourly across the country.


Foodifox’s mission is to ease the pain points associated with food delivery in high-rise residential buildings, education institutions and corporate workplaces through the solution that allows drivers and caterers to deliver food straight to an allocated locker, where users can simply unlock it with their phones.


Foodifox is a state-of-the-art storage solution designed to revolutionise food delivery in multi-residential apartments, corporate offices, hospitals, and educational institutions. At its core, Foodifox helps to mitigate the myriad of challenges associated with the evolution of the food delivery industry. 


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