Black-owned tech company creates ‘smart locker’ for no-contact food pickup

Black-owned tech company creates 'smart locker' for no-contact food pickup
The Lavii Inc. executive team (left to right): Rea Huntley, James Bagley and Marcus Gunn (Photo credit: Lavii Inc.)

While the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States currently hovers around 26.2 million and is expected to increase, many small businesses continue to experience interruptions due to local mandates. In 2019, Rea Huntley, James Bagley and Marcus Gunn started Lavii Inc., a Temple Hills, Maryland-based company that provides affordable technology solutions to help small and large businesses optimize their operations and create the best customer experience possible. Since the pandemic, the startup has launched Lavii Smart Food Lockers, a technology that provides restaurants with a way to offer contact-free pickup orders.

Rolling out spoke with Huntley, Bagley and Gunn about their company.

What was the driving force behind starting Lavii Inc.?

Rea Huntley: One afternoon in the summer of 2019, I placed an order at one of my favorite restaurants. Hoping to be in and out, I expected that my order would be at the register ready to go when I arrived. Instead, when I got there, the line was long. I had to wait for 20 minutes. I had no idea my order was already prepared and sitting behind the counter. At the time, many restaurants were using an open shelving system for customers to pick up their orders. There was no system in place for them to automatically communicate with customers. I thought that there has to be a better way to make order pickup quicker and more convenient. And that’s where the idea of the smart locker for made-to-order food pickup came to me.

How does it work?

RH: Our Lavii Smart Food Lockers are poised as the perfect solution to slow or stop the spread of COVID-19 in the food service industry due to our patent-pending technology’s contactless function. We provide restaurants with a viable solution for contactless order pickup, increasing their sales and giving the customers minimal interaction.

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