Atrium Food Court unlocks a quick bite between classes

Students collect their meal from food lockers at the Atrium Food Court at NC State |

Jordan Watts is a student at NC State majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing and works with the Campus Enterprises marketing department. Jordan recently visited the new food lockers and shared her experience.

Students collect their meal from food lockers at the Atrium Food Court at NC State
NC State’s Paul Matney (in red) assists students
using the lockers for the first time.

As the First Day of Classes at NC State began, food lockers in the Atrium Food Court also made their debut for Grubhub order pick-ups. Located right beyond the entrance doors to the Atrium, the lockers are intended to make the food pickup process more efficient so that customers don’t have to deal with long lines or wait times. 

I got a chance to check out the food lockers on Monday and pick up my own lunch there between classes. The process was seamless. 

Students scan a code on their phones,
then their locker lights green when their
order is ready.

Upon walking into the Atrium the lockers are almost directly in front, just to the left of the seating area. There are two sections with separate kiosks: on the left for Delirious and Union 51 and on the right for Makus Empanadas and Brickyard Pizza. I ordered empanadas as a first-day-of-class treat; when my order was ready, Grubhub sent me a QR code that could be scanned at the appropriate kiosk, as well as a six-digit code that I could type in. At the kiosk, I placed my phone underneath the scanner and it beeped to confirm that it had been read. A locker to my left flashed green and then popped open, containing my empanadas! After retrieving my food I closed the locker, leaving it vacant for other orders. 

While I was there I got an opportunity to speak with Paul Matney, who is helping to oversee the lockers. He shared with me information about what happens if food stays in the lockers for longer than expected: 

  • Food will stay in the lockers for 30 minutes after the code is sent. 
  • After 15 minutes the food will be removed from the locker and placed in the necessary environment to ensure it remains safe to eat. 
  • If customers come to pick up orders that have sat for longer, the light on the kiosk will flash red after their code is scanned and the customer will be directed to an attendant stationed in between the two sets of lockers who will then be able to help the customer retrieve their food. 

Matney also shared with me that although there are no penalties for a delayed pick-up, customers will likely have to wait longer for their food. The food lockers are designed to encourage a speedier and more efficient pickup so that no one has to wait for long. I had placed and picked up my order within the span of ten minutes— and it was the middle of the lunch rush! 

So if you’re in the Brickyard anytime soon, I encourage you to go pick up an Atrium favorite and check out the new lockers. Your food will be ready before you know it. 

NC State’s food lockers are provided by Apex Food Lockers. For more information, visit