Improving pick-up feature on a food delivery platform, as one of the few options of business for restaurants in the early lockdown

Katarina Petrov
8 min readJan 30, 2021

During the first Corona crisis in March 2020, the Austrian government restricted the opening times of restaurants and even closed them for the public. Delivery — and possibly pick-up — was the main way of doing business for restaurants for an undefined period of time.

The challenge & discovery

At Mjam, a food delivery platform in Austria, we were aware the pick-up experience in Mjam mobile app was not the best.

When a user selected the pick-up option there wasn’t any significant feedback on the screen. Restaurant tiles on the list were updated but nothing else really changed. Most of the time users didn’t realize they selected pick-up options or they forgot about it while browsing further.

Due to evolving lockdown situation, we wanted to provide better pick-up service for restaurants to help them survive the difficult times

Two Restaurant list screens, representing unselected and selected Pick-up (Abholung) option.

Insights from the data

In late 2019 we already conducted qualitative and quantitative research on the pick-up topic. The qualitative research was combined from a usability test (Vienna, Austria) and a survey, both on Mjam website experience with users that had ordered pick-up before. The research also included an extensive competitor analysis, which also helped us take some of the right directions.

The main additional insight we gathered were:

  • The pick-up option can be hard to find
  • Sorting by distance and comparing distances of restaurants should be easier
  • Preparation time is still called ‘delivery time’
  • Wish the predicted pick-up time was more accurate
  • Users often copied restaurants address to Google to get the direction
  • Users think that it’s most important that pick-up is easy to order, the order is ready when expected and there are no delivery / additional costs involved

Google Analytics data showed:

  • Pick-up orders make up less than 1% of all our orders
  • Most pick-up orders come from apps, by far (Jan 2020: 2400 Apps / 100 Web)

User needs

From our research above we identified these 3 main pain points:

  1. Pick-up mode is confusing (mode selection, prep time, a distance of restaurant)
  2. Directions to restaurant
  3. Pick-up time is relevant and required information

Problem statement

We could see the main problems were in:

  1. Awareness and discovery
    Users had a difficult time finding the switching option, therefore entrance to pick-up mode was limited.
  2. Usability when selecting the restaurant
    When the restaurant was selected there was no way to see the distance between the user’s location and the restaurant or no sorting by distance option.
    Users were unable to explore nearby restaurants or see their locations.
    When visited the restaurant’s page after selected the pick-up option, there was no relevant information about the pick-up time and the distance to the restaurant.
  3. Clarity during checkout
  4. Transparency and helpful information during order tracking

Hypothesis & Ideation

According to other objectives on our Product plan and based on criteria of feasibility and viability we decided to focus on the first two problems first.

We believed if we increase awareness and discovery of pick-up options by adding a better visual indication of the features and make the information about the pick-up more transparent throughout the journey, users would use the pick-up option more and therefore help the restaurant on our platform with their business.

Within the short HMW ideation session we came up with a few potential improvements:

  1. Prominent switch for pick-up and delivery on RLP
  2. Show a map with close-by restaurants
  3. Sort restaurants by distance when pick-up is selected
  4. Show distance to the restaurant on restaurant tile instead of the delivery fee and MOV on RLP tile and MP
  5. Restaurant info should always show 1) address, 2) walking distance and 3) preparation time
  6. Show info that order is pick-up (including address and distance) on Cart and Checkout

In order to evaluate if this hypothesis is correct, we wanted to conduct an A/B test where part of our users will be able to see the improvements.


After defining most potential solutions we created the first sketches and lo-fi wireframes and due to lockdown being on a full scale, tested them internally with colleagues.

Hand-drawn sketches showing first drafts of the map and more transparent displaying of information about the pick-up.

After a few adjustments, we created visual UI designs and a full prototype in Invision.

Main improvements

1. Adding stronger visual indication when users select the pick-up option

On the usability test, we understood users didn’t get enough visual feedback when they switched to pick-up mode, so usually, they were left confused, sometimes they didn’t realize they are already in the pick-up mode.

To solve this problem we decided to add an image generated from an actual map of users' surroundings, placed above the restaurant list.

We assumed the visual indication of the map would provide clear information about the restaurants nearby and how can they reach them.

Later on, we conducted another experiment showing the map to all users, assuming the map would probably benefit all of them, not only the one who chose the pick-up option

2. Introducing an interactive map for a better overview of restaurants nearby

The biggest improvement of the pick-up experience was adding the interactive map.

The interactive map provides our users to have a clear and friendly overview of the restaurants in their surroundings and the number of them. They can easily assess which one is the closest and go for it first.

Users were often mentioned they miss the map and google for restaurants to get the information about the distance instead.

3. Simplified restaurant discovery

For an easier restaurant discovery, we decided to use a pattern we observed in other applications during our competitor's analysis.

By selecting a dot on the map, which represents a single restaurant the view, users also get to see the fastest route to the restaurant.

At the bottom of the map, the restaurant information pops up, which provides the user an additional navigation option at the same time.

Information is now adapted to pick-up showing the distance and approximate time for the pick-up.

Information about the pick-up is now transparent at every step of the journey

Users were often confused about the clarity of how are they getting the food. Since the only indication of switching to pick-up mode was at the beginning of the journey. They tend to forget they selected it or they simply forgot after falling into browsing mode.

To solve that problem we added a clear indication about ht pick-up at every step of the journey: on the restaurant page, they could see the distance to the restaurant, pick-up time, and restaurant address in the header of the page. The same info was placed to the cart and the checkout.

Final result

Final result

The changes in pick-up experience soon improved the numbers as expected

Some of the first GA numbers showed:

  • Interest in the pick-up has grown by 250% compared to before the lockdown
  • Pickup orders grew by 133% compared to the best day before lockdown.
  • Adding the Map on Apps seems to have a positive impact on CVR

Usability test on a live app and post-pick-up experience

Additionally, we wanted to see how the improvements impacted the user experience when choosing the pick-up itself, so we conducted a remote user test on the live app and a post-experience test on Mjam users in Austria.

Remote usability test

For this test we set up remote usability tests for the first time, using tools like Calendly, Zoom, and very detailed ‘how to set up your devices’ guidelines.

We tested the pick-up feature on the live app, without placing the actual order.

The goal of the test was to see if our hypothesis was correct and if the recent improvements made the feature more friendly and easier to use.

The top 5 learning from the test were:

  • None of the users actually ever uses the pick-up
  • All users found the ‘Abholen’ button on the restaurant list right away
  • The map was clear and easy to navigate
  • Deliver vs. Pickup mode on RLP is clear, elsewhere not 100%
  • Some users want to see the restaurant located on the menu page

Post-pick-up experience

For this type of test, we invited 4 Mjam users to order for pick-up and share their insights with us in a remote interview.

The top 5 learnings from them were:

  • time showing on after order page is confusing, more users said it is not reliable
  • users like pickup as they can “control” when the food will be available for them, as they don’t need to wait for the delivery person to despatch multiple meals
  • they still select their restaurant by browsing through the list and not by choosing the interactive map
  • restaurant tiles in delivery mode could have a flag saying that they do pick-up also
  • users choose a delivery method in different places (address input, button on RLP, cart)

Further initiatives for improvement

After looking in the gathered data it was clear that the overall experience was significantly improved. The design made the feature friendlier and easier to use.

More users were choosing pick-up as for of getting their food, but to be honest, a lot of that happened due to the restaurants closed for dine-in areas.

We also identified some small areas of improvement and to experiment on.

The worrying part was pick-up didn’t really pick up on a scale we hoped.

We still believed there is a lot more potential to it. In hope of increasing the share of pick-up orders and user frequency, we later had a few more brainstorm sessions. The main focus of the sessions was what moving us towards making pick-up a success, what is holding us back and how might we improve in these challenges.

But …. that is whole another topic to write about :)

Maybe in a new post sometime very soon.

I couldn’t achieve anything of the above without my dearest and the best Mjam Product team members, so thank you: Hesham, Antonia, Ola, Christian, and of course the amazing Mjam Tech team.