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Order to collect at the M&S Cafe

Testing a new ordering method in Basingstoke
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The M&S café ordering model offered table service and takeaway. The business wanted to experiment with a new method where customers could collect their order, to compete with other kiosk based food places. The challenge was integrating multiple methods into the kiosk whilst also educating customers who were already sceptical of the kiosks! It was also our first service design project with the team.


A new journey with clear messaging and alternative routes on collecting their order.


The redesign improved most of the journey, especially during the rebrand. Overall there was a preference to stick with table service.


Phoeby Narenthiran (Product Designer)

Sneha Das (Product Manager)


As it was our first project with the café team, we travelled around to look at competitors and understand how their models worked. We consistently reminded ourselves that we were different to the fast-food sellers around us, but although less established we still had an opportunity to improve the ordering experience for our customers.

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As there were multiple models interacting with each other, we made sure to map everything out to keep track of the journey. This helped to highlight a few key design considerations and questions - we then reached out to our hospitality contact who remained a vital part of the team as we progressed

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My architecture background came in handy when we were assessing the overall movement within the testing space in Basingstoke. We wanted to keep track of how customers would need to move through the space and any potential blockers to their journey - e.g. would someone right at the back want to be collecting their item? This was when we realised the strong need to offer an alternative option to collecting - additional to accessibility needs.

Final designs

The key design elements (recording was done before the rebrand!):

  • Working with the third party kiosk provider's out of box solutions. 

  • A new ' how does it work' overlay that provides the customer with a brief overview of the process

  • Adding a 'request for assistance' button - ensuring the copy is inclusive.

  • Developing gifs to aid customers in understanding the new model and what is expected of them


What's next?

We're continuing to improve the order to table model and maintaining the new branding across the digital journey. We're also looking to develop the app further!

What did I learn?

  • Although the model wasn't rolled out to all the other cafe's, it was an interesting new journey for our team and allowed us to build important relationships that we continue to cherish with hospitality, marketing and the product team

  • I learnt the importance of clear messaging to improve customer sentiment, however this should be applied regionally - the location for the test is extremely important

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