Black engineers revolutionize take out amidst COVID-19

Lavii, Inc is simplifying everyday experiences through functional and solution-based technology amid COVID-19

2 mins read
(L) James Bagley, Rea Huntley, Marcus Gunn - Credit: LAVII, Inc

The second wave of COVID-19 cases is compounding the already dire financial forecast for the hospitality industry.

While some bars and restaurants were benefiting from warmer summer weather by serving patrons outdoors or takeout orders from passersby, the cooler temperatures are impacting owners who can no longer stay afloat amidst this novel coronavirus outbreak. Forced to pivot and put in place new procedures that keep both their customers and employees safe, one Black-owned tech startup created the solution a year earlier.

Lavii, Inc. uses the tagline “The Simple Experience,” with the intention of simplifying everyday experiences through functional and solution-focused technology, first in fast food.

In July, Lavii Smart Locker technology launched a pilot program where three local restaurants allowed customers to place orders online, receive a text message with a locker number and QR code to scan at pickup to safely retrieve their to-go orders in under 30 seconds.

The insulated compartments keep hot food hot and cold food cold, while protecting orders from airborne particles, minimizes exposure with others and solves an efficiency problem of existing bookshelf style rapid pickup stations. After serving 3,000 orders in three months, owners became believers and the team realized their vision is truly a viable solution at a crucial time for the food industry.


Huntley grew up “different” from other young girls as she enjoyed traditionally male-dominated activities like basketball and drumming. She took an interest in tech from being an avid gamer. She remembered deconstructing her Playstation to better understand how it worked.

The team at Lavii is working to establish protective barriers, while breaking them in STEM. Minorities are severely underrepresented in the field, oftentimes due to a lack of resources or access to extracurricular programs.

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