The use of third-party delivery services like UberEats, DoorDash, and GrubHub are at an all time high. While third party delivery services were gaining popularity before the Coronavirus Pandemic, the outbreak created increased demand and sped up adoption. Pre-pandemic, third party delivery services were growing rapidly given that people loved the convenience. What’s easier than ordering your favorite meal from your couch, then having it delivered right to your doorstep?
It has been over a year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and businesses are still struggling to adapt to new market demands and recoup losses. Restaurants and foodservice operations were some of the most impacted. Initial lockdowns and regulations made it nearly impossible to make profits. Now that there are promising vaccines in distribution and the economy is opening back up, you may be looking for ways to double down and increase sales to make up for losses last year. While more people are willing to venture out, restaurants and other foodservice operations still face many challenges. There are numerous governmental and state regulations still in place. For example, in many areas, bars, and self-service food areas remain closed. The consumer mindset continues to evolve, and the COVID-19 situation remains extremely dynamic. The key to gaining back lost sales during such unprecedented times is innovation and the ability to adapt.
Takeout and delivery services have been a lifeline for many foodservice operations as we continue to deal with the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. There seems to be no end in sight for the increasing popularity even as the economy begins to reopen in many areas. We can assume takeout and delivery will remain the norm for the foreseeable future. As a result, it will be imperative that you’re providing your guests with the same experience at home as they would receive in-house. When your guests sit down to eat, they want their meal to look and taste great. They’ll also want it to be at the right temperature. However, sometimes as hard you try, it is just not possible to control whether your food products will be delivered on time and at the right temperature, or if your guests will choose to enjoy it as soon as they pick it up.
As foodservice operations continue to deal with the effects of Coronavirus, many have been forced to make changes to comply with government regulations and new guest demands. Some states have capacity restrictions on indoor dining, while others are only allowing for outdoor dining and takeout. While some operators have chosen to stay closed to avoid the risk of an outbreak in their facility, many others have now reopened with changes in the way they run their business. Most commonly, businesses have shifted their service models to offer safer service options such as contactless curbside pickup and delivery.
Reducing the spread of pathogens in your facility has likely never been more front-of-mind given the current Coronavirus situation. One of the best and most effective ways to reduce the spread of pathogens is with handwashing, according to the CDC. Frequent hand washing is often considered the first line of defense in preventing the spread of illness. It may seem obvious that frequent handwashing is important to staying healthy, but a 2018 study reveals that only about 67% of people always wash their hands after using a public restroom.
Consumers today are constantly on the move, and carry-out, delivery and third party delivery services have become the norm for many restaurants and other foodservice establishments. As a result, disposable take-out packaging has become an essential component of operation.
When it comes to product disposal, understanding what foodservice packaging products are recyclable can play a big role in satisfying your customers and lowering your environmental footprint. It is important to understand the disposal options of the materials you are purchasing so your business can meet your sustainability goals and exceed customer demands. For many, recycling begins with looking for a product’s recycling symbol and ends with putting the product in the recycling bin. But, just because a plastic or paper product can be recycled doesn’t mean it is widely accepted by your commercial hauler.
As the trend toward sustainability grows, and plastic straws become the target of increasing government regulations, businesses are looking for alternatives for the traditional plastic straw. There are several available alternatives, and selecting the best one for your foodservice program can be confusing. Some options are more sustainable while others are more durable, but all are more expensive than plastic straws.
Popular in most cafeterias, breakrooms, office kitchens, and other eateries, bins or dispensers are filled with disposable cutlery for guests to take and use with their meal or snack. Often not considered as a large part of your foodservice operation, disposable cutlery can be costing your business more than you think. When disposable cutlery is placed in a bin, it can encourage visitors to take more than they need, and even allow guests to touch multiple pieces, increasing the likelihood of cross-contamination.
Single-use plastic bags have been the target of state bans and legislation as their impact becomes more and more realized. The amount of plastic bags in the environment has become a huge problem because Americans alone use approximately 100 billion plastic bags a year, but only an estimated 1% get returned for recycling each year. Plastic takes years to decompose and even when they break down, they do not fully degrade. Plastic breaks down into microplastics or tiny pieces of plastics. Microplastics contaminate the environment and the food sources of humans and animals. More and more businesses in the affected states that provide patrons with single-use, lightweight plastic bags to take merchandise home, such as grocery stores, department stores, liquor stores, restaurants, convenience stores, and other retail stores will need to find alternatives to single-use plastic bags.
Recently, the media has brought attention to an increase in food package tampering, heightening concerns among food service providers and their customers. As a result, tamper-evident packaging is more important than ever. In June of 2019, a woman filmed herself removing a tub of ice cream from her local Walmart’s freezer, opening it, licking the top of the ice cream, and then closing the lid and putting the ice cream back on the shelf. The video was then shared to her instagram account. Soon after, the video went viral and news of this event caused a string of copycat offenses. To further grow consumer concerns, just a few days after the initial ice cream incident, news outlets shared more food tampering cases in which people were opening liquid product containers, gargling some of it, spitting it back into the container, and returning them to the shelf. As a result, many consumers questioned why the products were not packaged with greater protective features to reduce the risk of product tampering.