The United States might be emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, but look around you and you’ll realize that some of the new norms we’ve gotten used to over the past year and a half are here to stay.
Take that some Californians are still hesitant to take off their masks despite the dropping of the mandate on June 15th , or that many firms are now implementing virtual-first or flexible work schedules as people get used to working from home. The fact is COVID-19 has, and will continue to have, a sizeable impact on multiple facets of life for Americans.
This is especially true for the food and food production industries, which saw closures, layoffs, supply chain issues, staffing challenges, and many other curveballs that forced companies to adapt or be left in the viruses wake.
Of these curveballs, a prominent one emerged. Americans grew to depend on take-out, drive-thru, and delivery restaurants. The shift to mobile ordering and contactless delivery has placed a renewed strain on Quick Serve Restaurants (QSR’s) to prioritize getting food to customers quickly, and more importantly, in a way that ensures food safety.
When it comes to that safety, the devil is in the details. More so than just donning PPE, QSR’s have had to rethink the entire process of getting food from the order to the customer. While many think that just involves a burger or a salad not touching human hands, it’s so much more than that.
Condiments also play a significant role in the eating experience. When a consumer orders a salad, for example, 90% of the time they’re ordering it for the things that go on top. Cheese, bacon bits, and everything in between play a major role in how a customer decides what to order.
Shouldn’t those condiments also be delivered with a similar emphasis on safety and speed? How can a QSR supply those condiments as customers begin to flock back at close to pre-pandemic levels?
The answer is simple, a silver bullet that ticks all these boxes and more. These are the five reasons why QSR’s should portion pack their condiments.
Enables more sanitary service
With the spotlight on food safety even after the pandemic, portion-packed condiments are a one stop shop for service that gives peace of mind.
When handled by portion packagers, ingredients like nuts, seeds, dried fruit, cheese, and bacon bits are packaged in hypoallergenic facilities engineered to ensure food goes out of the box, down the production line, and directly into a bag. The packing is handled by sanitized equipment to avoid error or unwanted contaminants from human hands, preventing or reducing risk of pathogen contamination.
This means everything for delivering safe, reliable products to customers. Rather than having employees pack and distribute condiments themselves, portion packagers can provide sanitary products from the outset. It’s as simple as throwing a prepackaged packet of bacon bits on top of a to-go salad order, and QSR’s can rest assured that no contaminants ever reach the food to the customer.
Eliminates food waste
Portion packaging your condiments has another benefit when it comes to sustainability— they stamp out food waste.
Consumers are demanding that firms make commitments toward a sustainable planet, and when it comes to optimizing our food supply chain, QSR’s can’t afford to stay behind the curve. That’s where portion packaging comes in.
By ensuring you get the right amount of food each time, the amount food thrown away is completely phased out. This means QSR’s can take tangible steps toward reducing our carbon footprint by getting the most out of every bite. Packaging and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. In fact, portion packaging can actually enable a more sustainable way of eating.
Maintains a more stable shelf life
Speaking of getting the most out of your products, portion packaging helps with that too. Preserving shelf life is the backbone of modern food solutions. While helping cut back on waste, shelf-life stability adds value by reducing the potential for food to go bad.
The packs are designed to serve as a moisture and oxygen barrier that prevents spoilage, bacteria, and mold—because food is more likely to get eaten when it’s fresh. This allows us to preserve products for longer, which makes it less likely that you’ll find condiments in the garbage can.
Take a cheese packet for example. We carefully add a balanced mixture of food-grade nitrogen and reduced oxygen to preserve freshness. Getting the most bang for your buck is the bottom line, and food is portion packed it helps extend that shelf life even further than you thought possible
Provides portion control
This may seem simple, but it goes a long way: portion packs help control what consumers eat. They’re the premier way to conform to serving size recommendations without employees over-serving. This translates to smaller, more various packaging sizes that help maintain flavor profile, all while preventing you from over-serving wastefully. The one-time-use functionality provides for perfect portion control, which ensures that food you eat is used every time. With this you get consistency, uniformity, and efficiency all while delivering the perfect amount of food to the customer.
Enhances speed in preparing to-go orders
QSR’s value something so much that it’s in the name: being quick. Speed is everything at the drive-thru, and employees can’t afford to waste any time getting orders to customers in an efficient way.
Prepackaged condiments increase that efficiency by ten-fold, because the work of packaging is done beforehand. Instead of employees packaging things like parmesan cheese, prepackaged items take the guessing and measuring out of the equation.
Just throw a packet into a to-go bag and move on to the next order. Time is saved (and therefore money is saved) when pre-portioned condiments are part of the line.
While one could read this list and be convinced, the benefits of portion-packed condiments speak for themselves. That’s why when looking for a condiment solution, you should consider a portion packager like us, Latitude 36 Foods! Check out our website at latitude36foods.com to learn more about the coming revolution in food packaging, and how we provide the best in modern packaged food. The future is portion-packed, and allow us to help QSR’s everywhere get to where they need to be.