The current COVID-19 pandemic has made business owners change how their operations implement health and safety policies for their workers. This factor has had the biggest impact on the food service, convenience retail and wholesale distribution industries. Convenience retail and grocery stores are changing their storefront set ups to promote social distancing and provide ways to keep products safe and surfaces sanitized to cut down on the spread of germs and bacteria.
These safety innovations may also become permanently incorporated into operations into the future after the current pandemic has passed. With buy-in from both employees and business owners into accepting these safety changes, the innovations can be used by companies as a marketing strategy to build their customer base and promote trust in their brand. Here are several safety innovations to consider for your operations.
Adjustable Breath Guards
Buffet stations, self-serve food aisles and full-serve product lines risk the chance of germs and bacteria being introduced into food, products and surfaces by employees and customers. If a customer sneezes or breathes heavily, the breath guards catch the particles, preventing them from reaching food and other products. Since the breath guards are adjustable, they can fit onto a variety of display setups, as well as can be adjusted for easy cleaning and sanitizing.
With many businesses still closed and people filing for unemployment, many workers are looking for part-time gig jobs to bring in extra income. Food deliveries and grocery store shopping work are on the rise, as drivers are picking up orders or shopping on behalf of customers. However, customers are worried about whether their packages have been tampered with during transit from the store or restaurant. To promote trust and guarantee the freshest products reach consumers, businesses are turning to tamper-evident packaging.
This packaging comes as thermal labels that can be placed on a variety of products from pizza boxes to sandwich wraps and plastic containers. The simple design is customizable for branding purposes while customers know that if the seal is broken, the packaged has been tampered with during the delivery. They can see that the product may not be safe to eat or use.
Many convenience stores, grocery stores and other retailers will usually wait until after closing hours to clean off display cases, store handles and other areas of the storefront. Yet due to pandemic concerns, businesses are changing their cleaning routines to incorporate more sanitizing protocols and stations throughout the day while customers are shopping. Safety ambassadors may be used to clean and sanitized surfaces, handles, baskets and shopping carts. They also man stations by the door to speak with incoming customers, reassuring them that surfaces are safe while going over additional safety protocols that have been implemented in the store.
Tri-Tower Cutlery Dispensers
When obtaining plastic cutlery in cafeterias and other food service areas, sanitation can be difficult to maintain when all the utensils are in a single place. People will be picking out forks, spoons and knifes that may not be individually wrapped in plastic. This scenario can introduce germs onto other utensils. With a cutlery dispenser, each individual piece will be dispensed as the germs and bacteria can't be transferred to the other utensils. Future innovations may also involve using the same dispenser design for condiment packets.
Eco-friendly innovations have been desired by customers who are looking to lower their carbon footprint and lessen the amount of waste placed in landfills. Compostable materials made out of renewable and reclaimed materials are safety innovations many manufacturers, distributors and food service operations use to streamline packaging processes in supply chains. These containers come in a variety of shapes and sizes as they will completely biodegrade after use.
While people are eagerly anticipating the end of the current COVID-19 pandemic, businesses can consider implementing these innovations on a regular basis to improve health and safety while being ready if another pandemic appears in the future. Here at Fresh Byte Software, we are also helping businesses with their operations and policies by offering software that promotes traceability for food products. Contact our company to learn more.