23 Apr 2020


    The quick service restaurant (‘QSR’) industry, like many other public-facing businesses, has encountered considerable challenges over the past few weeks. Globally, many countries are now facing a nationwide lockdown and theoretically, this has meant that dine-in only restaurants have had no other option but to close. Some businesses have met that challenge head-on with new take-out and delivery services, meeting the social distancing requirements as set by national Governments and in support of those who are self-isolating at home.

    Switching business models from dine-in to take-out or delivery services requires support from across the food industry supply chain to ensure products are delivered safely and on time. Some pubs and restaurants, for example, let customers take leftover food home with them, storing it in takeaway boxes or bags before they leave. But leftovers are for a case-by-case basis, they were never intended to be a long-term business strategy. 

    Making the switch to a takeaway business model means restaurants require access to portable and easily accessible hardware and software solutions that enable them to work on-the-go or from new locations. Traditionally, the QSR industry has used EPOS (‘Electronic Point of Sale’) software to manage orders quickly and efficiently. This touchscreen technology has been a game-changer for restaurants and takeaways over the years, reducing human error and improving resource management. Depending on the EPOS software chosen, they can also integrate with online services such as Deliveroo, UberEats and JustEat, making it much easier to connect with consumers virtually. 

    Aside from EPOS, dine-in businesses switching to delivery services may need to establish new menus and succinct processes for inventory and supply chain management. Can restaurant-style meals be suitably boxed to retain their heat and labelled accurately, with no risk of leakage or cross contamination during delivery? If menus require changes, can they introduce a new supplier to meet their inventory requirements and keep track of them? If additional food safety processes need to be applied to meet stringent regulations, can they put these in place quickly? When pressure is high and swift decisions are needed, automated processes can help turn the tide.

    Cloud-connected technology and solutions that excel in automated inventory management and efficient labelling processes are key for businesses that want to make the leap to delivery services. Highly customisable and portable label printers including the FX3-LX from SATO are optimised for use in the QSR and food industries. With its easy-clean and anti-bacterial casing, the printer can be fully operated with gloves to meet stringent health and safety standards and, due to its ability to adapt to any business model, is highly effective for on-demand food labelling. This means staff can change the date and time the food was prepared, nutritional information, ingredients and allergen advice, in real-time, to minimise hours spent on administration, driving down costs and boosting efficiency. 

    When speed is of the essence for takeaway and delivery services, automatic label dispensers such as the SATO S-70 are frustration-free and ideal for mobile, on-the-go situations. Great for improving assembly workflows in the kitchen, the lightweight electric label dispenser automatically peels and dispenses a new label once one has been taken off. Quick and easy to use, the S-70 is a great time-saver for the new food to go business. 

    There are many solutions available to help the QSR industry during these difficult times. For restaurants, pubs and cafés looking to switch business models to help ease demand on supermarkets and help those isolating at home, we recommend reading this guide for further information on how to keep your staff safe and to understand what the legal and hygiene requirements are for food delivery services.

    If you need any assistance on food labelling and health and safety management, please contact us.