Innovative Packaging To Simplify Operations
Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019
As foodservice operators look for ideas to better control their kitchen operations, innovative flexible pouch packaging options are among the solutions used.
As operating costs continue to rise and with prolonged concerns presented by the labour shortage, flavour consistency and saving time in the kitchen are two of the biggest challenges faced by operators in the quick serve space. Efficiency gains in the back-of-house (BOH) remain critical to preparing foods quickly, consistently, and in high volumes, but with a high-turnover, low-skilled workforce, many kitchens experience slowdowns or bottlenecks that can detract from food quality and speed of service.
Back-of-house solutions that help operators mitigate some of these risks may hold the key to improving cost, performance, and ultimately the guest experience.
The Secret Ingredient Is Simplicity
Today’s consumers want it all: quick service, affordable prices and flavours that suit specific tastes. From restaurants that are offering casual dining concepts to central kitchens that support food delivery companies, the food industry is catering to these needs. This is evident in Asia Pacific where consumers are increasingly drawn to international cuisines that are not only creative but also authentic. However, meeting these changing consumer needs can be a tall order for food operators in the fast-food and quick-service restaurant industry. With tight margins, staff turnover, and ever-changing customer preferences, owners and operators can be challenged to balance customer expectations with the need to remain efficient in the back-of-house. Adding new flavours to the menu at even a smaller, regional chain, can be challenging as it takes the need to balance product consistency with the ability to scale up quickly.
For many restaurant owners and chefs, a way to add new flavours is through sauces and condiments that can create exciting food combinations for the ever-changing consumer palate.
Sauces, condiments and dressings enable menu flexibility, but what seems like a routine task of transferring liquids from containers to squeeze bottles or arduously spreading them with a spatula come with several challenges. One challenge lies in managing a growing pantry of different sauces and condiments in the kitchen, which can be costly and take up precious space through rigid containers in back-of-house operations. In the transfer of the product from one container to another, there can be food safety implications coupled with food spoilage and over-portioning that lead to food waste. Innovative packaging can be a solution to address some of these challenges, from proper food protection and storage to application.
Increase Your Menu Without Increasing Operational Costs
As foodservice operators look for ideas to better control their kitchen operations, flexible pouch packaging options are among the solutions used. One such solution is a pouch-based dispensing system that provides several benefits all at once. It not only enables portion-control and shelf-life advantages but also take up less space in the kitchen than traditional rigid options like cans or wide-mouth jars.
This is a film pouch solution that is filled with a condiment or sauce, available in different sizes, that fits into a standard condiment dispensing apparatus where kitchen staffers can just press the dispenser trigger to apply a consistent, measured amount of product. The hermetically-sealed flexible pouch eliminates the need to transfer products from larger containers, reducing the risk for spoilage or contamination and ultimately increasing food safety outcomes. And without the need to tear, cut or puncture the package, workers don’t need to worry about the risk of injury. In addition, studies have also shown that workers often spend up to one hour per day cleaning and refilling secondary containers, all of which can be eliminated using a pouch. Much lesser product is wasted with pouches compared to squeeze bottles.
As the low-profile packaging takes up less space than traditional canisters or jars, primary packaging content is reduced by as much as 85 percent. The use-on-demand pouches stay sealed until put in the dispensing unit, so product shelf life and yield rates increase, which also serves to reduce total costs. Such a flexible pouch packaging solution allows foodservice operators to stock more options of sauces and condiments while keeping products safe and fresh—and without the need to increase the size of the kitchen.
Kitchen Efficiency With Speed Of Service
In the dynamic food service industry, where menus and consumer palates are changing frequently and speed of service or delivery is of essence, even the smallest contribution to simplifying back-of-house operations can impact overall operational efficiency and consumer experience. Solutions that help to save costs and space in the kitchen, without cutting corners and compromising food safety and quality, can improve velocity, speed of service and operational efficiency for savvy food service professionals.
Contributed by Surendra Soni, Sector Marketing Director—Asia, Sealed Air
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