5 Foodservice Innovations to Address COVID-19 & Beyond

May 28, 2020 Bidfood - News

The food and beverage industry is one of the industries worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses in this sector are expected to lose millions of dollars in sales and revenue, with many possibly closing down after the crisis is over.

Many businesses in the foodservice sector, however, refuse to let this pandemic bring them down. Although these companies are not allowed to carry out their normal operations, they are still finding ways to provide their service or deliver their goods to meet the needs of their customers, and people, in general.

In the UAE, foodservice operators have already found and implemented innovations that have helped them cope with the pandemic. Since the coronavirus is expected to usher in a “new normal,” these changes will stick around even after the crisis is over.

But what changes have foodservice operators in the UAE implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic? Trusted food suppliers in Dubai list them below:

1. Delivery Services

Although delivery services have been around for years, the coronavirus global crisis has motivated restaurants, food suppliers, and other foodservice operators to rethink and put their own spin on this amenity.

For instance, some restaurants that did not previously offer delivery services are now including this in their provisions. Aside from food, they can also deliver beverages, both hot and cold.

In addition, many dining establishments and food suppliers are also providing consumers with more options. Aside from ready-to-eat meals, they are also offering a variety of meats, fish, vegan and dairy products, desserts, pantry and bakery supplies, beverages, condiments, and other items that can inspire home cooks to create their culinary masterpieces.

With the rise of delivery services, consumers can still enjoy their favorite foods from their preferred restaurants in the comfort and safety of their homes. Whether they order the ready-to-eat option or the ingredients for dishes they have to cook, everyone can still indulge.

2. Improved Food Handling Workforce Safety

Even though there is no proof of COVID-19 transmission through food or food packaging, restaurants and food suppliers are still putting in place stringent new safety measures to protect both their staff and customers.

All foodservice businesses have put up clear protocols which employees, suppliers, partners, and customers have to follow. One important part of these SOPs is the frequent washing of hands for at least 20 seconds.

All delivery personnel are well-trained and instructed to follow health protocols regarding the collection and delivery of orders. These include frequent sanitization of their hands and vehicles.

For restaurants and foodservice businesses that offer takeaway or pickup services, physical distancing recommendations are strictly observed. This means that employees have to stay at least two meters away from their coworkers and customers.

The number of employees in the food preparation area is also now limited. Establishments are limiting the number of customers inside the premises as well.  

Moreover, hand sanitizers are available and free for all customers to use. Employees also have to clean and disinfect touchpoints, such as doorknobs, payment stations, and baskets regularly.

3. Improved Food Packaging

Dining establishments were already particular about the packaging they used for takeaways and deliveries. However, with the pandemic, foodservice businesses have doubled their efforts.

Foodservice businesses are now choosing packaging materials that can maintain hot and cold temperatures for as long as possible and uphold food quality. Additionally, closed packaging now has a tamper-proof seal.

Other popular packaging options today include adhesive seals on take-out bags that tear the bag when opened, and carryout containers with plastic tabs that break when the food is accessed.

Some foodservice businesses are also using tamper-evident labels, cartons and cups or lids with tamper-evident seals or adhesive strips or bands.

Additionally, many restaurants are labeling food packages with the time and date of pick up. They also offer heating or reheating instructions if necessary.

With better food packaging, foodservice businesses can help ensure their products are safe for consumption.

4. Click and Collect

Aside from delivery services, local food suppliers and some restaurants are also offering a click and collect option.

This service allows customers to order and pay for these items online and pick them up in-store or at a centralized collection point. With this option, the consumer can choose the place where they collect their purchases.

This collection spot can be somewhere near their home or anywhere that is convenient for them and they feel safe to go to.

Another advantage the click and collect option offers to consumers is that they can select a collection area that will allow them to pick up frozen proteins from their preferred meat suppliers in Dubai and store these quickly in their freezers at home or in their commercial establishments.

5. Service With Empathy and Generosity

Lastly, foodservice businesses are going beyond simply providing consumers meals; many are doing so with genuine concern and compassion not only for their customers but for other people in general.

Many food suppliers are working hard to deliver their products to the most vulnerable people during these difficult times. These include hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities.

Additionally, many foodservice businesses are donating supplies to feed the frontliners and the needy without any thought of getting anything back.

With these innovations, foodservice businesses can cope with and survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, these worthwhile changes will endear them to customers — something that will prove useful in the future.

Know more about the supplies we have at hand ready for delivery or collection on our homepage.