Every preparation step and minute saved in a busy kitchen can not only be the difference between a disastrous or a successful shift—but also ultimately amounts to real dollar savings. Efficiency is vital to a successful business, and one way to enhance that is by incorporating innovative packaging solutions into your operations.
From fast-casual to institutional kitchens, resourcefully designed food packaging can help food service operations overcome challenges in the backroom by providing high-quality, fresh food that is portioned and ready for assembly to ensure quick, cost-effective service to customers.
Cryovac® Simple Steps®, for example, helps save time in kitchen preparation with its vacuum-sealed, microwave packaging technology that enables gourmet presentation, prevents overcooking and ensures the meal’s flavors and ingredients are captured at their freshest. Other solutions such as Sealed Air Cryovac® Oven Ease® also are perfect for preparing pre-seasoned or pre-marinated roasts, ribs, burgers, poultry, seafood or sides, and save time and effort around food preparation and clean up. Moreover, both solutions provide the opportunity for menu expansion and seasonal offerings.
And for products such as condiments, soups, sauces and salad dressings—which typically take up much space in the backroom—easy-open, flexible packaging solutions like Cryovac® Vertical Pouch Packaging (VPP) completely eliminate the need for traditional rigid #10 cans, saving significant storage space. Vertical Pouch Packaging also reduces the likelihood of worker injury due to dangerous jagged edges, which in turn minimizes downtime and maximizes productivity.
Additionally, by incorporating easy-open solutions food service operators reduce the potential of cross contamination as well as the risk of injury from sharp objects such as scissors and knives used to open food packaging. Easy-open packaging also reduces the potential for unwanted spills and the cleanup hassles that come with them.
Don’t Let Wasted Food Eat Away at your Bottom Line…or Reputation
More than just reducing prep time and maximizing efficiencies in the backroom, innovative packaging can also cut costs related to food waste and spoilage—which is an enormous cost to business. In fact, food wasted due to spoilage costs an estimated $165 billion each year in the U.S. alone.
While it’s understandable that food service operators must keep enough food on hand to ensure they can accommodate an unexpected busy night, many often end up prepping and cooking more than required, and have to throw away the unused portions.
Incorporating solutions such as portioned packaging, active barrier and vacuum packaging technology can help restaurants prevent overproduction, extend the shelf life and usability of foods and dramatically reduce food waste. For example, Sealed Air Cryovac® Freshness Plus® Active Barrier’s proprietary oxygen barrier inhibits the growth of microorganisms that cause spoilage and allow food service operators and distributors to portion and organize a variety of fresh and dry food products for easier prep. Additionally, the right packaging solutions can enhance the shelf life of food, ensuring it remains fresh for up to 30 days longer than conventional packaging.
In addition to the financial cost of food waste is the environmental impact. According to the EPA, each year food accounts for approximately 15 percent of landfill waste. With sustainability issues playing a larger role in consumers’ minds and spending decisions, cutting down on food waste presents a competitive advantage to those looking to get ahead of the curve. In fact, according to Sealed Air’s 2014 consumer waste study, eight in 10 Americans think more highly of stores and food brands that help them reduce food waste. And while consumers acknowledge they share the blame for the food waste problem, a high percentage of Americans expect food establishments to be part of the solution.
Keep Food Fresh and Safe to Keep Guests Coming Back
Resourceful packaging can help keep food fresh longer and reduce the potential for spoiled food. By incorporating a partner such as Sealed Air, you can reinforce your reputation and improve your bottom line—all while remaining competitive, innovative and most of all, efficient.