The New Normal: Part of a new series of articles focused on restaurant recovery; issues, best practices, and process changes that will become part of everyday business going forward.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you are probably aware that food delivery services have exploded over the last couple of years. And with recent events, food delivery has become a way of life for many restaurants. But as we have discussed previously, food delivery comes with some risks that you should be prepared to manage. Ladies and Gentlemen, say hello to your little friend – the stapler.
One of the risks we discussed is the tampering of food during delivery. So how do you stop a hungry delivery driver from sneaking a french fry or two?
As it turns out, the answer is simple, low-tech and affordable. That’s right, the before mentioned stapler. Before you click away because you think we are crazy, hear us out!
The process is simple:
- Use a paper bag.
- Fold the top down.
- Staple several times.
That’s it. You now have a reasonably tamper-evident delivery bag. It isn’t high tech with rip-strips, or color-change indicators, or hologram stickers. Just staple the damn bag closed.
And there are some other benefits as well. For example, paper bags are better for the environment than the plastic bags you are probably currently using. It’s time to start migrating away from plastics anyway. This just provides an added incentive.
And you probably already have a stapler. But if you don’t, let me give you some advice on choosing the right model for this particular use.
Most staplers were originally designed to sit on a desk and staple papers together. That’s all well and good, but that’s not how you will be using a stapler in this case.
No. Instead you will need a hand stapler designed to operate with a single hand and at various angles (i.e., not on a desktop).
And here is the real key: Use more than one staple.
Now, you don’t need to have a continuous row of staples all along the top of the bag. Instead, you just want to create enough of a barrier that prying fingers can’t wiggle their way in to invade and retrieve food or otherwise tamper with the bag’s contents.
Is this a foolproof system? Not by a long shot. But let’s refresh your memory. “Tamper-evident” does not mean “tamper-proof.” In other words, if someone is determined to mess with your food delivery, they are going to be able to do so. But that’s not really the point. In this case, the point is to alert the end-user that someone has opened, touched or otherwise messed with their food delivery.
And guess what, a stapled bag does that pretty effectively.
We are all-for using better packaging for delivery. Heck, we will even sell you some. But we would rather see the money you spend on delivery disposables go into products that are going to ensure the quality of the food you are delivering rather than fending off a peckish delivery driver.