With greater emphasis on individually wrapped, pre-packaged food items post-pandemic, due to the enhanced hygiene they offer, food service providers  are facing increased labour on something quite simple, but time consuming – labelling.

Labelling pre-packaged items such as sandwiches, salads and sushi boxes is something food outlets have long had to manage. However with a sharper focus on hygiene and safety post-crisis, and many providers looking at increasing takeaway options, the volume of pre-packaged foods is going to increase. And therefore, so will the volume of labels.

A lot of labelling and barcode systems are standalone, meaning operators need to input information on each item they sell into the labelling system. Given many food outlets sell hundreds, if not thousands, of items this can be a time consuming and arduous task. Plus, if there are any changes to the items sold or new items added, the information needs to be added to both the catering system as well as the labelling system. It’s doubling up the workload.

We’ve been developing our own Label and Barcode Management System, and we kept simple and easy functionality at the heart of it. As we emerge out of lockdown, and focus on rebuilding our businesses, we’re aware keeping operations as streamlined as possible will be key for the sector to ensure the broader focus can remain on driving sales and revenue.

Our Label and Barcode Management System is a plug-in, so it is easily integrated into existing Systopia core solutions. One of the major advantages is this completely eliminates the need to input item data, as it simply draws from the data on the existing system, saving hours and hours of administration. It also allows for barcodes to be automatically assigned to each item; something which is usually a separate function.

There is also the option for bespoke label design and branding, as well as batched print runs that can be completed at quieter times of the day. For example, whilst closing down operations for the day a batched print run can be queued up so the labels are printed and ready for the morning.

And as simple as it sounds, it can also have a significant impact on how social distancing can be adhered to in the new post-pandemic environment we’ll all find ourselves in. Barcoded labels allow consumers to pick up the item they want, go to a self-service check-out, scan it and pay for it without having any human-to-human contact.

It even allows consumers to take it a step further, and avoid check-out points all together by using the Scan & Go function available via our mySYSTOPIA mobile app. With this, users can choose their food options, simply scan the barcode and payment is then automatically taken from their account. They have completed the entire transaction all from their mobile phone. With 8.3 million people in the UK making payments via their mobiles, with this projected to rise to a quarter of all smartphone users by 2023, embracing tech which allows for these payments is a wise move.

This not only helps with regards social distancing measures implemented, but it reduces queue lengths and also means businesses can offer a 24/7 service. Even when outlets have closed for the day, employees can still access food and beverages on a self-service basis and pay via our Scan & Go mobile app.

We’ve had quite a few businesses approach us to discuss how they can not only adapt to the post-pandemic environment, but how they can do so without significantly impacting the labour time of their staff. Options such as our Label and Barcode Management System allow for organisations to get the nitty gritty executed easily so the focus can remain firmly on rebuilding for the future.

To hear about the our Label and Barcode Management System, or how we can help you transform your business operation, contact us on info@systopia.co.uk