The way UK consumers were choosing to pay for goods was becoming increasingly contactless before we were even aware of coronavirus – and now this is firmly established as the chosen method.  Data from the Worldpay FIS 2020 Global Payments Report show online sales via mobile devices increasing 13% annually, driven largely by the growing ‘tap and go’ culture, with 45% of debit card transactions during January 2020 being contactless.  Nearly a third of people in the UK now use digital and mobile wallets.

As we begin to emerge from lockdown social distancing, and ways of avoiding human contact wherever possible, is set to remain important to businesses and consumers alike. Indeed, one area of the Hospitality industry that is going to have to adapt significantly is the buffet.  It’s unlikely we will see the return of salad bars, carvery, sushi, olive bars, or any other self-service food counter due to health and safety concerns. The risks of having food items exposed to, and handled by, many people prior to consumption means they are not viable post-pandemic – and may never be again.     

This is leading many businesses to increase their pre-packaged offering – such as salads, bento boxes and sandwiches. This not only completely eliminates the risk of consumers cross-handling food, but also makes takeaway dining easy and seamless; something which is also becoming more of the norm.

However, the increased volume of pre-packaged items all need labels, nutritional information and barcodes – which sounds a simple task, but how the product is labelled and displayed has a significant impact on the customer experience. If labelled incorrectly, pricing could be wrong, items may be unable to be scanned, long queues could develop and what was meant to be a quick and convenient lunch option becomes laborious and frustrating.

Choosing the right labelling and barcode system will make the difference between operators spending large amounts of time inputting information into a system or not. With the entire foodservice industry having to make vast adaptations in the wake of the pandemic, the focus needs to be on saving time and driving revenue post-pandemic.

Most of the existing labelling and barcoding systems are stand alone, meaning all the individual food and drink items need to be manually added to the system before being assigned their label and barcode.  Furthermore, any menu changes, or new items need to be updated in the system as and when they are introduced, which is hugely time consuming for food outlets. 

We have developed our Label and Barcode Management System to help businesses as they adapt to the new normal. It’s a plug in, so any company currently using Systopia can easily add this on, meaning the product data already stored is automatically cross-referenced over, saving significant labour hours. It also assigns each individual item with its own specific barcode – this is often a distinct function.

Another big positive for businesses is the ability to have bespoke labelling, and be able to set the labels to print overnight in readiness for the following day’s trade.  The system is simple but has many benefits for the customer as well as businesses. Consumers can simply select the food they want and head to a self-service kiosk to complete their transaction – without the need for any human contact.

It goes without question we are in a period of massive change in the way we provide and purchase food on-the-go. However, as more people are starting to return to offices and venture outside more the footfall to coffee shops, cafes and restaurants will naturally increase providing an opportunity for hospitality businesses to increase their revenue – and any tech solution that aides this is worth considering.

To hear about our Label and Barcode Management System or how we can help you transform your business operation contact us on

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