There’s an Easier Way to Comply with Natasha’s Law – and Introduce Click-and-Collect Services – in Food Service Settings

It all comes down to how quickly and easily you can get food items properly labeled.

Two bakery shop workers talk near the counter
by Martin Murphy
November 18, 2021

Your customers are in a hurry. They want to be able to grab their food and go, whether opting for a prepared item from the deli counter or hankering for a hot meal. (It’s why they stopped at your store versus a sit-down restaurant). That means your staff are going to be rushed to ring them up, especially as the queue builds. And we all know mistakes can happen when things are chaotic and people are frazzled.

Yet, with Natasha’s Law now in full effect in the UK, errors go beyond “unacceptable.” Your business ventures – and your customers’ health – are on the line. All food prepacked for direct sale (PPDS) must have a label detailing the product name, full ingredient list, and known allergens – no exceptions. So, we’ve come up with a way for you to stay compliant with the mandate without making your team do any extra work – and it has been quite effective in the food service space thus far.

It’s called PrintKiosk. It enables you to hook up any Zebra ZD400 or ZD600 Series Desktop Printer with a Zebra CC600 or CC6000 Series Customer Concierge to create an all-in-one kiosk with computing, scanning, and printing capabilities. The PrintKiosk can be secured to a table, bench or any other flat surface, and the CC6600 instantly becomes accessible by both customers and staff.

Though technically an accessory, we like to think of the modular system as a transformative solution to the most pressing problems you’re facing right now:

1. Compliance with food safety labeling mandates.

With a few quick on-screen menu taps, your team can print food safety labels or receipts with the proper ingredient or allergen information disclosures. Alternatively, customers could scan a barcode or QR code to retrieve ingredient, nutrition and allergen details on screen or print an information card to take with them.

2. Demand for click-and-collect options.

In Zebra’s latest Global Shopper Study, consumers made it clear they want to get in and out of stores quickly (73%) and prefer retailers that let them pick up items in-store, curbside or another location such as a locker (60%). They also prefer shopping at stores offering contactless payment options.

Now, I realise restaurants aren’t retail stores in the traditional sense, but anecdotal evidence indicates people are just as apt to stop at convenience stores and supermarkets to grab a prepackaged meal as they are to go into a quick-service restaurant (QSR). So, QSRs and other restaurants must be able to match that level of convenience.

With so many customers eager to get in and out of your stores – and your keenness to keep them coming in – I think you’ll find PrintKiosk is a simple and effective way to implement your grab-and-go strategy. If you already have it set up to manage compliance mandates (and even if you don’t) it’s not hard to configure it for self-service transactions.

Customers can order their food ahead of time, giving your team a little more prep time. Upon arrival at the store, they can head straight to the PrintKiosk station and scan the order barcode or QR code that’s on their mobile phones, or a digital or card-based loyalty program barcode associated with their account/order. That will automatically notify your team of their arrival and, while the order is being retrieved, enable the customer to print a receipt. The pickup can occur with very little contact, if any at all, which will appease consumers who are still taking personal safety precautions.

In fact, the modular system is ideal for all sorts of food service offerings from the rails to the trails and every stop in between. You can easily set up a station anywhere you can set down the printer.

If this is something you think would be helpful to your team and business, let’s set up time to talk or for you to see a demo. We can show you some tricks other customers are using to speed up order packaging and fulfilment, such as pre-loading food safety labels into the printer when used to bulk produce the same menu item.

Food for Thought: The Risks of Relying on Current Labelling Methods

I know you might feel your current labelling processes work. And perhaps they do. But do they work as well as they could? What is your current error rate, and how does that compare to your 100% compliance target? How long does it take to properly label PPDS food today? A minute? Five? What else could your team be doing in that time? How many more food items could they process if they could label twice as many packages in the same time they do today – with a lower margin of error?

I know it may seem like standing up a solution like this would be too much work right now, especially if you’re just trying to keep the doors open and your business afloat. Yet, the risk of not changing things could be far more consequential. What happens if you get fined for an improper label or a missing label? Or you can turn orders fast enough because staffers are preoccupied trying to create labels manually or using disjointed hardware and software platforms?

Technically, you aren’t ripping anything out (assuming you already have ZD Series printers on the countertop). You’re just adding on an accessory that will make that printer a brilliant solution to a problem that you simply can’t avoid any longer.

I think once you see the demo, you’ll see PrintKiosk is something you simply can’t live without – even though you didn’t know it existed before a few minutes ago.

A woman uses a Zebra PrintKiosk solution to pickup an order.
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Martin Murphy
Martin Murphy is currently the Hospitality Sales Lead at Zebra UK where he works closely with QSRs, hospitality retailers and their partners to deliver exceptional customers experiences on leading edge mobile technology.