The US Food and Drug Administration recently began steps to evaluate its understanding and perspectives on nanomaterials in food and food packaging. In France, legislation is being pushed through regarding bisphenol A (BPA), a plasticiser found in food packaging. Materials like styrene are being banned from foodservice use in some regions.
These regulatory changes in the world of food contact materials may mean little in the kitchen, but they point to a wider trend that is of paramount importance to the foodservice industry: consumers care about what goes into their food.
It’s a trend that extends to food preparation too. Many customers are savvier about the foodservice businesses they use: commenting and ‘liking’ places on social media, posting reviews online, checking out a restaurant’s credentials on its website and more.
Foodservice businesses can’t keep their customers in the dark. Everything from where ingredients have been sourced to having a restaurant’s kitchen in open view can influence how visitors feel about your business, whether they want to try the food and – most importantly – whether they will come back again.
Businesses that don’t react to give consumers the visibility and assurance they want about the quality – and trustworthiness – of their food outlet will find themselves left behind.
For open kitchens, the pressure is great. The kitchen needs to run smoothly and safely: the head chef needs to clearly be in control of the seemingly frantic activity. Any slip-up or shortcut could be spotted by the customer – and a resulting scene could upset a whole sitting.
As customers get more informed and take a greater interest in what goes into their food, so too will they be concerned about how it is prepared. A smooth-running, safe and hygienic kitchen is the necessary foundation on which to reassure your customers that you are a foodservice business they can trust.