Choosing the Right Single-Use Supplies for Your Food Service Business

Heading the advice of the CDC and health experts, businesses have been ramping up the utilization of single use utensils and supplies to help slow the spread of COVID-19. This comes at a time when environmental concerns are peaking. Now businesses are stuck trying to maintain safe, sanitary practices while minimizing their carbon footprint.

When evaluating single-use utensils food service businesses are forced to meet existing expectations. An example of these expectations would be if I am eating an 8oz filet I would like to eat it with heavy and sturdy utensils, rather than the plastic fork and knife I might use to eat the toppings off of my nachos at a ballpark. Although the quality of sustainable products is on the rise, the unfortunate truth is the more substantial the single-use product the less environmentally friendly it often is.

While there is no avoiding some tough decisions when implementing single use supplies, food service business can do their best to mitigate their environmental impact while keeping their customers as safe and pleased as possible. For some businesses this is easier than others. Your local pizza place or Chinese food restaurant probably already supplies its customers with the most basic single use utensils. And for establishments like this there will be little to no change. The operations that are faced with the most difficult decisions are places like high-end restaurants who have been forced to explore take-out ordering during the pandemic, or retirement home dining halls that are switching to single use supplies to keep residents as safe as possible. For establishments like these it may take some planning to implement the usage of single use utensils and supplies.

There is a wide array of single-use products out there ranging from very sustainable to not recyclable, but the key for many businesses who are new to single-use products will be balancing these products with the customers’ expectations. Let us explore the retirement home example that was used in the previous paragraph and outline it with more detail. For lunch, the retirement will serve a small bowl of soup and a sandwich. For someone eating this meal all they would need is a basic lightweight disposable spoon. Now for dinner the retirement home is serving baked chicken. Someone eating a breast of baked chicken is most likely going to be displeased with light weight utensils. The light fork might bend, and the knife is so light it will take great effort to cut through a chicken breast. Heavier weight single use utensils are much better suited for this meal. As you may have realized during a single day of this example, we are using multiple kinds of single use products, which is not ideal for a business that is trying to minimize the costs of these supplies. So how are these businesses expected to mitigate sanitary and environmental risks when purchasing single use supplies?

The answer is finding a supplier like The Cutlery Shop. Finding one place where the business can buy the several types of single use supplies they need in a large variety of models and quantities is essential in helping keep costs down. Resorting back to the retirement home example, the business manager might want to purchase large amount of light weight, eco-friendly cornstarch cutlery for breakfast and lunches. Residents then might prefer heavy disposable silverware with their dinner. The manager can order these in the same place, but in a lesser quantity than the lightweight utensils. A high-end restaurant might prefer to use heavy disposable silverware for their to-go orders, but they can then try and offset the environmental impact by using eco-friendly containers. A supplier like The Cutlery Shop, that offers a wide array of disposable food supplies, is an opportunity for food service business to manage customer expectations and environmental impact when utilizing single use supplies.