Restaurants and Social Distancing: Take-out Orders are on the Rise

With the spread of the coronavirus disease, COVID-19, everyday interactions like gathering in groups, shaking hands, and hugging have become concerns. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says, at this time, we should avoid being within 6 feet of each other, frequently wash our hands, and avoid large public gatherings. For businesses, the CDC recommends that they develop outbreak response plans. Organizations should also encourage employees who don’t feel well to stay home, perform routine environmental cleaning and sanitization, and promote proper handwashing.

Restaurants will face challenges

Retail foodservice operations, like restaurants, food trucks, cafeterias, and cafes, are full of people — they are highly social environments. Restaurants must follow the guidelines and regulations provided by their local departments of health. Recently the CDC recommended against gatherings of 50 or more, and some states have enforced closing bars and restaurants. Drive-thrus will be allowed to stay open, and kitchens can still deliver food to homes. Some public school systems are offering grab and go breakfast and lunches. With take-out food orders on the rise, take-out containers will be a necessary component of disease prevention.

Take-out food containers make sense for disease prevention

Did you know that the first commercially successful single-use food container was the paper cup?

In 1907, Lawrence Luellen, a Boston lawyer, invented the paper cup to help prevent the spread of disease. At the time, the temperance movement was going strong, with leaders pitching water as a safe, sober alternative to liquor and beer. While water is certainly not intoxicating, the method for distribution was tin pails. People would pull a drink out of the tin, spreading infectious diseases in the process. Luellen dubbed his cup the Health Kup, later changing its name to the Dixie Cup. Single-use foodservice containers followed, which helped make the spread of foodborne illnesses like listeria, diphtheria, and E. Coli rare events.

Prepare for changing trends

At Greif CPG, we know that even in the best of times, running a successful restaurant presents challenges. Today’s challenge will be for foodservice operators to be able to handle an increase in take-out orders. Restaurants in highly affected areas, like Seattle, are reporting a severe drop in customers choosing to dine in. As the disease spreads, this trend will too. Stocking up on take-out containers like paperboard trays and boxes is a wise idea for restaurants of all sizes. And, if you’re not already offering take out, you should consider this option.

Our LA Paper Box division helps restaurants on the west coast with sustainably-sourced, environmentally friendly paperboard foodservice containers. We use the safest coatings and work to ensure that our recycled paper stock is toxin-free.

Contact us for ordering information.