It’s time to change the way many food companies do their business from the COVID-19 crisis that came to shut down and force them to find new lights. From the temporarily new way of living that might be settled to be a long term as new normals, people need to stay-at-home quarantines and highly aware of their hygiene and safety which becomes their new consuming behaviors. Specifically, from what happens when China found out that the new cases might be caused by the salmon dishes.
For the food industry, to keep up and get consumer’s confidence back, they need to adopt a new way for food production to ensure the high standard of safety. Still, there are many challenges as time goes by. There comes the rise of Quick-service restaurants (QSRs) that best matches new behavior from the use of technology to an easier way to take out meals, preventing the infections.
According to research by Euromonitor International, the total market value of QSR in Thailand is estimated at more than Bt34 billion, with growth of at least 10 percent every year. THE QUICK-SERVICE-RESTAURANT (QSR) sector looks set to expand its strong growth in Thailand after two recent developments. This brings very promising opportunities for the food business even post COVID-19 that the restaurants will be at a slow pace for rebounding. It not only brings back the momentum, but also raises the new landscape and ways towards the future of work as well.
The pandemic has set the new standard for food safety. From the risks that food might be contaminated and the risks from employee capacity bring automation in food production to be highly mattered. To reduce the labor intensity and raising hygiene practices, contamination prevention, and food safety standard, companies in the food industry should adopt the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) method to serve the needs and high expectations of consumers. While the demands and safety expectations are rising, large manufacturers should raise their production standards, replacing skilled labor with Industrial Robotic Arm (IRA) systems and adopt the use of Computer Numerical Control (CNC) systems to improve upon the automated conveyor system.
Going beyond food production standards, the hazard controls also continue for retail workers in food and grocery to make sure that safety being in the right place. It becomes challenges for a restaurant business to run operations met the recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Occupational Safety and Health Administration that the specific COVID-19 hazard controls should go beyond general workplace safety practices. From encouraging customers to use touchless payment options and reduce handling cash or credit card directly, limited customers capacity at the door, routinely disinfect frequently touched surfaces, to alternative remote shopping options.
All of these factors will be expected from customers after the pandemic which is more likely to be the crucial reason for them to get their confidence back in having meals at restaurants. That also implies how the Quick-service restaurants (QSRs) are not just an alternative way for the food and restaurant industry, but becomes a new and decisive way to expand growth, matched to the new normals of consumer behavior and expectations.
The entrepreneurs have to adapt to key trends that will shape the restaurant industry, such as popularity in fast-casual restaurants, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the food industry, giving importance to Foodie influencers and food searching platforms, as well as popularity in delivery channels.
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