In the wake of food safety scandals, such as Chipotle’s, new ideas are materializing out of hindsight afterglow. To avoid risk, restaurants are putting their take-out and delivery operations under the microscope to do all they can to prevent food-borne illness outbreaks or tampering incidents.
Florida-based BurgerFi is the first major national restaurant brand to announce tamper-proof packaging for the food that leaves its locations through take-out and third-party vendors.
BurgerFi’s innovation is no accident, as the franchised brand’s CEO Corey Winograd is a former New York attorney who says he’s always cognizant of the liability concerns with any restaurant operation, including its fast-growing expansion of third-party delivery.
“You’re handing the product over to some somewhat anonymous third person, and how you protect the integrity of that product is very important to us,” Winograd said of his reasons to push for safer delivery packaging. “We are obsessed with food safety and hygiene.”
The brand’s tamper-proof packaging is relatively simple—a typical grocery-style brown bag with handles and strong adhesive seals at the top to make it obvious if anyone opens it or attempts to re-seal it. Citing contractual restrictions, BurgerFi declined to provide details about vendors or the unit pricing of its tamper-proof delivery bags.
The brand’s restaurants primarily work with UberEats, DoorDash, Postmates and Delivery Dudes.
While many restaurants rightly worry about food temperature and presentation, Winograd said the greatest risk from a liability standpoint is customers getting sick from foodborne illness or tampering once an order leaves the restaurant. Aside from nefarious intrusion, like a hungry driver stealing fries, for example, Winograd added that basic hygiene concerns loom even larger.
“The problems that Chipotle has experienced have really been top of mind for our senior team,” he added. “We’re constantly thinking about ways to ensure BurgerFi never falls victim to that.”