Right now, one of the most pressing concerns for quick-service restaurant operators is how to reassure the public that their takeout and delivery orders have not been touched by anyone potentially carrying the COVID-19 virus. With restaurants closing by order of local health authorities and delivery keeping quick-serves afloat, consumer confidence will be the key differentiator in weeks to come.

There is no question that delivery ordering is on the rise. Seattle’s experience provides an early indicator as one of the first American cities to address the crisis. In Seattle, restaurant traffic showed a 10 percent decline in the week of February 24, compared with its previous four-week average, according to industry firm Black Box Intelligence. To-go sales at restaurants grew by more than 10 percent during the same time period.

It was not that long ago that US Foods conducted its highly publicized survey, which found that nearly 30 percent of delivery people sample the food items they’re entrusted with. Consumers have excellent recall on this startling statistic.

Operators are currently doing due diligence within their walls to protect workers and consumers from coronavirus exposure. They are also doing a great job communicating these efforts to the public. However, what they need to do is take measures to ensure the safety of their offerings once it leaves the premises and to convey this differentiator to the public.


Using tamper-evident labels are the clearest sign that food items have not been touched by anyone outside the quick-service restaurant location. Smart labelling now allows operators to implement solutions that demonstrate proof to consumers that their food has not been touched by delivery personnel.

Tamper-evident labels can be used to close the bag or box that the food is packaged in and are a clear deterrent to delivery staff. Discouraging delivery personnel from sampling or tampering with food orders also supports food safety claims by quick-serve operators.  A ripped label alerts the customer that the order was tampered with and the restaurant can then replace their order.

Another benefit to this delivery solution is the capability to personalize the order with the customer’s name and tamper-evident labels can also be printed with additional information such as branding, contents, nutritional facts and promotional messaging. Labels can also be printed with a QR code that encourages customers to visit the brand’s website to engage further.

There are large burdens on quick-service restaurant operators right now, so implementing tamper-evident labels may seem like a huge task. However, Avery Dennison is fully equipped for a quick turnaround. Operators can call 800.543.6650, and hit prompt 3 to be put in contact with a trained call center staff member who will take their information and alert the appropriate sales representative who will reach out immediately to do a needs assessment and suggest the correct solution.

At this moment, one thing operators cannot afford is losing consumer confidence—and orders. Tamper-evident labels are one way to stay safe and stand out.

Ryan Yost is vice president/general manager for the Printer Solutions Division (PSD) for Avery Dennison Corporation. In his role, he is responsible for worldwide leadership of and strategy for the Printer Solutions Division, focused on building partnerships and solutions within the Food, Apparel and Fulfillment industries.

Food Safety, Ordering, Outside Insights, Story