Rock, Paper, Chemicals

Paper goods and cleaning supplies are important to any foodservice operation’s bottom line. Food safety and convenience are also key in the decision to buy. And today, these necessary items are being scrutinized for their environmental impact, too. How do you choose?

Waste Not

From special “one at a time” dispensers for napkins to “use less” detergents and disinfectants, there are several innovations that could help you save money. If you’re in the habit of ordering the same products every time—or buying whatever’s on sale from the big box stores—you may be pleasantly surprised by what’s available from your broadline distributor. “Value” is the watchword here, rather than price. When you track your expenses for paper and chemicals (separate invoices may help), you’ll see the savings.

Right for the Job

Your sales rep is a great source of information on the best product to use in particular situations. Foil bag
or grease-resistant deli bag for the burger or sandwich? (That depends.) Is a special grill cleaner really necessary? (Definitely.) Customer complaints about the durability of serveware, or a bad taste in the food, is worth a few minutes of your time to test or investigate the range of products that makes the most sense.
From attractive appearance to practical advantages—you’re the judge! Speaking of looks, crisp white is always in style for plates, napkins and more, but do learn about the colours and designs that bring a touch of the unique to your presentation.

Mind the Store

Your inventory of paper goods should be kept clean and dry when in storage. Also free from contact with odors, if customers handle them (like paper plates). It’s a detail that can be easily overlooked. For chemicals, you’re looking to promote safe storage and safe use by all employees. Be sure everyone understands when to wear gloves, for example—you never know whether a hostess or manager might grab some caustic disinfectant, or give other staffers a hand washing a pan that’s been soaking with something harsh.

Cost Check Infograph 1 SS16

Cheap Charm

Light-hearted presentation is trendy for desserts, and paper delivers.

• Colourful muffin cups or attractive white tulip cups hold mini cakes.
• Bite-size doughnuts or cookies look enticing in fry cones.
• Use checkered liners or white hot dog trays for bread pudding.
• Serve s’mores flavoured popcorn (Air Canada Centre, Toronto [ont.]) in classic striped bags.

Easy Cleanup

Have you tried the latest in pan liners? Scraping and soaking baked-on foods could become a thing of the past. Some liners can actually be reused, for even more value. Consult with your sales rep. Sanitizing can be a snap—and more effective, too—with a “clean as you go” approach. Train employees to wipe up spills immediately, and to use disinfectants sparingly and at the right time and temperature.

Can or Compost

Single-use items can be a great way for the casual eatery to reduce expenses. But even serious dining venues have embraced disposables in an attempt to add fun to their presentation of food and beverages. Like serving biscuits in brown paper bags at Chives Canadian Bistro, Halifax (N.S.). And with the range of paper products available, there are options that help make your business eco-friendly. If that’s important to your customers, and you choose products accordingly, be sure to publicize that fact.


• Careful measuring of chemicals affects efficiency & effectiveness
• Using the correct chemical ensures safety & customer satisfaction
• Training makes the difference; checking is a job requirement