How Virtual Restaurants Are Changing the Food Service Industry

For the past 2 years, ghost restaurants or virtual restaurants have grown in popularity, but are still uncommonly known to the public. They are essentially a restaurant that has no storefront and delivery apps are giving them the tools to operate this way.

How did Ghost Restaurants Become Popular?

In short, technology; A restaurant with no face can seem sort of scary for some people, but delivery apps like Uber Eats and Door Dash have been helping restaurants make it happen.
UberEats has been helping restaurants by setting up how to utilize their delivery service specifically for virtual prospects only. DoorDash even set up a community kitchen for people to cook and deliver their food to customers.

With the growing popularity of apps like Instagram that allow people to showcase their own food people are eating with their eyes and want to get their hands whatever food looks amazing on social media.

With that being said delivery apps for virtual restaurants are going to become the new normal. That sushi restaurant you love down the street may be a ghost restaurant specializing in ramen or poke bowls under a new name but the same kitchen.

Another popular trend for foodservice establishments to do is create a whole menu targeted towards delivery; adding only popular items, new items, and even price changes to entice delivery customers.

As more and more people order from a delivery app it might be more profitable to go the virtual way as you don’t have to worry about storefront costs, and customer service. Virtual restaurants only focus on the most important aspect: the food!

Manufacturing with Lollicup USA, Inc.

Over the past 4 years Lollicup USA, Inc. has dedicated time and thought to it’s manufacturing process.

October 5th was national manufacturing day and is celebrated throughout all of October to shed light on the manufacturing process.

Manufacturing creates more jobs and boost the American economy and Lollicup USA, Inc. is proud to contribute to this process. We manufacture select products in house at our headquarters in Chino, CA. and we hope to still focus on our manufacturing efforts for the future with our growth and expansion across the United States.

Not only does manufacturing help create jobs and boos the economy but it allows us to be more efficient and better service our customers. With in-house manufacturing Lollicup USA, Inc. is allowed to cut down on production time and can predict any maintenance issues or delays with products. Manufacturing in-house also allows us to check on the quality of the product. When we manufacture certain disposable goods we know exactly what goes into the product and what comes out as the end result.

When utilized properly manufacturing can be a great asset for any company who needs it and we’re glad to be apart of this process.

Lollicup Hosts Annual Family Day to Celebrate Employees

Every year Lollicup USA Inc. gives back to their employees and hosts an event where employees have the opportunity to introduce their work family to their home family.

This year Lollicup celebrated their employees with a casual fun event at a local private park for Labor Day Weekend to help employees feel like a kid again. There were games, an airbrush artist, and catered classic barbecue foods. Employees were able to let loose and relax on their holiday weekend and spend some quality time with fellow employees outside of work.

Lollicup has multiple locations throughout the United States so not all employees outside of California were able to attend this event. Lollicup USA Inc. decided to have each location who wasn’t able to attend the main event take their team out to a nice dinner as a token of their appreciation.

This year alone Lollicup USA has received two awards for their outstanding service for companies El Pollo Loco and Chili’s. This was all possible because of our amazing employees that took the time to make sure our clients needs were met.

Lollicup is grateful for all of our employees hard work and glad that we were able to show their employees some appreciation along with their families.

New Products from Lollicup USA to Help Combat Straw Pollution

Lollicup USA, Inc. has launched new products that are to help businesses cut down on straw pollution.

Cutting down on straws has been a new way people are trying to help the environment. This movement has progressed over the past year and more and more cities and states are changing their rules when it comes to single use plastic straws.

California just passed a law that people will have to ask for straws and they will no longer be handed out. Other cities have banned plastic straws all together and local businesses are suffering trying to find eco-friendly replacements.

Lollicup USA, Inc. has been working to make sure our valued customers will be able to find solutions to these bans by releasing multiple new straws and lids.
Our two new sippy lids, Half-Moon and Strawless Sipper are a great way to skip the straw entirely. Half-moon features a wide opening that is perfect for foam drinks. Strawless Sipper Lids are great for all cold beverages with their easy open mouth.

We also feature a range of eco-friendly straws that are a great alternative to plastic straws. These straws are compostable in industrial facilities and better for the environment as well. Our straws are a great way to comply with straw bans and to become a more eco-friendly brand. People care about what companies are doing to help with their eco-friendly initiatives and offering sustainable products to customers is a great start.

Lollicup USA Beach Clean-Up

Lollicup USA Inc. Gives Back!

Lollicup USA, Inc.’s first ever beach clean-up was a success! Over 40 employees showed up with friends and family to help tackle ocean pollution.

Lollicup employees show that they care about the environment by donating their time and effort to help clean Huntington State Beach this past weekend. Many employees expressed that they were excited to help make a difference, especially those with younger children.

Veronica Diaz said “I brought my niece because I want her to be aware about the importance of recycling and taking care of our planet, I want her to connect to nature.”

This was also a great way for fellow Lollicup employees to bond with each other as people from all departments showed up .This was an effort that took many people to put together as we teamed up with Coast Keeper to help learn how to approach a beach clean-up.

Lollicup USA Inc. hopes to carry a tradition of doing more volunteer work as we believe in giving back to our communities for a better future.

Vendor Seminar Series: Ghirardelli

Ghirardelli is one of our proud vendors and participated in our Vendor Seminar this past week. Ghirardelli did a great job leveraging beverage and product knowledge to our customers. This presentation was valuable to customers because they got to see new beverage trends and what they should be utilizing on their menu to get the most profit.

Through this presentation it was expressed that consumers care about visual presentation, health benefits and playing with different textures when it comes to food and beverage. One awesome trick “the fastest growing flavor is salted caramel and vanilla is the number one flavor people choose when ordering a beverage”.

Vendor seminars are a great tool for customers to utilize as they will gain great business knowledge and test out or learn about products that will help grow their business.

Community Clean Up Day

A group of employees teamed up at our Chino, CA location to help follow our companies initiatives to be more Eco-friendly. With thought about how they could help, they decided to go to a local park to pick up trash as a small step to start. In fact, the average American throws away more than 7 pounds of garbage a day which can add up to about 254 million tons of trash each year.

This is a shocking amount and our team knew we should help tackle this issue. This local park has a small pond with an ecosystem of ducks, turtles, and other living creatures that could suffer from pollution. The Lollicup Team took on the job of cleaning up the park to make it a safer, cleaner place for the animals to inhibit and the local community to enjoy.

Even though this gesture was small we know we made a positive impact on our local community and environment. We hope to have future events that can help bring our team together to bond and create more change for our planet because being more Eco-friendly is not only for our products but something that is a part of our company’s culture and goals.

Lollicup® USA Inc. is a company that knows times are changing and being environmentally friendly is a social issue important to a lot of companies and customers. Lollicup® USA Inc. launched their brand Karat Earth® in 2008 in order to help make it easier on their customers to switch to Eco-friendly products without compromising quality.

What is PLA Plastic?

The field stretches for miles and the tall stocks gently blow in the breeze. They are waiting to be harvested, but these stalks will not be used for human consumption or even livestock. This stalk is part of a new generation that will be used as a renewable resource.

This is not a new concept, as we have seen Brazil using sugar cane to make ethanol, lessening their dependence on fossil fuels. Other countries are exploring and using alternative energy such as: geothermal, wind, biomass, solar energy, etc.

That is why it is only natural that the disposable foodservice industry would follow course, and enter products into the marketplace that would leave less of a carbon foot print.

What began as an experiment has now turned into a large scaled plant and laboratory at NatureWorks. Their CEO Marc Verbruggen said, “PLA will give you lower carbon footprint, lower energy use, because you’re using renewable feedstock – that is clearly a positive aspect.”

How do these plants that were standing in the field become straws, utensils, food containers, plastic cups, etc.? The process basically begins when the plants are harvested and milled to extract the starch. Enzymes are then added to the starch changing it to dextrose, which is a simple sugar identical to glucose. This sugar is put into huge fermenters to ferment the mixture into lactic acid, a colorless syrupy organic acid. This acid is now converted through a proprietary process into lactide and finally into polylactide pellets. The pellets look like little beads that are sent to manufacturers where they make plastic sheets that will eventually turn into food disposable goods.

“I saw the potential for PLA plastic and how it can lessen the carbon foot print, and I wanted to offer this product to our customers. Now that we are seeing over one hundred twenty plastic bans springing up across the country, this product, that we were already carrying, is an eco-friendly alternative.”

– CEO Alan Yu of Lollicup® USA, Inc.

Products using PLA plastic are gaining popularity in the market. CEO Alan Yu founded Lollicup® USA, Inc. and started their eco-friendly line Karat Earth™ about ten years ago. He said, “I saw the potential for PLA plastic and how it can lessen the carbon foot print, and I wanted to offer this product to our customers. Now that we are seeing over one hundred twenty plastic bans springing up across the country, this product, that we were already carrying, is an eco-friendly alternative.”

The plastic bans on disposable products, that are gaining momentum nationally and internationally, are in response to the incredible amount of waste that disposables cause. For example, the U.S. uses five million straws daily. This amount would fill one hundred twenty-seven school buses every day. Another example is plastic utensils. The U.S. throws away an estimate of six million tons per year. You could line up garbage trucks from Los Angeles to New York three times.

It is through these innovative ideas that the incredible amount of waste can be reduced. PLA plastic is an innovative biobased product. Biobased is defined by the United States Secretary of Agriculture to be a product that is made from a renewable resource, including plant, animal, marine, and forestry materials. So basically, what was once standing in a field became a product and then can return to the field, starting the process all over again.

Will the PS Hot Cup Lid Become a Relic?

The impact consumer products have on the environment has become a worldwide issue. According to NPR , Kenya has imposed a countrywide ban on plastic bags that is punishable by jail time because of the devastating effects the bags are having on polluting their environment. The bags are everywhere from hanging from trees to clogging up canals. “It is a toxin that we must get rid of,” Judi Wakhungu, the country’s Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, told reporters. “It’s affecting our water. It’s affecting our livestock and, even worse, we are ingesting this as human beings.” The contamination is so wide spread that the Eastern African Community has considered a ban for the entire region.

Our oceans are also being affected. It is estimated that an average of eight million tons of plastic escapes collection systems polluting the environment and eventually the ocean. What makes the plastic even more toxic is that the sunlight and ocean currents will break it down into microplastics, ending up in the marine food chain and then into the bodies of anyone who eats it, including humans.

As of July 1, 2015 California became the first state to impose a statewide ban on single use plastic bags, and other states are looking to follow suit.

Plastic bags are not the only product legislators are imposing stricter regulations. Expanded polystyrene (Styrofoam) has already been banned in many cities across the nation from Seattle to New York. How does this affect the food industry? They have had to find alternative food and beverage containers for serving their customers or to use for their to-go items.

There is a new push to ban other plastic products such as: polyethylene bags, polystyrene utensils, polystyrene lids, and many others.

In lieu of this proposed ban, a large coffee chain has already made the switch from using PS hot cup lids and is instead using PP hot cup lids. Manufacturer Lollicup USA Inc. is making preparations to discontinue making the PS hot cup lids altogether and will be making PP lids. “This is the trend of the future,” said their CEO Alan Yu.

The price difference is only pennies, but the benefits are vast. The first one being that PS can only be used once while PP is fully recyclable and can be recycled multiple times into different applications such as: buckets, caps, automotive applications, and more. In addition, PP has low density and does not use water during the dyeing process, reducing the environmental impact.

“PP is more heat resistant than PS, more environmentally friendly, and leaves less of a carbon foot print,” said Yu.

Leaving less of a carbon foot print is becoming more important not only with legislators, but with industry leaders. In the end, however, people will vote with their dollars.

Lollicup USA celebrates employees at annual family day event

Lollicup USA employees and their families visited Knott’s Berry Farm, Saturday July 8 for the company’s annual family day event.

Lollicup employees enjoy a Saturday at Knott’s Berry Farm.

Despite the blistering heat, Lollicup employees enjoyed the various attractions at the theme park. The water rides were particularly popular that day.

The company provided meal cards and a souvenir bottle with free refills to attendees. This kept everyone fed and hydrated throughout the day.

Lollicup USA holds a family day event each summer to show its appreciation to its staff.