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Over the past five years, meal delivery has grown from a niche industry to a mainstay of the food industry. Especially in the current circumstances caused by the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown orders, meal delivery is now an essential method for families to get dinner on the table.
As a part of the food industry, meal delivery companies must comply with food & beverage labeling requirements. Acting as their own distributors, meal delivery companies need shipping labels.
One such meal delivery company is The Real Good Life, whose labeling software needs were met by TEKLYNX.
In 2016, Milwaukee entrepreneur Maggie Joos saw a need in her community for an easy and cost-effective way for families to get dinner on the table. She opened The Real Good Life with the mission of providing families a delicious and nutritious option without all the work of grocery shopping and cooking.
As business took off at The Real Good Life, Joos realized that they needed labeling software to keep the business efficient. She found TEKLYNX through her professional network, and quickly realized that she had found more than just a labeling software vendor – she had found a partner.
I recently had the opportunity to talk with Joos about her experience opening The Real Good Life meal delivery service and how implementing TEKLYNX labeling software helped them grow.
Travis Wayne (TW), TEKLYNX: It’s great to talk to you today, Maggie. Tell us a little bit about the story of The Real Good Life.
Maggie Joos (MJ), The Real Good Life: I started The Real Good Life when I realized that I could solve a problem that many families face: the question of what’s for dinner. I have two little girls who need to eat dinner at six, but we didn’t get home until five thirty. We figured that if it was a problem for us, it was probably something a lot of families faced, and could be a business idea. So, I started The Real Good Life in a church kitchen, handling all the details and operations myself. About a year later, I hired my first employee, and shortly after that, we moved into our current commercial kitchen.
TW: That is definitely a common challenge! What was your labeling process like, as a new startup meal delivery company?
MJ: As a meal delivery company, we have two ways we use labels. First, we label our meal delivery bags with names, addresses, and delivery details. Second, we label every food package. On our food labels, it’s very important to identify the name of the product, the date it was produced, our company name as the producer, and a list of ingredients. We also found that our customers really appreciated additional information on the labels, such as special diets and preparation instructions.
Before we had the TEKLYNX label software in place, our labeling process was extremely manual. We started with a pre-printed label that included our logo and a link to an instruction page. From there, I would hand-write the name of the dish and the date on every single label. Not only did this take hours, but a small mistake meant that label was wasted!
TW: Wow, that is a very manual labeling process!
MJ: It took me hours when we were just starting out. Now that business has quadrupled, I can’t imagine how long it would take.
TW: What was the moment that made you realize it was time to look for a labeling software solution?
MJ: I tried handing off the hand-writing of the labels to one of our team members. He was a good sport, but when I saw those first timesheets, it became clear that we needed to do something more streamlined.
TW: Companies don’t always recognize the labor costs involved in a manual labeling process. Once you realized you needed a labeling software solution to help reduce operational costs, how did you find TEKLYNX?
MJ: When we were first looking for labeling software, I put a call out to my social media network asking for help. They answered that call. They connected me with Nick at TEKLYNX, who introduced me to the LABELVIEW label software that answered all our problems.
TW: What were you looking for in the perfect labeling software solution?
MJ: I don’t have an IT background, and nor do I have any IT staff. As a startup, my employees wear numerous different hats from food prep to cooking to delivery, and now they needed to wear the hat of “label printer.” Bottom line was: it had to be easy. Once it was set up, it should only take a couple of clicks to print the labels for the day.
TW: And what was the implementation process like?
MJ: The TEKLYNX team has been so helpful in implementing and training us on using the LABELVIEW system. To get us first set up, Nick came to our kitchen for a face-to-face meeting to ensure the templates were correct. From there, he has been very quick to schedule screen share meetings whenever we’ve had any questions. And when Nick isn’t available, there is always a TEKLYNX teammate who is able to help us out.
TW: I’m so glad to hear that. At TEKLYNX we pride ourselves on taking great care of our customers. Tell me, now that LABELVIEW is in place, what improvements have you seen in your labeling process?
MJ: Previously, we were spending 3-5 hours each week hand-writing our food product labels. Now, it only takes a few minutes to print the labels for the whole week.
Not only does our new labeling process save us time, the new label templates save the customer time. Since we were able to customize the template to include reheating instructions, customers don’t have to go back to the website to find what the information they need to make the meal. Additionally, we have heard the customers love seeing the ingredients right there and knowing if it includes any common allergens or can be put in the freezer.
TW: What are your plans for the future of The Real Good Life meal delivery service?
MJ: My ideas for the future of The Real Good Life change every day, but one thing that is consistent is that we want to grow nationally and have community kitchens across the country. Having TEKLYNX as our labeling software partner means that labeling will never be a bottleneck for the growth of our business. We know we can count on the TEKLYNX team to help us find solutions to whatever our next labeling challenge may be.
Companies in the growing meal delivery business need easy-to-use labeling software that makes their labeling process efficient. The Real Good Life uses LABELVIEW to easily make their food labels and delivery labels.
If you’re looking for a labeling software solution for your business, TEKLYNX is here to help.
Learn more about The Real Good Life’s labeling story by reading the case study or watching the video:
Travis Wayne is the Product Manager at TEKLYNX. Travis applies his 20+ years of IT and health sciences experience to empower businesses to streamline operations and barcode better by applying software and technology. He works to continually improve TEKLYNX' strategic planning, product and project management principles, and cross-functional communications. When not working, he enjoys many outdoor activities with his wife and two children.
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