France’s new anti-waste law requires fast food restaurants of a certain size and capacity to transition from disposable to reusable cutlery, and to do so within three years at the earliest. This shift requires a robust system to track and manage these reusables to ensure efficient operations and legal compliance.

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Julien Thibult, RFID sales director at Checkpoint Systems in France, outlined the urgency of the situation: “Three years is really a short time to adapt in thousands of restaurants,” he said, elaborating further on the challenges faced by fast-food chains, These chains have been accustomed to single-use packaging for over fifty years. The transition to reusability not only represents a cultural shift but impacts all operational processes.

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Overcoming Operational Challenges with UHF RFID Technology

Fast food chains, accustomed to single-use packaging for decades, face a significant challenge in adapting to reusables within a short timeframe. UHF RFID technology presents a solution by enabling fast and efficient inventory management without direct visibility. This technology empowers fast food chains to track and manage their reusable cutlery effectively.

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The solution to these challenges lies in the deployment of UHF RFID technology. Unlike traditional barcodes or QR codes, which require line of sight to scan, whether manually or automatically, UHF RFID tags can be read without direct visibility, making them fast and efficient even in challenging environments inventory count. Hardware manufacturer and smart packaging technology producer Zebra Technologies offers RFID scanning. “It helps with quick inventory counts in difficult environments,” explains the head of product engineering.

Real-Time Visibility and Efficient Inventory Management

The implementation of RFID technology enables real-time visibility of inventory levels, which is critical for fast food chains that cannot afford to run out of reusable cutlery. “They need real-time visibility of table inventory,” Thibult emphasizes, noting the need for fast and efficient inventory management.

One of the main benefits of using RFID technology is the ability to conduct ultra-fast and efficient inventory counts. Thibult showed a video demonstrating how to calculate more than 1,500 unique reusables in less than a minute. This feature greatly simplifies the inventory process, which was previously performed infrequently and with less accuracy.

Additionally, the RFID system is designed to automatically trigger replenishment orders when inventory levels fall below certain thresholds, ensuring restaurants maintain optimal reusability levels. “You can automatically replenish a large number of reusable items,” Thibult said, emphasizing the system’s ability to optimize inventory levels and minimize waste.

Preventing Waste and Enhancing Traceability

Another key aspect addressed by RFID systems is preventing the loss or destruction of reusables, which would undermine the sustainability goals of anti-waste laws. Checkpoint installed fixed RFID readers in specific areas of the restaurant to detect reusable items that were mistakenly discarded with other waste. “We have saved over 1 million reusable items that would have been destroyed,” Thibult reports, emphasizing the system’s effectiveness in minimizing waste.

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The unique identification capabilities of RFID tags can also track the life cycle of each reusable foodservice product, including the number of times it has been washed and when it has been replaced. This level of traceability is critical to managing the quality and longevity of reusable items.


The adoption of UHF RFID technology revolutionizes fast food chains by enabling a seamless transition from disposable to reusable cutlery. By harnessing the power of real-time visibility, efficient inventory management, waste prevention, and enhanced traceability, fast food chains can meet the requirements of anti-waste laws while streamlining operations. Embrace RFID technology to drive sustainability and operational efficiency in the fast food industry.

RFID technology not only affects the catering industry but also the smart lock and lithium battery industries. There is no doubt that this is a trend that will cause future technological changes in the world. Newbega is an RFID technology company from China. It is a professional solution and RFID product manufacturer. If you have any needs, please feel free to contact us.

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