|Sharise Stamborski packs newly-made bags at Fischer Paper Products in Antioch|
When 7-Eleven stores in Texas suddenly needed to put their hot chicken legs in some kind of bag — thank you, COVID! — they had to find the right little bags to put them in. ASAP. So they made a desperate call to Fischer Paper Products in Antioch, 50 miles north of Chicago
Typically, it takes 10 to 12 weeks for Fischer to get a new type of bag to a customer, assuming it isn’t one of the thousand varieties they stock. There is design, then creating prototypes, then testing them. Fischer keeps half a dozen fast-food warmers in their break room for product testing.
“If the food is going to be sitting in this package in a warming oven for an hour, the materials have to hold up to heat or grease,” said Joshua Fischer, company president and grandson of the founder.
In this case, they got the bag designed, tested and shipped to Texas in three weeks.
Restaurants, in a two-year-plus state of continual emergency during the society-jarring disruptions of the pandemic — customers staying home, supply chains tied in knots — will gather to blink at each other, celebrate their survival and plot out a future at McCormick Place starting Saturday, for the National Restaurant Association Show, the first in three years.
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