On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic because of the new SARS-nCoV-2 coronavirus. Also known as the COVID-19 disease, the pandemic has caused a state of health emergency around the world. It continues its impact on all industries more than a year later. One of the most affected branches was the food industry. Restaurants, cafes, and bars had to close down or significantly restructure their business in order to survive. Reducing the number of tables, creating more outdoor spaces, and providing take out services are some of the changes the industry has made. In these hard times, online communication became essential to reach as many customers as possible.

There are several instances where translation can help the food industry. Here we will focus on food exporters, food service and equipment supply chain, and the restaurants.

Translation in support of food exporters

There are many legal, health and safety requirements that accompany food export during a global pandemic. FDA reports that, “some countries have begun to request commitments to provide information that food is free of the COVID-19 virus and/or has been produced under conditions that prevent contamination by the COVID-19 virus.”

If a foreign country imposes such a requirement upon an US exporter, that means a few more documents will need to be translated in the respective language. The technical document translation is the right service in such cases.

Even without those specific documents related to COVID-19 and its repercussions, food exporters have a lot of documentation to prepare. Environmental health and safety translations are quite helpful for this industry. The specialists behind them often support the customers in more ways than simply rendering the content from one language into another. Often the customer relies on the translator for advice about specific formats of certificates that may differ between countries.

Food service and equipment supply chain during COVID-19

It is necessary to speak the language of food service and equipment supply chain in order to offer efficient translations and support to the industry representatives. All documents related to a particular service or product need to be well translated and properly localized in order to meet the specifications of the local market. In addition to technical document translation, the supply chain representatives need to consider website localization and educational material translation as part of their overall translation project.

The website is the portal of the company to the global online market and should be well supported. It is not only necessary to keep it updated in English, but you need to also include information about your products, services, and even blog posts in different languages if you want to beat the competition. Training your employees and partners is also a key factor to the success of a global food service and equipment supply chain.

In the time of the current pandemic, the industry is experiencing the results of multiple lockdowns and other restrictions declared worldwide. Often deliveries are delayed and representatives are faced with even stricter requirements when it comes to exporting their service or product. They need to guarantee that all of their products come from COVID-19-free spaces and meet all the health and safety criteria. In other words, a few more documents will have to be translated on top of the usual documentation that features: manuals, technical specifications, safety instructions, quality standards, guidelines, labels, and packaging. Selecting the right language service provider is so important. A true partner will be familiar with the legal requirements and regulations and will be able to work under the specific conditions of the pandemic.

A variety of communication channels should be available, as face-to-face meetings with the clients might not be possible. Therefore, it is good to offer a translation manager as a one-point contact person who can monitor the process and make sure all goes according to plan. Quite often, such a person may also be in charge of following the news and press releases by the WHO or by other news sources from different countries to keep in line with the latest requirements and measures resulting from the pandemic.

How translation can help restaurants stay afloat

Restaurants suffered a direct impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. As a result, many restaurants were forced to close while others looked for creative ways to keep their business alive. One of the services that helped was food and beverage delivery. To be able to offer that to clients, some restaurants had to restructure and even hire new staff to work in the kitchen or do the deliveries. Teaching the personnel is important. Education material translation guarantees that any of your employees who speak fluent English are on the same page as the rest of your staff.

A restaurant’s website is also an important tool for promoting the food delivery services. If you are located in a foreign-speaking neighborhood it is a good idea to think about website localization. Presenting your menu in several languages will attract more customers. But be careful – menu translation is not an easy task and should be done by a professional translator to avoid misunderstandings.

Here, at ICD Translation we have extensive experience working with representatives of the Food industry and our translators are familiar not only with the specific terminology but also with the challenges the sectors currently faces. We are here to help with any kind of translations you need into the languages you have chosen and assist you throughout the entire process.

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