JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The coronavirus outbreak has forced Arkansas restaurants to close their dining rooms, but they’re still delivering food to their customers. And that’s driving up demand for to-go boxes.
Employees at a Jonesboro company are working around the clock to meet that need.
Anchor Packaging employs 850 people. During “seasonal times,” their employees work 24-hours a day.
That’s the case now that COVID-19 is spreading across the globe.
Michael Thaler, executive vice president of marketing, says their employees make take-out packaging for restaurants and restaurant chains across the U.S.
“Taking care of the whole country sounds a little bit amazing," he said. "We also have a lot of automation and a lot of robotics that allows us to multiply the efforts of those people by quite a high factor.”
The company’s workers are keeping the restaurant industry in business.
“If we did not keep our doors open, it would not take long before keeping we began hearing across the country about takeout not being as readily as it is today," Thaler said. "But we are supremely confident that is not going to happen.”
Anchor’s multiple plants already complied with the National Safety Foundation’s highest level of food hygiene, but since the outbreak Thaler said they have increased their sanitation efforts.
“Not only have we maintained that rating through the crisis, but we have also actually contracted for extra sanitation and disinfection crews to come in several times a day,” he said.
In addition to extra sanitation, Thaler says their plants work on separate electrical grids, water lines, rail lines, and separate work crews.
This keeps everything separate and safe, Thaler said.
He added they would not be able to do this without the dedication of their employees.