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How Restaurant Brands Can Avoid Seafood Fraud

New technology has made tracking and verifying food easier than ever. It may prove essential in combating rampant fraud.

By Justin Wick1851 Franchise Contributor
Updated 2:14PM 12/29/21

Seafood fraud is rampant in the restaurant industry, but new tech is making tracking and verification easier, according to CNN’s Bijan Hosseini

“A 2019 study by conservation organization Oceana, conducted in the US, found that one in five fishes tested in restaurants and markets was mislabeled,” Hosseini writes.

This fraud could be costing restaurants millions. For franchise brands, the problem could be even more severe, as large-scale orders can lead to large-scale fraud.

Some restaurants are implementing innovative solutions to combat fraud. Hosseini pointed to a restaurant in Dubai, named Rockfish, which has launched new technology to track the sourcing of every item they serve. Customers receive a QR code with each seafood order. “The code links to a web page that tells them when and where their fish was caught, how it was transported, and provides necessary certifications to verify it was sustainably sourced.”

That system could provide a way to reestablish consumer trust in seafood. Customers can have peace of mind knowing what went into their order, and restaurants can be comforted knowing they did everything they could to deliver accordingly.

But Rockfish is just one restaurant, and creating a similar, cost-effective solution for a franchise brand may prove a more difficult challenge. New technology can help to regulate all kinds of potential malpractice, but it’s up to each brand to figure out the best way to roll it out and keep operators compliant.

Instituting anti-fraud measures may also force suppliers to increase their prices, which may prove a minor downside to an otherwise uplifting innovation.