Still changing out your print labels every week? Maybe even every day? It’s time to rethink that strategy and swap to digital food labels!

This new technology is here to change the future of the foodservice industry. Digital labels can help you eliminate not just the time and tedium of maintaining static labels, but also the paper waste that comes with them. 

But because these labels are so new, you probably have questions, like how they actually work and what’s the best way(s) to use them.

That’s where this post comes in! Read on for answers to these questions and more about how digital food labels function to make you a more efficient, eco-friendly operation.

How do digital food labels work?

Digital food labels replace all the traditional paper labels you’d ever print. These small, conveniently wireless devices have easy-to-read e-ink screens and are surrounded by a durable plastic case. Each label is powered by long-lasting coin batteries, is temperature tolerant, and has a built-in wireless transmitter that connects to an onsite base station that will send each label the data it needs to display.

A base station is the local internet-connected hub you will have onsite that transmits encrypted, real-time food data to nearby labels via bi-directional Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE 5.0). Each station has a coverage radius of ~20 meters/65 feet and can support up to 5000 label connections. It’s the base station’s job to route information between an online management platform and the bluetooth network of labels.

You’ll need at least one base station for your location, potentially more depending on the size of your operation. Each hub requires an ethernet connection as well as a power source.

How Do Digital Food Labels Work?


Where do the stations/labels pull food data from?

Every base station connects online to pull label updates from a cloud-based centralized food and menu database

With our particular digital label solution, Nutrislice Spotlight, you would manage your connected labels and food data within the Nutrislice platform. We make it easy to import or sync your menu and food data into Nutrislice from many popular menu management systems thanks to Nutrislice’s integrations.

The onsite base station pulls assigned label food data from our servers and transmits it out to respective individual labels within minutes. Ongoing, any updates to the assigned food data within the Nutrislice platform would automatically sync with the connected label – this makes price adjustments, nutritional data, or even swapping assigned food items simple, fast, and conveniently handled from your computer.

Where would I put the labels?

For most foodservice operations, digital labels will work best in places you already have or would use print labels. This includes: 

  • serving lines
  • serving stations
  • shelf displays
  • cooler displays

Of course, you can use digital food labels in other environments, too, but these are the most common uses. Digital labels in any of these spaces would immediately increase your efficiency. And just imagine how much time you’ll save if you have these types of environments across multiple locations! 

How Do Digital Food Labels Work?


How are digital labels set up/installed?

First, you’ll need to determine the amount and size of labels you’ll need (Spotlight is currently available in small and medium sizes). Depending on where you plan on placing them, you’ll receive matching attachment fixtures like glass clips, tabletop/countertop stands, shelf clips, etc. 

Once your label hardware is ordered, it’s time to set up your Spotlight software. Nutrislice will work with you to add your base station(s) and labels to your Nutrislice account, and you’ll be able to upload your food data to your Food Library in preparation for label assignment. 

Next, you’ll install your base station(s) near the locations you plan to use your digital labels. We’ll teach you how to easily assign templates and foods to your labels within your Nutrislice account, as well as any additional features and functionality you’ll need to know for your use case. 

Then, you can attach labels to their fixtures and place them in your facility!

How do I manage each label and my food data?

Managing your digital food labels is easy! You’ll do everything centrally from your Nutrislice admin, such as:  

  • Assigning, editing, or removing foods
  • Pushing updates on-demand
  • Scheduling item rotations
  • Viewing device statuses, templates, etc.
  • And more!
How Do Digital Food Labels Work?

Imagine never having to print out a new label each time an item is swapped out in your cooler. Think about never needing to cover up or cross out information on a printed sign when a menu item changes on the serving line. 

This is the value digital food labels bring to your operation! You’ll have less waste, more efficiency, and a better, consistent customer experience.

Learn more about Spotlight!