The Do’s and Don’ts For Food Packaging in the Restaurant Business

Restaurants put a considerable amount of time and effort into ensuring that their food looks amazing and tastes even better The way the dishes presented on the plate can make a big difference between a three-star and a four-star review.

But when it comes to takeout or delivery, they often make food packaging an afterthought. And that means that customers who are paying $20 for an upscale entrée are surprised when the food looks like it’s coming from a fast-food joint. To make sure you’re not making that mistake, here are some of the classic do’s and don’ts for food packaging in the restaurant delivery business.

DO keep hot and cold foods separate

One big reason why Styrofoam clamshell containers are so popular in the restaurant business is that they do an excellent good job of keeping hot food hot and cold food cold. But there’s just one problem – it’s far too tempting to put an entire meal inside the same container. That means cold sides might be mixed with a hot entrée – a definite mistake.

DON’T assume that one-size-fits-all packaging is going to work for you

How many times have you opened up a food container, only to find that it’s been over-stuffed and is starting to leak out of the container, or there’s such little food inside the container, that it seems to be sliding around on the bottom? The problem here is assuming that a one-size-fits-all solution is going to work. It’s more expensive, but it’s worth the time and effort to make sure that the size of the packaging is the same as the scale of the food item.

DO put all sauces, liquids and soups in their containers

Liquids and Sauces are notorious for their ability to ruin a meal that’s been delivered. You might love barbecue sauce, but not when your entire plate of chicken was cover in BBQ sauce. As a result, always make sure that any liquid gets its container.

DON’T forget about branding on the packaging

For upscale restaurants, it is critical to keep in mind about this topic. Which typically make branding a very key selling point of their business. It’s easy and practical just to use the same white Styrofoam packaging as everyone else, but then again…It makes you look just like everyone else. At the very least, you should consider putting some branding on the delivery bags.

DO use recyclable and eco-friendly materials whenever possible

Even if you’re not a farm-to-table restaurant or a restaurant that excites its local ingredients, it’s worth investigating recyclable materials for your packaging. That is good not just for the environment, but also for your brand.

DON’T forget to use the right lids

Another common problem is having the wrong lid for the right container. For example, you might have a silver foil container to keep food hot, but then a plastic cover that just doesn’t seem to stay on. Or, even worse, you have a tight-fitting lid that’s impossible to pry off without disturbing the food inside.

With these handy tips, you’ll be well on your way to having a restaurant delivery experience that rivals that of your in-house experience. Customers will walk away with full stomachs – and they’ll also be full of compliments for you online when it comes time to write a review for your business on a site like Yelp.