Food Packaging for Delivery & Takeout Orders: Three Considerations that Help Restaurants & Food Operators Make Smart Decisions

August 11, 2020

Driven by COVID-19 policies and consumers’ growing demand for convenience, foodservice takeout and delivery is an important component for restaurant operators. Today, many restaurants and foodservice operators employ multiple sales approaches to increase market share and generate sales. One example is takeout packaging, which plays a significant role in a customer’s experience with restaurants.

Here are three considerations which will help restaurants and foodservice operators make smart packaging decisions to grow their brand and increase sales through takeout and delivery.

Choose the Right Containers

Food packaging offers many benefits. It protects food from outside contamination. It ensures that the meal arrives fresh and at the right temperature. Also, it serves as a tangible brand ambassador that lets you connect with customers through color, design, and message. Choosing the right package depends on the type of food you need to transport and the distance it will travel. Containers can keep soup hot, prevent grease from dripping from saucy chicken wings, and provide a proper presentation that makes a meal more appetizing. According to Packaging Matters in 2016, “82% of consumers say it is very important that packaging prevent spilling or breaking.” Moreover, Foodservice Packaging Institute President Lynn Dyer said, “Different types of food are going to require different types of packaging. Selecting the right packaging for the job provides a good return on investment,” Dyer said. (Schierhorn, 2016). Therefore, it’s important to choose a sturdy delivery container with the right packaging material that won’t fall apart when it arrives in the customer’s hands.

Look Better, Taste Better

Although ordering takeout and delivery is about convenience, the presentation of the food still matters. One of the major challenges that restaurants have is how to keep the food looking great when it is delivered. Let your packaging help highlight your delicious food. Choose a windowed container that lets your customers see the food without having to open the container. Or, use a container with compartments designed to keep the food neat and secure in transit.

It’s also important to choose the right size container. For example, if you have options like loaded fries, leafy salads, or crunchy nachos on the delivery menu, pack sauces and condiments separately to keep food from getting soggy.

Furthermore, color adds energy and contrast to your dishes. Choose complimentary packaging colors to create an uplifting and cheerful presentation for takeout or delivery meals.

Overall, the presentation can drastically change a customer’s perception of quality, since people associate better taste with good looking food. Attractive packaging is part of encouraging repeat customers.

Packaging that Shares Values

Show customers what your values are and what you care about. If you value food safety and customer protection, consider using tamper-evident packaging. When food is compromised, customers blame the restaurant, not the driver. The tamper-evident package is designed to ensure that you maintain control and product excellence. This gives your customers peace of mind and a reliable delivery experience.

If you value sustainability and care about the environment, consider using recyclable and compostable packaging. Sustainable packaging can help you win over customers who support environmentally-conscious brands.

Overall, packaging should be an extension of your brand. The values and messages you share should be on track with your brand identity and promise. Choosing the right food packaging provides an excellent delivery and takeout experience and sets your brand apart from the competition.