By Laura Craven
Many restaurants are temporarily shifting from a dine-in business model to take-out and delivery sales only. This requires different packaging than containers given at the end of a dine-in meal for “left-overs.” There are many packaging options on the market today and an experienced supplier can guide restaurant managers and kitchen staff on the best product selection and assembly practices.
- Review your menu and edit according to what meals will travel well. You may need to reduce or change offerings to ensure your guests have a quality experience.
- Designate an area for assembly and stage containers and other packaging supplies in a logical fashion to expedite the packing process.
- Choose packaging based on your menu items. Use containers with various compartments to keep sides from mixing with entrées. Make sure your containers have a tight lid-fit to protect against leaking. Vented containers allow for steam to escape and help prevent food from becoming soggy. New fried-food packages are available that help keep items crisp. Microwavable containers are handy for customers who wish to reheat food.
- Separate hot and cold foods into their own containers and bags to keep items at their proper temperature.
- Use the correct size container for each application. One size does not fit all. If the container is too large, the food will shift and could break apart. If the container is too small, the food will be crowded and the container will be prone to leak.
- Invest in the right ancillary items. Bags must allow for containers to stack neatly inside which will prevent tipping. The bags should also be the right weight and have sturdy handles that ensure safe carrying. For third-party delivery, tamper-evident bags may be needed. Wrapped cutlery kits keep the cutlery and napkins sanitary. The correct size soufflé cups will keep condiments, dressings, and toppings intact.
- Brand your packaging. If custom-print is not an immediate option, use labels with your logo, phone number, website, and social media information so customers can connect with you.
Customers will appreciate your attention to detail when their meals are packaged in high-quality containers and include the necessary extras such as full-size cutlery kits and napkins.
For a personalized packaging consultation, please contact your Imperial Dade Sales Consultant or visit http://www.ImperialDade.com for a location near you.