Guide to Restaurant Eco-Friendly Food Delivery Containers

People worldwide are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious and devoted to preventing climate change. Thus, countries are outlawing single-use plastics like restaurant delivery and takeout containers, utensils, and bags.

Many restaurants have used eco-friendly packaging for years. It’s good for the environment and attracts Gen Z and Millennial clients who want sustainable companies.

Considerations for eco-friendly takeout food containers

  • Insulation

Restaurants may use insulated food delivery containers for food safety and taste, particularly if their delivery range permits food to sit for over an hour. Your consumers will be unsatisfied and may not order again if your hot or cold food arrives chilly. High-quality insulated containers keep meals hot during delivery.

  • Spill-testing

Before ordering 2,000 boxes, spill-test eco-friendly delivery and takeout containers. Buy a few containers to test, fill them with food, and throw them about like delivery cars to avoid disappointing and deterring customers. Accidents happen, although most delivery drivers try not to shake up their packages (their five-star ratings rely on it). If your test boxes leak, try another brand.

  • Price

Plastic containers are frequently the cheapest, thus restaurants use them. Better takeaway containers are seldom an option in a business with such low profit margins. Instead of switching over immediately when a legislation passes, it’s best to be proactive before altering government laws.

Try these restaurant cost-cutting measures to make space for eco-friendly packaging.

  • Sustainability

Not all eco-friendly food containers are equal. Here are some common sustainable container labels.

When properly disposed of in a commercial or home compost, compostable materials break down fast and become nutrient-rich soil that may be utilized to produce plants. Compostable containers include sugarcane/bagasse, bamboo, and bioplastics.

  • Biodegradable: Bioplastics and other plant-based takeaway containers degrade naturally. Research local policies to find the best biodegradable packaging for your area. Decomposition rates vary by material, and some governments are beginning to regulate label use based on how much and how quickly the material breaks down.
  • Recycled: Packaging manufactured from recycled plastic or other materials prevents part of the industry’s plastic from going to waste. Check local recycling rules since not all recycled containers are recyclable. Kraft paper uses virgin fibers and is sustainable, recyclable, and customizable.
  • Reusable: Sturdy plastic containers, reusable coffee cups, and reusable salad bowls reduce your environmental impact. If you routinely sell coffee to-go, give a discount to thermos owners.

No matter what kind of container you need, you’re sure to find it on the McDonald Paper website! Visit the online store or head to the offline showroom in Brooklyn.

Keep food hot or cold for delivery

Testing takeaway containers to guarantee food will travel properly is a significant element of great off-premise customer service. Put many servings in takeaway containers, shake them, then wait 30+ minutes before eating. If they don’t last, eliminate menu items or upgrade packaging.

Also, put sauces on the side and separate items of various temperatures: a hot penne in vodka sauce shouldn’t be in the bag with a cold caesar salad.

What takeaway containers do eateries use?

Restaurants offer several meal delivery container options. Below is a list of typical takeaway packing options to help you find the ideal blend for your company.

  • Containers for soup

These plastic, styrofoam, or plastic-coated cardboard containers with plastic lids deliver soup from restaurant to client. Do a restaurant temperature test to compare insulation materials. For curries, stews, and smaller soup quantities, smaller plastic takeaway containers are ideal.

  • Sealed boxes

Most takeaway containers are spherical or rectangular seal-top boxes made of plastic. They seal effectively and may be cleaned and reused for at-home food storage, but they’re not watertight.

  • Bowls of salad

Bowls made of biodegradable material, plastic, or plastic-coated paper with a plastic top carry salads well. Small containers of dressing are often included in the bowl, and a shake test is required. Make sure a newly prepared salad can be tossed forcefully without the salad bowl opening and producing a mess.

  • Split takeout containers

The plastic or styrofoam containers are perfect for carrying combination meals, mains and sides, and bento boxes, but they may pose quality difficulties if cold items like salads are packed with heated dishes like chicken tikka. They usually have a container and lid.

  • Shell container

One-sided hinged bases and lids describe clamshell containers. Burgers and sandwiches do well in styrofoam or biodegradable containers.

  • Folding boxes

These lined, coated paper or cardboard containers, which are typically recycled, are ideal for takeaway and delivery rice dishes and sandwiches. Square rather than rectangular Chinese takeout containers are common.

  • Catering boxes

Catering containers, usually metal trays with coated cardboard or plastic tops, may take huge quantities of food directly into the oven to heat up. Large sushi, finger sandwich, and fruit platter orders are commonly served in spherical plastic catering containers.

  • Pizza boxes

Pizza boxes, constructed of cardboard, deliver pizzas, calzones, and hot sandwiches straight from the oven to customers’ doors.

  • Container vents

Fried chicken, calamari, and pakora eateries need vented containers. Hot air is expelled from the container to keep fried food crispy. Many are paper-based or biodegradable.

  • Sauce bottles for takeout

Sauce containers, usually plastic, are used to send dressing on the side, dipping sauces for wings, mozzarella sticks, or fries, or any other toppings customers might add. Sauces and garnishes on the side keep food fresh as it travels from kitchen to sofa.

  • Custom takeout boxes

Custom stamps and ink are the most eco-friendly option to personalize takeaway containers (or bags). No plastic stickers or expensive branded containers are needed.


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