Choosing The Right Takeout Containers for Your Food Business

What could be worse than ordering takeout only to find that your food has gone cold? Or if you get your coffee to go and find out later it has seeped through the bottom of the cup into your car?

Choosing the right wholesale takeout containers is a vital part of ensuring the success of your takeout service. Get it wrong, and you can lose customers.

The demand for takeout has increased drastically during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many restaurants are now offering a takeaway option alongside their eat-in menu to help boost their sales and keep customers happy.

If you are new to the takeout industry, there are a few things that you should take into consideration when it comes to your packaging.

It’s A Material Thing

The material that you chose to use for your takeout containers can make all the difference. For example, salads do not need to stay warm so their packaging will differ from that of a hot meal. The same applies to beverages. Below, we will discuss the different options used for containers, and what to consider when choosing the takeout container material.

Foam Containers

This type of takeout container is a great option for carryout and leftovers, as it is durable and lightweight. Foam containers are great for keeping cold food cold and hot food hot, and secure enough to hold customers’ food. As a downside, they cannot go into the microwave as they are not microwave friendly.

Foil Takeout Containers

Foil containers are popular with restaurants that serve greasy or oily foods, as the foil repels the oils to a degree. While still not microwavable, foil is oven friendly which is a bonus for your customers.

Paper Food Containers

Paper food containers are a versatile and recyclable takeout container option. A popular choice for Chinese food, as they are collapsible and take up less space than other containers. While they can take less weight than their foam or foil counterparts, they do have microwave-safe options available. Make sure that the option you chose has a grease-resistant coating otherwise the containers may leak.

Plastic Food Containers

One of the most versatile wholesale takeout containers, plastic is a durable choice for all kinds of food. It is a great option if you are wanting to display food and can be freezer and microwave safe. Unfortunately, they are the least environmentally friendly of the packaging options, so this is something to be aware of. Plastic is also a more expensive option for takeout containers.

Looks Do Count

An important thing to remember when it comes to takeout containers is that the packaging should match the food you are serving. Depending on what you are serving, customers may enjoy seeing the products in their packaging – for example, cakes and biscuits.

Containers for leftovers can be simple and plain, packaging for bakery items can be a bit fancier. You can even go the extra mile and get custom food wrapping and coffee sleeves made for your company.

Sustainable Takeout Packaging

With the number of people who order takeout, it is a good idea to look into compostable or recyclable takeout containers. Since only about half of us recycle, many containers still end up in landfills.

Many companies are looking into eco-friendly options, and this can give your brand image a boost at the same time as helping the environment. It is even possible that you may save some money by investing in sustainable options.

Three categories fall under the sustainable packaging banner – recyclable, compostable or reusable. Each provides something different, and you will need to decide what is best for you based on the kind of food and beverages you are serving.

Recyclable Food Containers

Recyclable materials are often clearly marked to inform customers about their proper disposal. Most cardboard and paper food containers are approved for recycling and although not all, most plastics are also approved by recycling programs. It is important to understand which plastics are recyclable and better for the environment and your business needs.

Compostable Takeout Containers

An item marked as “compostable” still needs to be disposed of properly. Do not throw it out with the rest of your trash – these are designed to be biodegradable and will break down in commercial composting facilities with the right environment. While this can be an eco-friendly solution, you are again relying on customers to dispose of the packaging correctly.

Another note is to find the right types of containers for the food you serve. Paper bags are great for dry foods and foods that have no risk of leaking. If the paper is covered in grease or oily substances, it cannot be composted or recycled which defeats the point.

Polylactic acid (PLA) is a good option – it acts like plastic but is made from organic materials such as corn starch. Compostable takeout containers are great because they are fantastic at keeping hot food hot, plus they have fewer chemicals than non-organic materials. Unfortunately, they are a little more expensive than standard containers.

Reusable Takeout Containers

Used most in coffee spots, many restaurants are choosing to go with the reusable option. This is the most sustainable choice, as there is no waste if customers are bringing their own containers!

To encourage this, restaurants offer items for sale at a small price, and then specials or discounts when you return with the reusable container on the next visit. While it is up to the customer to make sure their items are clean, other than this reusable is the most cost-effective and sustainable option.

The Takeaway on Takeout Containers

No matter which type of container you chose to go with, be sure that it works for you and what you serve. Buying the right wholesale takeout containers can save you money while helping to boost your companies image and reputation.

If you are ready to start your packaging journey, visit The Packaging Company today for all of your container and packaging needs.