Whether you are the enterprising owner of a restaurant or the proud owner of a hawker centre stall, you need to consider the container you put your food in. Packaging makes an impact on the customer’s perception of your standards. It can also affect the quality of the food itself. Poor choices in packaging can make transporting and eating the takeaway food a chore, or even ruin the taste. You definitely do not want to lose business simply because you chose to use one container over another.
To help you make this decision, here are some factors you may want to think about to make the most out of your packaging:
Type of food
There are several factors related to food that could inform your packaging decisions. For example, if you are selling mostly dry food, perhaps with some gravy, getting a plastic container with a lid may be a good choice. On the other hand, if you happen to be selling soupy foods that contain a lot of liquid, the typical rectangular container may not be right for you. A bowl-shaped container that is appropriately waterproofed would be best.
Similarly, if your food product is served cold like salad, you would want a container that is insulating, such that the food remains as close to the best serving temperature as possible by the time it reaches the customer’s house. Piping hot food would need a slightly different approach. While insulation is also essential, you would probably not want to use the typical flimsy plastic container to hold it. If you use a low-grade disposable variety, the high temperatures may cause the plastic to seep into the food, which would not be great for the health of your customers. It would also be pretty hard to hold. Kraft Paper take out lunch boxes are great for both of these temperatures as they are insulated and contain minimal plastic.
Depending on the needs of your establishment, you may want to add some additional branding on the packaging. If that is the case, you will want to consider the logistics involved. For example, it may be more cost-effective to buy the packaging by itself, then add the design separately with paper.
You will also need to consider what material to use for the design based on the food itself. For instance, soupy foods could cause a single layer of paper to become soggy, making plastic a preferable option.
Handling of the product
The extent of handling can also be a key concern when it comes to packaging. If most of your customers come to buy the food in-person, you would not expect too much rough handling on your product. In this case, you may then mostly have to focus on whether the packaging is appropriate for the food and can hold it without any leaks.
If you happen to run on delivery service or engage with a third-party delivery company, that is a whole other story. Highly durable take out lunch boxes would be apt here to maintain your food’s integrity and hence customer satisfaction. This is because you would expect significantly more time on the road and rough handling. No matter how careful the delivery rider is when handling your food, the sheer amount of travelling, at high speed no less, always introduces a risk that something becomes compromised.
Many people forget that what packaging you use is an active choice in the food industry. From the humble small plastic container to cardboard boxes, there is a need to decide what packaging fits your business goals and food best. Given that no two dishes are the same, it is necessary to genuinely consider which type of packaging fits your store overall in terms of cost, aesthetic and material.