Online takeout, or getting your favourite foods delivered right to your doorstep, is one of the many benefits of today's digital age. That said, the advantages of this service, mainly its convenience, may be overshadowed by several issues that ultimately make the user experience pale compared to dining in. For one, there is a delay between customers making the order and getting their food. At this time, the food may get cold and dampen what would otherwise be an enjoyable meal. If you have experienced something similar, you may be less likely to order from that restaurant again.
Thus, restaurant owners on the other end of this equation must focus on proper packaging to avoid this scenario and keep their takeout customers happy. By using the right food packaging, you can better keep your food products intact, warm, and ready to eat all the way to the customer's door. Apart from that, food packaging is no longer just about practicality but also safety, as spurred by the recent pandemic when online food takeout spiked in popularity. And among those who order takeout, 84% carefully consider the packaging when placing an order.
As such, the following reasons explain why making smart decisions also matters regarding your restaurant food packaging.
1. Prevents cross-contamination
In a dining environment, cross-contamination refers to the risk of bacteria and other microorganisms transferring from people, equipment, and other sources to food. This can occur at any stage of the food production process, such as when prepping food for takeout and delivery.
Proper food packaging, like tamper-proof plastic containers with lids, ensures no cross-contamination occurs when food is transferred from the restaurant to the consumer. This is especially important in this post-pandemic era, wherein customers are now hyper-aware of their hygiene. Check out our previous article to learn about how the pandemic has influenced trends related to food packaging.
2. Better temperature control
From the customer's perspective, there is nothing worse than ordering foods like pasta, pizza, and soups that are best eaten warm but receive them cold upon arrival. This is a critical issue given that the food's freshness, quality, and temperature is the most critical factor in ordering takeout, according to most diners. Hence, both hot and cold foods should ideally be packaged separately in specialised containers that guarantee they reach the customer at the temperature they are best enjoyed at.
3. Makes Food More Appealing
Many of our senses, like smell, sight, and taste, influence how we enjoy the dining experience. Knowing this, restaurateurs must also pay attention to how their dish looks when served in take out food boxes, not just on a plate for dine-in consumption.
Using the right packaging makes food presentation a breeze and keeps it intact and upright, so it arrives just as enticing as it left the kitchen. Just think how much more appetising sushi looks even in a takeout container when the rolls are all lined up perfectly compared to when they all get smushed together.
4. You can charge a premium and reinforce brand identity
Well-packaged dishes have a higher perceived value. According to one study, approximately a quarter of customers are willing to pay more for products with quality and eco-friendly packaging.
Packaging, through the smart use of design, colours, and copy, is also a key touch point that lets brands connect with their target audience. So, if you have established something unique about your restaurant to your consumers, you can take advantage of it by creating a packaging design that reflects your brand's personality.
Food packaging offers many benefits that restaurateurs can only achieve by carefully choosing the right one that suits their business. Understanding what packaging can do for your F&B business is the first step towards making smarter decisions when choosing your restaurant food packaging.
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