Restaurateur 101: Selling Quality Takeout

foodservice packagingIn the past, old-folk wisdom always said that you could tell the quality of a restaurant just by looking at the tableware.  High-end dishes, glasses and cutlery meant that the restaurant didn’t skimp, and that idea was mentality ingrained in all future expectations of everything else.  But since consumers are growing increasingly dependent on takeout, they’re less likely to see your in-house dishes and cutlery, so how can restaurants maintain that age-old perception of quality on-the-go?  Dean Supply is celebrating 65 years of service by discussing several techniques that will help you do just that, and all without breaking the bank.  We think that’s a win-win!

Part 1: Packaging Matters

Long before a customer takes that first bite, his or her appetite has already been honed by the sight of that favorite dish inside its wrapping or food container.  Since control over presentation is limited in takeout meals, having attractive and high-quality packaging is critical to preserve the dining experience for home delivery.  If you keep these factors in mind when deciding how to package your foods, you’ll be able to send those meals out the door without fear!

  1. Packaging Has Layers
    From Tupperware to napkins, presenting a take-out meal requires every packaging element to clearly complement one another, all while properly reflecting the restaurant’s brand. Cutlery, serving containers, napkins, bags, and even labels should all flow together around a common theme, but it’s important to note that “theme” doesn’t have to mean “expensive.”  Budgeting your food container needs and styles appropriately for your restaurant is just smart management, and thus hand-made, bow-tie napkins are not always required.  Still if your restaurant brand colors are blue and your packaging is red, the direct association between your brand and your food will be that much harder to establish, so buy with care.
  2. Packaging Has Varieties
    It is very important to remember that transporting different kinds of prepared foods requires unique delivery systems, and food containers are no exception. It’s not uncommon for high-end restaurants to have dozens of packaging types Keeping fried foods crispy by delivering them in well-ventilated containers or hot foods warm with insulated bags help maintain freshness and preserves the ambiance of eating foods straight out of the kitchen.  Though if it’s clear an item will require reheating upon arrival, having microwave-safe food containers will allow for quick-and-easy preparation.  
  3. Packaging Has Limits
    While it’s physically possible to transport just about anything to anywhere, sometimes it’s in a restaurant’s best interest to think twice before placing an item on a takeout menu. Some foods (especially signature dishes) cannot hold their unique texture, taste, and other qualities over long periods of time, and that means delivering those foods risks creating a negative dining experience.  In those instances it can be better for long-term brand preservation to not offer certain foods on a delivery menu rather than guarantee a steady stream of dissatisfied customers.  Offer alternatives or militarized versions of the food items instead.

    Bottom line: food containers and packaging are one of the most commonly-ignored areas of presentation for take-out menu items, and it shouldn’t be.  With more and more time-consuming activities putting pressure on our daily lives, takeout meals’ popularity means packaging quality will only become more scrutinized, and that means buying smart.  Take time to check out our product selection of food containers and packaging for great deals, or else contact us for help in choosing the best containers to fit your needs.  Don’t wait too long though; takeout means are rapidly becoming a required restaurant service.  Thanks for reading!

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