December 7th, 2012
Will overseas restaurant business rise or fall in the coming months?
Domestic restaurant sales remain on the bubble. It seems like owners and operators are unsure about 2013 at the moment and are cautious about expectations.
Size matters. NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s crazy soda ban has far reaching implications that will effect many industries. From cold drink cup manufacturers to distributors to cup dispensers and everything in between. Will it work to curb obesity? What do you think?
Top chefs make their culinary predictions for 2013. Is it just me or do these trends look familiar?
November 30th, 2012
Food packaging actually helps the environment. Think of all the food packaging that protects the foods you eat every day. Now think of what would happen to all that food if the packaging was not there.
Will the Affordable Care Act (aka Obama Care) hurt the restaurant industry? Many top level restaurant execs discuss their options moving forward.
Smart Phone use to find restaurants is on the rise. Personally, I’ve used my smart phone to find a place to eat many times.
Snack sized portions are clearly on the rise. When the worlds largest restaurant chain makes moves like this, you can bet serious research has gone into it. The good news for you all, is we have got snack sized portion food containers of all shapes and sizes from clear packaging to traditional insulated packaging.
October 18th, 2012
Packaging can make or break a meal. I could not have said it better.
Sustainable trends in food packaging. It seems packaging is constantly in the cross hairs, but there is no doubt the packaging industry is making great strides in reducing the amounts of materials used while still producing a functional part. The bullet points midway through this article really tells a compelling tale.
QR Codes are popping up everywhere. I don’t know about you, but I really like these little things. They make it very easy to inform customers about topics regarding a product.
October 4th, 2012
Sustainable mushroom packaging. Now that’s pretty cool.
More government regulations and delays are hurting the food and food packaging industry.
Occasion based wine, packaging tells the story of the grape. The last paragraph of this story is a testament to the power of packaging.
Ask for help when running your foodservice business. Okay so this one really doesn’t have anything to do with food packaging, but it does mirror a theme we’ve been preaching for some time now. That is to ask the experts in certain areas of your business for help before it becomes a problem. When it comes to food packaging, pick up the phone or type out an email and ask the question.
BPA deemed not a health risk from food packaging, in Canada. Just in case you were wondering, no Genpak products contain or have ever contained BPA.
Possible new substrate for food packaging. I’ll bet if some scientist worked hard enough, they could figure out how to use fingernail clippings as a suitable substrate. Okay that’s kinda gross, but you get the idea. The real trick is to introduce a substrate that packaging manufacturers can use on their equipment with little to know modifications and that is economically viable in the market.
September 30th, 2012
[This is a continuation of our "Starting A Food Business" Series]
Thinking about starting a fine dining restaurant? Or maybe you just opened the doors on your new establishment? Whatever stage your business plan is in, you may have a mindset that paper, plastic and foam food containers are not part of your future. If this is the case, take a few moments to realize that it may be time to revisit your restaurant plan.
Paper. Plastic. Foam. These are not words normally associated with a fine dining Read the rest of this entry »
September 26th, 2012
San Rafael city council passes bill to increase costs, stifle growth and apply undue pressure on 250 local businesses. Inaccuracies are;
- “…inability to recycle polystyrene…”. Polystyrene can and is being recycled. It’s not being done on a very large scale though.
- “…harmful effects on health…”. Foamed polystyrene is FDA compliant for food contact and has been safely used as such for over 40 years.
- “…keep the bay cleaner from garbage left behind…”. How is trading one type of garbage for another a step forward? Litter is litter, no matter what the form. Attack the litter issue by increasing collection sites, institute lids for public garbage cans and stiffen and enforce litter laws.
- “…easy to switch packaging…”. Sure it’s easy enough to find food packaging that is compostable. Heck we sell a bunch of it in from our Harvest Fiber line of products. I just think food operators would rather switch under their own time table and customer preferences rather been told to by their local government.
Boston City Council puts undue pressure on local business with crazy ban. Your cup of coffee will go from $2.00 to $3.00 overnight should this shortsighted ban go into effect. I swear our elected officials are ban happy. I have to wonder if these bureaucrats ever do any homework at all? Citizens of Boston, as your councilman how much extra raw materials (water, electricity etc.) it takes to make an “environmental” cup versus a foam cup. All those extra materials translates into more consumption and higher costs.
A stagnant economy could spell good news for quick service restaurants while fine dining and fast casual suffer.
Consumers want to be green, but are unwilling to pay the premium in many instances.
The Big Apple is apparently too big according to Mayor Bloomberg. To save its citizens from themselves the government of NYC has decided that it must ban beverages over 32 ounces in size. Once again a ban that will negatively effect so many industries (beverage, food service, cup manufacturers etc. etc.) will be put into effect and will have little to no effect on the issue they are trying to address which is obesity. Just like all those municipalities who ban certain types of food packaging thinking it will solve their litter problem only to find they have traded one type of litter for another, all while putting undue economic pressure on small businesses, this one is likely to have no effect on the overall issue at hand. God forbid our elected officials try to do something positive to solve a problem. Why not offer tax incentives for gym memberships or some other type of positive initiative? The part of this ban that baffles me is what is excluded from this ban. Drinks over 32 ounces that contain alcohol are okay. Hmmm, “I’m sorry sir but I can’t sell you that 32 ounce Coke, but hey throw four jiggers of some hard liquor in there and we are good to go!” Yeah makes perfect sense to me.
September 5th, 2012
Good news! The short-sighted state wide foam food packaging ban (SB568) was defeated. It would have resulted in:
- increased menu prices
- stagnating new hiring at foodservice operations
- increasing grocery prices
- the loss of hundreds of manufacturing jobs both in CA and other states
- increased consumption of imported goods from China
- traded one kind of litter for another
The vote was 23 – 41 with 16 abstentions. I always find it interesting when politians abstain from voting. After all, isn’t that why they are there in the first place? To cast the ballot that their constitutions want? No doubt by abstaining they can save face with their districts and say they did not vote in favor of that job killing bill. Hats off to all those who made their voices heard!
August 20th, 2012
[This is a continuation of our "Starting A Food Business" Series]
Is it time to start thinking about adding food delivery as an option to your customers? Or are you just starting your food business, and want to use delivery as the primary way to get food into your customers’ hands? Whichever case, being prepared for the challenges will make it a great deal easier and make your customers much more satisfied.
And one of the most pressing challenges is how to keep the food your customers will eat, tasting (and looking) just as good as if they ate it as soon as you plated it. Now, time from packaging your food to getting to your customer’s door is an important factor, but that’s not our expertise. A critical factor we’re prepared to help you with is the packaging and containers you should consider when looking to start delivery, or to improve your current delivery operations.
Why is this such an important element? Because poor food packaging can lead to spills, messy looking meals, food that needs to be reheated, cold food that is too warm or countless other mishaps that could yield a poor customer experience. That is something all businesses want to avoid. So here are some of the top things to consider when setting your food container and packaging plan for your delivery operations.
- Think of your image. If you serve family style or catering sized meals, you must think of the image you want to portray for your business. If you are a more upscale type brand, high quality plastic plates will go over a lot better than regular paper plates, which would work well for a local barbecue business. Remember who your competition is, as well as what your customers expect from you. And then go out and exceed all expectations.
- Microwave Safe Containers can be useful. Does your food need to be finished off once it arrives at your customer’s house? Is it likely that the portion will be eaten over a few days? If this is the case, a microwave safe container is a great option to have on hand. Most of these containers have a stylish look, and show the customer that you really do have their interest in mind.
- Hinged Containers make it easy. For individual meals, a hinged container can be a life saver for a delivery business. You don’t have to find a matching lid each and every time you pull a meal together. Just grab one of the hinged containers and start plating. And many hinged containers also have compartmented styles, so you can keep each item of the meal separate.
- Ensure your customers remember you. Branding delivery bags or pre packaged foods can go along way in keeping in the forefront of your customers minds. Flexible packaging and branded solutions ensure that your name (and hopefully contact information) stays with your customer longer than just when they answer the door and pay the delivery person.
- Give your cups lids. A piece of foil just won’t do. If you are giving your customers the option to order individually sized drinks, make sure that you have a large supply of quality cups with matching secure lids.
When you are delivering food to customers, be sure that you are delivering in the best way possible. You want their entire dining experience (from calling in and placing the food order to first opening up the container and seeing how good the food looks to diving in and eating) to be as enjoyable as possible. Any hiccup along the way could be just the reason for them to call a competitor next time around.
Remember, for all your food service packaging needs, Genpak is here make this process easy for you. Have you recently added food delivery to your business? What obstacles have you run into? Let us know what questions you have and we will help you out.
July 24th, 2012
So you’ve mastered making your favorite food. Maybe it’s a special cookie, a homemade chili or a one of a kind pasta salad. There’s no denying it’s delicious. All you have to do is get people to try it and the orders will start flooding in.
That’s the mindset of many people who have dreamed of making a living from selling a food dish or item that has gone over well at parties and events. Maybe even someone has approached them and said, “Hey, you should sell that.”
But can it really be that easy? For the most part, no. There are many more steps and things to think about when turning a favorite dish into a business. Sourcing ingredients, accounting and storage are just a few of these things. But the one that we will talk about here may be the most important when it comes to selling your food: Read the rest of this entry »
July 9th, 2012
As sort of a continuation from our Food Packaging Goes Hollywood post, I thought it be good to show a product line in use that often times is not associated with Genpak. You see, many people know us as the “foam hinged” company. While it is true we make the absolute best hinged products on the market today, foam or otherwise, we also have a very deep selection of products that are not just hinged.
Cups being one of those categories. As you can see from this photo from the recent Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest, the athletes are hard at it with 42 ounces of refreshing beverage in decorated Genpak cups, just waiting to wash down the dogs. Maybe not a glamorous as being seen on the big screen or in a television series, but worthy of recognition none the less.
Until next time…