The home delivery explosion isn’t ending any time soon. Are you ready? Every restaurant should be at least thinking about making this option accessible to their communities. On-demand food service delivery brings food directly from your restaurant to the customers, driven through mobile apps and online ordering.
Millennials are driving change in many different areas, food service included. As you might have guessed, Millennials are tech savvy, typically using up to two or three different devices each day. They are using said devices to connect with friends and companies, to research and review products, and to place food orders for delivery or take-out. They already love coming in to your restaurant, so why not connect to them when they don’t feel like eating out.
The restaurant industry is a roughly $490 billion market. Food delivery makes up 43% of that marketing and is continuing to grow. Engage with your loyal customers in and out of your restaurant. Millennials and Baby Boomers, alike, want great food at their finger tips.
RestaurantBusiness.com has a great article about how to get started with food delivery. There are lots of questions to ask before you get started in offering your food for delivery. Which service should I use, how will this change my business? Are we prepared to take on the increase in take-out orders? Do we have the right packaging for full meals to travel?
Genpak is here to help. Take a look at our home delivery video to get free samples, request a call, and learn more.
Nobody ever claimed that working for a food packaging company was a glamorous detail. Generally speaking, most consumers really don’t know who makes the food packaging that carries their favorite to-go meal, dip, almonds or cup cake. But, after you work in the food packaging market for some time you start to spot packaging whenever you see it used in commercials. Especially if it is a package made by the company you work for. Here are a couple of very recent commercials for household name brands, that feature great food…and a Genpak container. If you can spot them, congratulations, you are a food packaging nerd. If not, don’t worry, we will not hold it against you. Enjoy!
The second one is from our friends at Blue Apron. It’s not a You Tube, but click the link to go to the ad.
Did you know we will be at the National Restaurant Association trade show in Chicago? You should stop by our booth (#1626) to chat with us about our new Harvest Pro line.
More and more restaurants are moving to a more environmentally friendly option. Our Harvest Pro line combines quality and responsibility to bring you a recyclable, non-absorbent, cut resistant, microwavable clamshell. Produced with 40% natural minerals Harvest Pro offers a great way to reduce your environmental impact, but not reduce the quality. Harvest Pro is also leak resistant because of the double lock closures with tab opening. These containers also come in a vented option for hot foods. These options are everything you could ever want in a hinged container.
Harvest Pro comes in a range of sizes, from the most popular size, 9″ x 7″, general purpose container for burgers and fries or chicken wings, to the 6″ x 6″ sandwich container. If portion control is an issue Harvest Pro offers two three-compartment containers. Having different size options helps with portion control but also keeps your look consistent.
Harvest Pro is:
Non-absorbent – your food isn’t soaked into the container. You don’t lose any flavor in your meal.
Cut resistant – you don’t end up cutting your table, losing dressing or sauce due to slices in the packaging.
Microwave safe – heat up your leftovers without burning your hands, melting the container, or blowing up the microwave.
Recyclable – when you are through, toss it in with the rest of your recyclables.
Did you say you wanted something with a design on it? Well Harvest Pro can do that too. We have embossing options available to suit your needs.
Remember Genpak’s Harvest Pro next time you are thinking about being “Responsible, Renewable & Reliable.”
Stop by our booth for a chance to win a Summer Survival Kit containing cutlery, cups, plates, and bowls; everything you need for a party! See you soon.
It seems like every time I turn around there’s yet another municipality or some internet “guru” throwing stones and food packaging. It’s the same old tired blah blah droning going on. “There’s too much of it, it’s toxic, it gave me acne”…the list gets more ridiculous and far fetched with each new post. The problem is, there are not enough people or organizations firing back about the actual TRUTHS and virtues of food packaging. The real experts about food packaging are those companies who actually produce it, and the companies who directly use it, such as food processors and restaurants. Therefore is seems to make sense that we should be the source to talk about why food packaging is in fact, necessary. Here’s a list I came up with, in no particular order of importance.
It protects our food from damage. Think of your favorite brand of cookies. Now try to picture buying those cookies from a bulk bin like you might buy nuts or granola. Not a very pretty image is it, that is unless you like crumbs. That’s just one example. Without food packaging, I’d wager 90% of what you buy at the supermarket would not be possible.
It prevents food from spoiling. Again, using the supermarket as an example, think of those wonderful bags or clear containers of cut lettuce. By placing those delicate produce items in packaging that protects it from the outside environment, the shelf life is extended both at the supermarket and when you get the products home. This allows you to consume all the food before it goes bad.
It educates consumers on what’s actually inside. Allergic to gluten, nuts or wheat? Your food packaging allows for great graphics that will tell you all the pertinent nutritional values needed to make informed decisions before purchasing. Caloric count, ingredients, allergens…you name it and the packaging can advise it.
Keeps foods at temperature longer for an enjoyable experience. This also goes back to the spoilage issue. You are more apt to throw food away if it is not at the desired temperature, be it hot or cold.
It simply fits our lifestyle. Statistics show more and more of us order take-out meals, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. Why, because we are busy. More demands on us to do more and be more productive chews up time. It would be very difficult to have a take-out meal without take-out packaging.
My challenge is for you to think of all the positive ways food packaging fits into your life. Then try to picture a day without it.
People seem to spend a lot of time talking about take-out hinged containers and other types of food packaging while the not-so-sexy plate and bowl category sits around quietly in the background. I’d like to change that for two main reasons. First, the dinnerware market is far bigger in terms of both units sold and dollar value than other category and the second is, there are plenty of options to choose from including some exotic offerings.
Considering disposable dinnerware choices is a bit more in depth than just saying “I need to source a 9″ plate”. If you are not looking to make a statement and simply need a vehicle to serve you particular fare, which isn’t overly heavy, then yes, go with an economical option such as our Celebrity line of foam plates and bowls. For a heavy duty, yet still economical option, you can look at our laminated foam Elite dinnerware products. If you want to upscale…just a bit, go with our Elite products, but in black which always does a great job of showcasing food.
For food operators who want to break away and go with a unique style plate, yet still not break the budget look no further than our exclusive S4 Dinnerware products. The square configuration coupled with our black laminated foam finish will bring an upscale appearance to any table setting while the laminated foam substrate will keep your costs down. These disposable dinnerware products can also double as convenient take-out containers as well by simply adding their corresponding crystal clear lids. SKU reduction is something most food operators strive for and this is a great way to achieve that end.
There’s no denying the trend toward “green” options in food packaging. A recent article from Restaurant.org stated well over 50% of food operators plan on adopting greener operations from the front of the house to the back. Once again, plates and bowls will dominate that market. There are varying levels of green depending on where you live…right down to the specific municipality, but in terms of dinnerware, our Harvest Fiber products are second to none. They are 100% all natural and BPI certified compostable. Probably most important though is they are extremely functional. Many “eco” plates offered out there will fold like a cheap suite the moment something hot or high moisture content is added. Genpak Harvest Fiber dinnerware have been proven to be grease/water resistant longer than all others. We have had many large chains test and use our products for that reason alone. Hey don’t take my word for it, shoot us a note and request a free sample kit. Do your own testing.
Hopefully I’ve given you something to consider when choosing the type of plates and bowls to use for your own operations, but if you are still uncertain or have questions, by all means give us a call. We’ll be glad to talk with you about the plethora of options that are available.
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.
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.
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 food service 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.
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.
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.