We’ve all been there. You had to work late; your spouse had to work late too. Maybe you have hungry kids who need a hot meal. Sure, you could order Pizza, but you’re trying to promote healthier eating, and you’re honestly in the mood for something a little bit higher quality than just a plain old pizza. Sure, you could always take the family out to eat, but who has the energy to pile everyone into the car and drive over to your favorite spot?
So what do you do?
Luckily, through the power of technology and ingenuity, there is a solution for this common conundrum. That’s right, food delivery apps. With these wonderful services you can get food delivered from almost any restaurant, whether they provide an in-house take-out service or not. You can have a restaurant quality dining experience without having to go to the trouble of dragging your family out of the house.
Well… You can usually have a restaurant quality dining experience. You see, not all restaurants are properly equipped to provide a good take out experience. It’s not uncommon to have your food arrive soggy from being stored in a plain old Styrofoam hinged lid container. And let’s be honest with ourselves here, if you’re going to pay $15-$30 for a restaurant quality meal, you expect it to arrive in something a little sturdier than Styrofoam, right?
See, the growing trend of food delivery apps in the Philadelphia market can be both a gift and a curse for restaurant owners. On one hand, you have access to a whole new customer base and subsequently, a new revenue stream. But also, when you’re putting your food into the world of delivery, you’re sacrificing the overall dining experience that the customer gets. So, as an entrepreneur, you need a way to tackle this new problem. How can you maintain your brand consistency and quality that your customers have come to expect when your food is going out the door?
As usual, PJP is here to help, and luckily for you, the answer is simple: It’s all about the packaging.
Just like when you’re presenting your food on a plate, presentation is important. The right presentation can be the difference between your customers being willing to pay $10 for a dish and $20 for a dish. The same is true for packaging. So we’ve assembled some tips that you can use in order to make sure that, if your customers are using food delivery apps to get your food, you can make sure that they are getting an experience consistent with your Restaurant’s brand.
1) Make sure your packaging is properly designed for hot and/or cold food.
This is really important. When serving hot food or cold food, you need to make sure your packaging is properly designed to keep that food hot or cold. For example, without proper ventilation, a plastic or Styrofoam container will just allow steam to build up inside the packaging and cause your hot meal to become soggy. Similarly, if the material is too thin or conducts too much heat, your packaging could begin to melt or could burn the customer’s hands when they touch it. Conversely, if you have the right packaging, it keeps the meal hot and ready to serve. You can even get microwaveable plastic containers so that if the customer wishes, they can reheat the food right in the packaging. Anchor Packaging’s MicroRaves brand of hot to-go containers is the perfect example. They’re made of high quality, microwave able plastic that is properly vented to keep hot food crispy and fog resistant lids so the food still looks great.
2) Compartments, Compartments, Compartments!
It may seem trivial, but compartmentalization in packaging can make a world of difference for your customers. Sure, when you serve your meals all the food goes onto the same plate, but when that food is all getting delivered in a container, sometimes by bike messenger, there’s going to be some sloshing. You’re going to want to make sure that the sauce or gravy for your protein doesn’t end up making side dishes wet. There’s nothing worse than getting your food and it’s all mixed up in combos that you didn’t want to see. Remember, proper compartmentalization is about more than just having some plastic between sections of your container. If you want to truly compartmentalize, you need to make sure that the lid creates a seal with the compartments and ensures that there won’t be any spreading around.
3) Even though it’s to-go, the look still matters.
As a restaurant owner, you know the importance of branding and presentation. You know how much those things can affect a customer’s willingness to pay top dollar for a meal. Having delicious food is part of it, but no one is going to pay $30 to eat steak off of a paper plate, no matter how delicious it is. Of course you’re going to serve a nice cut of steak on fine china with beautifully designed flatware to go with it when you’re in your restaurant, but you can’t send that china out your door when it goes for delivery. So how do you make sure that your customer doesn’t feel like they overspent? Well, the answer, of course, is to make your packaging feel like the to-go version of fine china. Take Pactiv’s wonderful Black and Gold Classic Carryout Container. It’s black and gold finish and sturdy aluminum foil base provide a high end look and feel that can’t be matched.
Do you want to up your packaging game to keep up with this growing to-go trend? Just call your PJP sales rep.