Don’t let your food packaging ruin a good meal

Since the shutdowns and restrictions were put in place, many foodservice businesses have completely transformed their business model.  Customers are now able to enjoy their favourites in a takeaway format and the boom in food delivery is continuing to increase. It has never been more critical for foodservice businesses to consider the right packaging with hygienic low-touch food-grade solutions to protect food ready for consumption.

As CEO of one of Australia’s leaders in food packaging innovation, I understand how important packaging is for a foodservice business. In the last few months, we have seen the foodservice industry pivot into a takeaway sector. Small-business owners, chefs and café owners need to think about packaging and how it can assist their business and become part of their offering. It’s not just about protecting the freshness, temperature of the food and minimising food waste. It is also about providing packaging that is fit for purpose and can easily be recycled.

Here are the key considerations for foodservice owners when it comes to packaging:

  1. Packaging performance from kitchen to consumption – Firstly, think through how best to present takeaway food to your customers and if they need to complete any tasks before consuming it. For example, you might need to combine items together; some soups where you put the noodles, protein and vegetables and smaller condiments like chilli, in separate containers for transport, then will need a larger container once combined – this will help with the size and types of packaging pieces you need. Then look at what types of packaging each component needs which will help with identifying what type of packaging material you can choose.
  2. Hygiene and safety – Delivery of food via third-parties continues to grow. To enhance safety to your customers consider using tamper-evident packaging or applying labels so your customers feel assured that their orders are delivered tamper-free. There are many options available to consider that have built-in tamper-evident tabs like what you see in grocery stores with a breakaway tab or lid that pops when the initial seal is broken.
  3. Easy-to-use and store – You always want to choose packaging that you can easily store in your shop and doesn’t take your team too long to construct. Some packaging choices like pizza boxes and salad containers come flat packed and need to be assembled before use. Others like recyclable plastic containers need no assembly but require you to purchase separate bases and lids and store both items. 
  4. Takeaway packaging reflects your brand and image – Overall the packaging you choose and how your food looks when it is being consumed reflect a lot on the type of venue and food offering you have. If you have a fine dining restaurant you wouldn’t be using plastic containers that are flimsy and can easily crack. You may also want to think about choosing more environmentally friendly packaging.
  5. Quantity and price – Ordering your packaging on a weekly basis can assist with both cashflow and lack of storage concerns.  For many small foodservice businesses, cashflow is a major consideration, so by placing your packaging order on a weekly basis, you will have better control over your cashflow. At the same time, storage issues will be minimised. 

David Marinucci, CEO, Marinucci

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