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Takeout Packaging: Keeping Food Warm

March 01, 2022

Diners expect their favorite establishments to ensure packaged food stays hot from the restaurant kitchen to their doorstep. However, as chefs and restaurant owners know, keeping food at its ideal temperature can be tricky when it comes to to-go orders. Travel time, poor takeout packaging choices, and more can make a perfectly prepared meal a little lackluster. Luckily, there are a wealth of innovative food packaging options and takeaway techniques to help establishments guarantee hot, delicious dishes on delivery.

Packaging Choices: How to Keep Food Hot for Delivery

Foil container's temp ranges from -20 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Choosing the right packaging is key to ensuring your restaurant’s food stays intact and arrives at the desired temperature. There is no one-size-fits-all packaging solution for retaining heating. Instead, owners have the ability to select from a variety of takeout accessories that are designed with a specific purpose and temperature range. While it might seem overwhelming, having various options means you can tailor your to-go equipment to your unique menu items.

  • Foil/Aluminum Containers: These containers come in multiple shapes and volumes. Foil containers' temperature ranges from -20°F to 400°F making them ideal for hot food takeout. Aluminum boxes can easily pop in the oven and can also be used for pre-packed meal kits to go.
  • Sustainable Packaging: Surprisingly, eco-friendly packaging is excellent at preserving heat for short periods of time. Plus, they are heat lamp tolerant, so your kitchen can keep the menu items warm on the hot line even after they are packed up for pick up. Eco-friendly packaging’s temperature range varies based on the type of lining inside the container, so it’s always a good idea to check with your restaurant supply store about a specific product's specs.
  • Plastic Containers: There are plenty of plastic takeaway containers out there that won’t lose their heat. Plus, they are exceptionally sturdy and aren’t prone to leaks. Polypropylene vessels, in particular, are fantastic for holding both hot and cold foods and can handle a maximum temperature of 212 to 266 degrees.

Benefits to Proper Takeout Packaging

84% of off-premise diners say food packaging is essential factor when ordering food online.

In 2020, online orders rose by 25 percent, and 84 percent of off-premises diners felt packaging was an essential factor when ordering food online. Beyond keeping food hot, effective packaging can also increase customer loyalty and enhance to-go dining experiences.

  • Packaging Can Ensure Food Safety: In addition to exceptional menu items when it comes to takeout, modern consumers are looking for food security. So restaurants should also think about ways to utilize safe packaging, like tamper-proof boxes and tamper-evident delivery bags to keep food hot.
  • Packaging Can Recreate an Exceptionally Composed Plate: Foodies, chefs, and restaurant owners know that we “eat” with our eyes first. Having to-go food look just as perfect in a to-go container as on a curated plate is critical to the off-premise dining experience. A great takeaway container can do wonders for keeping your food intact during the journey from door to door.
  • Packaging Can Help Build Your Brand: Brand identity is critical for restaurant success. The blank canvas of takeaway packaging is excellent for marketing your establishment. You can emboss your logo on a paper box, put a coupon sticker on the top of a foil container, or even promote upcoming events with a flier tucked into the to-bag.

Visit Your Local CHEF’STORE for all Your Packaging and Utensil Needs

US Foods CHEF’STORE has restaurant packaging essentials such as sustainable, foil, and plastic to-go materials at wholesale prices. Plus, we offer high-quality products such as fresh produce, meat and seafood, dry bulk goods, coffee, and more. Stop by one of our many locations to see what we have in store for you!

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