Can Your Delivery Program Take the Heat?

By Laura Ann Craven, Imperial Dade

May 4, 2018

Is your delivery packaging representing your brand? Ensure that delivery customers receive the same quality and care with these ten tips.

Delivery is hot right now. Demand for restaurant delivery service has increased by 33% in the last 5 years, fueled by technology. This trend is expected to continue, especially in urban areas such as New York City.

You may already offer delivery. Your menu may be optimized for mobile viewing. You might even have an awesome online ordering app. Good start! However, that is not all you need to ensure a successful delivery program. A key ingredient is the process by which meals are assembled and packaged for transport. This requires some research and planning.

Delivery customers expect the same quality dining experience off premises that they enjoy in your restaurant. Meals should look and taste great, and represent your brand in the best possible way.

Here are ten tips to help you manage this important facet of your delivery program.

  1. Set up a designated area and assign specific staff responsible for packaging meals-to-go.
  2. Determine the appropriate type of packaging to use for various menu items, ensuring temperature and humidity control, proper lid fit, visual appearance, and stackability.
  3. There are many new containers on the market that have been specifically designed for take-out and delivery. Ask for them!
  4. Test packaging options for various lengths of holding time, up to 30 minutes, to ensure food quality is maintained.
  5. Consider if customers may reheat food and determine if you should use microwave-safe or ovenable containers.
  6. Verify that selected packaging meets all local regulations.
  7. Invest in branded packaging to promote your restaurant including custom-printed containers, cups, napkins, and carry-out bags. If your budget does not allow for custom-print, use a branded label affixed to an unprinted container or bag.
  8. Train staff on proper packaging procedures including using the correct size and type of container, packaging hot and cold items separately, providing condiments and service items, and arranging items in the carry-out bag.
  9. If delivering using in-house staff, have the proper insulated carriers to maintain the temperature of food and beverages during transport.
  10. If using a third-party delivery service, be sure you approve of how they will transport your orders and understand any requirements they may have for packaging.

Packaging is critical to customer satisfaction. Invest in the right products and procedures to ensure your food is good-to-go!

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