Following the enforced closure of much of our hospitality industry, many are turning to delivery services to maintain their business and offer the same high quality dining experience in people’s homes, in their efforts to keep the nation, and its key workers, well fed.
Investment within the delivered food market was already significant ahead of Covid-19, particularly as brands such as Just Eat, Uber and Deliveroo spawned multi-brand ‘dark kitchens’, as restaurant brands recognised the challenges in meeting the demand for app deliveries.
Now, in the midst of the crisis, almost 3,000 UK restaurants have newly registered with Deliveroo, and there are many encouraging communities to rally round their local eateries by ordering take-away food.
Colpac, one of the UK’s leading suppliers and manufacturers of food packaging, is sharing its expertise learned from creating solutions for delivered food around the globe, to offer some straightforward guidance to operators branching into this market for the first time:
- Focus on offering your signature and bestselling dishes and then select the right packaging to suit these. Now is not the time to reinvent the wheel and incorporate new dishes onto the menu.
- Select packaging that reflects your food and brand. While not offering a full service, consumers will still expect the same standards from their favourite restaurants. For example, many chefs support local food provenance and sustainable foods such as MCS fish, these need to be matched by packaging, which is environmentally sustainable, such as the FSC accreditation. With communications focused online it is very likely consumers will share their take-away choices, so choosing packs which look good and are appropriate is essential
- It is vital that your food reaches the consumer in the same condition as it left your kitchen pass, consider what happens during the delivery process. From ensuring you have the space to keep the products at the right temperature, to maintaining hygiene standards at the point of collection and delivery. This all impacts the choice of packaging: packs not only need to be leak and greaseproof with secure lids – but incorporate tamper proofing to reassure consumers that everything has arrived as it left the kitchen. It’s key to get insulation levels right so hot food stays hot and cold food stays cold. But you will be faced with tricky challenges: hot crispy items will ask you to balance ventilation and insulation – ventilation means items stay crispy, but it also means they cool down.
- Think about how the product is likely to be used when it reaches your consumers. Are they likely to eat from it? Could they reheat your dish in its packaging in a microwave at home? This means using materials that are microwave safe.
- Use packaging that can be flexible and hold different menu options. This reduces the stock of packaging as well the space taken up in storing these new items. It also makes it easier for busy kitchens to use the right pack for the right dish – it’s important to keep things simple. Consider nested lidded stackable packs, like our Stagione boxes, which are microwaveable, use one lid across all sizes and are ideal for deliveries.
- With so much to consider, you may need the support of your food packaging manufacturer. Working with a UK manufacturer not only means they will understand your market and dishes; but also gives you the security of knowing they adhere to the strict EU and UK hygiene standards for food packaging, especially if they manufacture to the internationally recognised BRCGS standard.
Colpac has a large stock holding of its paperboard delivered food packs; designed and made at its UK manufacturing site, so the company is ready to support the changing needs of the UK hospitality industry.
“Now, more than ever, food packaging is set to play a vital role for consumers looking for hygienically and well-presented foods from shops and restaurants.” Explains Colpac’s Managing Director Neil Goldman. “As a UK SME, we always support local businesses and, though the closures within the industry present great challenges, we have faith in the spirit and creativity of our nation to adapt to these and build a safe and successful future for our food industry. We are keen to support restaurants, pubs and hotels creating this service, so they can safely and successfully serve their customers.”
To view our range of Take Home Packaging visit https://colpacpackaging.com/products/takehome/