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Mya Koch

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As a restaurant owner, you take pride in your menu. People enjoy your offerings so much, they don’t just come by for a sit-down meal. They pick it up and take it home to enjoy, too.

You didn’t realize how much you’d need a good takeout bag until the pandemic hit.

A wave bag is a fantastic option – even for those of us who are environmentally minded.

These plastic bags have a distinct wave-like handle, allowing a sleek shape that can easily be customized for marketing. They can sit open on a flat surface, too.


compostable recyclable and biodegradable website iconsBiodegradable vs. compostable vs. recyclable

If you’re wondering if biodegradable wave bags are compostable, the short answer – in many cases – is yes.

To be sure, it can sometimes be a bit confusing to know the difference. Let’s try to break that down for you.

Take a visit to MrTakeOutBags.com, and you’ll find the following information:

  • Biodegradable – Products break down through the action of a naturally occurring microorganism, such as bacteria, fungi, etc., over a period of time. These products are made from plant or animal sources. Some forms of plastic are even made from ingredients such as corn starch.
  • Compostable – For products to be considered compostable, they must be able to break down into carbon dioxide, water and biomass at the same rate as paper. The result needs to look like compost, should not be toxic and should be able to support plant life. Compostable items are made from plant materials such as corn, potato, cellulose, soy and sugar.
  • Recyclable – When a product is said to be recyclable, it qualifies to be processed then recreated into a new recycled product. Reusing products to create new products reduced the harm put on our environment through the making of everyday products.
  • Environmentally friendly – guidelines, laws and policies that claim minimal, or no harm upon the environment. We aim to only buy products that follow these guidelines.
  • Green product – Products that have less of an impact on the environment or are less detrimental to human health compared to traditional products. Green products might be formed or partially formed from recycled components, be manufactured in a more energy conservative way, or be supplied to the market with less packaging.

 

For a complete glossary of Earth Friendly terms, visit Mr.TakeOutBags.com and see this link: https://www.mrtakeoutbags.com/glossary.html.

And take a look at our bio-friendly wave bags here:  https://www.mrtakeoutbags.com/shop.html?Search=biodegradable+wave+bag


header image for rethinking plastics sectionA new mindset toward plastics

The bottom line is, many folks are being forced to rethink plastics. Many areas of the country are even banning one-time-use plastic. According to the Footprint Foundation, eight states have banned single-use plastic bags.

California was the first. Hawaii has a de facto statewide ban. New York became the third state in 2019 and five others have followed suit – Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Oregon and Vermont.

Check out some more plastics news on the Footprint Foundation’s site here.


various colors of wave bagsWave bags for the perfect takeout

This style of bag is versatile, economical, strong and flexible. Bowls, lunch-style boxes, drinks and baked goods alike can all find a cozy, safe home in a wave bag.

Still trying to decide on a wave bag for your restaurant, bakery or home-based business? We have a vast selection of colors, thicknesses and styles – most of which have several earth-friendly components.

You can check them all out here: https://www.mrtakeoutbags.com/shop.html?Search=wave+bags

So go ahead, pack up the goods and, well, feel good about it, too.

By Mya L. Koch

Ladies and gentlemen, we’re rolling full-speed into summer. And with Covid concerns waning, we’re all getting together to enjoy the best that summer has to offer.

Think ballgames, picnics, celebrations, food trucks and restaurants offering summer fare and outdoor seating.

Now think about all of those cold drinks that will be part of all of those festivities. Clear plastic cups filled to the brim with iced tea, lemonade, fruity sorbet or something a little more adult. I mean, who hasn’t looked forward to that first summer brew?

Your patrons welcome those refreshing flavors. And they’ll carry them throughout the park or the party in your crystal clear cups – emblazoned with your eatery’s logo or your well-known brand.

You’ve thought of all of that. But you may still be wondering: Which lid works best for my clear plastic cold cup?

Finding the right lid for clear plastic cups is a snap

variety of drinks showing dome lids

Probably the most important thing to remember is to select the appropriate lid for the cup size that you are offering. Finding out last minute that you ordered a case of lids that don’t fit the cups you have on hand could cause you to, well, flip your lid.

The fact is, a lid from one manufacturing plant may not fit a clear plastic cold cup made by another company. You simply have to feel and hear that “snap” to know your contents are safe inside.

Here at MrTakeOutBags.com, we try to eliminate the guesswork for you.

Make a match

screenshot showing location of related cup lids

When you select a clear plastic cold cup at MrTakeOutBags.com and click on it to get the details, just a scroll down will tell you what you need to know. Just below the description of the cup, you’ll see a title showing “related products.” It is here you’ll find the perfect lid for your cup.

We have them for all sorts of cups – and all sorts of uses. There are lids for drink cups, souffle cups, yogurt and parfait cups, too.

Just take care to select the right one. For example, the lid for a .75 oz and 1 oz. portion and condiment cup will not fit a 2 or 4 oz. souffle cup.

A compostable PLA dome lid with a hole slot for 9 to 24 ounce PLA cold drink cups won’t hold tight if you’re looking to cover an 8 oz. drink.

So be sure to do your research and read all of the easy-to-understand information that we have built into the site for you.

A topper for every treat

showing clear cup separator insert

When you’re deciding what lid to use for your clear plastic cold cups, take into account who will be using them and what product you’re selling.

We have sipper lids that work great for an icy, cold drink – no straw needed. There are strawless lids for all types of beverages – spills don’t happen as often and your drinks won’t seep out through the straw slot.

And yes, we have flat lids with slots for straws, too, to serve your sips classic style.

Our dome lids are great for slushies and thicker products. Some come without a hole in the top, for yogurts, puddings and other thicker treats. This dome shape allows room for toppings like whipped cream and allows extra space for your beverage.

We even carry 2 oz parfait cup inserts, or 4 oz granola inserts that fit 12, 16, 20 or 24 oz. cups — perfect for yogurt with a crunch.

So go ahead, pour it on – we’ll make sure you have the perfect way to top it off.

Can I recycle clear plastic cups and lids?

showing the recycling codes on plastic lids and cups

The answer to that questions changes cup-to-cup and even location-to-location. Different cups are made from different types of plastic and different local recycling programs accept different plastics. Some of our cups are even compostable, so be sure to check the plastic type.

That little number in a triangle on the bottom of your cup will tell you what type of plastic it is – and you’ll have to see if your local program accepts that type.

Generally, our disposable plastic cups are #1 PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) plastic (accepted by most U.S. recycling programs.)

This link from the U.S Environmental Protection Agency details some information regarding plastics recycling and what the different codes stand for.


Helpful links

Lids for clear drink cups: https://www.mrtakeoutbags.com/shop.html?Search=lid+for+clear+drink+cup

Dome lids: https://www.mrtakeoutbags.com/shop.html?Search=Dome+lids

Lids with straw slots: https://www.mrtakeoutbags.com/shop.html?Search=lid+with+straw+slot

Yogurt cup inserts: https://www.mrtakeoutbags.com/shop.html?Search=yogurt+cup+insert

By Mya L. Koch

We all have that one kitchen cupboard – you know the one. It’s got all of those plastic takeout containers you’ve saved or purchased over the years. All shapes and sizes, for all kinds of uses. Big ones, small ones – all there for you when you need to stash the night’s leftovers or take lunch to work.

At MrTakeOutBags.com, we offer a vast line of plastic takeout containers. Dozens in various shapes, sizes, styles and colors. If you own a restaurant, there’s one for just about any kind of food you’re offering.

But one question you – or your patrons – might be asking is “Can my plastic takeout containers be reused?”

The short answer is an enthusiastic ABSOLUTELY!


Give your plastic takeout containers a new life

reusing containers for leftovers or lunches

These days, as we are all more conscious about what we are tossing into the garbage and, ultimately, into the landfill, it’s comforting to know our plastic takeout containers can keep on working for us.

Whether you are looking at our tiniest round plastic food containers or biggest square ones – or all those in between – take a sec and think about all you can do.

Have lunches to pack? That plastic food container you picked up your sesame noodles in is a great fit for a bowl of homemade soup for work the next day.

Need to make sandwiches for a picnic, but don’t want to waste a bunch of plastic sandwich bags? No problem! They’ll fit great in one of our rectangle shaped plastic takeout containers. You can even sort the treats by flavor – bologna in the red ones, vegetarian in green, chicken in the orange ones.

Leftover pizza, but not enough to justify shoving that box into your stuffed fridge? Grab that 48 oz square container to keep them in until your ready for more. It’s a great fit!


heat and cold resistance of takeout containers

Hot, cold don’t bother them

Sometimes, it’s hard to know whether reusing a plastic takeout container is really safe. Folks worry about the plastics breaking down, melting, cracking or changing the taste of food.

But peace of mind comes along with our plastic takeout containers, too.

They can go from the freezer, to the fridge to the microwave – safely. Here are the benefits:

  • Stackable
  • Dishwasher safe (top rack)
  • Freezer safe
  • Hot liquid safe
  • Microwavable
  • Leak resistant
  • Renewable
  • Recyclable
  • BPA free, in most cases

What is BPA?

Bisphenol A header

According to the Mayo Clinic website, mayoclinic.org, BPA stands for bisphenol A, an industrial chemical used since the 1950s to make some plastics and resins. These polycarbonate plastics are often used in containers that store foods and drinks.

Some research has shown that small amounts of BPA can leach into food or beverage from containers made with the compound. Long-term exposure is a concern because of possible “health effects on the brain and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children.” Additional research suggested a possible link between BPA and increased blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said that it’s safe at low levels.

Not having it included in our plastic takeout containers provides another level of confidence in this type of easy-to-use packaging.


Divided 3 compartment containers

Divide and Conquer

Some of the takeout containers you’ll find at MrTakeOutBags.com are also divided. This only makes it easier to reuse and pack lunches for yourself, the kiddos or your better half. Another great idea: grab a bunch the next time your church or community group is hosting a large event. Roast beef on one side, potatoes on the other and everything stays fresh for your crowd.

The bottom line is that today’s plastic takeout containers provide both convenience and peace of mind.


Where to find plastic takeout containers online

4 colors of rectangular plastic takeout containers

Here are some links to our popular plastic takeout containers:

Orange Meal Prep / Takeout Containers: https://www.mrtakeoutbags.com/store/orange-meal-prep-takeout-containers.html

Red Meal Prep / Takeout Containers: https://www.mrtakeoutbags.com/store/red-meal-prep-takeout-containers.html

Lime Green Meal Prep / Takeout Containers: https://www.mrtakeoutbags.com/store/green-meal-prep-takeout-containers.html

Microwavable Plastic Food Containers: https://www.mrtakeoutbags.com/store/plastic-food-containers.html

OK, guys, I know I’m going to be “dating” myself here, but believe it or not, I can remember the days when there was no such thing as recycling. When the garbage guys rolled up once a week, they were not concerned with separate bins – the plastic drink cups, bottles, newspapers and cupcake boxes went right in there with the banana peels, ham bones and everything else.

Happily, that’s not the case these days.

Our municipalities give us special bins and often special days when they’ll send a different truck along to take our recyclables to be turned into new packages  — easing the ever-ballooning bulge in the landfills along with our worries about the future of our Earth and our environment.

Eco Friendly Takeout

If you are fortunate enough to own your own food service business – perhaps a bakery – you’ve put careful thought into everything from your recipes to hours, pricing and what cups, napkins and cupcake boxes to use. And with all of the new restrictions popping up on use of plastics, mandatory recycling and more, sustainability has no doubt become important to you as well.

Even your patrons are environmentally conscious. They’re taking home your cakes, donuts and drinks in the hope that what they toted them there in can be recycled, too.

Cupcake Boxes with a Conscience

kraft bakery box with environmentally friendly icons on it

Here at MrTakeOutBags.com, we pride ourselves on keeping up on the latest news when it comes to sustainability.

We enhance our inventory with plant-based products, keep up on rules and regulations across the country and continue to add environmentally friendly offerings.

Just a quick visit to our site will show you that, among our thousands of packaging options – in segments ranging from cups to deli containers to carryout bags, shopping bags, utensils and a whole heck of a lot more – a large majority of them are made from post-consumer materials, and are recyclable or compostable — or both.

And that goes for our donut boxes, cake boxes, cupcake boxes and cookie boxes. No matter the color you choose, you can feel good about offering them to your customers who, like you, are concerned about the state of our environment today.

How do I know if my cupcake box can be recycled?

We make it easy for you to explore the Earth-friendliness of our takeout packaging and bakery boxes. Let me show you how:

Visit MrTakeOutBags.com and look for an item you’d like to try. There are tabs at the top of the page that will navigate you to boxes, and subcategories by type, including windowed bakery boxes, cupcake boxes, bakery boxes with no windows, kraft brown bakery boxes, white bakery boxes and more.

Once you hone in on a particular bakery box you’d like to see, click on the image. This will take you to a page giving you all the pertinent information about that particular food packaging product.

Just below the image of the bakery box, you’ll see (right above the complete description) a series of symbols with words identifying Post-Consumer, Biodegradable, Recyclable, Compostable, Green Product, Customizable and Made in USA. Here’s a screenshot to show you what I mean.

Screenshot of various icons on products.

So there you have it – one more reason to check us out. Peace of mind for you, peace of mind for your customers.  When they take home your fresh donuts or that special birthday cake for little Scotty’s 8th birthday and it gets gobbled up in no time flat, it doesn’t have to go into the local landfill – it can go right into that special bin with the special symbol and find a new life one day.

By Mya L. Koch

Congrats! You’ve done it! You took the dive and decided to make that love of baking more than just a hobby.

You’ve got your very own little pie-in-the-sky-turned-reality business. You’ve thought of everything: Which cookies, pies or cupcakes to put on the menu; where your storefront will be; how many tables you’ll offer and how much you’ll charge for grandma’s famous custard pie.

Often, one of the last things that comes to mind is packaging for your goodies. But here at MrTakeOutBags, we have made that easy for you with a vast range of supplies, including utensils, labels, baking cups, tissue liners and much more.

And yes, that includes bakery boxes to showcase your sweets.

Our bakery boxes come in an ever-growing range of sizes and colors, including kraft, white, pink strawberry and chocolate brown – some with windows, some without – but all designed to complement your business.

One of the more popular styles of bakery box – for their economy and style – are lock corner bakery boxes. If you’re just starting out, no doubt you’ve explored the various styles and learned the terms. But just in case, let’s dive in a little.

Close up of locking corners

What is a lock corner bakery box?

It’s a one-piece construction, paperboard bakery box that you assemble prior to loading up using interlocking tabs – this is in contrast to glued corner or pre-assembled style boxes.

They come in all those great colors I mentioned and can show off that buttercream and sprinkles with a window – or keep it all as a surprise without.

There are several “plusses” to them:

  • They ship flat, which lowers your shipping cost
  • They’re are simple and classic in design – meaning they’re not difficult to manufacture – a phenomenal value for a lower cost.
  • They can be stored as flat boxes, or pre-folded and “nested” to save your valuable inventory space.
  • They’re sturdier and more secure than other types of boxes.

About the only disadvantage is that you’ll need to put them together yourself – but hey, that’s a … well…. A piece of cake!

Step by step box instructions

Grab some clear tape and follow these simple steps:

Step 1 – Crease the panels before folding. This makes the box easier to assemble. Crease the main panels, then the side tabs.

hand folding panel

Step 2 – Lock the corners. Fold the top up and insert side tabs into the slots on the side panel. Hint: Start at the corners closest to the hinge.

Step 3 – Tuck and tape. Tuck the front tab into the slot on the lid, and use tape to secure the sides.

Some folks prefer to tuck the lid side panels into the box, but this does expose the lock-corners. This isn’t quite as pretty looking and it could damage your product.

bakery box tab closure

To recap, just:

  • Crease the panels
  • Lock the corners
  • Tuck and tape.

Voila! You’ve got a sturdy, good-looking box to showcase all of your hard work. And the other beauty of them is that they are fully customizable with your bakery’s brand or logo.

Here’s a link for a video to walk you through it: https://www.mrtakeoutbags.com/product/videos/vid-how-to-fold-bakery-boxes-lock-corner.html

There you go – one less thing to worry about. Now get baking, fling open those doors and welcome your new fans. We’re here to help!

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By Mya L. Koch

Look at you! You did it. As the owner of a restaurant, coffee shop or other business, you dipped your toe into the waters of the new year and decided to dive on in – to make a go of it again despite all of the obstacles lurking just beneath the surface.

As we welcomed 2022, we couldn’t help but reflect on the past two years – and just how stormy those waters have been. Between the global pandemic, a stifled supply chain and lack of materials needed to keep your business in its best shape, you forged ahead. You’re ready to do whatever you can to keep your doors open and your customers happy.

There are brighter skies ahead, they are telling us, and we are seeing signs of that.  COVID cases are dropping as medicines become more available and more folks get vaccinated. Shipping backlogs seems to be easing a teeny bit – albeit at the pace of the tortoise rather than the hare. And folks are more willing to get back out there – to patronize eateries, bars, boutiques, entertainment venues and all manner of small businesses again.

But yet, challenges remain – folks are just learning how to adapt to them and be more creative and resourceful. In many cases, those business owners are making peace with the “new normal” and learning new ways to not only survive, but thrive.


A Restaurateur’s Take

Michael Passalacqua, whose family has owned Angelo’s Italian restaurant for 80 years near Pittsburgh, Pa., has been a voice for others in his business as he fought to keep his doors open during the pandemic. I asked him how things were going – and where he sees them going from here.

Passalacqua, a board member for the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association, echoes the worries of his contemporaries. “Finding and keeping employees, keeping those employees safe from COVID, supply chain issues and pricing all will be occupying a lot of time this year,” he said.

He said that many restaurant owners are finding it most difficult to recruit and retain quality workers in this time when fears – and mistreatment by patrons – grow along with the virus. “I wish I had an answer to that,” he said. “Having a successful restaurant and a happy staff help, but that’s not a strategy.

Passalacqua believes the shift to dining off premise that grew as a result of COVID is here to stay. “Take out, curbside and outdoor dining will continue to uptick,” he said. “Training, providing a good culture, paying people well and good leadership cure most of those things.”


Trends to Watch

QSR, an online restaurant industry publication, recently heard from restaurant experts on trends that will take hold in 2022. Here’s what some of them had to say to QSR reporter Danny Klein:

Frances Allen, CEO for Checkers & Rally’s
Allen reiterates Passalacqua’s predictions, stating that the demand for a “frictionless” drive-through model will continue to grow. “We anticipate operators redesigning several facets of their business in order to stay competitive and functioning at high capacity,” she said. “Customers have painted a pretty clear picture of what they want and restaurant companies will have to adapt in order to meet their needs and provide convenience.”

She also believes more brands will invest in the technology necessary to help their teams streamline tasks and perform more efficiently.

Scott Lawton, CEO and co-founder at Bartaco Mexican restaurant chain
Lawton said that as third-party delivery (think DoorDash and GrubHub) continues to grow and more restaurants are faced with staffing issues, it is “imperative” to put the guest experience above anything else and focus on ways to maintain and improve hospitality.”

He believes that more people will become increasingly discerning regarding where they choose to dine. And, with the supply chain issues continuing, he says its absolutely vital for operators to “think creatively and avoid raising prices to the detriment of the guest experience.”

Clinton Anderson, CEO at Fourth (products and services for restaurant industry)
Anderson says that while labor has always been a priority for restaurant owners, the stakes are higher than ever for brands to find, hire and retain talent. “Not only are restaurants feeling the effect of direct costs, but the labor crunch is also impacting top line revenue as understaffed locations are being forced to close certain hours, operate at limited capacity and, ultimately, serve less people.”

He explained that some franchises have enacted perks such as high starting salaries and sign on bonuses in an effort to build their staffs.

Noah Glass, founder and CEO at Olo (links digital ordering and delivery programs)Glass told the magazine that brands will continue to welcome digital technology across all service models – delivery, drive-through, takeout and on-premise. “We expect this trend to pick up steam in 2022 and beyond as brands capitalize on technology to automate processes and streamline operations,” he said.

He expects brands will focus on analyzing data about their customers  — a means to understand their markets, build customer relationships and help with “high-level decision making.”

And like his contemporaries, he believes off-premise dining will only continue to grow.


Restaurateurs’ Reality

The fact is, restaurant owners like you are facing challenges like never before. Just this week, CBS News reported that many restaurants face “extinction” in the wake of COVID-19, inflation and critical staffing shortages.

Nationally, 91 percent of restaurants have reported they’re having a tough time hiring and 89 percent have had to raise their prices, according to the Independent Restaurant Coalition, as reported by CBS online. Up to 80 percent reported they fear they’ll have to close without assistance.

“We are on the verge of an extinction event for this industry,” Independent Restaurant Coalition executive director Erika Polmar told CBS News. “It’s that dire.”

Franchise owners and restaurant teams who want to succeed will need to focus on new methods of delivering their goods, new technologies for both their staffs and patrons, new methods of packaging to protect their wares and – above all – new ways to keep their customers feeling secure and happy long after COVID-19 is pushed back from the forefront of our minds.

That’s something to chew on.

Restaurant owners have always known it: Guest experience is everything, when it comes to having a successful eatery over the long haul.

Diners expect more than good food – they want a good atmosphere, too, if they’re going to shell out 50 bucks for a steak dinner or 15 for a burger and fries.

They want to be surrounded by nice lighting, clean tablecloths and plates, quiet-yet-pleasing music and comfortable seats — an all-around welcoming atmosphere.

But how, as a restaurateur, can you continue to create a fantastic guest experience when, well, frankly, in this Covid-19 world we’re living in, there just aren’t as many guests hanging out in your place for their meals? More and more – as a result of being on lockdown but still wanting to dine out – patrons are using pickup services to grab their favorite pastas, tacos and pizzas from that beloved spot Downtown.

Thinking Outside of the Booth

Many restaurant owners now are realizing that to keep pace with the demand for dining off premises, it just might be a good idea to designate a special pickup area inside their restaurants.

Take a cue from Panera Bread. Place an order and you can either pull into a special spot in the lot and have it brought to you, or – if you’re like many folks who want to reduce the number of people coming in contact with their food – you can walk in and grab it from their specially designated Grab and Go spot inside.

According to the industry publication QSR, “With consumers spending $769 billion ordering food last year, competition is fierce in the restaurant to-go and delivery space. To make your restaurant’s off-premise process stand out from the rest … food presentation is important because it could be the first time the customer is introduced to your brand.”

Creating Food Pickup Happiness

Offering lockers, lamps and coolers to keep their menu items the correct temperature is one important step. Investing in permanent, attractive custom shelving is another. But of the utmost importance is the presentation itself.

Orders must transfer well, according to the magazine, “so guests open them with a clean presentation. With high-quality food and beverage carriers, restaurants can hold a variety of food pan sizes and keep their orders upright and in the freshest condition.”

That’s where MrTakeOutBags.com comes in. Among our thousands of packaging solutions, there are fantastic ways to give your pickup customers an experience that will whet their appetites for returning to you again and again.

Safety First

When folks turn up to pick up their goods at your restaurant, they seek assurance that the food inside the bag has not been exposed to others – or to disease. That’s where tamper-evident packaging becomes a key player for you.

tamper evident paper bags
Tamper Evident Paper Takeout Bags

According to one team member at the Panera in Bethel Park, folks want to know that while their order is sitting on that shelf waiting for them to get there that nobody’s been able to peek in or mess with it in any way.

And sealed up safe can also look darned good, too.

There are plenty of items to choose from. Labels, paper bags, drink carriers and plastic carryout bags all come tamper-evident now and can look welcoming in your new pickup space.

Check out the tamper-evident items here:https://www.mrtakeoutbags.com/store/tamper-evident-takeout-delivery-packaging.html

Stack-able Solutions

stackable boes

 

You want your customers to like the look of the take-out packages they’re picking up – and you want it to be a convenient “carry” as well.

Our stackable takeout boxes with handles provide a convenient solution in a handsome package – easy for you to fill and easy for your patrons to pick up and go with.

Check them out here:  https://www.mrtakeoutbags.com/shop.html?Search=stackable+takeout+box

No Sweat

stackable containers
Vented takeout containers release steam/moisture and are designed to stack well.

Not only do you want your goods to look great – you also want them to hold up to takeout packaging and having to sit a spell until that hungry diner makes his way in to grab them.

Vented takeout containers are a great way to attain all of those goals.

Available in black, red and green plastic, as well as white and kraft cardboard,  our vented carryout solutions are sure to cover all the bases. Take a look: https://www.mrtakeoutbags.com/shop.html?Search=vented+takeout+containers

Send Your Name Home with Them

We can help customize your packaging.

Perhaps the best way to jazz up the carryout section in your restaurant and the packages leaving it is to put your name on it!

Start with custom signage over your take-out area. Next, add your customized bags, boxes and cups.

We can certainly help with that! The packaging advisers at MrTakeOutBags become a partner to you – guiding you through getting your brand or logo printed on whatever works for you.

Even a custom label or tissue liner in your takeout boxes can make a massive impact in how your eatery is perceived and your goods are remembered. A colorful label on a coffee bag. A gold logo on a kraft paper bag. A plastic cup with your restaurant’s name and phone number in a standout color. All of these things will add some artistry to your packaging – and your to-go area.

Your packaging and branding should mirror the types of food that they contain. A high-end restaurant should reflect that in higher quality takeout packaging.

So remember when you are sitting down to think of ways to stand out from the rest and give your guests a great experience – whether they are dining in or picking up – that what you choose to put your goodies in just may make the difference in how many foodies choose to eat them.

 

If your family name is on the door of a bakery, restaurant, coffee shop or boutique, you most likely are experiencing a daunting new dilemma:

A packaging shortage! And a bad one at that.

box on porch
It takes longer for packages to arrive on your doorstep than it used to.

Who would have thought a mere couple of years ago that we would see the makers of boxes, bags, wraps and cups struggling as they now are to keep up with demand?

When Covid fears ebbed and the world opened up again, every eatery and shop from New York to L.A. needed to stock up. Manufacturers kept turning gears to crank out product, and distributors such as MrTakeOutBags.com worked at a frantic pace to supply all those clients flinging open their doors and getting back to work.

We realize that product shortages, and long lead times, add a new wrinkle to your stressful day as a business owner. Let us help you to understand what’s going on.

Manufacturers cut back

One reason you may not be able to get the bag or box you are accustomed to using is that the manufacturers are cutting back on their offerings. We are seeing fewer sizes, colors and shapes of some of the most popular packaging solutions being made available.

Many of them say the reason for this is that they just don’t have the staff or materials to keep their current product lines going.

Shipping stalled

clogged shipping port
Clogged ports and awaiting shipping containers are the norm these days

 

Just about everything needing to be shipped – from consumer electronics to paper coffee cups — is seeing a massive demand, as well as shipping backlogs.

As shippers such as UPS and FedEx struggle to keep up, they are also facing huge price increases and varying lockdown protocols amid the continuing Covid 19 crisis.

Shortages in everything from port labor, to truck drivers and shipping containers is hindering their ability to get your products to you as well.

Every industry is vying for the same shippers’ time. This has led to skyrocketing demand and pricing – a frustrating trend seen in all industries across the globe. Yes, even packaging.

Demand soars, supplies shrink

As manufacturers move at breakneck speed to try to keep up with the demand for takeout packaging, the raw materials to produce these items have become unavailable.

Resins and pulp needed to make bakery boxes, for example, are much harder to come by. That trickles down to many restaurateurs and coffee shop owners like you.

As an illustration of how this impacts our customers here at MrTakeOutBags, look toward the Lone Star state. Petroleum based glue adhesive troubles stemming from Texas’ freeze and blackouts meant some of our more popular products were not available. Some shopping bags were even produced without their handles for a short period of time.

And businesses now able to welcome back their patrons are in competition with others down the street for the same containers, glasses and totes.

Work force woes and other issues

Many entities down the supply chain are having trouble keeping folks on their crews. We are seeing shortages all over the country in workers for line production, shipping and fulfillment.

Unfortunately, all of these issues combined have led to others. Some manufacturers have had to shut down over state mandates or safety protocols when staff are exposed or infected by Covid 19.

In the meantime, Chinese tariff laws were changed to push toward domestic market – yet domestic manufacturers were not prepared for the influx of demand.

We know all of this hurts our clients the most

All of the troubles in the world don’t change the fact that for you to keep serving your customers, you need the best packaging on the market. And, a reliable source for finding it.

Rest assured, at MrTakeOutBags.com, we work hard every day to make sure we can get you what you need. It may not always be the exact bag, box or cup you are used to, but we’ll come up with something to help pull you through.

So when it comes to your custom or stock packaging order, let us help. We’ll all get through this together.

 

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You own a restaurant business. It’s been a tough go. A year and a half that you’d rather soon forget — and you are stunned that your popular spot even survived.

Now, as you open back up to throngs of foodies happy to see you again, you’ve got another issue: packaging. There are shortages growing across the country of the resins, glues, cardboard and other raw materials needed for the factories to turn out your supplies.

The boxes, bags and cups you use to serve your guests are at a premium right now – if you can get them at all. It’s frustrating for you; it’s frustrating for us here at MrTakeOutBags.com, because we want you, the restaurant owner, to have all the stuff you need to keep your customers fed and happy.

The shortages have been their worst in bakery boxes and paper bread / shopping bags. And now, a new wrinkle may make it difficult for those of you who use plastic to-go bags, too.

As landfills overflow and environmental concerns grow, more and more, states are banning the distribution of single-use plastics. For a time during the height of the pandemic, shoppers were not permitted to bring their own re-usable bags to the grocery store. But now, the tide has shifted to just the opposite.

Many companies and legislative bodies across the country are no longer using, or allowing, single-use plastic bags. For example, in resort towns along the East Coast – from Maine to South Carolina – Wal-Mart stores are not handing out plastic bags at all.

plastic grocery bags

We think about how that will impact our clients across the nation.

In Pennsylvania, for example, a ban may not be far off now that the rules have changed. Since 2019, according to an article in the July 1 edition of Pittsburgh’s City Paper, the Pennsylvania General Assembly had a pre-emption on bans or fees relating to single-use plastics, barring municipalities from implementing their own bans or fees.

But when the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed its 2021-22 state budget on June 25, language extending the pre-emption was not included. What does that mean? Cities, townships and boroughs may be able to implement and enforce ordinances related to single-use plastic as early as Dec. 8, 2021.

According to the article, officials in the Pittsburgh region already are indicating that they will create a plastic bag ban. Councilor Erika Strassburger told Spotlight PA that the Steel City already had begun plans to issue a ban before it knew the pre-emption would expire and now, it has a clearer timeline of when it can happen. And in May, Pittsburgh City Council passed a resolution in support of wanting to implement a plastic bag ban.

Pittsburgh

In Philadelphia, the decision to allow the pre-emption to expire comes on the heels of a lawsuit filed March 3 by the City of Philadelphia, the boroughs of West Chester and Narberth, and Lower Merion Township. Joining later were PennEnvironment, the Clean Air Council and the City of Pittsburgh. The suit asked Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court to declare the General Assembly’s single-use plastics pre-emption in violation of the state’s constitution.

Beginning in December, municipalities will be able to limit, ban or place fees on single-use plastics such as bags, straws and foam take-out containers.

Restaurant and store owners already struggling may be facing more difficulty with supplies to meet demand if these types of bans go into effect across the country.

Luckily, MrTakeOutBags has a vast catalogue of other packaging options to get you through these unprecedented supply struggles.

Non woven totes

From a large variety of sizes of paper shopping and carry-out bags to re-usable grocery bags to earth-friendly biodegradable wave bags, we’ve got it covered. (Check it out here https://www.mrtakeoutbags.com/store/bags.html).

The biodegradable poly bags we offer are an earth-friendly option to all those blue plastic bags that seem to wind up in our neighborhood trees.

biodegradable plastic takeout bags

These are, indeed, unusual and difficult times, but change brings good. As we all join in an effort to save our planet, all of you discover new ways to present your wares to your customers – and we, in turn, find new ways to help you do that in an effective and stylish way.

Featured Image Credit: Jilson Tiu / Greenpeace

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Think back to 15-plus months ago – We would much rather have taken a seat among our neighbors and enjoyed the din of conversation and cling-clang of real plates, cups and silverware.

Today, we are beginning to enjoy those sounds again. Thank goodness.

But during those tense months, we found solace in the simplest of concepts: Take-out meals.

We were able to support our local eateries and favorite chain restaurants by pulling up to the curb, dialing in and having a kind, masked restaurant staffer hand us off our burgers, sushi and fried chicken dinners.

We enjoyed them safely in the comforts of our own homes. And you know what? We really, really like that. While take-out always was a “thing,” as they say, business is boomin’! And it’s because of Covid 19 that we all realized that on those days when we’d rather eat our Pad Thai while watching a crime drama in our PJs, grab-and-go is a godsend.

Look around your house. We’ve all got them: Plastic bags, cups and boxes emblazoned with the logos of our favorite cafes and restaurants. Hopefully if you’re like me, you find ways to re-use and re-use them — or at least recycle.

But as restaurants open up again full steam, another side effect is happening: A shortage of these very packages that brought us all so much comfort.

Take Starbucks, for example.

According to QSR (Quick Service Restaurant), the online publication of Restaurant Brands International (also stock symbol QSR), the coffee giant is having difficulty keeping its fans fueled with their favorites due to a shortage in needed supplies, such as cups, cup stoppers and such.

Upon arriving in line, as well as online, customers are greeted with a sign stating, “Due to current supply shortages, some of your favorites may be temporarily out of stock. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.”

An online report by Restaurant Business Feb. 27 put a spotlight on the explosion in demand for to-go packaging, stating “Any restaurant or food service operation that was fortunate to remain open … is using a lot more take-out and delivery containers. For a while in March and April of last year, … demand outpaced supply. … Operators also had to scramble to procure any packaging they could.”

And we are seeing that with many of our busiest clients in the restaurant sector across the nation and beyond. We are facing obstacles every day in making sure they have the boxes, bowls and fry bags they need to provide the foods that all of you enjoy.

At MrTakeOutBags, we are sourcing all of these precious packages, keeping the supply chain moving and overseeing shipments to make sure all of your favorite places to nosh have all of the packages ready to let you do just that while parked on the couch, or around the dinner table with family members relieved they don’t have to cook. We are helping business owners all across America to get back on their feet – so you can get off of yours and enjoy!

 

Thank you for reading. We welcome your ideas for this blog. Please leave a comment with any ideas or topics!

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