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We all know that the 2020 holiday season is going to look a lot different than previous years. Work Christmas parties will require packaged meals, if the parties take place at all. Of course, the amount of holiday shoppers will be much lower than years past, and that means fewer diners stopping in for a meal.

None of that is to say you should be underprepared, especially when it comes to food packaging. We’ve all seen the food industry pivot this year as a way to keep their doors open while still complying with local law. But there’s no denying that the demand for takeout, delivery, and curbside pickup has sky rocketed. So, do yourself a favor and be prepared with enough of the appropriate packaging to help your customers enjoy the holiday season, and help you continue to send food out the door.

We put together a list of the most helpful items to get you and your business through the holidays.

 

Festive Meal Prep Containers

The classic black base and clear lid container that everyone loves gets seasonal makeover. Use red or green Cube containers to pack all your food. Great food hot food, but since they are microwave safe, they’re also ideal for meals that your customers can heat up later.

 

64oz Paper Containers

Call them containers, call them tubs, or buckets. Either way you slice it, these large cups are a lifesaver. Use them to pack up Thanksgiving side dishes like mashed potatoes and stuffing, especially if you are offering takeout or catered holiday dinners. And for bakeries, these make a perfect vessel for holiday cookie orders.

Boxes for Individual Prepared Meals

We spoke to a lot of caterers this year who told us all the events they put on will require food to be pre-packed for the safety of their clients. For them that means no more buffet lines, no more trays and Sternos. Instead it, parties will include meals that are boxed up and ready to grab and eat. And in some cases, these meals will need to be packed in tamper evident packaging.

Mailers

Whether you are filling subscription boxes or custom gift box orders, corrugated shipping boxes are a must. If you want a clean, professional look when shipping, opt for one of these black or natural brown kraft options. Or turn up the dial on your seasonal look by opting for gold or snowflake print.

Seasonal Coffee Bags

Selling coffee or tea this year? Or perhaps some artisan potpourri? Maybe it’s handmade snacks, like pretzels. If that’s the case, consider a festive tin tie bag. Not only are there holiday solid colors available, there is also a snowflake printed bag as well.

 

Ask a Packaging Advisor for help!

Of course, no one knows your business or supply needs as well as you, but our experts are here to help you get an accurate read of what’s needed. Just give them a call at 888-321-2248 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. They will be more than happy to assist you!

 

One of the biggest complaints we hear from both restaurant owners and their customers is about receiving soggy food. French fries that began so hot and crispy get delivered in a Styrofoam container – basically a death trap for crispiness – and by the time they make it to the hunger customer, the fries are limp, soggy, and sad. We’ve heard so many business owners talk about soggy fried foods as if there was no way around it, no solution to keep them crispy. Thankfully, we know of several ways to keep fried chicken, onion rings, and any other battered and deep fried delicacy both hot and crispy, the way they’re meant to be.

 

Ditch the Styrofoam

Styrofoam packaging was the norm for takeout food containers for years. There are good reasons for this. Styrofoam packaging doesn’t leak, and it makes a great insulator against heat. Unfortunately, it doesn’t breathe, which means hot food effectively gets steamed to death. Not to mention the effects that it can have on the planet! That’s why we always recommend paperboard packaging instead. It’s eco-friendly, for starters, and it’s also much kinder to fried foods. Cardboard and paperboard allow more steam to escape, compared to Styrofoam.

 

 

Use Vented Takeout Containers

For those who do use Styrofoam, you may be guilty of poking holes in the container to help keep food crispy. While it’s inventive, it’s still Styrofoam! And we all no that no good comes from that. Vented containers will keep moisture from building up near your hot and fried food. These vents don’t need to be very large, either. In fact, they’re more effective if they are kept smaller. The vents will still be large enough to allow steam and moisture to escape, but they won’t be so large that your food will get cold on the way to your customers’ door.

 

Keep Food Loosely Wrapped

If you have to wrap food before putting it in a container, be careful not to wrap it too tightly. You may think that a tight wrap will keep the food fresh, but all it does is seal in moisture and ensure that it will be soggy if it isn’t eaten quickly. Wrap burgers and other fried foods loosely so that they have room to “breathe.”

 

 

 

Still need a solution for a limp fry? Call our Packaging Advisors! They will be happy to walk through several ideas with you until they can find packaging that works for you and your business.

888-321-2248

 

The Disappearing Cup Caper

It was a hot day in southern Florida. The sun was scorching, so people were heading to their local restaurants and cafes for a cold beverage. A number of restaurants in the area were using PLA cold drink cups. They are made from plant material and they’re biodegradable. The restaurants sold cup after cup of cold drinks to their parched customers. But some of those customers would never be able to enjoy their frosty treats because they left the cold drink in their car’s drink holder while they ran into a store or bank. When they came out, there was nothing left but a melted cup and a flooded cup carrier. To this very day, if you leave a plant-based PLA cold cup in a drink holder on a hot day, you might return to a melted, dripping MESS!

 

The Soggy Bottom Saga

There’s a local legend in our town about a farmers’ market tragedy that will give you chills. It centers around a man who went to the market, and left with far less than he had expected. One fine autumn morning, a man was enjoying the brisk fall air, and the sights and sounds of the farmers’ market, which was set on the green fairgrounds. The grass was still wet from the preceding night’s dew. He strode past stands  stacked high with fruits and vegetables. Turning into an aisle, he found a stand selling locally distilled whiskey. He purchased two bottles of the elixir. The clerk at the stand dutifully packed the bottles into a paper bag, and handed the bag back to the man.

Off the man walked, carrying the bag that held his whiskey, and checking out several more stands along the way. Shortly, the man came upon a stand selling beautiful red apples. He stopped at the stand and put his bag down in the grass while he sampled the apples. He bought a small basket full of the delicious fruit. And that’s when it happened! He picked up the bag. But before he could get a good grasp, the dew-soaked bag’s bottom gave way and both of his whiskey bottles fell, smashing on the edge of the wooden produce stand, and pouring their precious contents all over the ground. Let this be a lesson to you! A paper shopping bag isn’t the best choice for use in places where the bag might get wet and weakened.

 

 

Now You Bag It, Now You Don’t

There once was a farmer who decided that he’d like to be able to sell his ears of corn in plastic bags. He wanted to make sure that the bags were biodegradable so that the bags would decompose, and they wouldn’t end up in a landfill, or blowing around through his fields. He bought enough of the biodegradable bags to last him for two harvests. And, for the first year, the bags worked well for him. He sold scads of ears of corn. And had a great year. At the end of the harvest, he still had enough cases of bags leftover for the following harvest season. So, he loaded the cases of bags into his old, damp barn to be stored until he would need them again. The next year he harvested another fine crop of corn. And when it came time to sell his corn, he went back to the barn to retrieve his biodegradable bags. But, when he opened the cases, all he found were scraps of the bags in piles of white powder! Don’t be a sad farmer! Store your biodegradable food packaging in a cool, dry spot.

 

The Soggy Story of Sally Smish

There once was a girl named Sally Smish whose fritters were quite famously delish.

She’d whip them out with a spoon, leaving the town folk to swoon.

But left Sally holding an empty dirty dish.

Sally decided to sell fritters for take home, but was HORRIFIED by soggy fritters in Styrofoam

She finally relented to buying trays with lids that were vented

Now her crispy fritters are enjoyed wherever they roam.

 

Moral of the story: Don’t be a Smish. Use vented lids to keep your crispy food from getting soggy.

 

 

Have you survived your own packaging nightmare? Email us the story, or tag @MrTakeOutBags on Facebook and Instagram.

 

As always, our Packaging Advisors are here to help. They want to make sure you never have to live through terrifying tales likes these. Call them today at 888-321-2248.

 

When you think about what your customers want when they order takeout food from your restaurant, the answer should be simple. They want your delicious food delivered right to their door, of course. And while that is naturally the driving factor, there are aspects of that delivery that your customers are hoping to see. Specifically, they want evidence that their meals are being delivered safely and without anyone “sampling” the food while it’s en route. While this has long been a desire for those ordering takeout, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed this idea to the forefront of customers’ minds. But you can help put their minds at ease.


Use tamper evident bags


We can testify that this is one of the most popular defenses taken to keep food secure. A tamper evident carryout bag allows you to fill it with a customer’s order, seal the adhesive, and have it delivered without anyone’s roaming fingers making their way into the food. It’s one of the simplest ways to offer peace of mind. And when your customers receive their order, they will feel good knowing you made sure their food was safe. And if you’re offering beverages too, you can use specialty-made Seal 2 Go beverage carryout bags.


Use tamper evident labels and packaging


Labels are great because they are so versatile. If you’re all out of tamper resistant takeout bags, you can use high-adhesive labels to seal any type of takeout bag. In addition to bags, you can use labels on all sorts of food packaging. Securely seal your soup or salad bowls, your wrapped sandwiches, your burger boxes, and even your pizza boxes. Labels are inexpensive, take up very little storage space, and can be used on a number of different packaging items.

Use tamper evident clamshells containers


Clear clamshells are a staple in any deli and sandwich shop. They’re especially great for non-heated items like premade wraps and sandwiches, or sides like veggies and dips. There was once a time when, if you wanted to secure these clamshell containers, you needed to have a way to heat-seal them closed. But now there is a new design that makes the hinged containers tamper evident without any special equipment.


Customize with your logo


Now is the time to improve your customers’ overall experience, especially when takeout is their only way to enjoy your food. When you custom print a piece of packaging, you turn every delivery into a marketing campaign. You also help improve brand recognition with customers, and they have a positive experience associated with your logo. Custom branded packaging sets companies apart from their competition, so get started today! Give our Packaging Advisors a call at 888-321-2248 to discuss what will work best for you and your business.

Around here, we call them add-ons. It’s any low-cost, small footprint item that is easy to print and can be done quickly. These are the type of no-brainer additions that separate the ordinary delis from the extraordinary delis. It’s the simple but professional touch that makes a coffee shop more memorable than the competition. And the best part of all? They’re necessary items for so many food industry businesses. Which means, if you have to buy them anyway, spending just a little more to have the items branded is making that marketing dollar stretch. Take a look at our top three “add-ons” and how they can boost brand recognition for your business.

 

Branded Napkins

If you’re selling food or drinks, you have to have napkins. Trust us, there isn’t a single customer out there who wants to wipe his hands on his pants. No, of course you’re going to need napkins, and plenty of them. Take a second to think about just how many napkins your business uses. It’s a lot, right? Now imagine if each and every napkin that a customer reached for had your company logo on it. Whether they’re in your café or digging into a delivered meal, they would see your logo and remember it. Plus, there is the bonus use: when a customer stashes a stack of clean napkins in their glove box or the break room at work. Your logo will show up over and over again. Don’t’ forget, branded napkins can also be cocktail napkins. Or perhaps you’re more of a coaster kind of place?

 

Branded Drink Coasters

Make them clever, make them custom-shaped, make them display several different messages, just make them happen! If you run a bar, sure you’re definitely going to want some coasters. And coasters with your bar’s name and logo on there is the perfect step up. But it’s not just pubs that could use drink coasters. Trendy coffee shops are using them, for starters. And we’ve seen a ton of e-commerce companies get custom printed coasters (because the minimum to print is so low, hint, hint) with their logo on it, and give them away with online orders. It’s a great way for your customers to remember you.

 

Branded Stickers

Labels, or stickers, are a truly brilliant way for you to get your logo in front of a lot of people. Not to mention, a label can be used several different ways. Have a delivery service? Use it to seal or accentuate the takeout bag. Selling prepared meals at your deli? No problem, put a branded sticker on those meal containers, and no one will forget where they purchased that amazing salad. And just like the branded napkins and drink coasters, stickers require a very low minimum quantity, which means there’s no excuse for not getting started today!

 

Begin boosting your brand today! Call our Packaging Advisors at 888-321-2248 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

2019 was a year of many memorable moments. But here at MrTakeOutBags.com, it was the year of amazing branded packaging. Truly, this year we saw some of the most exciting, unique packaging projects we’ve ever encountered. To be fair, we always get overly excited about takeout bags and meal prep containers, but still, this year was one for the books. As tough as it was to pick just a few favorites, we did it. Here is the best new branded packaging of 2019.

Sweeteez in Phoenix, AZ

Sweetest Packaging: Sweeteez from Phoenix, Arizona

Peach Mart from Momofuku, NYC

All Around Coolest Design: Peach Mart, a Takeaway Shop from Momofuku, NYC

 

Grain From Newark, DE

Best Use of Color: Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen From Newark, Delaware

 

Oggies – coming soon!

 

Cutest company mascot: Oggies The Pasty & Pie Company – Coming Soon!

 

A-Soshel, Tine & Cellar, and Mikey’s from Wisconsin

Best Trifecta of Sister Restaurants: A-Soshel, Tine & Cellar, and Mikey’s from Wisconsin

 

Cookie Spin from Chicago, IL

 

Best New Ice Cream Cups: Cookie Spin from Chicago

 

We really are grateful for each of our customers, new and old. And we’re excited that we get to help you get your company name out there for all to see. If you’re ready to talk about branding your food service packaging, give us a call today. Packaging experts can be reached at 888-321-2248 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. EST.

 

 

It’s such a cheery time of year. But it’s also a very demanding time of year for just about everybody. And while we don’t suggest spiking your morning coffee (tempting as it may sound), we do feel that we have a drink to help you through the holiday struggles. Just know when to drink which beverage, and you’ll do fine.

Something boozy

It’s tough to pick just one spiked holiday cocktail as a go-to, but we live for the challenge. Perfect as a reward for surviving another day of Christmas carols, or to use as a signature drink to share with friends at your holiday party, is the mistletoe margarita. It’s a cinch to make, pleases a whole crowd, and perhaps best of all requires no noisy blender.

Image by Brad Holand for Delish

Get the recipe from Delish.

 

Something caffeinated

You have a lot to do before the end of the year. Whether you’re spending a ton of time hunting for the perfect gifts, or you’re working late nights, you need something that’s going to keep you going, yet still feels like a treat. Meet our friend the eggnog latte. You can swap out regular eggnog for a light or soy version if you prefer.

Get the recipe from the kitchn.

Something to keep you sharp

Craving a drink but need to keep your wits about you? It might actually be the only way to get through the annual family political debate that always occurs during dinner. Or you just need a treat that feels indulgent but won’t deter your gift-wrapping abilities. For that we recommend cranberry-rosemary spritzer. It’s got all the flavors of the holiday season, without the hangover.

Image from The Tasting Table

Get the recipe from The Tasting Table.

 

 

Something to keep you healthy

Don’t let the slew of germs flying around knock you out of commission during this crucial quarter. We suggest a regular dose of green tea to keep your immune system happy and healthy. Want something more festive? Peppermint tea is known to help the immune system and reduce stress.

As a business owner, you’re likely to be incredibly busy this time of year. Let us help you with all your packaging needs. We have friendly Packaging Advisors who are ready to walk through everything with you so that you can focus on your business – and on making that mistletoe margarita!

If you’re looking to use up your marketing dollars before the end of the year, consider custom printing with your logo.

Call us today at 888-321-2248

Sometimes it’s the smallest details that can make the biggest impact, especially when it comes to packaging. Over the years, we’ve learned that there are several go-to gems that our customers use over and over. These are items that have a small price tag but drive the perceived value of a retail package way, way up.

Ribbons

To get the most professional look, complete bakery packaging with a color-coordinating ribbon. Pair a chocolate brown cupcake box with a soft pink ribbon and you’ve just enhanced the entire look and value of your baked goods. Select one of our Wraphia (Raffia) ribbons for a textured touch. Or go for something even more eye-catching, like a ribbon with a printed pattern. This economical addition makes each purchase feel all the more special in your customers’ eyes.

 

If you’re ready to add your logo, your company name, or even a photo to your ribbon, then let’s talk! Custom ribbon can be ordered in quantities as low as one roll. And, for those shops that recognize that “branding is everything,” customized ribbon is the way to really wrap things up with flare.

Wine Bottle Carriers & Wine Gift Boxes

                                                           NEW barn wood wine bottle carrier

Whether you’re a vineyard selling bottles of wine, or corporation sending out gifts to top clients during the holidays, using the wine bottle carriers or wine gift boxes will drastically improve your presentation. Available single, double, and triple bottle sizes – and in a variety of color s and patterns – there is sure to be one that fits your personal brand.

 

Seasonal Tin Tie Bags

                                      1 pound holiday tin tie bags with a window

If you want to really get your customers in the holiday spirit, package your goodies in one of these festive new tin tie bags. It’s like a little pre-packaged gift that your customers can pass on to friends and coworkers.

 

Crinkle Cut Shred

When preparing a gift basket, the perfect eco-friendly filler is Crinkle Cut Shred. It’s available in an array of colors to fit your desired theme. This is especially great for gift basics with that include glass (like jars of jams or mustards) as it prevents them from clanking into each other. It also helps boost each presentation and gives it a thoughtful, curated look.

 

Looking for more presentation-enhancing ideas? Give our Packaging Advisors a call! They can help you put together the perfect look for your business. Call 888-321-2248, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. EST.

November 3rd is National Sandwich Day, so we wanted to see just what the nation had to offer between two slices of bread (or otherwise). Here’s a look into some of our favorite, regional rock star sammies.

 

Kentucky hot browns: Louisville

From the kitchen on the Brown Hotel in Louisville comes the famous cheesy, open-faced sandwich. It’s comfort food at its best: turkey and bacon on a slice of bread, covered in Mornay sauce and thrown under the broiler. A popular variation includes topping it with a slice of tomato as well. You know it’s ready when the cheese sauce starts to brown!

A Kentucky Hot Brown from Brown Hotel

 

 

Gerber Sandwich: St. Louis

On the surface, this St. Louis staple seems pretty unassuming. Nothing more than an open-face ham and cheese sandwich, right? Not exactly. See, it starts with the bread. Locals use French bread and slather it with a garlic butter mixture. Then it’s topped with ham and – here’s where the magic happens – Provel cheese. This combo of provolone, cheddar, and swiss cheese is available almost exclusively in the St. Louis area. It’s a melty processed cheesed that browns perfectly under the broiler. Sprinkle a little paprika on top and you’re transported to the Gateway City.

St. Louis Gerber Sandwich

 

French fry sandwiches: Pittsburgh

We can’t create a sandwich round up and not include our city’s very own claim to fame. The Primanti Brothers sandwich gives you everything you need in one (enormous) bite: meat, tomato, onion, coleslaw, and french fries. In this city, it’s not too difficult to find a sandwich that includes a heap of fries directly on it. But Primanti Brothers is the shop that started it, and the place locals and tourists alike just can’t get enough of.

French Fry sandwich from Primanti Bros.

 

Schmitter: Philadelphia

Sure, the cheesesteak is Philly’s most famous creation, but there’s another region-specific sandwich that deserves to share the limelight. The Schmitter, which originated at McNally’s Tavern, is like the extra cheesy cousin to the cheesesteak. Like the city’s #1 sandwich, the Schmitter features thin sliced beef, fried onions, and layers of cheese. But that’s where the similarities end. The addition of grilled salami, tomatoes, and a special sauce – all piled onto a hearty Kaiser roll – makes this one of our favorite creations.

Schmitter sandwich from McNally’s Tavern

 

The Pilgrim or Gobbler: New England

Regardless of where you live, you have probably made this sandwich before. The Pilgrim is a mix of Thanksgiving leftovers like turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and gravy piled high on white bread. It’s been recreated all over the country, but it began in the New England area. We like to think that this one has the power to unite, rather than divide, sandwich lovers across the nation. So we say dig in!

Pilgrim Sandwich from the Sandwich Shop in New York

 

 

If you’ve ever spent time checking out our custom-printed items section (and you should), you may have noticed that there is no pricing. But all the off-the-shelf stock items have a price, you say. And that’s true. But because there are so many factors that go into a specialty print, it’s impossible to accurately estimate what the price would be without first having a phone call. Here are just some of the variables that can affect the cost.

Pricing for cups and bags can be like apples and oranges.

The Item

Exactly which item are we looking at here? Is it a bag made from regular plastic or biodegradable plastic? Or is it a paper bag? Is that grease resistant paper? Does that takeout box require vent holes (if it’s fried food it does)? Speaking with an expert here will help you nail down the perfect item for your needs.

The Quantity

The amount of bags, or cups, or boxes being printed will play a big role in the price. The more you get the more it costs, right? Well sure, that’s true about the grand total of an order, but not true for the price per unit. An order of 5,000 bags will cost more than an order of 1,000 bags, but the price per bag will be much less when you buy more due to quantity price breaks.

Example of full-wrap printing.

Printing Type

Once you know how many of an item you want to have printed, that will determine the printing capabilities. Let’s say you want to have a paperboard takeout container printed with your logo. If you’re thinking you only need 1,000 or 2,000, then we can hot stamp the containers. Typically that will allow us one color printed on one side. Now, if you want to get 6,000 takeout boxes with your logo, we now have the ability to do a full wrap print in multiple colors.

 

Timing

Sometimes timing is everything. Need the printed boxes for an opening in 8 weeks? No problem. Need them for an opening in 8 days? Problem. Some items have a pretty hard and fast lead time, while others have a bit of flexibility (within reason). In rare cases, orders can be rushed to meet a deadline, in which case there is a rush fee.

 

These are all reasons why we cannot rightfully post custom pricing. On top of all this, we here at MrTakeOutBags.com believe in building solid, long term partnerships with our customers. Our Packaging Advisors want to chat with you and learn more about your business. Give them a call today and get started!

888-321-2248