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People in the New Brunswick, NJ area are no strangers to the Cheezen gourmet grilled cheese food truck. The eye-catching vehicle, with its illustrated gooey cheese and the wide-smiled mascot, is hard to miss. And even though the company has created quite a name for itself, owner John Gentile knew that there was more that could be done.

How it all began

“It all started with making dinner for my kids,” says Cheezen owner John Gentile. “And then it hit me! I have fifteen years of food service experience. And I’ve always loved food trucks. I knew I could give people great food. Food that reminds us of when we were kids.”

So in October of 2014 Cheezen began with a small, 10-foot trailer. “Now we have two trucks, a trailer, and a store front in New Brunswick attached to the iconic Olde Queens Tavern,” says Gentile.

“Some days are rough and they can get long,” he says. “But then I see our customers line up for our food, and take pictures of it. And then they do the happy food dance because they feel like a kid again.”

Brand recognition

Gentile noticed more and more people snapping pics of the grilled cheeses and he knew he needed to jump on that to push his brand even further. He realized the need to “make a presence in the market,” as he puts it. Custom printed food tissue made sense as an economical way to get the company’s name in each and every picture his customers posted on social media.

“We always hear potential customers asking people who just purchased a grilled cheese from us, ‘Hey, where did you get that?’ So with the branded basket liners, there is no question about where to go!”

Standing out

In addition to getting the company name out there, Gentile put the Cheezen logo on the tissue to get a leg up on the competition – of which there is no shortage. “In order to be above the rest,” explains Gentile, “you need to make a presence at events. You can see hundreds of people walking around with our product in a customized package, rather than a generic red and white food tray.”

When asked if he sees the printed tissue having an effect on his business, Gentile responds, “Absolutely! I try to ask all my customers how they heard of us. They’ll tell me that they saw me at this event or that location. I think we have a better presentation of product and they can see that we put more effort into the delivery of what we’re making.”

 

Interested in putting your company logo on your packaging? Give us a call! Our experienced advisors can be reached at 888-321-2248, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Leveraging Food Photography & Social Media with Custom Printed Tissue

The food photo: we’ve all seen them parading down our news feeds, making mouths water and stomachs growl. We tend to share these posts because eating is a communal thing, and what bigger community to share with than the world of social media?

A report from Omnicore shows that there are currently 700 million active Instagram accounts, and 400 million active daily users. That’s a whole lot of audience to get in front of.

In addition to selfies and sunsets, pictures of food are among the most popular focal points for users. Need more proof? Instagram’s busiest day is Thanksgiving. And the most popular food photographed is pizza.

 

 

 

Instagram Thanksgiving Posts
Instagram Thanksgiving Posts

 

 

 

Over on Pinterest food is the most popular topic. The online marketing site Rocket Post claims that “While the average social shopper spends an average of $60 when coming from Facebook, she spends $140 when coming from Pinterest.”

The Numbers

It’s no surprise that restaurants, food trucks, bakeries, and delis are using social media to boost brand awareness. Each photo a customer posts is a marketing opportunity. While hashtags and geotagging help, you can’t always rely on the customers to divulge just where that gourmet donut came from.

As a business owner you really want customers to share that info with followers. According to a study conducted by Social Chorus of 400 millennials surveyed, 98% of them said that they are more likely to engage with a post from a friend rather than a brand’s post. Those are the same millennials that will have more buying power than other generations by 2017.

Making a Mark with Custom Printed Food Tissue

That’s what makes custom sandwich wraps and basket liners so significant. Consider a photo of your restaurant’s most popular menu item. Now picture it resting on custom tissue paper that boasts your company’s logo. Sometimes the most successful marketing comes from one happy customer snapping a shot of her favorite meal.

custom food tissue paper

Which custom tissue is right for you? There are four levels available:

  • Lightweight – Also known as pick-up tissue, it’s often used when grabbing a pastry for a customer. These are somewhat translucent because they’re thinner (roughly 13# basis weight) and, if you hadn’t guessed by the name, rather light. They are the delicate baby of the tissue family. They’re lightly waxed, thinner sheets used for cold, dry foods or to wrap a hot dog.
  • High Performance – Next up is a heavier weight sheet that clocks in as an 18# basis weight sheet that can handle lots of jobs. They’re great as a tray liner when serving moist, cold or hot and somewhat greasy foods. Or use them with a BioPak or a disposable lunch boxes as a way to spice up the out-of-box experience for your customer.
  • Ultra Performance – This one is tougher, weighing in at 20# basis weight and has a dry waxed finish on one side. Reach for this one when you want a heavyweight compostable dry waxed sheet that can stand up to even the messiest meatball sub or Philly cheesesteak.
  • Grease Resistant – The name says it all, and the paper is heavier, at about 20.5# basis weight and treated to be grease resistant, no wax is used. These sheets are intended for wrapping food, like sandwiches or subs with the printed logo facing outward.

 

If you’re thinking it’s time to up the ante on your brand marketing, consider the power of customized tissue or one of our stock print designs. Or even just a solid color waxed tissue to spice up your culinary creations. If you want to learn more about the various paper weight options, or if you want to chat further about how this style of branding, give us a call at 888-321-2248.

 

 

Pic: Fuku Custom Takeout Bag

fuku bag

Fuku Arrives

In 2004, renowned chef David Chang opened Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York. And that was just the beginning. From that beginning stemmed several variations like Momofuku Ssäm Bar, Momofuku Ko, and the bakery, Momofuku Milk Bar. In 2015 (rising from his former successes) came a fried chicken concept named Fuku. So when we were given the opportunity to work on a logoed takeout bag for Fuku, needless to say we were very excited.

For this project, one of our senior Packaging Advisors worked closely with Brendan Newell, Designer for Momofuku. His job was to dream up a look that was reflective of the famous brand. Our job was to help him make it a reality.

Making Local Impact

“The impetus behind this project was to drive the brand impact in the local area,” says Newell. He explains that Fuku opened in a neighborhood where they did not yet have a lot of presence, so Newell and company had to help drum some up. “The idea is that people will be walking from the storefront to their home or office, and the bag design will help gain exposure. When people see it on the street, they become interested,” says Newell. And trust us, this bag’s design is nothing if not intriguing.

Paying Homage

“The design is mostly our logo wrapped around the sides of the bag,” he explains. “Conceptually, the intent was to mirror the flagship item of Fuku – a fried chicken sandwich. When the first location opened, the chicken was way bigger than the bun and it was a distinguishing element, a defining factor. So this design is an homage to that,” says Newell. “It cannot be contained by the face of the bag.”

In addition to the overflowing logo, the brown bags feature a woodgrain pattern. “This location has a lot Baltic birch, so this was a reflection of that,” Newell says. “And the leaf is a call back to the peach in the original Fuku logo.”

This sort of collaboration with the customer from concept to finished product is ideal. The results of this team effort are obvious, because this bag shouts its message to everyone who passes by it on the street.

 

Learn about Custom Carry Out Bags Here

The Dapper Doughnut

DapperDonuts_custom items

Just as the name suggests, the Dapper Doughnut seeks to raise the bar on your average sweet treat. It’s no surprise, then, that they currently have nine locations throughout the country. And they’re slated to double that by mid-June of 2017. Most of the Dapper Doughnut posts are franchises, too. And they’re the first national mini doughnut franchise with a focus on hot mini doughnuts that are made to order. The Dapper Doughnut needed custom packaging that is just as buzzworthy as its product.

The Design

“We designed the branding, packaging, website, and other brand assets to elevate the typical doughnut shop experience to an artisan level,” says Jacqueline Ball, Digital Strategist and Brand Developer at The Digital Design Co. Because of her expertise, she helped launch the burgeoning company into a nationally recognized brand.

Photo by Jessie Preza | Styling by The Digital Design Co.

The Packaging

Ball contacted MrTakeOutBags to work on both the grease resistant kraft pastry bags and the matching coffee cup sleeves for the franchises. “Our packaging is designed to make the customer feel like they are receiving a gift,” explains Ball. “We created social media share-worthy packaging so we could capitalize on the millennial trend to share new and exciting experiences.

“We are in the foodie revolution,” says Ball, “and having customized packaging can act as a major advertising tool. It shows your investment in your brand and helps elevate your customers’ perception of what you offer.”

At MrTakeOutBags, we couldn’t agree more, which is why working with someone like Ball on a cohesive brand is so rewarding. Not only does she believe in the product, but she also understands the power of printing a company logo on all its packaging.

Photo by Jessie Preza | Styling by The Digital Design Co.

The Takeaway

“Custom packaging is here to stay,” Ball explains. “Today you have to be different, innovative and on-trend to really stand out. Your packaging is one of the main exchange points between you and your customer. It will only bless your business if this presentation is at its highest level!”

Some of our favorite customized coffee cups.

Custom paper coffee cups are one way to create a mobile billboard for your café or bakery. Sure, you can use a plain cup with a plain sleeve. Or you can put those paper coffee cups to work in promoting your brand’s visibility.  We work with many businesses who chose to customize their hot drink cups and saw great results. These are just a few of our favorites. “Low Minimum” Quantity Print for most paper coffee cup options are much lower than ever before.

Lakota

Lakota uses a simple design to make a memorable custom paper cup. The two color logo is especially eye-catching when printed on the ripple-wrap style paper cup. The ripples act as a double wall, creating a sleeve to keep coffee hot and hands cool.

Carrera Café

Double wall paper coffee cups don’t always have to have ridges. For those who prefer a smoother style: we’ve got you covered.  Carrera Café opted for a sleek finish while still utilizing the double wall effect that acts as a sleeve. Plus, this style allows for smaller runs and lower quantities than the ripple-wrap.

Nic’s Organic Fast Food

Like the rest of the Nic’s Organic Fast Food custom take out packaging, these stand out coffee cups are a fresh, eye-catching green. The bright hue helps this disposable paper cup stand apart from its competition and puts them in a league all their own.

nic's organic ripple cup

*Nic’s Organic gets bonus points for matching their hot cups with their cold cups (and with their dry waxed sandwich wrapper food tissue, and their paper fry cartons, and their paper placemats, and their paper soup cups). That’s always a powerful image.

nic's organic insta

Other Options

If personalized logo paper coffee cups aren’t the best fit for you – whether due to budget, minimums, or storage space – there are other ways to get your logo out there. Consider custom printed insulating sleeves for your coffee cups. You can use the stock cup that you prefer and manage that inventory as needed. Then just add on the printed logo cup sleeves and each customer that leaves your shop with a cup of joe will still be carrying around a walking billboard of your business branding image.

Just check out what our friends at Dapper Doughnut did with a custom printed paper coffee cup sleeve.

Coffee Sleeves

And if customizing is not an option yet for you, just make sure you use something distinct, like the owners of Allegheny Coffee did with their black ripple-wrap cups.

Remember, the food packaging you choose for your business can have a positive influence on your customers’ experience. And there are options available for companies of all sizes. Our Packaging Advisors are happy to chat with you about options that are best-suited for your needs. Please feel free to contact them at 888-321-2248.

Many of our customers understand the importance of visual brand marketing. But when we first spoke with Jason Beam, co-owner of Roadhouse Diner in Great Falls, Montana, we could tell right away that he has more than just an understanding. Along with his wife Tara, Beam opened Roadhouse Diner after he spent fifteen years working for an ad agency. It was clear that this background led to his appreciation of customized takeout packaging.

roadhouse diner burger
Just look at that mammoth burger! We’re gonna need a bigger takeout box.

 

 

 

The Background

“I was designing, marketing, and creating campaigns,” says Beam. “That background gave me the ability to understand the importance of branding by coming up with unique solutions that people haven’t seen before.” When it comes to takeout packaging for the restaurant, there was no question that custom packaging would be utilized.

Custom packaging” Beam continues, “is an opportunity to stand out in a tangible form. People can hold it and touch it and take it away. Then they start building that association of a unique experience with your company and your food. That’s the value I see in customized packaging.”

That’s why Beam reached out to MrTakeOutBags.com looking for a custom takeout box that is as fashionable as it is functional. The #4 vented takeout box was the right fit, and Beam had the design ready to go.

custom food container
Custom Roadhouse Diner takeout boxes

The Results

How were the boxes received by the customers at Roadhouse Diner? “People have been really receptive. Everybody seems to love them.” exclaims Beam. “They’re fun, they fit the experience of the restaurant, and they’re an extension of our personality. My wife runs the front of house and she’s always excited to hand them out. People even get their pictures taken with the boxes.

No one around here who has a similar style takeout box,” says Beam. “And it helps extend our brand into people’s homes or offices. It’s a very strong visual impact. When there is an order of ten lunches delivered to the office it becomes an event, you feel like you got something cool, and that goes with our entire food philosophy.”

 

Ready to put your logo on the products your business uses? We can help with that! Give us a call at 888-321-2248 to discuss custom options.

Packaging is a great opportunity to remind your customers and a lot of other folks about your company, product, or service. Putting your name and info on your packaging gives you a chance to share a message. If you’re not putting your brand on your packaging, then you’re missing out on chances to spread your word every single day.

True Story

A long-time customer shared a story with us. His home goods store sold bulky products that required some pretty big bags. Those bags were a great place for some BIG branding. It was as if each customer who walked out of his store and down the street with one of those large custom bags was carrying a billboard with his store’s name prominently displayed as a reminder to every passer-by.

But the funny part was that he got an extra kick when pulling out of his home’s driveway in the morning. While driving down his street on garbage day he noticed something. Up and down the street he saw his store’s name plastered on bags full of garbage. He tried not to be proud that his bags were full of trash and in the junk pile. But his store’s name was still out for everyone to see, reminding them of his store, and showing just how many people were shopping there on a regular basis.

 

Reusing Boosts Branding

What are some other ways that re-use of your packaging serves as an ongoing reminder message? Well, if you use nice shopping bags with your logo on them, people are likely to carry their lunch to work in them.  Then everyone in the lunchroom will see your logo. It’s like a roaming testimonial. Maybe they carry their dress shoes to the office in your bag. Everyone on the street, bus, train, or in the hallway will see your message.

What if you put your restaurant’s name on a plastic carry out container? First of all, every time a customer opens their fridge, they’ll see your message. If they pack their lunch for work, there’s a good chance that coworkers are going to be exposed to your logo. And, if your customers store “knick knacks” in your plastic carry out container, then they might decide that they need to stop by your restaurant the next time they’re looking for a spare button, or a thumb tack. You’ve just placed your very own subliminal suggestion.

A box, bag, or takeout container with your name on it is a chance for you to get your brand out there for years beyond the brief time when other media will come, go, and be forgotten. Don’t miss out.

Tell Us Your Story

Have a story about your custom packaging that’s worth a share? We’d love to hear it!

 

Need help getting your brand added to your packaging? We can make it happen very easily. Give us a call at 888-321-2248 and one of our Packaging Advisors will be glad to help you.

Designer and entrepreneur Lela Lee is the creator of the slightly off-beat and refreshingly original retail company Angry Little Girls. With a boost in business and a plan to relaunch her brand, Lee came to us needing distinct custom packaging. Lee wanted packaging for her smaller gift items like jewelry, socks, and books. What she wanted was a merchandise bag that customers could cut and use as wrapping paper when gifting. And we found a way to turn this inspired design into a reality. We were very excited to work on this project with Lela because not only was it unlike previous jobs, it felt great being a part of her branding process.

 

What Was Needed

“I needed a custom bag to convey the new messaging of my brand,” says Lee. “I’ve always had merchandise for sale, but Anger is a Gift is a new chapter in the story of my property. I needed a bag and new art that ties in the gift line with the existing brand name.” When asked why she decided to go custom Lee says, “The art on the bag tells a story and hopefully carries my message to other people.”

angry little girls on instaram
Lela Lee was so thrilled she posted an image of the custom bag on her Instagram!

What We Did

We worked with Lee to try to bring her ideas into fruition. By adding a simple dotted line along the edge, plus brief instructions, and the Angry Little Girls merch bag became suddenly reusable as giftwrap. And that’s another opportunity for Lee to get her company name seen.

“I love it,” exclaims Lee. “I’m proud to give each customer a bag with their transaction.”

 

Did you know we’re a one-stop shop for many customers? That’s because we customize a wide range of items, and we carry stock items as well.

Welcome 2017

As we begin the New Year, small business owners are contemplating what the next 12 months holds for them. And many of us will make resolutions to achieve our goals.

Here are a few resolutions that many small business owners may have on the top of their lists. We want to offer a few suggestions on how to tackle them.

Increase Sales (and Profits)

Sounds easy but it generally requires CHANGE. Each business owner needs to start this change process by asking questions and committing to making adjustments.

Some of the adjustments might include:

Work harder, add new products, adjust pricing, change the marketing efforts, and invest in a website to allow customers to buy 24/7/365. On the HR front, get the right people “on the bus” and the wrong people “off the bus.”

How do you start? First of all, get an impartial friend in a non-competing business to spend time with your team brainstorming. Then pick what you believe to be the best options and map out your action plans. Don’t forget to assign one person with responsibility to follow through on each area and then monitor results.

Go Green

Every night you throw stuff into the dumpster and you think about your company’s addition to the earth’s growing carbon footprint. Plus your customers are asking (or at least thinking) more and more about what your business reflects. They’re also noticing packaging or products from recycled materials, and what you do to be more eco-friendly. Pay close attention to your packaging’s sustainability, reusability, composability or recyclability, because your customers sure are.

Now’s the time to show your customers you care about the environment by stocking recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable takeout containers and bags. At MrTakeOutBags.com, we stock a full supply of eco-friendly products from recyclable bags to compostable containers. We even have biodegradable cutlery!  Take a look at some options.

compostable coffee cups in multiple sizes

Order More Systematically/Save on Shipping

Competition is fierce, so there is little room for waste.

Aim to:

  • plan better to order more efficiently, less often, yet not too much,
  • watch inventory and buy more when it makes sense based on lower price points
  • reduce shipping costs by hitting weight levels that earn discounts
  • throw away less unused or wrong packaging items, ingredients or product

Did you know you can get a 20% discount when your MrTakeOutBags shipment weighs 200 pounds or more? With this in mind, plan your buys more systematically and aim to combine multiple products on one order. You’ll benefit with lower bills and fewer chances of running out of inventory!

Invest in Your Brand

Your customers will pay a premium when they recognize and value your brand’s promise. So you’ll want to invest in your brand.

There is a lot of work involved with defining your brand.  Here’s a blog post by marketing firm Hubspot that outlines some of the steps.

Once you’ve defined your identity, you’ll want to consistently and compellingly convey it with a logo (and perhaps a tag line) that illustrates your brand’s identity.

Be sure to put your logo on all of your signs, bags and packages. Got questions about branded packaging? Give us a call at 888-321-2248.

custom printed bakery box with logo

Praise Your Team More

A positive staff is among the most important contributors to your brand so you’ll want to be sure the team feels energized and appreciated. A great way to encourage this attitude and boost moral is by sincerely praising your team. Letting employees know when they do things well is very important.

Here is a practical way to measure how often you praise your colleagues:

  • Start the day with 5 coins in your right pocket.
  • Every time you praise someone, move a coin to the left
  • Your goal is to have all 5 coins in the left pocket by end of day
  • Repeat the next day

The New Year brings great promise for improvements in your business. Let us know how MrTakeOutBags can help you achieve your 2017 business resolutions.

Forget what you know about cafeterias, food courts, and mess halls. New-fashioned food halls are popping up all over the country. These dining hotspots feature multiple high-end vendors, sushi bars, and places to grab expertly roasted coffee – all under one roof. By offering lots of options, it’s no wonder why foodies are swarming to these all-in-one halls. Customers aren’t the only one who see the benefits of a food hall, business owners are finding some tasty perks, too.

Smaller space equals smaller overhead
Setting up shop inside a food hall, rather than buying or renting a stand alone property, can save a purveyor thousands of dollars. Because it’s a smaller space to care for, the cost of cleaning, heating, and keeping all things running goes down. Let’s not forget about the cost of rent. That cost goes down when shared with other vendors. Additionally, marketing costs are typically reduced when there is a mother company managing PR.

A central location helps everyone
Simply put: the risk of restaurant failure goes down when people go to a central location. That’s because some people show up to grab a burger, and end up finishing their meal with a handcrafted ice cream sandwich from another vendor. All participating businesses get to ride the coattails of a successful food hall.

Popularity could compete with food trucks
Don’t get us wrong: we love food trucks. But we recognize that food halls are a growing trend, one that could even match the mobile food popularity. Think of food halls as a food truck where everyone comes to you. Plus you never need to stop for gas or worry about parking. Not to mention that an indoor venue makes it a year-round attraction.

And just like food trucks (and caterers, and bakeries, and cafes, and delis, and any other food service, really) there is a need for quality food packaging. MrTakeOutBags.com has the disposable food containers you need for your business, from kraft paper food trays to dessert dishes. And if you really want to stand out from the crowd, consider customized food packaging. Whether it’s coffee cups, takeout boxes, or tissue paper, we can help you create a lasting impression.

photo credit: Mercado Municipal de São Paulo via photopin (license)
(license)