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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

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

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

 

Restaurants and other food service companies need to use every advantage to market themselves to potential customers. This has traditionally been accomplished through commercials on television, radio, print and through old-fashioned word-of-mouth advertising. These traditions obviously are far from dead, and they’ve even been joined by social media advertising, but companies that offer take-out or delivery services can also use their own packaging and to-go containers to sell themselves. Here are just a few examples of how that is done.

Memorable Logos

One of the smartest things that a food service company can do with its packaging is display its logo. Logos are far more powerful than many people realize, with many being instantly recognizable to people all over the world. Fast food restaurants are perhaps the best known for this practice. Everyone can recognize a container from McDonald’s from its iconic golden arches, just as everyone knows a KFC bucket thanks to Colonel Sanders’s face. The simple act of carrying a bag of McDonald’s food home turns people into a walking advertisement for the restaurant.

Other restaurants that aren’t considered fast food have also adopted this marketing approach. Applebee’s offers take-out food in fairly distinct bags, and restaurants such as Timber Lodge have their logos on their styrofoam to-go boxes. It’s a simple yet effective marketing strategy that requires little effort on the part of the company.

Eco-Friendly Packaging

Since styrofoam and plastic aren’t exactly environmentally friendly, some people may be reluctant to order food from restaurants that use them for take-out orders. On the other hand, more and more people are going to restaurants that use more eco-friendly biodegradable packaging. This may not exactly be a marketing strategy, but the very fact that so many smaller companies are using this kind of material for their food definitely makes people take notice.

Providing Menus with To-Go Orders

Restaurants that rely heavily on delivery and take-out orders often include menus with their food. Not only does this make it a lot easier for repeat customers to order food in the future, but the menu makes a great advertisement for anybody who sees it. Many Asian take-out restaurants like to use this strategy, and some restaurants may even print the menus on the packaging itself. This may not work as well as simply putting a copy of the menu in with the food since the packaging is usually thrown away, but it’s still a good example of how some food service companies are using their own food packaging as a marketing opportunity.

These are just a few ways that food service companies can use their own packaging as marketing opportunities. Plenty of restaurants and other similar businesses use these marketing strategies to their advantage, but there are also plenty of businesses that still rely on nondescript styrofoam packaging when it comes to sending food to their customers’ homes. More specialized food containers are surprisingly inexpensive, and they can be customized to have practically any logo and be any color. They are a perfect way to provide a restaurant with some inexpensive advertising, and any take-out restaurant, delivery service or fast food place would do well to find packaging that works for them.

If you’re looking for custom to-go containers to help put your business over the edge, look no further than the huge in-stock selection from MrTakeOutBags.com! Dedicated to helping your business create a distinctive and customized food packaging solution, MrTakeOutBags.com features the largest selection of innovative food service packaging solutions with same0day shipping and the lowest prices around. Whether you’re looking to give your business an eye-catching new design or take your marketing to the next level, make sure to shop MrTakeOutBags.com today!