Why Your Restaurant Should Offer Grab-n-Go Lunches
Step out for a quick lunch any given weekday, or pop into your local café over the weekend. Chances are you’re going to see a variety of prepared meals, packaged and ready to go. Nothing new there, right? But consider for a moment the quality of that meal compared to what the standard was just years ago. In many cases, there’s a shift in focus to ensure that pre-packaged lunches, dinners, and snacks are made from fresh, quality ingredients – sometimes even locally sourced. This growing trend is taking the dining world by storm, and progressive businesses are taking note.
What is fast casual and why is it gaining so much popularity?
Fast casual falls between drive-thru grub and casual, sit-down restaurants. Typically this appeals to people on the move who know that you don’t need full table service in order to get a good meal. And they also know that just because it’s fast doesn’t mean it’s processed or frozen.
Last year, The Washington Post published an article that helped to break down some findings from the research firm Euromonitor.From this we learned that “the market for fast casual food … has grown by 550 percent since 1999, more than ten times the growth seen in the fast food industry over the same period.” That’s a whole lot of Chipotle burritos and Panera bread bowls.
How can packaging enhance prepared meals?
We shop with our eyes, especially when it comes to food. Those who run a restaurant, café, bakery, or deli are very aware of this. That’s why when it comes to fast casual, we’re seeing so many thoughtfully arranged prepared meals, intended to entice busy lunch-goers and diners on the run. And when all this effort goes into a meal that a customer is taking home, you know that the packaging needs to be a cut above the rest.
Using the container that best fits the product is crucial. Because the packaging can make a product pop, and in turn increase sales, we see many fast casual dining establishments use carriers that provide at least a glimpse of the food. Food containers like the Bio-Pak View line http://www.mrtakeoutbags.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=02BPVWERTM&Store_Code=mrtakeoutbags can provide just that.
Or maybe you need a product that is as eco-friendly as it is practical, like these recycled kraft fry trays.
Perhaps your famous eggrolls need to stay crispy, and can do just that with the help of ventable plastic containers.
And sometimes a perfect, freshly baked bagel in the morning just needs a little something extra to meet peak packaging, like a sandwich bag.
Why go the custom route with fast casual?
Not only does a to-go container need to be the right type and size for a packaged meal, it should also reflect your brand. This leads to consistency within your shop as well as brand recognition. Not to mention it gets your name and logo out and about to wherever your customers may wander. Is your café’s famous soup served in a to-go cup that bares your brand name? You can be sure that will be seen around the office. Are your sandwiches wrapped in customized paper? That will certainly get noticed at the tailgating party. Your products are distinct, and your packaging should be as well.