From Food Safety to Branding, Innovative Delivery Packaging Steps Out

This article first appeared on the National Restaurant Association’s “Manage My Restaurant” blog. 

Food safety is a vital indicator of a successful foodservice operation. No matter what else a restaurateur does, protecting the health and wellbeing of customers and employees is integral to success. This means new challenges when you partner with third-party delivery companies for off-premise dining.

“As the popularity of third-party delivery grows, manufacturers are thinking about innovative packaging solutions that could keep food better sealed and safer during transport,” says Joe Firmin, category lead for the Dixie® delivery division at GP PRO.

“Because third-party delivery is still new territory,” Firmin says, “restaurateurs and delivery services need to work together to find innovative ways to deliver food and drink under sanitary and untampered conditions.”

Innovations in delivery also require innovations in safety and security, notes Firmin: “That’s why we’re all looking at incorporating innovative, tamper-resistant packaging into the delivery service.” Indeed, some of the big QSRs are training staff members to bag drinks and seal them to make tampering more difficult—with methods such as securing delivery bags with double-sided tape that seal from the inside.

Do the benefits outweigh the costs? That’s the test for manufacturers developing these higher-priced packaging products. They must ensure customer acceptance before moving ahead with production.

Here are four reasons some manufacturers are developing more innovative, safer packaging:

  1. It offers the public an additional feeling of safety. Food delivered by a third party must arrive to the customer in a clean, hygienic fashion. Anything else could end badly. 
  2. The product may be more tamper-resistant. Packaging that seals or bags the food and drink could prevent it from being damaged or contaminated. That could result in an extra measure of security. 
  3. It may offer additional brand recognition. “When food is delivered by a third-party service, customers tend to associate it with the delivery service,” Firmin says. “But, by imprinting their names, logos and personalized messages on the packaging, brands could potentially leave a lasting impression on customers.” 
  4. It can be more sustainable. Many new packaging options are made using sustainably sourced materials or may be viable for recycling or composting after use. Other options are designed using less material, which can mean less landfill waste. For example, later this year GP PRO will debut an automated beverage sealing system promoting spill resistance and tamper evidence. The efficient sealing process can result in using 70 to 80 percent less plastic than most snap-on lids. (Restaurants may contact a GP PRO representative for product details.)  
On-demand delivery is growing, and packaging innovations will be critical to its continued success. To make sure you’re protecting your guests, profitability and reputation, stay on top of the latest food safety innovations and best practices. 

This article created in partnership with the National Restaurant Association.

       From Food Safety to Branding, Innovative Delivery Packaging Steps Out