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Embracing food-to-go and the importance of packaging

Covid-19 support | 29 April 2020 | Andy Small

As an out-of-home catering establishment, we know you spend a great deal of time, effort and expense to ensure your menu offering is enticing for customers. Ticking both the quality and value-for-money boxes too means you have all the ingredients to create that optimum customer experience which encourages repeat purchases and the strong word-of-mouth publicity your competition will be envious of…the best kind!

Like many, you might also be looking to widen your service scope from beyond your four walls and embrace food-to-go opportunities in order to cater for the 32% of consumers who are wanting to have both food and drink delivered or collect it*. This could be in the form of catering for take-away consumption whilst customers are on the move or full-blown enjoyment of your food and drink menu whilst in the comfort of someone’s home and other off-site venues through a delivery or collection service.

This makes sense given that your deliciously exciting, high quality and great value-for-money menu is ready to go, doesn’t it? But how can you ensure the same positive customer experience is being received once your carefully prepared food and drink leaves your premises and is in the hands of your valued customers?

When creating this perfect experience for food-to-go, we recommend looking at two main aspects:

Preparation for take-away – consumption on the move

How often do you hear someone walking to work having bought their take-away coffee from their favourite coffee house saying, “I love this take-away coffee, the cup makes it taste great!” …you don’t. They’ll tell you about the delicious flavour or silky smoothness but, in many ways, the on-the-go cup is the unsung hero. It allows that person to enjoy all the expertise that has gone into the making of that coffee (and why they chose to get it from you in the first place) with none of the potential negativity of a cold mouthful after three minutes or, worse still, it burning their hands whilst being carried and spilling everywhere through the loose-fitting lid. Things unimaginable if it were to have been consumed within your establishment!

When it comes to food, choosing the right food-to-go solutions are paramount to delivering an extension of your desired brand experience. Deciding on the design and material of your cutlery and food boxes allows consumers to conveniently eat their take-away whilst on-the-go in their busy lives and really enjoy the food itself; how you’d want them to. This ensures that consumers don’t need to worry about the fork breaking or the boxes not resealing properly in order to keep the food warm – negatives that could potentially stop take-away customers returning. And the reason could be nothing to do with the food or drink you’re serving, simply the choice of take-away packaging.

Preparation for delivery or collection – consumption off-site

Everyone loves pizza as a treat (sighted as the main reason for delivery purchase*), especially when it’s delivered or collected from a favourite pizza place and you know you’re getting a great product which you simply can’t replicate yourself at home. But how many people are sitting there, whilst dipping their third delicious slice into your lovingly made pot of garlic mayonnaise or BBQ sauce, thinking, “my pizza’s come in a great box”? They’re too busy enjoying their pizza which is perfectly hot and as good as if it were served in the establishment itself. The simple facts are that the perfect combination of the high quality take-away pizza box you’ve chosen AND your delicious pizza recipe make for the ideal take-away experience.

Tikka Masala, lasagne, burgers, fish and chips and all the nation’s other favourites are believed to be ordered through delivery or collection by 53% of consumers, with dinner being the most popular day-part occasion*. But without their perfect packaging partners, the food quality on arrival would simply not be up to scratch, subsequently creating a poor customer experience. This is certainly not the result caterers are aiming for after expertly preparing the dishes on-site only to be let down by inadequate packaging.

So, if you’re looking to embrace food-to go opportunities, why not check out our other blog onHow to adapt to take-away or a delivery-style service? In addition, or if you’ve already established your take-away menu and are thinking about expanding your food-to-go options, take a look at how we can support you with ideas, packaging and product suggestions through our new guide: Helping you with…food-to-go – the right solutions for you’.

Whether you’re only focusing on a few of your trusted best-sellers for take-away, looking to provide hot and cold food and drinks for customers on the move, or needing specialist packaging for a full-blown delivery service, we have a wide range of on-the-go packaging options to choose from which will be sure to compliment your offering perfectly.

With the outbreak of Coronavirus, 72% of consumers have said they’re likely to continue ordering take-away food and drinks once the crisis has cleared*, so the future of food-to-go looks stable and is a potential opportunity not to be missed.

 


*Source: CGA snap-survey (700 respondents) – March 2020

 

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