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Custom carryout bags help to spread the word about your delicious products! Restaurants using generic, unbranded carryout bags are missing big marketing opportunities. The truth is that brand loyalty is in the details. Letting customers interact with your brand’s name and logo as much as possible is so important for getting repeat customers while expanding recognition. Just how important is this minor detail? Take a look at the eight big ways custom takeout bags help restaurants thrive!

1. Brand Loyalty

Your customer isn’t just buying a sandwich, scone, muffin, burger, or bowl of soup. They’re buying that food from you. Sending your food out into the world in unbranded to-go packaging erases the personal aspect. The fact of the matter is that customers are bombarded with endless choices for takeout. You don’t want to miss an opportunity for your customers to connect with your brand throughout their interactions with your food.

2. Recognition

A plain to-go bag is a wasted piece of valuable “billboard” space. Think of your customers walking into their jobs after grabbing lunch on the go from your restaurant. They’re carrying the savory scents of your restaurant into an office space or break room. When your bag is unbranded, the restaurant responsible for those delicious and tempting scents that just might inspire someone else to order lunch out that day remains anonymous. In addition, the “social influence” factor of watching a colleague eat mouthwatering food from a restaurant is not to be underestimated! Finally, there’s the delivery aspect. Just think of how many people will come into contact with your takeout bag during the process of a meal getting delivered to the front desk of a business or office space.

3. Optimal Design for Your Products

The problem with ordering bulk bags is that restaurants get generic bags that are meant for “all foods.” The reality is that the foods you serve at your establishment aren’t the same as what’s being sold by the competitor down the street. As a result, you’re simply forcing your food to conform to a “generic” fit. Takeout bags should be strategic for optimal customer experience.

There are actually many different types of to-go bags for restaurants to choose from. This is why it’s so important to do an audit to discover the bags that create optimal customer experiences. Here’s what restaurants should be considering when choosing takeout bags:

  • What style of bag is most compatible with the boxes or wrappers we use for our foods?
  • Do our foods tend to leak grease? Is there a better option than what we’re currently using for safeguarding the clothes and car seats of our patrons from grease when they walk out with a bag?
  • How many bags are we going through per week? Would bigger bags allow us to save money by packing more food into each bag?
  • Would choosing bags with durable handles allow us to save money by adding more food to each bag without upgrading to bigger bags?

You really need to consider what the customer experience is like once a patron is responsible for the bag that’s been packed for their takeout order. Do customers feel that each bag is an “accident” waiting to happen due to flimsy bags? Are you leaving customers with too many bags to carry because your bags aren’t durable enough to hold big orders?

5. Presentation During Delivery

Improper packaging can lead to disappointment when food is delivered. The popularity of third-party delivery apps means that restaurants have less and less control over how their products are handled after leaving their hands. It’s so important to ensure that the takeout bags you’re selecting can hold up to some wear and tear. Here’s what a good takeout bag should be able to deliver on:

  • Enough room for larger items without the need for a multitude of bags. Every bag you need to add to an order increases the odds for a bag being damaged during transport, left behind by a deliver driver or dropped during the transfer from driver to customer.
  • A design that keeps hot foods hot.
  • Protection against leaks.
  • A design that allows food to arrive in perfect condition without dented, broken or crushed containers.

Custom bags allow restaurants to have more control over how their delivery items hold up. In addition, bags that can protect food properly reduce your odds of losing money on refunds or replacement orders. A good takeout bag is one of the most important tools for reputation management in the world of DoorDash and Uber Eats.

6. Easy Recognition for Delivery Drivers

There’s another reason why branded takeout bags are so important in a time when the restaurant industry is being shaped by third-party delivery apps. A custom takeout bag simply makes it easier for a delivery driver to correctly identify your food for your customers. Some drivers may pick up several orders in a row if restaurants are located on the same street. That means that your food could easily get mixed up with food from another restaurant. While this will be no fault of yours, your customers won’t care. All they will know is that they now have to deal with the frustration of having the wrong order at their door. Prevent the potential for frustrating order swaps by making sure there’s never any question about which restaurant your takeout bags came from!

7. Cost Savings

Many restaurants simply order generic takeout bags in bulk because they assume this is an easy, economical solution. However, the reality is that bulk ordering of brand-free bags may not really be the top choice for cost savings. This partly has to do with the fact that your restaurant may be using more bags than necessary per order because the bags you’re purchasing in bulk aren’t durable and strong. There’s also another reason.

A bulk price is the price that’s offered to everyone. It’s impossible to comparison shop to see how much you’d pay for custom takeout bags unless you get a personalized quote. A restaurant cannot safely assume that it’s getting the best deal on takeout bags unless the owner or manager has received private quotes based on specifics like bag style, bag size, bag material, and personalized branding.

8. Sustainability on Display

Another problem with bulk ordering of takeout bags is that companies that offer bulk plastic and paper products rarely prioritize environmentally friendly options. That means that you’re presenting your food in takeout bags that create a perception of wastefulness and disregard for the planet. Yes, customers can spot the problem.

Containers and packaging generate 82.2 million tons of waste annually. However, research shows that customers hate wasteful packaging. In fact, it’s enough to create a negative perception even if customers love everything else about an experience with a brand.

The unfortunate thing for restaurants is that the bag that lingers after a meal is done ultimately creates a final impression that lasts after the last amazing bite of food! The good news is that there’s never been a better time to investigate sustainable options for food takeaway bags. In fact, it’s very easy to find durable, attractive bags that can be customized with your restaurant name and logo that are also fully recyclable. Seeing that recyclable logo on the packaging makes customers feel good. What’s more, many sustainable options available for takeout bags today are also made using recyclable materials.

Restaurants that decide to upgrade to custom bags made from eco-friendly materials actually have an amazing opportunity to rethink all of their packaging. Sourcing custom to-go containers, meal boxes, drink cups, and soup containers that are also eco-friendly can bring a restaurant into the future. This upgrade is definitely deserving of a big sign in the window letting patrons know that they can dine with a good feeling because sustainability is on the menu!

Final Thoughts: Custom Carryout Bags Shape the Dining Experience

Holding a takeout bag from your restaurant is the first tangible experience a patron has with your food. Make sure the interaction is flawless with custom carryout bags. If you’re new to custom takeout bags, explore your options with help from Mid-Atlantic Packaging. Reach out today for your quote!