Morgan Chaney’s Guide to Custom Restaurant Packaging

Morgan Chaney supplies hundreds of restaurants all over the world with custom packaging including carryout bags and boxes, napkins, cups, coasters and much more. Restaurant packaging provides a wide realm of possibilities for businesses, and there are many benefits to having a branded packaging program for your restaurant. When it comes to food packaging, you must choose materials and products more carefully due to FDA regulations and the risk of leaks and spills upsetting your customers. This comprehensive restaurant packaging guide contains all the information you need to start a custom packaging program for your restaurant or food retail business.

Custom carryout packaging for Lazy Dog restaurant

Takeout and Carryout Bags

Restaurant takeout and carryout bags are some of the most commonly customized and widely used packaging options. Restaurants must choose takeout packaging based on their specific needs and requirements. The first order of business is determining what types of food items and takeout containers you will be putting in these bags. You need to ensure that your carryout bags can hold the weight of your food items. Paper and plastic bags are both viable options for restaurants, and reusable bags are a higher end possibility. Your takeout bags should have wide bottom gussets for takeout boxes and soup containers, with strong handles to prevent ripping and tearing.

Custom printed recycled carryout bag

Paper Bags:

Paper bags can be a great choice for restaurant packaging, although they do not provide the stretch and flexibility of plastic bags. Paper bags can be quite strong, but leaking, rips, and broken handles are still possibilities to consider. They can also be made with high percentages of recycled materials, making them more eco-friendly. There are many styles of paper bags available, and the thickness of the paper and type of handles are components to consider. Bottom boards and reinforced fold-over tops can help prevent paper bags from ripping and tearing during use.

Common paper bag options used in restaurants include:

Plastic Bags:

Plastic bags are available in many styles, material compositions, and printing options. There are bags with die-cut handles, patch handles, soft loop handles, wave top bags, square bottom bags, and more. The composition of the plastic materials can also vary, allowing for a wide range of options in thickness and aesthetics. Bottom boards can be added for additional support, as well as reinforced handles.

Plastic custom restaurant takeout bags

Custom plastic carryout bag options include:

  • Die-cut oval handled plastic bags
  • Patch handle shopping bags
  • Wavetop bags with die-cut handles
  • Soft loop or clip loop handled plastic shopping bags
  • T-shirt style plastic bags

Custom plastic carryout bag materials include:

  • Low-density polyethylene plastic: A softer plastic material with a lot of stretch and support.
  • High-density polyethylene plastic: A durable plastic material that can be very thin or thick
  • Polypropylene
  • Plastic blends or combinations of high/low density plastics

Green options for custom plastic carryout bags:

We also have the ability to incorporate any percentage of recycled material into your custom plastic carryout bags. Whether you are trying to meet state recycling ordinances leave a smaller carbon footprint on our planet, we can assist you in creating the packaging that works best for you.

Reusable Bags:

Reusable bags are generally the most expensive option, however they are an investment in marketing, brand image, and sustainability. Reusable bags may be used by your customers for years and for a multitude of purposes, and they will prevent waste from plastic or paper bags being thrown away. Reusable bags can be made from a wide variety of materials, and ultimately it will depend on cost, durability, and the amount of recycled materials that you desire to use.

Custom printing options

Custom printing carryout bags with your logo or graphic design is a great way to impress your customers and leave a lasting impression. There are many methods of custom printing that range from low cost and economic, to more intricate and involved. The type of printing you choose will affect the price of your packaging as well as the production time needed to manufacture. Some products can be post-printed, which means the ink printing or hot stamp are completed on finished bags. When you choose full process printing the printing is usually done before the bags are assembled by the manufacturer, which takes longer to complete and generally requires larger quantities.

See also  The Importance of Color in Branding & Packaging Design

Some types of printing applications include:

  • Embossing and debossing: The process of creating a raised or lowered graphic image on the product.
  • Flexographic printing: The process of rotary printing utilizing flexible rubber plates attached to rotating cylinders that apply ink to the product. Using water based inks for flexographic printing is more eco-friendly.
  • Gravure printing: The process of ink printing utilizing etched, metal cylinders.
  • Hot stamping: The use of foils to print bags, boxes and other products which are applied with metal plates and heat.

Takeout Boxes

Takeout boxes may not need to be customized for every restaurant, but putting a simple logo or design on your takeout boxes can be a great idea. When your logo is in someone’s fridge at home or work, it is a reminder of where their delicious food came from and can even serve as additional advertising. Boxes for food service usually need to be FDA approved (unless food items are wrapped) and must be durable and strong enough to hold the weight of various food items. When creating custom branded boxes, the type of box you need will depend on the weight and properties of the food you will be putting inside.

Custom bakery boxes for cakes, cupcakes, pies

Some takeout box options include:

Any of these options can be custom printed, although prices and quantities will vary depending on the intricacy of the design and materials. Many boxes can be made with various amounts of recycled materials, and some are recyclable and compostable after use.

Wax Paper & Tray Liners

Food service papers are useful in many different types of restaurants including bakeries, burger joints, anywhere from fast food to fine dining. These food-safe liners can be used for French fry baskets, burger or sandwich wraps, bakery wraps, food trays, and much more. There are different types of sheets for different purposes, as they all have different properties and paper weights. These choices can be purchased in-stock or can be custom printed with your logo or design. Options include lightweight dry wax sheets, ultra-performance grease resistant sheets, high performance dry wax liners and wraps, and un-waxed menu tissue. Click here to see the types of food wrap paper we sell in-stock on our website.

Custom food wraps, hamburger wraps, wax sheets

Cups, Coasters, Napkins, etc.

Are you getting tired of boring Styrofoam or paper cups? Custom cups and beverage sleeves are a great addition to your custom packaging program and customizing allows you to expand your brand reach and marketing impact even further. Coasters and napkins are also great accessories to your custom restaurant packaging, they are inexpensive and can feature bright colors and graphics that coordinate with your brand image. Most restaurants are already using coasters, cups, and napkins regularly, so why not customize them?

Custom restaurant packaging program

Menu Sleeves

Clear vinyl menu sleeves are one of our most popular restaurant items. Menu sleeves are perfect for protecting paper menus and won’t tear, warp, yellow, or crack. Cleaning these menu sleeves is a breeze and they are a convenient way to keep paper menus protected from water or food spills. We carry several stock sizes of menu sleeves so companies can order them easily online. We can also provide custom sized menu sleeves for your restaurant at a quoted price.

Our menu sleeves feature a durable 12 gauge vinyl and are available with or without an insert that adds extra stability and durability. The insert is made with 15 gauge polypropylene to make your menus extremely resilient. The menu sleeves with inserts feel much thicker, while the sleeves without inserts are a simple, protective sleeve without being too heavy or stiff.

Unique Options: Catering Supplies, Check Presenters, Etc.

When it comes to custom packaging, Morgan Chaney has the ability to fulfill your unique needs, and we welcome you to inquire about packaging options that aren’t normally listed. If you have a unique or specialized custom packaging request, don’t hesitate to contact us. We have collaborated with restaurants and food service companies on unique items like beverage containers, check presenters, flasks, coffee mugs, and much more!

Custom printed kraft catering tray

Contact Morgan Chaney today to speak with an experienced packaging consultant about your custom restaurant packaging.