Top 11+ Best Tips for Flawless Food Delivery Packaging

October 18, 2022
ghost kitchen

When the pandemic hit, online ordering spiked by over 24%, and more than 83% of the customers ordering food delivery prioritized packaging. Take out and delivery packaging has many benefits, including enhancing convenience, preserving food quality, having food delivered fresh at the right temperature, preventing contamination, making food more appealing, creating brand recognition, and promoting brand value and positioning. Best of all, it helps increase sales, seeing that over 71% of American customers say that packaging design affects their buying decisions (not to mention the hype about Starbucks’ holiday cup designs every year).

The tricky part is that there is something ghost kitchen and restaurant owners should consider when deciding on their food packaging. In this guide, you will learn. 

13 simple food packaging ideas and tips that go the extra mile

1. Find packaging materials that fit your food

Food packaging material

Consider these options for your right materials: 

Paper bags/ Brown bag/ Carton packaging



Sturdy when folded correctly;

Usually recyclable;

Easy to customize printing;

Eco-friendly packaging (According to the National Restaurant Association, more than 71% of restaurants already use recyclable packaging material suitable for the environmentally friendly behavior of their customers);

Great for pizza, sandwiches, and baked goods.

Cons of this sustainable packaging:

Usually absorbent;

Not ideal for wet foods.

Plastic packaging 



Can be durable;

Vented plastic containers enable steam release of hot foods;

Great for soups, juicy fruit, pasta food, and dishes with heavy sauces and whatnot.

Cons of this restaurant delivery and takeout packaging:

Can degrade under high-temperature exposure, making toxins leach into your restaurant’s solid and liquid food items;

Not eco-friendly food packaging.

Foam packaging



Styrofoam takeout containers have insulating properties;

Great for hot and cold foods like steamed buns and rice dishes.

Cons of this food delivery packaging: 

Not a sustainable option;

The food container made of brittle foam can bend and break.

Aluminum/ Foil packaging

Aluminium packaging





Hold heat well;

Great for hot food recipes such as grilled sandwiches, burritos, and BBQ ribs.

Cons of this takeout packaging:

More expensive;

Less flexible.

Eco-friendly packaging alternatives

They are more costly but more eco-friendly, compostable containers (and even edible packaging ones) made from:

  • Bagasse known as a byproduct that remains following sugarcane processing
  • Bioplastics
  • Rice husk
  • Hemp.

Recommendation for the proper delivery and takeout packaging for each type of meal (Source: Tundra Restaurant Supply)

2. Prioritize durability

To decide whether specific food packages can handle standard delivery rides, consider:

  • Stress test
  • Strong seal
  • Absorbency.

3. Size your restaurant food packaging properly

Pizza packaging box

Some ways to provide perfectly sized delivery packaging:

Multiple container options: Medium, big and small takeout containers can ensure there is a properly sized package for each food.

Packaging divider: Enable only one container to accommodate some different dishes, helping your food business save on the extra expense of separately packaging everything.

Custom packaging (customizable containers): Using it brings many benefits to your restaurants. For instance, a single container can transform to carry different food items when needed.

Small disposable ramekins: Keep food intact during transit and enable customers to enjoy the delicious food as your restaurant intended. If the food arrives spilled or is in damaged condition during delivery, you will be handling complaints from delivery drivers and customer requests for new dishes - which means more unnecessary issues and costs for your business and the entire experience ruined for diners.

Also, 2 things your business should consider to decrease packaging costs and optimize the food delivery service:

  • For the food container, every millimeter counts.
  • Reduce inserts - for example, if your restaurant has contactless digital menus, you do not need to place physical ones in the package.

4. Assembled vs pre-assembled

Several food containers need assembling before use, which can be time-consuming when it comes to the ones in large volumes. These stack well on top of one another and reduce storage space. Meanwhile, pre-assembled containers have predefined sizes and shapes, usually occupying more space in the restaurant warehouse. Determining between the two depends on the amount of space and time you desire to save on packaging your meal.

5. Consider package usability

Think about how easily you can open or close the food package and whether it is smooth to the touch. Container shape, size, and materials likewise dictate customer experience with your restaurant food packaging. For instance, cardboard boxes that do not have a protective lining may be swollen or broken after moisture exposure.

6. Make branded packaging to expand your marketing

Rather than a costly marketing campaign, your restaurant business can use packaging and the safe, beautiful contactless menu from One2 to your advantage. 

As far as branded packaging goes, consider these 2 tips:

  • Keep your brand name prominent
  • Keep the packaging designs consistent across platforms.

7. Make it meet your customer’s needs

Custom pizza box

While it is not always easy to know exactly what customers want and expect, there are some key ways of emphasizing their reassurance and comfort.

Clear labeling on each food item: This allows the customers to know what is what.

Directions: For their more satisfactory dining experience, you may direct them on how to open their food delivery containers (e.g., a simple indication or arrow about where to open them).

Additions: Obviously, you do not know what your diner may have at home. That is why give them the option for condiments, disposable cutlery, and any minor meal additions.

High quality packaging: As take out packaging impacts how the customers perceive your brand, packaging in line with your values is significant. For example, should you be a well-priced noodle restaurant, foam packaging may be OK for your diners. But it is probably a good bet if you are a premium-priced restaurant embracing more eco-friendly values.  

8. Leverage personalized packaging

Thanks to packaging with messages, many restaurants improve their bond with the customers. Considering that it makes diners feel special, personalized packaging is a great, free word-of-mouth marketing tactic.

You may add a personalized note on the food container, for example, ‘Made with Love for [the customer's name], Stay Healthy!’. This will help you attract more new customers and increase customer loyalty

9. Consider minimalistic packaging

One of the best ideas for food delivery packaging is a cohesive, neat, and clean look instead of crowded details. This design is also cost-effective and eco-conscious. 

10. Make simple food packaging more unique

You can even add an even small thing to make your restaurant stand out as far as food packaging goes. For instance, when offering take out drinks, you may add a straw cup holder. 

11. Consider fun packaging

Using a fun food container is helpful for kid-friendly restaurants. The vivid packaging design can work on both adults and children. But on the other hand, ensure that your food packaging can still communicate what dishes your business serves. 

12. Use seed-infused containers

The seed-infused packaging solution will increase your customer's awareness of your packaging and where they leave it. Since they can use it to grow home plants, the container does not end up being one of the environmental pollution messes. 

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13. Enhance convenience

For that, your restaurant food packaging should be such that people can enjoy their meal even on the go. Besides, in the wake of the pandemic, keeping customers safe is a top priority. You may include sanitizing kits in your food packages, allowing the diners to sanitize themselves easily before digging in. Tamper proof containers also help promote product safety.

One2 online ordering system: Grow your 1st party online orders

If you are interested in a true turnkey technology solution to grow your business and get more of that ghost kitchen and restaurant delivery packaging (and meals!) into homes of more customers, give One2 a try. From discovery, and delivery, to fulfillment, we have you covered. No more increased pressure on you to bring customers a flawless delivery experience. Contact us today for unparalleled support and success.

Related questions 

1. Takeout vs delivery packaging?

Not much. At the end of the day, the packaging should keep the food safe and enhance convenience.

2. How to promote my eco-friendly food packaging?

  • Share the news on social media
  • Post it on your website
  • Let customers know in a newsletter 

3. How can I package food (including hot foods) conveniently and safely for takeout and delivery?

  • Package cooked meals just before delivery
  • Keep hot and cold food separate, say refrigerate them until they are sent for delivery
  • Keep salads/seafood fresh

4. Food packaging trends?

  • QR-code stickers
  • Restaurant label printing
  • Eco-conscious packaging

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