Takeaway is Having a Moment. Create a To-Go Box that Stands Out!
Picture this: you just ordered your favorite take-out, and it’s time to pick it up. You know your meal is going to be delicious! But when the server hands it to you, it’s in a blank white carrier with flimsy handles! Buzzkill!!
As a restaurant, you’re a hot commodity in the world of eats. Having good quality and brand-specific to-go boxes is a must. Once your food leaves the restaurant, you want to ensure your brand goes with them. They already love your delicious food and brand so why not help them spread the word?
A custom restaurant to-go box lets everybody know where that delicious hamburger or decadent dessert came from. It’s an enduring, eye-catching mobile advertisement for your brand, location, or product–one that lives on even after the eats are gone.
Are you hungry for ideas? This post will outline the importance of takeaway branding and custom to-go boxes and how they help your restaurant stand out. Let’s dig in!
It’s More than Just Packaging
You might think that just because your to-go packaging will be thrown away, that design doesn’t matter. But when you put as much thought and care into the packaging as what’s inside it, it speaks volumes about your company and brand personality.
Today’s consumer is highly visually oriented. We only have to look at the mad success of platforms like Instagram to prove our point, but there is some science to back this up:
- 90% of the information our brains process is visual.
- We process images 60X faster than words alone.
- 80% of people remember things they see more than what they hear or read.
- Marketers that use visual content report 12X higher growth over those that do not.
Therefore, details matter. You don’t have to be a fine dining establishment to set yourself apart from the rest.
Plus, when you’re focused on take-out, there are some aspects of your dining experience that don’t translate—like your indoor dining atmosphere and décor. You’ve likely invested heavily in your branding, so why does it have to stop at your front door? Custom to-go boxes are a way to extend your marketing through the last mouthwatering bite.
Takeaway Tips for Better Packaging Design
Like most branding, designing custom restaurant to-go boxes requires some thought and consideration. We’ve put together some ideas and posed three critical questions to help you refine the process.
1. What kind of food are you selling?
You probably already know how important it is to get this part right. Nobody wants a soggy box at the end of their commute, and delivery services aren’t going to love you either. For example, if you are selling fried foods, you don’t want a box that soaks up the grease to show on the outside – or one that allows it to pool at the bottom.
To get the most out of your purchase, be sure the custom to-go boxes you choose are suitable for the product. Checking the specifications before you buy will maximize the value of a custom to-go box. If you’re unsure about the packaging, don’t hesitate to ask the manufacturer for specifications.
2. Who are your customers?
You know your demographic better than anyone, so that’s always a good place to start. Who buys your product most? Who do you want to appeal to? It’s vital to know your customer’s preferences before designing your custom to-go boxes.
Some demographic-related considerations might include:
- Larger print for seniors
- Compostable or recyclable materials for the eco-conscious
- Fun design for kids
- Cool, edgy slogans for the college crowd
- Elegant look and feel for an affluent audience
- Retro styling for diners and cupcakeries
Much like your branding in general, your custom to-go box design should speak directly to your audience and reflect the things they care about.
3. How do people buy your product?
There are myriad ways to order take out these days. Thousands of restaurants use third-party apps like UberEats or DoorDash, or maybe you have your own app, take orders by phone, or directly from your website. Alternatively, you might sell your products out of a local gourmet shop or supermarket.
If you use a delivery service or sell under another store’s brand, it’s even more important for your packaging to stand out. Nondescript takeaway boxes and bags tend to get lost in a sea of sameness, resulting in delivery errors and frustrated customers. While it might not be your fault, it will reflect in customer satisfaction (or lack of it), which will almost certainly impact your bottom line.
Custom restaurant to-go boxes are easy to recognize, both for the consumer and the delivery person. The driver will instantly see your packaging, mitigating risk and causing you fewer headaches in the long run, ultimately leading to more predictable sales and fewer delivery mistakes.
4. Making takeaway memorable
A custom to-go box design is a great way to reinforce your branding, but it also provides a little pre-meal dopamine boost. That’s right! Just the act of seeing your design, message, or logo will enhance the pleasure of what your customer is about to receive, making the experience that much more rewarding.
Here are a couple of examples of innovative ideas for takeaway boxes from brands you know.
Chick-fil-A used a custom to-go box to challenge families to implement a no cell phone rule at the table. The twist? The box wasn’t actually for food–it was designed to be a “cell phone coop,” a place where customers dining in the restaurant were challenged to place and keep their phones throughout the meal. The initiative took off, and according to its innovator, franchise owner Brad Williams, customers started wanting to take the boxes to use at home. The trend soon swept the nation, expanding well beyond Williams’ Atlanta store. The box itself is a similar design to our handle-top to-go boxes, with locking handles and strong base.
And speaking of challenges… Taco Bell’s Taco 12-Pack box spurred another internet sensation. Once the Taco 12-pack box made its appearance, young challenge-obsessed snackers couldn’t resist seeing how quickly they could devour the entire box, racking up millions of views on YouTube and undoubtedly initiating some serious Taco 12-pack sales action across the country. Note the recycling messaging on the side–always a nice way to show your affinity with green initiatives!
Creating Custom Restaurant To-Go Boxes that Stand Out
Are you salivating to start designing a delicious experience yet? Custom to-go boxes are an effective way to help your products stand out. It’s an inexpensive way to market your product, put smiles on the faces of your best customers, and make a few new ones in the process. Your items will reach their destination intact and as you intended. Plus, if you design to-go boxes specific to each menu item, it will be easy for your staff and the end-consumer to pack and identify the items they ordered.
Our advanced design tool is easy to use if you like to design on the fly. If you’d rather have full design control, download one of our Stomp templates to make the custom to-go box design process fast, fun, and easy. Simply follow the instructions to upload the final file. Either way, you don’t have to be a creative genius to put together an amazing product.
When you find one you love, just click “design now” to get started. If you’re in the weeds, give our support team a call.
- Marketing Team