Leveraging Food Packaging to Drive Brand Engagement in the Era of Off-Premises Dining

As customers increasingly choose to dine outside of traditional restaurant settings, it becomes crucial for operators to find innovative ways to engage their audience. Off-premises dining isn't a new concept. However, recent events like the global pandemic have significantly amplified its popularity. Consumers now favor the comfort and safety of their homes, leading to a surge in takeout, drive-thru and delivery services. According to the National Restaurant Association, 66% of consumers say they are more likely to order takeout food from a restaurant than they were before the pandemic. Similarly, a study from DoorDash found that in 2023, over 80% of US consumers reported ordering restaurant takeout and delivery the same amount or more often now than they did last year

This shift in consumer behavior has foodservice operators rethinking their business models to accommodate and capitalize on the growing trend of off-premises dining. It's clear that off-premises dining is not just a fleeting moment but a lasting change in the way we consume food.

One effective strategy is to leverage food packaging to drive brand engagement. By using sustainable packaging, custom printing, and innovative packaging features such as audible locks, operators can enhance the consumer experience.

Sustainable Packaging

As consumers grow more environmentally conscious, their purchasing decisions increasingly reflect their values. In the context of off-premises dining, this trend translates to a preference for sustainable food packaging. Not only does it reduce the environmental footprint of your business, but it also resonates with your customers' values, building a stronger connection with them.

Choosing eco-friendly materials, such as compostable or recyclable options, is an excellent first step. However, true sustainability goes beyond just the material. It also involves designing packaging that minimizes waste, both in its production and after its use.

Moreover, it can help communicate your sustainability story to your customers, reinforcing your brand's commitment to conscious dining. This drives engagement and positions your brand as a responsible choice in a competitive market.

Custom Printed Packaging

Custom printed packaging has emerged as a powerful tool to enhance brand visibility. It offers a unique opportunity for foodservice operators not just to deliver a meal but also a brand experience that can generate buzz and drive customer loyalty.

It's essential to remember that custom-printed packaging isn't always just putting your logo onto a container. It's about creating a cohesive, attractive design that aligns with your brand identity. This could include using brand colors, incorporating key messages and even adding engaging elements like QR codes.

Innovative Features

In the competitive foodservice industry, standing out requires more than just good food. It requires innovation. For instance, interactive packaging, including audible locking systems or unique features, can serve as a memorable and engaging touchpoint with customers and leave a lasting impression.

Packaging is a crucial aspect of the off-premises dining experience. By embracing packaging innovations, operators can help drive brand engagement, enhance the dining experience, and ultimately, maintain a strong connection with your customers.