Do you waste $$$s on takeout containers?

My wife has been out of town for a bit…So a neighbour who knew I was home alone brought over some left over Chinese Food…What I noticed right away was how over packaged the leftovers were…6 x 1/3 full foil containers…Surely styrofoam containers would have been a more appropriate size and cheaper…So I have wondering how carefully TT folks watch the packaging on left overs…

I get a laugh at some of the restuarants around here that if you ask for a togo container for left overs you get these really expensive 2 piece plastic molded bowls. Sometimes they give extra napkins and plastic silverware. I think managers needs to explain to servers that this all adds up. Yes, sometimes a customer needs the extras. Someone traveling thru and staying at the hotel might like the table setting for their left overs. But spending the extra $1 or so per table that asks for the togo containers…that adds up. It’s usually worse with take out orders from the start. The bag has your food and handfuls of things that most people heading home to eat do not need and usually throw away. It’s a big waste of supplies and a large expense for any company. Chinese is always the big one here… all those little packets add up over time. I always hated the sweet and sour sauce that came in the packets for the eggrolls and would ask for the real stuff. Most places just gave you a little container of it…but some like to charge you a minimal fee for the stuff… when they do… I have to be a little bit of a smarta$$ and hand them all the little packets back and say…any credit for these? :mrgreen:

We use the black foam “clam” both in the sandwich size, and the std. 9X9 or whatever. Our sandwich and our entree size salad carry-outs use the larger. (sandwiched come with fries thus the need for the larger ) We also have a 24oz round black microwave safe container we ship our pastas out in. Pretty basic stuff but still at the end of the month the paper costs can add up.

Yeah, we use the 9x9’s too. That’s actually a pretty major paper cost here being mostly dine-in, so we watch it pretty closely.

We do a lot of take out. I don’t deliver but I still use over 2,000 boxes a week. I just found a company that will custom print all my own art work on the same quality box for 2 cents less per box. I jumped on that! The only catch is I have to order at least 100 cases of each size. Good thing I have storage sheds next to my pizza shop.

My point is that there is always a great deal out there that can save a smart owner a few hundred bucks a month.

As far as giving out condiments and napkins goes…my staff is well trained to ask if the customer needs any before they just give it out. We have around 1600 to 1800 orders a week and we still only go through about 2500 napkins a week. I figure we save $40 a week just by asking.

With those kind of order counts and a decetnt per order average you must be pushing 40K per week? :roll:

Hmmm…I bet you 50% of the TT board wishes they were doing the numbers PotM is pulling and 95% of the “guests” on this board do too.

As I recall reading in one of the trade magazines, you’re pretty close. What kind of numbers are you doing?

Our business is high volume but not that high. We have a drive thru and do alot of slice orders so out ticket average is only $11. We use around 700 10" boxes for small orders each week. I am adding chicken wings in 5 different sauce flavors starting August 31st so I hope to hit the million mark in sales next year. :smiley:

we used to just use a small pizza box like my father who started this place used to do for decades,now we use the cheapest styrofoam 9x9 containers that cost less then half of a box.wish we would have done this decades agowe would have saved a lot of money.

I wonder if portion sizes are just too large if that many people are getting carry out containers. It is not eat some now and later. :smiley:

I kind of blew off this thread, because I don’t have much dine in. Then I was about to box up some wings this morning and something made me think of this thread. I realized that all but one of my appetizers that I’ve been putting in a 10" box (for the last two years) could be put in those cheaper containers instead. As I’m typing this, I’m wondering if my calzones should be done this way too.

That’s a good point, Indie. We’ve got flat breads that are too big for our 6" box and too small for our 10" box. We have the Styrofoam containers for salads; never thought of putting pizza type stuff in them. You just get stuck in a rut sometimes and forget to think outside of the box. :slight_smile:

We have 9x9 clamshells. I have pounded it in to our staff’s head that no leftovers should go in a pizza box unless they absolutely will not fit in one or two 9x9’s…

Pizza boxes are 20-25x more expensive than styrofoam.

sometimes people order more just so they have leftovers.

putting calzones in styrofoam might not be a good idea since it may melt the clamshell.

My package supplier has just started selling a recycled cardboard version of the clamshell container for the same price as the styrofoam.

Who makes those Daddio? I hate sending out the styrofoam containers because of the environmental effects, but I’m starting a recycling program that can far outweigh the effects of using the 9x9 containers and give me a little peace of mind.