What is your wish list from Pizza Box Manufacturer?

I have been a printer for over a decade now and recently got into printing custom pizza boxes for many local pizzerias. I find it a very fun and interesting niche to be involved in and like helping out these mom and pop shops. I am also a web developer and have decided to create a website where you can order AND DESIGN your pizza box directly on the site (much like many t shirt sites like customink.com and spreadshirt.com). In researching the pizza box suppliers out there, it seems almost impossible to get a straight answer out of anyone on pricing or I am finding ridiculous pricing that is unnecessary. I have read through this entire forum and found that pizzerias are paying prices all over the place. So in saying all this, I am going to create a site that allows you to create your own boxes with your own graphics and graphics that we also have on the site and with an easy checkout process. So I am asking what are you looking for in a pizza box supplier? Here are some things I would like to know:

  1. What kind of minimum would help you out? (I am seeing minimums of 500 all the way up to 5,000 for custom boxes, and I am willing to go lower.)
  2. What would be a good final price for you on 500 custom 1 color printed boxes on a 16" box (including shipping cost and plate charges). (PM if you are not comfortable sharing this in the post)
  3. Is having a site where you can do everything yourself and create your own box without having to jump through a bunch of hoops and talk to several different people worth it to you?
  4. What kind of turnaround do you expect once you place your order for boxes?
  5. How many boxes do you go through on a monthly basis?

I want to create a simple solution for pizzerias to order their boxes. The ability to have your designs saved and simply place another order with a couple clicks. Let me know any other features that you could benefit from in a site like this. Your help is greatly appreciated!

We use three sizes of boxes: 12" 14" and 16"

In total, somewhere in the neighborhood of 40,000 boxes per year. About 55% are 16". The rest are split pretty evenly between 12" and 14".

It would not be a problem to take about 2,000 boxes per delivery but it would be challenging to take much more than that.

I would be willing to order in multiples of 5,000 or even 10,000 per size if I could take delivery in smaller quantities.

After that it comes down to price.

If you (the OP) are thinking you can ship them direct to the store, you’ll be hard pressed to get any local shop (single, not counting multi-location operators) to take much more than 2,000 total a week. That means you’d either be printing for everyone every week, or you’ll be sitting on them. You’re up against a lot of competition, from some major players (the paper companies like Smurfit who manufacture and print, and the big houses like Bunzl who sell to the wholesalers.)
They do such large quantities that I’m afraid you’ll be hard pressed to compete with them on price. I hope I’m wrong, but please be careful, for the sake of your business.

One of the reason the large box manufacturers use the food service brokers is their warehouse and distribution system…Room to store stuff and trucks already going to the locations keeps the delivery costs down…

My wish list would be:

  1. Samples. If they don’t fold right I don’t want them. We fly through 1500 a week so they have to be easy to fold and open and close.
  2. Weekly delivery. Luckily in my case I have storage for 500 bundles. I would think most pizzerias would want weekly delivery through one of their vendors
  3. Uploading artwork option.
  4. Free plates with a contract.