Products that will enhance presentation and packaging as many caterers focus their operations on pickup and delivery
In March, many caterers had to swiftly transition to a pickup and delivery model, as required social distancing due to COVID-19 resulted in a mass cancellation of events. Adapting to a new mode of business requires new products. Catering Magazine asked the following companies to let our readers know about some of their products that can help caterers deliver and present their food to customers staying safely at home.
Knowing that companies are relying more than ever on carry-out and drop-off catering supplies, Dollar Tree offers a selection of durable plastic take-out containers and travel trays in various shapes and sizes. The products, which make packing up food for customers safer, easier and more affordable than ever, are all available for $1:
- 3-count packs of 4-piece Silver Plastic Flatware and Napkin Sets
- 10-count packs of Clear Plastic Condiment Cups with Lids
- Sure Fresh Egg Carriers with Lids (10.375 inches by 3.5 inches)
- Sure Fresh Reusable Plastic Cake Containers with Lids (12 inches by 4.75 inches)
- Sure Fresh Reusable Plastic Cupcake Containers with Lids (10.5 inches by 10.5 inches by 3 inches)
- 2-count packs of Silver Plastic Serving Sets Large Rectangular Crystal-Cut Plastic Trays
- 14-inch Large Round Crystal-Cut Plastic Trays
- 16-inch Round Silver Plastic Serving Trays
- 11.25-inch Large Plastic Bowls
- Nickel-Plated Metal Serving Trays
- 4-count packs of 10.25-inch Silver-Rimmed White Plastic Dinner Plates
- 6-count packs of Silver-Rimmed White Plastic Plates
- 24-count packs of Silver Plastic Mini Cutlery
(Note: not all products listed are pictured)
Created by caterers John and Amy Hatcher, owners of Café Pacific Catering in Auburn, Wash., the Catering Crate is an ideal solution for catering delivery or pickup, as it attractively packages the food while keeping it hot or cold. Amy says the company has seen an uptick in sales since the COVID-19 crisis began and caterers turned their focus to delivery and pickup, but believes many caterers don’t realize that the Crates can be used for smaller meals.
“Utilize different size, smaller inserts to accommodate a complete meal, all placed in one Crate,” she advises. “Since the Catering Crate lid ‘telescopes,’ up to six-inch-high containers can be used or shallow containers stacked.” Café Pacific uses the Crates for what it calls “micro-caterings,” or individual family-size meals, picked up from its kitchen. “The Catering Crates keep our food piping hot or cold in a stable attractive container, so it stays fresh and delicious,” she says. “Like our slogan says, ‘Gift box your food and keep it hot, too!’”
The Catering Crate is available in white or kraft, in a full-pan size and a half-pan size, each with two insulating pads. All Crates feature a wrought-iron design with space to label your cuisine.
“Caterers are known for setting the table and creating experiences where guests can enjoy a thoughtfully prepared meal,” says Hoffmaster Foodservice President Andy Romjue. “While COVID-19 has shifted business operations, it doesn’t change customers’ expectations of a perfectly plated meal. Premium disposable solutions such as cutlery, napkins and durable meal containers are a great complement to catered meals; they enhance the presentation, provide safe and sanitary options, and boost the overall brand presence of takeout and delivery options.”
Hoffmaster’s Linen-Like napkins are a true disposable cloth alternative. Soft and absorbent, one napkin will last the entire meal and can even be considered for events post-COVID for added sanitation and cost savings.
“If cutlery is also needed,” Romjue adds, “CaterWrap Pre-Rolled Napkins and Cutlery adds a touch of class to the plated experience, the peace of mind that utensils have not been handled, and the time-saving convenience your operation needs in times of change.”
CaterWrap is available in various napkin substrates, colors and cutlery choices—and can come completely overwrapped in plastic for additional sanitary handling.
Buccaneer Container Corp.
Looking for a way to deliver iced tea or other drinks? Buccaneer Container Corp. sells empty gallon and half-gallon jugs, as well as smaller beverage containers, to foodservice operators big and small.
“Delivery, pickup, catering and to-go are ramping up big-time,” says Murray Shelton, national sales manager. “Our jugs can be filled right in your facility with your current brand of tea, lemonade or other non-carbonated beverage.” Buccaneer combo-packs the right amount of jugs and lids in one case, and will work with a caterer’s distributor of choice.