Food packaging Calcutta restaurants get creative with food packaging to avoid delivery errors

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Food doesn’t always travel well, and hard-working delivery people can’t do much if a pizza falls apart on a delivery trip or the whipped cream on your Frappuccino melts. Garnished salads, Mexican fast food, chaats, or anything that requires delicate assembly are vulnerable to delivery issues if they are not packaged properly. Breaded foods, fried seafood, and eggs for breakfast can become chewy and unpalatable in 30 to 40 minutes. Wrapping cheesecakes, dessert domes, ice cream based numbers, or anything slightly delicate requires a bit of innovation and brainstorming.

The rapidly growing food delivery market is pushing F&B brands to embrace functional, cost-effective ways to minimize common mistakes, and some labels even eliminate options that quickly lose their shape or taste.

“We’ve made our menu more delivery friendly and removed some items that don’t travel well. And we always try to pack wet and dry items separately, ”share Prachi Saraogi and Saloni Jhunjhunwala of The Salt House. Other restaurants in town are also making changes to make the delivery experience smoother.

Hot and cold

Temperature is a major factor in deliveries, and unlike coffee and precooked products, some things are more difficult to reheat, such as meatballs or salads. Traditional Burmese ‘thoke’ and cold salads are some of the best-selling products at Burma Burma, and the brand has improvised ways to pack them more efficiently. “All of our salads come packaged with frozen gel packs to ensure freshness, and all components are also packaged separately,” says Ankit Gupta, founder of Burma Burma.

Salad wrapped with a pack of Burma Burma frozen gel

Burma Burma

Blue Tokai Roasters and Marbella’s have come up with ready-to-drink cold brews so customers can have bottles delivered to room temperature and chilled before consuming. Delivery start-up Slay Coffee uses temperature-controlled cups to transport its craft coffees. The Potboiler Coffee House in Hindustan Park has opted for a similar route.

“We wrap all of our coffees with foil before sealing them with lids to ensure the coffees stay as hot as possible. We also use double wall cups to ensure the temperature stays the same during delivery. We also have special bags and cup holders designed to ensure the coffee does not spill. In addition, we recently switched to biodegradable lids, ”says Sonali Lakhotia, owner and founder of Potboiler Coffee House.

Seal the deal

Burma Burma and The Salt House use airtight containers that do not require additional sealing. “We have invested in sustainable and leak-proof packaging. We have observed delivery people mistakenly ordering the wrong way round, which is risky for transporting liquids or gravy dishes, ”reveal Jhunjhunwala and Saraogi. Some restaurants pack the sauces separately, while most restaurants seal their double-sealed plastic containers so that even in the event of a spill, the carrier bags do not get soiled.

Burgers, especially double decks, can fall apart if not wrapped properly. Fat Mamma’s, a Chowringhee-based delivery kitchen, packs their onion rings separately and uses cardboard boxes to package their burgers. The Kasba Ya Burger joint uses long buttery papers to line its burgers, which are then placed in a box. Then the box is wrapped in another paper bag to prevent the burgers from coming apart.

Pizza – the most widely delivered food – is also difficult to transport. Pizza lovers can make peace with lukewarm cheese if the pizza arrives at least in one piece. Thin crust pizzas can be difficult to deliver because they fall apart easily.

Popular cloud kitchen Ovenstory has introduced “semizzas,” which are smaller, easier to pack half pizzas. QD’s Italian delivery kitchen makes 12.5-inch boxes for 12-inch pizzas, so there isn’t much room for the crust to move. Likewise, outlets like La Pino’s Pizza or The Mighty Slice in Hindustan Park deliver large personal slices and use bespoke triangular boxes to keep the base intact.

Take and choose

Separating components based on texture is the easiest way to maintain the integrity of certain foods. Dry items like tortillas, naans, or burritos can develop moisture, so it’s ideal to pack them in foil bags. Whereas noodles or pasta, which are coated in thick sauces, tend to soak up liquid and lose texture and a risotto dries up within hours. The Salt House adds a serving of vegetarian broth or chicken on the side so the risotto can be reheated with the broth.

Diksha Pirogiwal Your DIY Kitchen delivery label offers easy to assemble kits for elaborate recipes like Burmese Khow Suey, Chinese Bhel, Korean Ramyun and each ingredient is separately packaged to maximize shelf life. The Thai green curry kit, for example, includes coconut milk, green curry paste, pre-cut vegetables, rice, and seasonings.

“We organize each kit so that you have everything you need to prepare a meal in about 10 minutes. Everything is pre-chopped and portioned, so you just need to assemble it, mix it up and serve, ”Pirogiwal shares.

sweet place

Most pastry shops opt for practical changes to package fragile desserts. Le Rouge uses an ingenious hack to secure the bases of its cupcakes. “We use cupcake racks and place the base with a chocolate ganache,” Sumedha Singh of The Rouge tells us.

Sweetish House Mafia has a delivery kitchen in Kolkata and uses extra measures to deliver its delicate and chewy cookies. “We use triple packaging, first we wrap our cookies in a paper sleeve, then we put them in a box and finally there is another bag. For long distance deliveries we use cardboard boxes. When delivering by third parties, it is always safer to let the delivery person know that they are carrying something delicate so that they can also be careful, ”says Aditi Jain of Sweetish House Mafia.

Useful tip: A good way to identify foods suitable for travel is to think in terms of reuse. Anything that works as leftover is usually a good option for delivery, whether it’s casseroles or stews.


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