Selecting Take Out Containers

If you are in the food business, chances are you need takeout containers – more so now since food delivery is in high demand. It is important to select the correct container for the type of food to avoid issues such as leakage or cross-contamination. With so many options for to go containers, selecting the right one may seem like a daunting task. This cheat sheet will tell you everything you should know when buying these quintessential restaurant supplies.

Container Subcategories

Determining which Container Subcategory you require depends on your menu. The types of questions you will want to consider are:

  • Is the food hot or cold?
  • Will it need to be reheated?
  • Is it a solid or a liquid (i.e., soup or sandwich)?
  • Do you need multiple compartments to separate dish and sides?

As you take into consideration the answers to those questions, here is an overview of the different types of containers:

Deli ContainersNamed for its traditional use in deli shops for ready-to-serve items such as potato salad or trail mix, these versatile containers can accommodate both cold or hot items. The round deli containers are great for soups while the rectangular versions are good for pre-cut fruits.

Salad BowlsSalad bowls are designed to present and serve salads in a practical and visually appealing way. The clarity allows for customers to see inside and the secure lid lets them toss their salad easily.

Injection Molded BowlsThe injection mold process creates a sturdier more robust type of plastic container. These injection molded bowls can handle hot and cold foods, as well as withstand reheating in the microwave. The bowl shape makes it ideal for soups with noodles like pho or ramen.

Injection Molded Food ContainersKnown best as “meal prep” containers, injection molded food containers are durable rectangular or round and can be microwaved or stored in the freezer. Meal prep catering companies can prepare bulk food, freeze it then deliver so customers can reheat and enjoy later.

PP Microwaveable Take-Out BoxesPack main dishes and sides all in one container with the selection of 1-3 compartments. Each microwaveable container comes with a matching OPS lid so you can provide a great takeout experience for your customers.

Hinged ContainersThese have the largest selection of options from material type to number of compartments to color. Hinged containers are staple restaurant supplies because there is one for any type of food. They are also stackable for easy storage.

Paper Food BucketsPerfect for family-sized portions to go, paper food buckets come pre-packed with snug paper lids designed with finger holes for easy removal. These buckets are a must if you sell fried chicken.

Paper Food ContainersPaper food containers are the most versatile of them all. With a coating on the inside, these can accommodate anything from hot soups to ice cold frozen yogurt and everything in between. Whether your customers are dining in or taking food home, paper food containers are the preferred solution for attractiveness, effectiveness, and simplicity.

Fold To Go ContainersSynonymous for takeout food, fold to go containers and food pails are best suited for saucy foods due to its grease-resistant poly lining. The origami design is well-known for Chinese food but anything from pasta to popcorn chicken can be served in these containers.

Aluminum ContainersMaintain the moisture and temperature of your food with aluminum containers. These containers have the option of a flat or a dome lid and the added value of being reusable.

Withineach container subcategory there are additional attributes best suited for different purposes. Among those attributes are material, size, color, number of compartments, and unique features.

Container Materials

The various materials that make containers are recyclable plastic, biodegradable paper or compostable PLA. Plastic containers include polypropylene (PP), Polystyrene (PS), and Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET); the strength and heat tolerance will vary among each type of plastic. Paper containers are still lined with plastic to prevent leakage and they are great for either hot or cold food. PLA containers are not ideal for hot foods, but they are commercially compostable, making it an eco-friendlier option. Another eco-friendly option is bagasse which is good with warm or cold foods. Aluminum is great for keeping foods hot; however customers cannot reheat them.

Deli Containers
Salad Bowls 
Injection Bolded Bowls
Injection Molded Food Containers
Microwaveable Take-Out Boxes
Hinged Containers
Paper Food Buckets
Paper Food Containers
Fold To Go Containers
Aluminum Containers

Container Sizes

Each container subcategory comes in multiple sizes so you can serve small, medium or large portions from your menu. The hinged containers are the only type that provide sizing in length by width measurements such as the 8” x 8” square PET Hinged Container or the 9” x 5” rectangular PET Hinged Container. All others are measured by fluid ounces such as 85 oz or 130 oz Paper Food Buckets.

Container Colors

Some containers are available in other colors including clear, black, white or kraft (brown). For example, the Fold to Go boxes that can be purchased in white or kraft. Paper Food Containers are uniquely available in colorful stock prints as well.

Number of Compartments

For orders that include a main dish and some sides, selecting 2 or 3 compartments may make more sense for your business. Hinged containers and Microwavable Take Out Boxes can be bought with 1, 2 or 3 compartments for better separation of items.

Special Features

Another key factor to cogitate when purchasing to go containers are the qualities and special features your cuisine may need. If you serve food items that customers will need to heat up and eat warm, then you will need microwave safe containers. Menus that offer a variety of food temps should have a versatile container to hold both. For saucy or greasy menu items, a leak resistant coating will keep all the goodness inside. With a growing conscious for the environment, customers will appreciate restaurants that operate with compostable or recyclable containers.

Custom Print

Customize all your foodservice products by printing your logo or design. With great turnaround times and high-quality printing, you can easily advertise your business by showing off your brand. These containers can be custom printed:

  • Deli Containers
  • Paper Food Buckets
  • Paper Food Containers
  • Fold to Go Containers

Ordering Containers

Once you have determined what type of product you need, you can purchase directly on For orders over $1,500 or for custom print requests, feel free to call our sales team at (626) 965-8882. Still not sure what the best product is for you? Call us to learn more.

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