The Best Restaurant To-Go Packaging of 2023
February 1, 2023
Nine businesses extending their brands right to their customers’ doors.
Ever since delivery and takeout became critical lifelines during the pandemic, restaurants of all types have understood the importance of delivering takeout customers the best version of every dish, even off-premises. But great to-go packaging isn’t just about making sure the food arrives in good shape. For aesthetic-forward restaurants, packaging is also a chance to present their brand in a way that is distinctive, artful, or just plain smart.
BentoBox, in collaboration with restaurant design platform MustHaveMenus, has rounded up the nine best examples of restaurants who are using takeout packing to bring their brands right to their customers' doors.
Pretty much every city has at least one Phish-themed restaurant: an eatery that uses the famous Vermont jam band’s canon of iconography and song titles to announce that their roaming circus-community has a space to call their own. This restaurant’s unique pizza boxes are not only covered in Phish drummer Jon Fishman’s signature motif, but include cutouts that let customers snap photos pretending to be him — which enters customers to win free pizza if they tag the restaurant on social media.
What’s a quick, cost-effective way to brand your delivery boxes memorably? Take a page from this bakery, which places their evocative, distinctive logo in the middle of a stylish circular wordmark, all stamped onto an elegant white box. The delivery design is trendy, thoroughly on-brand, and easy for busy staff to execute.
Su Taco Kitchen
Delivery packaging is a great space to direct customers to digital properties, as this label made by MustHaveMenus demonstrates. Not only does it connect the customer to a website where they can order more takeout (ideally commission-free) but it shows that the brand wants them to engage beyond just this one interaction.
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Los Tres Amigos
This restaurant turns a simple plastic container into a fun, branded product in two easy steps: 1) Add brand decal and 2) Add margarita. It really is that easy! The restaurant’s brand is already a fun Tex-Mex concept, and the decal reinforces this spirit with bold lettering that announces the delicious experience awaiting the customer.
New York City Pizza
Never underestimate the power of a beautifully-designed box. Unlike the novelty of the interactive pizza box previously mentioned, this restaurant opted for a simpler concept done well: to cover their box with elegant line drawings that collage into a mosaic of an abundant, delectable pizza experience. Note specifically that the art doesn’t lean into the New York aspect of the brand — the explicit restaurant name does that job — but rather the more refined side of the cheesy, bready pleasures contained inside the box.
For this pizza restaurant, visual branding is an essential part of not only their concept, but the way they connect to a larger community of local food sellers. What better way to show off their creativity than by setting their name in bold, comic book-pizza writing on the side of their delivery van? It’s a to-go branding idea as memorable and distinctive as it is promotional.
Hillcrest Retirement Community
La Verne, CA
In the wide world of to-go packaging, not every food provider is a restaurant and not every message needs to be promotional. In the case of this retirement community, the goal of the packaging is to convey a sense of safety; in other words, to show the customer that the contents of the package have the stamp of approval of the brand. The “Packaged By” line is a great touch wrapping up a brand interaction that communicates safety, care, and close attention.
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NYC, Florida, Panama
Don’t want to invest in plastic packaging with your logo on it? Brand the wax paper that sits inside. With hot food, the containers are often the standard clear-plastic tops that are better off providing a window to the delicacies inside than putting the logo in front of the customer. Wax paper, then, is a cost-effective and subtle way to make sure the customer’s moment of delight is associated with your logo.
P Goy’s Thai and Sushi
Warner Robins, GA
Square stickers make it easy to affix your logo to any piece of takeout packaging. That way, you can turn cups, containers, and bags into extensions of your brand without having to pay for customized, branded packaging. This restaurant’s sticker demonstrates how well a square-cut label can fit a circular logo, displaying the name big and bold so it can be seen at a distance. Attaching the product name, boba tea, to the sticker can also help keep orders organized in the back-of-house.
If you're looking for similar logo-based sticker designs, services like MustHaveMenus have hundreds of customizable templates.
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