Packaged for success: Drop and go catering

From LBP Manufacturing.

An increasing number of foodservice operators are reaping incremental revenue with “drop and go” catering. This lucrative business model relies on convenient and sustainable single-use food packages that can be recycled or composted after the catered event, thus saving the labor that would otherwise be spent on reclaiming and washing permanent serving wares.

One of the role models for drop and go is Cal Catering at the University of California, Berkeley. This successful catering department uses sturdy and attractive LBP Manufacturing packaging products, custom printed with the Cal Catering logo, to carry food in optimum condition to campus meetings and events.

“I wanted packages that were versatile, recyclable, nice looking and customizable,” says Robert Stayte, General Manager of Cal Dining and Cal Catering. “I got all of those things.”

Particularly useful for Cal Catering is the Catering Square with a windowed lid that showcases the food inside.

“I use it for everything—Danish, muffins, cheese platters, fruit platters, little slider sandwiches,” says Stayte. “It is a great visual display for the client.”

Also used extensively is the Catering Tray, a sturdy, stackable corrugated product that securely holds a wide variety of foods. “I use it for meals to go like half pans of lasagna or Caesar salad,” says Stayte. “The tray helps maintain temperature and is really transportable. It can also hold a box of sandwiches or six dozen cookies.”

For bulk beverages like hot coffee, iced tea and lemonade, Cal Catering chooses LBP’s Beverage on the Move™ container, which insulates for up to three hours. Similarly, it turns to the Soup-N-Serve™ to transport hot soup as well as solid foods like chicken wings and jalapeno corn muffins. All of these LBP products are made with a high percentage of recycled materials, a fact that eco-savvy catering customers at Berkeley appreciate.

The custom printed cream and tan Cal Catering logo on the packaging sends a marketing message to potential future clients. “People attending campus meetings see our logo and web address on the boxes and know that we did the food,” says Stayte.

Another successful player in drop and go catering is Corner Bakery Café. The Dallas-based, 135-unit fast-casual chain builds its signature Sandwich Basket, Breakfast Muffin and Bagel Basket and other catering assortments with custom-printed LBP packaging.

According to Ric Scicchitano, Corner Bakery’s Senior Vice President of Food and Beverage, functionality and performance are important criteria for selecting these products.

“The whole package with LBP works—from creating items that we need to producing them at a competitive cost to distributing them competitively,” says Scicchitano.

Customers who care about the environment are happy about the high recycled material content of the products. “Our guests have told us they like materials that are compostable or recyclable, like a lot of the LBP products we use,” says Scicchitano.

Corner Bakery’s “workhorse,” Scicchitano says, is the Catering Square. “We use it with various sizes of food, from a very small cookie or sweet to a very large sandwich, because it is very flexible,” says Scicchitano.

When the Catering Square is used to display smaller sandwiches, cookies and dessert bars, an optional riser is inserted to give them a higher, more eye-catching profile.

“When you build catering baskets, you are looking for a ‘wow’ presentation, and height has a lot to do with it,” says Scicchitano.

Also widely used at Corner Bakery is the individual Lunch Box, which holds a specialty sandwich, bag of bakery chips, a piece of fresh fruit and a cookie. For delivering soups, the Soup-N-Serve™, which Scicchitano calls “a very functional piece,” gets the call.

The company logo and striped awning design printed on the packages sends an unmistakable brand message to attendees of catered functions who one day may think of booking Corner Bakery for their own events.

“I think people walk into a boardroom and see these packages and say, ‘Great, we have Corner Bakery again,’” says Scicchitano. “It is building our brand.”

For more information about how LBP Manufacturing can boost your catering program, visit www.lbpmfg.com or contact Marketing Manager Sherry Gorsich at 708-329-1505 or sgorsich@lbpmfg.com.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

With overtime pay likely to become a reality for some salaried foodservice employees after Dec. 1, operators are rethinking what they expect managers to do off-site as part of their responsibilities. Answering email or scheduling shifts at home didn’t matter when the employees were exempted from overtime if they earned more than $23,660 per year. But with that threshold more than doubling on Dec. 1 to $47,476, a half hour spent here and there on administrative tasks could push a salaried manager over the 40-hours-per-week threshold and entitle him or her to overtime. And how does the...

Menu Development
frozen raspberries

“As a chef, I pretty much have grown up through the business thinking that fresh was always better—produce, fish and meats, especially,” says Ryan Conklin, executive chef for UNC Rex Healthcare’s culinary and nutrition services. “But the more ‘re-educated’ I get, the more I’m learning that some frozen options may be more appropriate for me to be using on my menus.”

Right now, the perception of frozen foods doesn’t match the reality, especially for high-volume foodservice operators, says Conklin. Often, chefs and operators picture not-great product that’s been sitting in a block of...

Sponsored Content
Roasted Beet Salad Pickled Blueberries
From Blueberry Council.

What’s trending in the culinary world? The basics! According to the NRA, diners today are craving authenticity, simplicity and freshness on menus. But basic ingredients don’t have to lead to boring menu options.

It’s easy to fall into the latest craze to capture consumer attention and drive sales. But we’ve learned it’s not always about novelty. Instilling a feeling of nostalgia and familiarity by using well-known and well-loved ingredients in new, experimental dishes can lead to an increase in adventurous dining decisions, while staying in your customers’...

Managing Your Business
wage feud business

As plans to increase the minimum wage surge ahead in states such as New York and California, operators eventually will feel the reverberations shake up labor costs for more than just hourly workers. As associate wages gain on manager salaries, operators will have to answer a call for reciprocal increases. FSD spoke with operators who advised going gently into the brave new world of heightened labor costs, investing in talent and making cuts elsewhere; however, they did offer three perfectly proactive tactics to make the process as seamless as possible.

1. Keep talking

Even though...

FSD Resources