Food packaging innovations are one of the biggest forces driving fast-casual restaurant growth, according to research conducted by Technavio.¹ Take inspiration from the most profitable segment in foodservice and amp-up the packaging on your offerings at school.
With on-trend fast-casual packaging and presentation, students will choose items in your cafeteria rather than getting them elsewhere.
1. Put a sticker on it!
One simple way to bring a little fast-casual style to your offerings is with stickers. Good Times Café, a resource created specifically for K-12 operators like you, has stickers ready to go so that you can just download, print and apply!
- Use stickers to hold paper wrapping around your sandwiches for an instant fast-casual upgrade.
- Put them on smoothie cups to increase appeal.
- Stick them to plastic containers, paper boats and anywhere else you can think of!
- Download free Good Times Café stickers here.
2. Wrap it up
Sandwiches are a staple among fast-casual restaurants and at school cafeterias across the nation. Set your sandwiches, wraps, burgers and hot dogs apart by serving them in fun and functional wrapping. Try parchment paper, checkered paper or patterned paper, and think about switching up your colors and patterns for different seasons and events.
3. Bundle your items
Many fast-casual restaurants offer drink and entrée bundles, or entrées with a side of fruit or vegetables. Group your items in bundles for similar appeal, more items served, and ultimately more revenue. Don’t forget to give the bundle an appealing name! Here are some examples:
Cinnamon Toast Crunch™ pouch cereal + yogurt + apple = Apple Cinnamon Swirl
Hearty yogurt smoothie + choice of warm breakfast item or cereal = You-Pick Pairing
Wrapped sandwich + yogurt smoothie in a to-go cup = Tasty To-Go
4. Get inspired by the bento box trend
Bento boxes, segmented boxes originally used in Japanese cuisine, are gaining widespread popularity as a way to serve all kinds of foods. With little compartments for different items, they’re a great way to combine bundling AND packaging in one convenient box.
For more great ways to bring fast-casual style to your cafeteria, check out Good Times Café, our one-stop-shop for ideas, tips and free downloadable assets.
¹Quick-service Restaurants Market in the U.S. 2017-2021, Technavio, 2017