Three Benefits of Hinge Containers

When searching for the right to-go food containers for your restaurant, there are a number of factors to consider. From materials and style to cost and everything in between, it can be tough to find that just right solution. Here at Sunshine Supply, we’ve found that one of the most popular containers in our inventory is the hinge container—a versatile takeout food packaging solution that meets the needs of a wide variety of restaurants and meal types.

While there is truly no one-size-fits-all container, keep reading to discover why hinge containers are often the preferred choice for restaurants and customers alike. 

Convenient Attached Lid

The most obvious benefit of hinge containers lies in their all-in-one nature: the clamshell design keeps the container lid conveniently attached at all times. For restaurants, this results in a more efficient and simple food packaging process. Employees can spend less time assembling containers or finding the right lids to fit them and more time filling them with customers’ food. For customers, the attached lid is also an easy way to ensure container contents stay in place with a lid that will never get lost. 

Ease of Ordering

Another benefit that hinge containers provide restaurants is ease of ordering supplies. When searching for wholesale food container supply, restaurants tend to lean toward hinge containers because the containers and lids are one product—meaning they can be sold and delivered together. This creates one less logistical concern for a restaurant’s purchasing manager or owner, who likely have a ton on their plate already.  

When ordering hinge containers through Sunshine Supply, we also encourage restaurants to visit our Restaurant Hub, where additional promotions and discounts, as well as local distributor information, can be found.  

Made with 30% Less Plastic

By design, all hinge containers provide maximum convenience for both restaurants and customers. In addition to this benefit, our supply of hinge containers is also made with 30% less plastic than the average takeout container, without sacrificing strength or size. As more customers seek sustainable solutions from the businesses they support, this innovation is likely to appeal to a growing number of eco-conscious consumers. 

Still Deciding on the Container for You?

We’re happy to help you determine the right container for your restaurant’s unique menu and needs. Reach out to our team to start chatting or browse our products to generate a free quote today! 

Bright Ideas: Our 4-Corner Locking System

Searching for the perfect to-go food container to meet your restaurant or other food business needs is a constant challenge. Restaurant owners and product suppliers have long searched for that just-right combination that keeps food hot, preserves flavor and appearance, does not spill or leak and does not cost a fortune. Too often containers are flimsy, poorly designed or simply do not work for the food they are holding. It is no small task to overcome a negative review or poor customer experience because of a failed food container.  

Sunshine Supply Company has been an innovative presence in the container industry for over 20 years. Sunshine is committed to innovation in order to create products that patrons love and are easy for restaurant workers to use. The company has been working to drive the industry forward since our start in 1997, beginning as a small local janitorial supply company for restaurants. Today, we are a large-scale manufacturer, and our company only continues to grow and gain recognition for our recognizable, patented designs. 

Patented 4-Corner Locking System

Innovations and improvements to food container designs only come around every so often. Sunshine Supply has proudly contributed to the industry by creating a patented 4-corner locking system, which keeps food containers closed and its contents secure. This innovative design seals in freshness, prevents spilling and keeps food hot. Whether it is keeping leftovers fresh or presenting beautifully crafted meals on the go, restaurants can count on the 4-corner locking system to keep food looking great and full of flavor.  

Our patented 4-corner locking system: 

  • Is designed with both the consumer and restaurant needs in mind.  
  • Has a separate point of locking on each corner of the container, keeping the lid on securely.  
  • Is simple and convenient to use, while easy to remove.  
  • Keeps food hot, intact and prevents spills or leaks.  
  • Keeps food fresh, preserving taste and appearance. 
  • Is available in a variety of products, including single and multiple compartment containers and large capacity containers.  

Keeping food from leaking out of to-go containers is one of the biggest challenges the industry faces. So, Sunshine continues to innovate and push the envelope to develop products that are reliable, convenient to use and meet the individual unique needs of the remarkably diverse restaurant and food service landscape.  

Sunshine Supply Company uses high-quality Polypropylene (PP) in most containers and lids, and all plastic materials are BPA-free. PP has less of a likelihood to leak chemicals into food and is lightweight, sturdy, resistant to high heat and microwave safe.  

Over the last 18 months, the restaurant industry had to work hard to persevere. This has caused a major shift in the restaurant industry to focus more on delivery and pick-up orders rather than customers dining in. The focus on effective, high-quality, and affordable to-go food containers became more intense than ever before. Sunshine Supply Company has been at the forefront, providing restaurants and distributors with reliable products and impeccable service.  

Still Need a Reliable Container for Your Food Business?  

The need for reliable food containers that work and keep customers happy is an ongoing task, and Sunshine Supply Company is committed to serving the many needs of the restaurant industry. Dedication to creating innovative products, reasonable pricing, quick processes and reliable products are Sunshine Supply Company’s Four Pillars of Trust, which continuously drive us forward. From our patented 4-corner lock system and variety of container types to restaurant and janitorial supplies; Sunshine Supply’s team is ready to support your business in any way we can.  

Sunshine Supply Company offers a variety of ways to order products. Visit us online to learn more, see our specials and check out our “Restaurant Hub” to get a quote and locate a distributor near you!  

To-Go Food Best Practices: What Customers Expect

The COVID-19 pandemic turned the restaurant industry on its head, bringing with it new protocols from the government, new expectations from customers and many, many new challenges for owners. Perhaps the greatest shift came in where food is actually enjoyed; Between March and April of 2020, takeout went from accounting for 18% of the average restaurant’s sales to over 70%, and delivery sales jumped from 2% to 10%.  

While dine-in is slowly but surely making its return, it’s safe to say the convenience and safety of takeout and delivery are appealing enough to ensure they aren’t going anywhere. Restaurants are now tasked with meeting the increased demand for top-quality takeout and delivery experiences, while also catering to the returning crowd of dine-in customers. A tall order, but one that can be met when to-go food best practices are followed. Keep reading to learn what customers today expect from an easy, sanitary and delicious to-go dining experience, and how restaurants can rise to the occasion. 

Order Accuracy 

There’s nothing like the excitement of takeout food arriving—only to be followed by the disappointment of an incorrect order or missing utensils. These practices can help you avoid a meal-ruining mishap: 

  • Check for special requests. No onions? Extra sauce? These small details go a long way in providing the best meal experience for customers—and in the case of food allergies, are absolutely crucial to address. 
  • Establish a delivery team. If takeout and delivery account for a sizable percentage of your restaurant’s sales, consider forming a team specifically responsible for managing takeout and delivery orders. These employees can ensure accuracy and efficiency for a smoother process from the time an order is placed to when it leaves your doors. 
  • Provide all necessities. Unless requested otherwise, customers expect all the needed utensils and condiments to come with their meal, just as they would for dine-in. Don’t forget plenty of napkins, either! 

Quality Packaging 

We like to say that when it comes to takeout, the food is only as good as the container it comes in. The right container can make the difference between a messy, cold or stale presentation and a truly memorable one. Review the necessities of quality food packaging to ensure yours is up to the task:  

  • Insulate hot foods. There’s nothing more frustrating as a customer than when hot food is delivered cold. Luckily, the right container can keep food hot for longer than traditional packaging. Look for containers made with polypropylene (PP) plastic known for its durability and insulating properties.  
  • Keep liquids from leaking. Soups, dressings and condiments always pose a leaking threat, but even pastas and sides can spill through the cracks of a flimsy container and lid. This makes leak-proof containers a must for most restaurants’ takeout and delivery needs. 
  • Choose ventilated containers. Without proper ventilation, fresh salads can quickly wilt and sandwiches can go from scrumptious to soggy. Look for containers with micro-ventilated lids or side ventilation to keep your food’s integrity intact. 
  • Keep dressings separate. Because every person has their own preferences, dressings and sauces are usually best left to the customer to add onto their meal. Have a stock of small containers specific for keeping dressings and sauces separate from main dishes when packaged. 

Safety Precautions 

Even in a pre-COVID-19 world, sanitation in restaurants was a top priority. Now, the protocols have only heightened, making it imperative for your team to follow every guideline to put your customers at ease: 

  • Seal your bags. With COVID-19, it has become a widespread practice for restaurants to seal their takeout and delivery bags for further sanitary precaution. This can be as elaborate as a branded tamper-proof seal, or as simple as a few staples. 
  • Provide wipes. Consider having sanitary wipes on hand for wiping pens after customers sign their receipts for pickup orders, or for delivery drivers to keep in their cars for frequent pre- and post-delivery wipe downs.  
  • Enforce hand washing. Now more than ever, frequent hand washing is a necessity for anyone in a restaurant environment. Ensure employees wash their hands before and after preparing food, after handling cash or credit cards or after any interactions with customers. Have hand sanitizer ready for delivery drivers and customers retrieving takeout.  
  • Supply PPE when needed. Follow local and federal guidelines, especially the often-changing guidelines for wearing a mask, and ensure your employees and customers do as well. Supply gloves for when employees are handling food directly.  
  • Keep sick or exposed employees at home. Minimize the risk of infectious spread by ensuring no sick employees come into work. Be transparent with your team about the expectations surrounding sick days, and have a policy in place for employees who have potentially been exposed to illness. 
  • Consider contactless or curbside. Contactless payments and deliveries and curbside pickups have gained immense popularity, helping restaurants avoid a backlog of orders and the spread of illness. As we near the end of year two of the pandemic, it may be worth making these tactics a permanent practice. 

Easy Pickup 

Whether it’s a driver picking up an order through a third-party app, a member of your team tasked with deliveries or a customer coming to pick up for themselves, no one wants to wait around on an order. Make the hand-off process more seamless with these tips: 

  • Create a designated pickup area. Again, if you see delivery and takeout permanently becoming a substantial part of your business, a designated pickup area within your restaurant will help ensure an efficient process from start to finish. Consider creating a ‘pickup and delivery only’ section or shelf to which you can direct customers and delivery drivers. 
  • Label orders by name. Especially if you allow customers to grab their to-go orders themselves, labeling orders with customer names is a necessary practice. This takes the guess work out of finding the right order, preventing potential mix-ups and refunds. 
  • Alphabetize your orders. Once labeled with a customer name, each order should be placed in the designated area in alphabetical order, making it easier for delivery drivers and customers to find the order they need. 
  • Stagger delivery and pickup times. Avoid an overflow of customers or delivery drivers waiting on orders by staggering delivery and pickup times. That way, your team can meet expectations by focusing on getting the food right without the overwhelming pressure of dozens of waiting customers. 

Missing Some Essentials? 

If your restaurant is in need of highquality to-go containers, sanitary products, to-go bags or more, simply reach out to Sunshine! We’re happy to collaborate on the right containers, tableware and supplies for your business. 

Which Containers Are Right for Your Restaurant?

To-go food containers have always been a necessity in the restaurant industry, and in recent months, more focus has been put on food containers due to the rise of delivery and take-out food consumed during COVID-19. Food containers need to do more than simply contain food or make it able to be moved from place to place. The vessel food is served in makes a first impression on customers, in addition to protecting the food, keeping it from spilling and ensuring that despite travel, it will look and taste to your restaurant’s standards.

There are a variety of options on the market, all claiming to be the next best thing, and it can be an overwhelming task to find products that truly work. Finding versatile, multipurpose containers to best serve the many needs of food service businesses is a big task, but Sunshine Supply Company has committed over 20 years to supply the industry with highly diverse and multifunctional product options.

Innovation drives progress, and Sunshine Supply Company embraces innovation to develop and provide top-quality containers that are convenient, easy to use and that restaurant patrons and employees alike love. We have developed several diverse types of quality plastic packaging for use in food service. Most products are made from BPA-free Polypropylene (PP) which helps preserve the freshness and taste of packaged foods by delaying evaporation and dehydration. PP is resistant to fats, liquids, acids and organic solvents. It is lightweight, tough, and has a high heat tolerance, making it far less likely to leak chemicals than other plastics.

But aside from the innovative materials our containers are made from, we also offer a variety of styles and sizes to suit any restaurant’s to-go food container needs.

Sunshine Supply Food Service Containers

Sunshine Supply Company makes a variety of microwave safe, reliable and easy-to-use food containers. Our patented 2-and 4-corner lock technology keeps lids fastened securely, preventing leaks while still able to be removed easily:

  • Hinge ContainersHinge containers are incredibly versatile. The clam-shell type design with an attached lid makes them convenient for restaurant staff and customers alike. Designed with our 2-corner locking system, lids do not get lost, and these hinge containers can be used for a variety of food types. Sunshine offers three different series of hinge containers, all of which use 30% less plastic than the average container and are microwave-safe. Our hinge containers come in square and rectangular shapes with one, two and three compartment choices in a range of sizes.
  • Anti-Fog ContainersAnti-fog containers consist of a sturdy plastic food container with a clear, anti-fog lid. Containers are microwave-safe, with ventilated micro-holes to keep lids from fogging to preserve culinary presentation. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including large serving size options, with dome and flat lid choices.
  • Japanese Containers – Sunshine has developed several options for Japanese containers. These include a variety of sushi trays, Bento boxes, lids, platters and plates. Choose from a selection of colorful and solid color choices to match your restaurant’s aesthetic.
  • Bowls, Plates and Plasticware – Our round trays, bowls and plates are ready to use for a variety of occasions. Bowls are perfect for soups, dressings and condiments. Browse our selection of sizes and options online.
  • Film-Sealed ContainersFilm-sealed containers are ready to use and include snack trays, multiple-compartment containers and sandwich wedges (film and sealing technology is not provided). These containers are designed for to-go meals like hot dogs and sandwiches.

Each of Sunshine Supply’s innovative container designs can serve a different purpose depending on the type of business. From food carts to high-end dining our containers are made with both restaurateur and customer in mind. No one wants cold or spilled food, containers must preserve food’s visual appeal, structural integrity and maintain a high quality of taste. With both convenience and purpose in mind, our products are designed to keep food tasting and looking good.

Need Help Finding the Right Food Containers for Your Menu?

A lot of effort goes into food service: planning the menu, obtaining quality ingredients and hiring qualified, talented staff to make your food vision a tasty reality. The last thing any chef, restaurant or food entrepreneur wants is for all that effort to go to waste when a food container fails. Sunshine Supply understands the importance of quality, multipurpose food containers, as well as the unique needs of every restaurant.

Our promise is to provide innovative products, reasonable pricing, a quick process, and reliable products. We work with you to help find the perfect containers for your specific menu and food type. Reach out to our team here, use our “get a quote tool” or visit the new “Restaurant Hub” to find local Sunshine Supply Company distributors near you and view available inventory.