Shopping Guide: Black Restaurant Supplies

By: Sabrina Huda Sanchez

 

The color black evokes a feeling of sophistication and luxury. Companies use the color black in logos and packaging to create a perceived high value for their goods such as the renowned Tiffany & Co.’s simple black logo or when Haagen-Dazs introduced their premium gelato line in black containers and lids. Although not all businesses have the brand power of Tiffany & Co. nor Haagen-Dazs, even small foodservice establishments can create the perception of luxury and premium value with the use of black restaurant supplies.

The color and style of to-go packaging can send a message to customers about the type and quality of the food served. For instance, white fold-to-go containers or food pails are commonly associated with Chinese fast food. Another example is a deli club sandwich with a side of fries always served in a white Styrofoam container. In both of these examples, customers may be able to quickly identify what kind of food is inside but they may also make assumptions on quality. The reason is because you are unlikely to find a Michelin starred restaurant send their food in white containers like these.

By simply swapping that white Styrofoam container with a black mineral-filled takeout container, you make customers take a second glance and leave them with the impression that they are getting a high-end meal. Below is a list of black restaurant supplies you can begin using to turn your restaurant from good to sophisticated.
• To Go Containers
• Napkins
• Utensils
• Straws

 

Black Cups and Lids

There are over 37,000 coffee shops in the US and many of them serve coffee in the classic white paper hot cup with brown sleeves – mostly famously done by coffeehouse giant Starbucks. For foodservice establishments that do not specialize in coffee such as bakeries or breakfast restaurants, this solution may be perfectly adequate. However, for businesses that deliver a promise of high-quality coffee beans, a simple white cup is not the best way to convey top quality.

Intelligentsia Coffee is a brand whose mission statement focuses on the story and quality of their product. When you visit one of their retail locations and order a cup of coffee to go, you will be given a black paper cup which creates a premium experience. Customers are also more likely to take a picture of nicer packaging to post on social media. You can either purchase black disposable cups or get them custom printed with your logo.

 

Black To Go Containers

Ordering takeout was the primary way consumers dined at restaurants in 2020 due to the pandemic but research indicates that diners will continue this trend. Whether customers are taking leftovers to go or ordering their meal for carryout, the container you package it in makes a difference. For customers that order delivery for the first time, your first impression begins as they unpack their delivery bag. Customers that take out black restaurant supplies are setting a higher expectation for the food than they would have if they took out flimsy white take-out containers. Even a wet burrito from a mom-and-pop taqueria looks luxurious sitting in a black-hinged container.

It is not surprising that fine dining restaurants such as Maestro’s Steakhouse or Spago pack their food in black restaurant containers. During the height of the pandemic when restaurants were closed to dine-in services, Spago went even further and offered brownie batter in a gold and black aluminum container to allow customers to bake themselves a fresh brownie dessert. There are so many packaging choices to fit your business that you can find at a restaurant supply store.


Make simple foods seem expensive in black containers.

 

Black Napkins

The elegance of a dinner party can be brought to your business with a simple swap of black napkins. A saucy Italian dish may appear cheap sitting next to a white napkin covered with red stained blotches. From catering events to cocktail lounges, black napkins are another foodservice supply you can incorporate into your business to create a high-end look and feel.

 

Black Utensils

Most dine-out experiences will involve disposable utensils. Even takeout is just that, an experience. Customers are removing items from the bag – take out containers, portion cups, then napkins and utensils – and seeing black forks or spoons adds an extra level of sophistication to the experience of eating at home. Black plastic utensils are for adult meals whilst the white plastic utensils are reminiscent of school lunches.

There is a great variety of black utensils to boost perceived value on almost any menu. For instance, soups and bisques served with a premium heavy weight black soup spoon separates the cafeteria soups from fine-dining takeout.

 

Black Straws

Straws are a great way to give personality to a beverage. A classic white and red striped straw makes a fun milkshake. A green straw adds a pop of color for a food and beverage photo shoot. And a black straw transforms the drink into an expensive-looking cocktail party beverage. Most popularly, black straws are used in bars, lounges, and catering events but any drink that uses a black straw can also look top-shelf.

If you are sending drinks to go then a clear plastic cup with a black straw makes a clean classic look which highlights both the beverage and the straw. There are also stirrers for coffee or boba straws for bubble tea drinks available in black colors as well.

With a wide selection of black restaurant supplies, you can find a color replacement for most of your take out supplies. Black is a bold but neutral color that goes with every color. However, for businesses with brand colors that don’t normally include black, you can still add your brand colors using cup sleeves or custom printed deli wrappers to line the hinged containers. Check out a restaurant supply store to find all the options you have to elevate your restaurant.