With the ever increasing demand for takeout and delivery, and the need for sustainability and conservation, packaging will become a growing issue.
First came the move to avoid single-use plastic bags, already banned in large chains in California, and expected to disappear entirely over the next decade. Then, more recently, there has been a scramble to find a replacement for single-use plastic straws which are harmful to the environment, especially the oceans. This has not proven to be easy given that the simple plastic straw, that has been around since the 1960s, is waterproof, flexible, durable and cost effective. But this trend is likely to continue with environmental groups pushing for reusable or eco-friendly products, and packaging manufacturers trying to innovate at a cost that restaurants will be able to afford. Perhaps some restaurants will offer sustainable packaging at a premium and test if customers are willing to pay. Regardless, the role of food and drink packaging is likely to increase in importance for the restaurant industry.