Startup Idea: Redesign Togo Box


General Idea:

With the rise of food delivery services such as GrubHub, Caviar, Postmates, Seamless ect… there is an increased expectation for the to-go dining experience. If customers are paying a premium for food to be delivered, it is reasonable to think they would expect food to be kept in a better way. The aim of the company would be to create this “to-go” box to preserve food and make it as delicious as if it were eaten at the restaurant. Additionally, the company would stamp the box with both the food provider’s logo and a stamp listing the ingredients in the specific dish.

Goals of Product:

  1. Keep the food warm
  2. Maintain the foods texture (i.e. crunchy)
  3. Design in an elegant simple manner
  4. Be eco-friendly? (Not goal of this product, but a consideration)
  5. Enhance overall dining experience
  6. Be microwavable and freezer safe (Not essential, but a consideration)
  7. Doesn’t leak liquid

Currently Used Items:

Foam ($23.50 a case w/ 150 units per case = $0.15 per box) (EG: Food-court Containers)

Foil: ($66 a case w/ 500 units per case = $0.13 per box) // (EG: Pasta Take out)

Paper ($115 per case w/ 310 units per case = $0.37 per box) // (EG: Biodegradable food truck)

  • Higher thicknesstogo
  • Greater grease / leak resistance (Poly-Coated)
  • Environmentally friendly w/ 90% post use content
  • Some are Microwave Safe
  • Freezer Safe
  • Stackable
  • Made in the USA

Plastic: ($39-$46 per case w/ 150 units per case = $0.26-$0.31 per box)8 // (EG: super markets, salad bar)

  • Typically these are microwavable


  • The Clam shell Design (with optional vents, as seen by foam)
  • Interlocking Lid (with optional vents, as seen by paper)
  • Base and Lid (only used with plastic containers and foil, as seen by foil and plastic)
  • YoutubeWalkthrough of boxes

Tentative Alternative Materials:

  • Bamboo ($300.00 a case w/ 1000 units per case = $.30 per box)1
  • Black Slate ($10-$100 a case w/ 100 units per case = $.10-$1.00 per box)2
  • Wood Box ($15.3-$54.00 a case w/ 300 units per case = $.051-$.18 per box)3
  • Steel ($1,300-$2,400 a case w/ 10,000 units per case = $.13-$.24 per box)4
  • Metal?
  • Bamboo Leaf things that fold?
  • Black Bamboo?

Questions for Restaurateurs: 

 Do your customers ever complain about to-go boxes of your food?

  1. What is their biggest complaint? Or do they compliment aspects? If so which aspects?
  2. Do people ask what the ingredients are inside of your dish?
  3. Would it be convenient or inconvenient if we had these new boxes?
  4. What percent of cost to restaurants are these to go containers?
  5. How profitable is to-go for restaurants? Do restaurants dislike or like offering more to-go food?
  6. How many containers do you buy at once? Also at what price do you buy them at?
  7. Do you store them in your restaurant? How frequently do you receive shipments of boxes?
  8. How did you choose plastic containers or whatever container you use?
  9. Would you be interested in a different kind of to-go container that was unique?
  10. Do Grubhub, Seamless and Postmates pick up food from you often?

General Questions to Answer:

Who do I target with the product? Do I target luxury restaurants and say this will get you more traffic and orders? Or do I target Caviar and say you can cut a cost out from these restaurants and offer this unique to go box?

  1. What percent of a cost to restaurants are these to-go containers?
  2. Does Caviar have trouble getting restaurants to join their delivery service?
  3. Do people really microwave their takeout food or do they just put it on a plate?


Who is going to pay for this product? Currently the restaurants pay for it…Would Caviar pay for it to differentiate themselves from competition as a luxury dining experience?

  1. Production of this better product could also be more complicated — whereas with paper all that is required is folding, synthesized materials will need molding
  2. Enough of value-add to justify the transition?
  3. Is the lack of innovation a sign of no real attempts, or just that people don’t care?
  4. Would there be enough of a demand for this luxury dining experience versus what is currently available?
  5. Is this a patent-able idea or just something that a larger company could start doing and undercut us?
  6. If product isn’t microwave safe and someone microwaves it…What happens? Must put a DO-NOT Microwave stamp on the product to avoid any liability
  7. Who are we specifically targeting initially?


Miscellaneous Ideas

  • During the pitch to someone you have a variety of foods sitting in both your to-go box and you have the same foods in industry standard boxes. You show them at the end of your 30 minute or hour long talk how much better your food has sit.
  • You brand the box as “X” so other companies can start using it and promote that they use your “X” for to go.
    • These companies will be doing the advertising for you on their dime saying that they use your box and eventually the goal is to have consumers who want your product because it keeps the food so well and maybe  “trendy” for an Instagram.
      • People only buy Alfred coffee because of the unique sleeve
    • Once the customer uses it once they will be more hooked to the system because they will have the plate and either want to return it to get more plates, or they will want to return it to get another.
    • You stamp the top of the to-go box in the center with whomever the delivery is from so it is personalized; also have a trendy logo for the company in the bottom right corner.
    • There is a stamp for each dish and you stamp that on the box as well which dictates all the ingredients in what you are eating.
      • Millennials are food conscious and want to know what is in their food
        • BUT: Will restaurants reveal the ingredients?
      • Explore this idea of stamps for the company stamping on the box… Maybe give every restaurant a box of stamps with all their ingredients than they just stamp what is in each dish (maybe include the calories and serving size)
    • Patent all forms of the box in different materials including Bamboo, Paper and Plastic
    • Alter the to-go hot bags that the GrubHub carries use and have it work in sync with the box
    • PAPER lining and packets to absorb moisture to prevent the sandwiches and English muffins from fogging
    • Create a vacuum environment in the box, which eliminates oxygen making it more difficult for steam to ruin the food?

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