This past year has shown us the resilience of restaurants and hospitality businesses across the world. We’ve seen restaurants come up with creative delivery programs, develop new food concepts, build the coolest outdoor dining settings, and yes, invest in their packaging to make the dining experience memorable and fun! So, today we want to highlight one of our favorite and longest-standing packaging partners, Starr Restaurant Organization.
Check out our Q&A with their VP of Creative Services, Randi Sirkin, below!
CPC: The Starr Restaurant Organization has carved out a place in the food service industry as a restaurant group committed not just to great food, but also unique and memorable dining experiences. How have you incorporated this ethos into your packaging?
SRO: Our job is to make sure guests have a 360-degree experience – whether that be in a restaurant or at home, so we’ve taken great care to make sure that any collateral materials used represents the brand at the highest possible level. That means that the takeout bag or the food in the takeout bag (on the off chance you have leftovers!), is just as interesting as the menu or a restaurant’s website design. We want our guests’ smiles to last long after they’ve left a restaurant or finished a meal, and reminders like a great takeout bag, to-go containers or giveaways can accomplish that throughout weeks and months after someone dined with us. We’re fortunate that Commonwealth Packaging has always helped facilitate our packaging experience, which is now more important than ever to make a lasting impression.
CPC: What decisions have you made to your packaging program to incorporate more eco-friendly materials?
SRO: We are in the process of transitioning all takeout packaging to eco friendly options. We’ve moved away from single use plastic bags and every time we need to reorder a packaging item we’ve switched from plastic to paper. And especially recently we’re doing a lot of to-go meals, so it’s on us to do our part and represent the brand well. We want our guests to know, even in subtle ways, that we’re conscious about sustainability and recyclability and doing what we can to protect the earth.
CPC: Out of SRO’s close to 40 restaurants across the US (and Paris), which packaging programs best reflect the restaurant and which do you think is the most memorable?
SRO: Le Coucou in New York City! Their take-out bags and bellybands on their to-go containers are so clever. Dandelion in Philadelphia also has a great to-go bag, and the multi-colored bento boxes for Morimoto are beautiful. Let's throw Jackass in there because the Burrito box is cool and fun and memorable. La Mercerie cake boxes and the glassine bags are also really elegant and coordinated!
CPC: SRO and CPC have been partnering together on packaging for many years; there are so many packaging suppliers to choose from – what has made you continue to work with CPC over all these years?
SRO: There’s a trust and true comfort level with Commonwealth Packaging. Packaging is an investment and you want to know that your partners stand behind their product. It’s a real relationship; CPC brings me ideas which helps me develop a memorable packaging experience. Personally, I love packaging and I spend a lot of time on Pinterest doing the creative designing of packaging, but CPC helps me actualize my vision in a way that’s cost effective and pragmatic. CPC has stood by us through and through and so there hasn’t been any reason to go elsewhere.You don’t always have that type of responsiveness with your vendors and CPC checks all the boxes!
Jackass Burrito Image @jackassburrito