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Recommended Food Containers and Portion Sizes
Recommended Food Containers and Portion Sizes
Chyrlie Brown avatar
Written by Chyrlie Brown
Updated over a week ago

Choosing the right containers for your food is an essential part of providing a great customer experience.

What type of containers should I use?

We recommend using Plastic Containers with tight lids for most dishes on the Shef platform. Deli Containers in particular are best for any dishes that have a high liquid content.

Please ensure that all of your food containers:

  • Are waterproof, durable, and feature an air-tight lid to preserve food safety and quality.

  • Keep your food safe and secure during travel.

  • Fit inside Shef delivery bags (9 x 9 x 9 inches), with room for frozen water bottles to keep food cold.

  • Match the portion sizes listed on your menu.

What size of containers should I use?

One of the most common complaints we receive from customers is that they don't feel like the amount of food that they received is a good value for the price. The easiest way to meet your customers' portion size expectations is by using big enough containers and filling them 95% full.

Filling containers 95% full helps ensure that the food does not spill out of the container once you put the lid on.

Minimum serving sizes

For most dishes, these are the minimum serving sizes:

As these are only the minimum serving sizes, you may opt to offer your customers larger portions. For dishes that do not fall into the above categories, a good rule of thumb is that 1 serving of a main dish should be enough that 90% of customers would feel full, which means that many people would have a little extra food leftover. Here is a list for some additional approved container options.

Other tips for portion sizes:

  1. Use at least 6 oz. of protein in the dish

  2. Fill the containers 95% full

  3. Clearly state in the dish description whether or not the item comes with rice, bread, or another starch

  4. Be generous! Giving generous portion sizes is an easy way to boost your rating.

  5. Reach out to our support team if you're not sure which container size to use for a specific dish and we'll be happy to offer some advice.

Where can I purchase containers?

All containers should be purchased from a reputable restaurant supply store to ensure that they are of sufficiently high quality. We recommend shopping at either Restaurant Depot or Webstaurant Store.

How can I prevent food from spilling?

  • Use deli containers!

  • Fill each container 95% to the top, and seal it tightly and securely! Please be careful not to over-fill your containers, because this can result in food spilling during delivery.

  • Remember that Shef delivery bags have a soft bottom, so containers can sometimes tip over during delivery.

When should I purchase containers?

Please ensure you have purchased your supplies before your first delivery day. We have instructions for how to check your orders, how to print your order labels, and how to package your orders in the New Shef Onboarding Guide to help you prepare.

Other Containers

For sides of sauces

2 ounces (1/4 cup)

For naan, bread, or other dry foods

Plastic food bags (please ensure bags have a sliding seal)

For beverages

We recommend providing at least 12 oz. of any beverage

Plastic beverage bottles (please ensure bottles have a tamper-proof lid)

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