Save Your Event from Disaster, Choose the Right Food Service Disposables

Food Service Disposables - Paper Plate

Imagine this – you’ve got your food in one hand, drink in another, chatting with a client, when all of a sudden your plate bends in half, sending your food to the ground. There’s nothing to do but watch as it hits the grass and the very important client’s shoes.

Picking out the right food service disposables to equip an event is important. No matter what the event, or who is attending, one common goal is to make a good impression on the guest. With all of the options available, it can be confusing. Use the guidelines below to make sense of all the terminology and pick out the right disposables.

Food Service Disposables Defined

Before you pick out your food service disposables, it is essential to know what types of food and drink will be served at the event. Will there be hard-to-cut steak or flaky fish? Hot or cold drinks? Understand what you’ll be serving first to help decide what disposables are best for your event.


There are three main types of material used when it comes to food service disposables.

 PS Foam Container Polystyrene (PS) is a durable material that can be made into foam or rigid products. PS foams provide good insulation and make good take-out containers. They also keep beverages at their proper serving temperature on the inside, and keep hands comfortable on the outside. Foams are great for hot or cold for their superior insulation.
 PP Knife Polypropylene (PP) is a more flexible material than PS that will break easier, but it provides a cost advantage. PP also offers great crack resistance and maintains excellent clarity.
 PET Cup Polyethylene (PET) is a lightweight and inexpensive plastic. It is a recyclable material that is often used to make disposable cups. Like PP, PET also has superb clarity and crack resistance for a high-end look and feel.


Material Properties

Although it is important to choose the right material for the food service application, there are also other qualities to consider that go beyond function. Depending on your budget and the scale of the event, you may want to purchase disposables that provide extra durability and enhance your image.

Laminated Bowl Laminated disposables provide more strength and gloss than non-laminated. Laminated plates are strong enough to hold a full portion without bending. The extra benefit of insulating qualities makes it great for hot and cold applications.
 Single-Sided Poly Cup Single-sided poly disposables have been coated on the interior with PET film to make a moisture-resistant interior. Cups are ideal for hot beverages and containers work great for frozen to hot foods.
 Double-Sided Poly Cup Double-sided poly disposables have been coated on both the interior and exterior with a PET film for a glossy finish. The outer film protects the outside of the disposable from breaking down due to sweat. Double-sided cups are ideal for cold beverages.
 Wax Treated Cup Wax treated disposables are similar to double-sided poly disposables. They are coated on both sides to create a moisture barrier.
 Heavy Weight Bowl Weight of a disposable can range from light all the way to extra heavy weight. The lighter the weight, the easier it is to bend. Choose extra heavy weight cutlery for tough-to-cut foods. Heavy weight bowls and plates are more soak-through resistant and are a great for choice for dense, saucy foods.

Decision Time

Now that you understand what these common food service disposable terms mean for you and your food, you can be confident in your choice of disposables for your next event. Ready to make a decision now? You can find what you need here:

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Courtney Petesch

Courtney Petesch is the Marketing Specialist for HP Products, a distributor of 50,000 facility maintenance products throughout the Midwest. Courtney has over 5 years of experience managing e-commerce product content and merchandising, overseeing social media initiatives, executing email marketing campaigns and evaluating analytics.