Introducing the Farm'r Reusable Container Program for Waste-Less Take-Out

A Farm’r chicken plate in a our reusable take-out container

A Farm’r chicken plate in a our reusable take-out container

Over the last several months we have been working on bringing a reusable take-out container to Farm’r.

Upon realizing so much of the restaurant packaging that is recyclable or biodegradable ends up in a landfill, we began to brainstorm ways to reduce our waste. To our knowledge, nobody in Toronto is running a similar program for take-out. The reason, it’s much easier and cheaper to use disposable containers.

For a reusable to work the challenge is finding a system acceptable to restaurants and is preferred by customers. So, we developed a test strategy and have now begun a trial in our restaurant by the St. Lawrence Market to see how it works. To be honest, we have no idea if people will like it or how much it will be used.

We would love your feedback (email us here). Based on what you have to say we plan to change and adapt the program.

The Idea

Assemble our food in a reusable container that customers opt for by paying a deposit. The next time you return to Farm’r bring back the container, dirty or clean, for a refund.

After many experiments we have now launched the test program. Read on to see how it works, why we chose this format and the challenges of such a program.

Here is our reusable plastic container

Here is our reusable plastic container

How It Works

  1. Pay a $4.00 deposit for our reusable container when you order any plate at Farm’r

  2. Plus, we’ll give you a $0.50 discount for not wasting a disposable container

  3. Return your reusable container (dirty or clean) and get a $4.00 refund

That’s it. It works just like the deposit you pay at The Beer Store. When you bring it back, you get your deposit returned.

If you bring your own container we’ll give you a $0.50 discount on any Farm’r plate.

Common Questions and Answers

  • Question: Why does it cost $4.00 for a deposit?

    • $4.00 is what it cost us to buy the container which is high because the program is new and we are buying in small quantities. In the future if we place a bigger order the price would hopefully come down.

  • Question: What sort of plastic is the container made of?

    • Our standard plastic container is made of Tritan plastic. It is BPA free and safe in the dishwasher or microwave.

  • Question: Do you have a glass container option?

    • Yes, we are working on a glass container as well. The default container option is plastic but please ask our staff for a glass container and we will accommodate if available.

  • Question: What if I bring my own container?

    • That is great too! Please bring it to us clean and we’ll give you a $0.50 discount on your plate.

  • Question: What are some of the challenges for restaurants of providing such a reusable system?

    • Providing food in a clean sanitized container is the biggest challenge. By using our own containers which we wash ourselves we can ensure the reusable container we provide is safe.

  • Question: Why did you choose this particular container?

    • We chose our container because it was shallow (to eat out of easily) and large enough to fit our food. The plastic is durable and dishwasher and microwave safe which is also a plus.

Have a comment or suggestion about our reusable program? Send us an email.

Bring your own container and save $0.50 on any plate

Bring your own container and save $0.50 on any plate

Reusable Container with Food 2.jpg
Greg MartinComment