Should Cafés Brand Custom Takeaway Cup Trays?

Should Cafés Brand Custom Takeaway Cup Trays?

In the fast-paced world of coffee, cafes constantly seek ways to stand out. This article explores the potential of custom takeaway cup trays or cup carrier. We'll delve into how they can enhance your business, from branding and customer experience to design considerations and implementation factors. By carefully examining these aspects, you can make an informed decision about whether custom takeaway cup trays are the perfect addition to your cafe's takeaway strategy.

How Have Cup Tray Designs Been Changed? 

For cafes seeking to elevate their takeaway service, custom cup trays offer a range of design possibilities. Here, we explore three common approaches, each catering to specific needs:

The Base Handle Shape

This functional design prioritizes security and portability. Crafted from layered recycled paper, it features a base with molded cup holders and side panels that fold upwards. These panels create a secure enclosure and a convenient carrying handle at the base.

Handle shape design offers different advantages, including:

  • Secure carrying for multiple beverages (typically two)
  • Compact design for easy storage and transportation
  • Eco-friendly materials align with sustainability initiatives

However, when choosing this design , there are still some considerations as below:

  • Limited capacity may not suit all customer needs
  • Design simplicity may offer less visual appeal
The Base Handle Shape

    The Box Shape

    Favoring both functionality and branding potential, the box tray utilizes a sturdy cardboard construction. Its base features molded compartments, reminiscent of an egg carton, designed to securely hold multiple cups (typically two to four). Depending on the specific design, the box might have a lid for added security or remain open for easier access.

    The box shape have several advantages. This design secure carrying for multiple beverages, and bring branding opportunities with printable surfaces on the box sides.

    But when choosing this design, you should consider the bulkier design compared to other options; some designs might require additional assembly (e.g., folding the box).

    Box Shape

    The Card Cup Holder

    This lightweight option prioritizes affordability and environmental friendliness. Often crafted from thick cardstock or recycled paper, it resembles a flattened holder with multiple slots or indentations specifically sized to accommodate cups. Some designs might include a handle, while others rely on the cups themselves for carrying stability.

    The card holder are the most cost-effective and eco-friendly option, lightweight and portable design.

    But this design offers limited stability, particularly for hot beverages, and may not be ideal for securely carrying multiple drinks.

    Cup Carrier

    Overall, each of design has its own benefits and drawbacks, consider your needs and requirements to choose the best design for your shop. But beside the design, there are still some other considerations. Let’s talk about them in the next section

    Is It Worth Customizing Cup Carrier Trays?

    In the competitive landscape of coffee shop with the rising of environmental awareness,coffee cup carrier trays offer a unique opportunity to enhance customer experience and drive sales through strategic branding and environmentally conscious choices:

    Branding Potential:

    • Logo and Design: Customize trays with your cafe's logo, tagline, or unique design elements. This creates a walking advertisement, increasing brand recognition and potentially driving repeat business.
    • Cohesive Branding: Integrate the tray design with your overall cafe aesthetic, creating a consistent and memorable brand experience for customers.
    • Promotional Messages: Utilize the tray surface for temporary promotions, seasonal offerings, or special events, maximizing marketing reach.

    Environmental Considerations:

    • Recycled Materials: Opt for trays made from recycled paper pulp, cardboard, or other post-consumer waste materials. This demonstrates your commitment to sustainability and resonates with environmentally conscious customers.
    • Compostable Options: Explore trays made from compostable materials like plant-based fibers or agricultural byproducts. This further minimizes environmental impact and aligns with eco-friendly practices.
    • Encourage Proper Disposal: Clearly indicate the material type and proper disposal instructions on the trays to ensure responsible waste management.

    By prioritizing branding and sustainability through logo customization and eco-friendly material choices, coffee cup carrier trays can become valuable assets for your cafe, promoting brand awareness, attracting environmentally conscious customers, and contributing to a positive brand image.

    Considerations When Use Custom Takeaway Cup Trays

    While custom takeaway cup trays present a unique opportunity to elevate brand image and customer experience, cafes should undertake a strategic evaluation before implementation. Here are key considerations to ensure a successful integration:

    • Cost-Benefit Analysis: Carefully consider the initial investment in design, printing, and minimum order quantities set by manufacturers. Analyze the ongoing cost per custom tray compared to generic options to ensure a financially sound decision.
    • Environmental Impact: Prioritize sustainability by exploring eco-friendly materials like recycled paper or responsibly sourced cardboard for the trays themselves. Seek out printing processes that minimize environmental impact. Additionally, promoting proper disposal of used trays by customers can help reduce waste.
    • Target Market Alignment: Analyze your customer base. Do most orders involve single cups or multiples? Understanding customer needs is crucial. Choose a design with appropriate cup capacity and stability to ensure a positive customer experience.
    • Brand Synergy: Custom trays offer a powerful branding tool. Ensure the design integrates seamlessly with your existing brand logo, colors, and messaging. The overall design should align with your marketing goals and effectively communicate your brand identity.
    • Operational Integration: Evaluate how custom trays will integrate with your existing workflow. Consider storage space requirements and ease of assembly (if applicable) to ensure seamless implementation without disrupting day-to-day operations

    By carefully considering these factors, cafes can make an informed decision about whether custom takeaway cup trays offer a strategic and sustainable addition to their takeaway service.


    Custom takeaway cup trays offer a tempting proposition for cafes seeking to elevate their brand and enhance the customer experience. They promote recognition, secure multiple beverages, and provide a competitive edge. However, cafes should consider costs, environmental impact, and operational fit. A strategic approach aligned with target market, brand, and sustainability is key. Ultimately, a well-considered decision can leverage custom trays to strengthen brand, improve customer satisfaction, and potentially boost profits.

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