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Disposable vs Reusable Platter Trays (Review)

When it comes to platter trays or catering trays, one question that often comes up for discussion is, “what is the best option to choose when we need to keep costs down in our business”. We think you’ll agree that is definitely something that we’re all asking more these days – right?

In this article I cover off an unbiased review on both Reusable Platter trays vs Disposable Platter trays. Because let’s face it everything has their advantages and disadvantages don’t they?

Cardboard Catering Trays


  • Save time & labour
    Deliver your catering - job done! No need to collect platters after you’ve completed the platter deliveries.
  • Fully recyclable in New Zealand
    No damage to your sustainable journey.
  • Easy to transport
    With a simple cover or outer box. Multiple platters can be stacked without damaging food presentation in transit.
  • Scalable
    When it comes to working out your ‘cost to serve’ you’ll know exactly what you’re paying per platter each and every time.
  • Minimal space required
    As most catering trays come flat packed you can keep them in storage and bring them out as and when required.
  • Leveraging social media
    Create those all-important “instagrammable moments” for customers to share on their social platforms.


  • Single Use
    More realisable cost per platter you sell.
  • Storage
    This can be a bit more challenging with smaller kitchens.

Reusable Platter Trays


  • Cost
    No relatable packaging cost to each platter = lower tray cost per platter sold.
  • Create larger platters
    Reusable platter are often made from durable material and come in various sizes including those ‘mega sized’ platter trays which some customers request.
  • Traditional look
    Reusable trays are well known within the catering industry.


  • Investment
    Cashflow tied up in #reusableplatters especially when catering for multiple events.
  • Time
    Your employee’s time is valuable. Have the added costs of rewashing, collection time, finding lost platters been added into the overall cost to serve
  • Replacement costs
    When platters are lost or damaged, you can spend quite a bit on replacement trays.
  • Extra fuel costs
    This is the biggest cost for using reusable platters that is not factored in by many small businesses we speak to. Many companies we talk with haven’t really thought about the second trip to past catering events/orders to recollect the platters and have not factored this cost into the overall cost analysis therefore leaving effectively money on the table.

In Summary:

There is no perfect answer, however, having read through this short article, you should be more informed on all the things to consider when trying to decipher what is best option for your business.

If reusable platter trays are still your thing, that’s great! If you would like to consider enhancing your food platter presentation and saving precious time and fuel because of double tripping to your clients. View the ranges on offer and to request a sample pack. | 0800 237 422 |

About the author

Marcus Beaston

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