Closed Loop Logistics

Implementing a reusable program requires closing the loop on food delivery – returning packaging to the restaurant.
Approaches vary from individual restaurants to regional collective networks.

Below is a brief guide to the most common strategies for implementing closed loop logistics.


Food deliveries are regularly scheduled between the same points of production and consumption enabling unique reusable packaging to return to the point of production.

This approach is best for:

  • Restaurants making daily deliveries to the same customer

  • Customers returning to the same restaurant or grocery store



A distributor completes the same route on a regular basis, enabling deliveries along the route to share reusable packaging.

This approach is best for:

  • Daily commissary deliveries from local suppliers

  • Food and beverage deliveries from wholesale distributors

Sloane Sarmanian


Multiple points of production and consumption in a local community, using standardized reusables that can be purchased and returned across locations or collected via a third-party return service.

This approach is best for:

  • Co-operative organizations consisting of many restaurants

  • Companies providing reusables or return services

    Jack Moreh


  • Eliminate excess packaging via consolidation
  • Standardize packing size for bowls and bags
  • Start with a pilot before a full-scale rollout


  • Create a diner “opt-in” for cutlery and napkins
  • Most items can fit in a 30-40oz bowl and 7″ bag
  • Partner with other local restaurants to expand