Is the American Metalcraft PBSB1512 Deluxe Sandwich Delivery Bag a good alternative for use by Delivery Drivers for Uber Eats, Doordash, Postmates, Uber Eats, etc.?
I review the bag that I purchased from KaTom Restaurant Supply.
I was attracted to the bag because of the hook and latch closure (Velcro is the best known name for that kind of closure).
I've always been a fan of delivery bags that can be easily opened and closed. I like larger delivery bags but I hate messing with the zipper.
So I picked this up from KaTom Restaurant Supply for $18.22 plus shipping. There was one available on Amazon that was in the mid 30's when I looked.
For me, the lower price plus the additional cost of shipping was just a little less than the Amazon option.
What I Really Like About This Bag
I've talked before about using a delivery bag to speed up the process of getting in and out of a restaurant. Time is a big deal when it comes to being profitable. Having a delivery bag helps you get the attention of restaurant staff, which gets you in and out faster.
But when you have to fiddle with the bag or struggle with it to actually get your food in and out of the bag, you kind of lose that time advantage.
I learned right away that I didn't like the lower end delivery bags as much for myself for that reason. The soft sides made it harder to open the bag enough.
There were some larger bags that were better that way, but they were a bit of a pain when it came to the zipper.
For that reason, I love the firm sides on this bag and the velcro-type hook and latch closure. You can close the lid quickly, and open it quickly when you get the food to the customer.
I have another bag that has a similar style and build, but it has softer floppier sides that sometimes make it a struggle to get the food to fit into the bag.
What I don't like as much
There's a little bit of an awkwardness with this bag. I'm sure it has more to do with what I'm used to than anything else.
The lid is really an extension of the back side of the bag and sometimes doesn't feel as natural when you close it. The handles are a little shorter than I am used to with other bags and that just makes it feel odd.
I'm not sure that's created any issues yet. More than anything it just feels awkward.
There are three things I wish they had done differently. Maybe four.
I wish they used a little wider strip of the hook and latch closure for the lid. There's only one point of closure for holding the lid closed, and the narrow strip maybe makes it harder to close.
I am probably comparing it to the Servit bags that I have, which has the velcro closure all the way around the lid (although on those bags, sometimes it's almost too much as it can slow down the process of opening the thing up).
I also wish they made the bag a little deeper. It measures at 9 inches deep. In most cases that's more than enough, but I really like bags that are at least 12 inches deep so that you can fit some of the smaller pizza boxes in.
The third thing I wish they'd done is included something a little more solid in the base. I prefer delivery bags that have a board or piece of plastic at the bottom to keep food from sagging. They did kind of mitigate that a little, something I'll mention shortly.
I'll get to the fourth thing in a bit.
The Bag is lightweight but well insulated and well constructed.
This bag is a bit lighter than a lot of the similar sized heavier duty bags that I've seen. Some of this has to do with the construction. They use a nylon material and a pvc foam insulation.
But this is done differently than a lot of bags I've worked with. The front, back and lid are insulated, with the sides and base of the bag made of a single ply nylon material without the insulation.
However, here's where it gets interesting. On the two sides, there's an insulated flap attached at one corner that is held in place on the other side with a hook and latch strip.
That flap provides the insulation, but it also leaves room between the flap and the side if you want to insert a smaller object.
This can be a great place to put smaller cold items and help seal it off from the hot items in the main compartment.
They did the same thing with an insulated piece at the bottom. It's attached along the long edge at the back of the bag, so you can lift that flap up and just have the single ply piece at the bottom.
This thicker, insulated flap that lies at the bottom does help mitigate having the softer single ply bottom. Food doesn't seem to sag really because of this.
I'm not totally sure why they did it this way. It seems it would have made more sense to just use the insulated material at the bottom.
They have a couple of interesting features I haven't seen on other bags.
There's what looks to be a single ply nylon divider. It's about 12 by 8 inches. It's attached to the bag by a single nylon strap. I'm not totally sure what it's there for.
My guess is, it's meant to divide food – it can lie flat and separate food items horizontally, or it can serve as a vertical divider. It's a clever idea, but the strap makes it seem a little clumsy.
They built two nylon pockets onto the ends of the bag. These can be useful for carrying some items.
The pockets are wide enough to hold something like a 2-liter soda bottle. However, it's not tall enough to hold it securely, and the pocket is too wide to hold fountain drinks very securely.
The pockets can be useful for holding some smaller items or utensils.
The last mystery is the two flaps on the lid.
I think maybe the flaps are meant to come down on sides to help create a seal or help insulate things when you close the lid.
Or maybe the idea of teh flap is to tuck it inside the side flaps int he bag itself? It seems like something that was good in theory, but just seems awkward.
My overall impression of the American MetalCraft PBSB1512 Deluxe Sandwich Delivery Bag
It's a good bag. It's one of the best out there, especially for the price.
One thing I really like about the bag is that it's a good size for most deliveries. It's almost the perfect size to fit some of the larger grocery bags that are used by some restaurants.
You can fit most food items into the bag quickly and easily. To me, that's the important thing.
I sincerely believe a good bag like this can shave seconds if not minutes off your delivery time.
If you do many deliveries in one day, that time savings can add up to being able to add an extra delivery on some days. Enough days with that extra deliveries will quickly pay for the cost of the bag.
There are some awkward things about the bag and a couple curious design elements. None of them are real detrimental, in my opinion. Just…. awkward.
That said, I think this still has some of the best bang for the buck that you can get out of a delivery bag like this.
Oh yeah: I said I'd talk about that fourth thing I wish they'd have done differently.
I wish they made a larger version of this bag. Something about 22x15x15ish. With a board at the bottom. I would buy and recommend a larger version.
Awkwardness and everything.