Serve It Safe

“Serve It Safe” is a community reuse program to help reduce waste and by replacing single-use foodware with clean, sanitized, reusable takeout containers. A partnership of Dishcraft and UPSTREAM, “Serve It Safe” supports local restaurants’ effort to provide robust takeout service without impacting their sustainability missions.


How does “Serve It Safe” work?

“Serve It Safe” is a sustainable and safe way for restaurants to provide takeout meals to diners without adding to the tons of waste caused by single-use disposable foodware. The process is simple:

  1. Diners order takeout from their favorite participating restaurant, which packages the food in Dishcraft reusable containers. (Delivery orders are not included in the pilot program.)
  2. After use, diners simply close the container(s) and place them in a Dishcraft collection bin, which can be found at participating restaurants.
  3. Each day, Dishcraft drops off clean containers for the restaurant and collects the used ones.
  4. After collection, the containers are brought back to Dishcraft’s automated dishwashing hub where they are washed, commercially sanitized and inspected before they’re sent back out to the restaurants.
Serve It Safe Process


Are reusable foodware containers safe?

 Yes, according to health experts, reusable foodware is as safe, or possibly safer, than single-use disposables where there is no tracking of how many hands touch the item during its lifecycle. Soap and water are one of the best defenses to kill and remove viruses from surfaces. Soap dissolves the outer layer of the virus, making the virus fall apart and become inactive. The soap also makes it easier to wash away any virus (active or inactive) from surfaces.


Beyond soap and water, Dishcraft’s advanced washing system combines multiple layers and levels of cleaning, testing and inspection technologies and protocols for a level of safety and sanitization that exceed any traditional dishwashing operation. For more information visit Dishcraft Clean.

Reusable containers in action


How do the environmental impacts of the reusable containers compare to single-use foodware?

Even after only a few uses, the “Serve It Safe” reusable containers are far better for the environment than most disposable foodware. The containers, which last for hundreds of uses, are made from durable, BPA-Free Polypropylene, which is microwavable, dishwasher-safe and easily recyclable. Polypropylene consumes the least amount of energy during production and produces the lowest carbon dioxide emissions when compared to single-use plastics.


Environmental impact of takeout containers per use

Water and energy impacts of Dishcraft's reusable container vs single-use foodware.


How much does it cost to participate in the program?

The Serve it Safe program is free for diners and does not require any special technology like an app or QR code. Restaurants pay a usage fee per container, but the cost is often similar to (or even less than) the cost of disposable containers and includes daily delivery, pickup, and washing/sanitizing. To request a quote simply drop us a line.


Where do diners return the containers?

“Serve It Safe” collection bins will be located at all participating restaurants to make it convenient and easy for diners to drop off used Dishcraft containers.


Is there a system for tracking the containers?

The “Serve It Safe” container returns are simple and free of rules and restrictions; diners return the container to a collection bin located at any participating restaurant. There is no app, deposit, or tracking mechanism and no fee for loss or breakage.


What happens if a container is broken or lost?

Throughout the pilot, restaurants and diners are not charged for lost or broken containers. We request that even broken containers be returned to a Dishcraft collection bins for proper recycling.


How do I become a Serve It Safe restaurant?

To find out how to participate in the “Serve It Safe” program contact us.


Who is DIshcraft?

Dishcraft is a Bay Area robotics company dedicated to solving the sustainability and dishroom safety problems in restaurants and cafeterias through automation and innovation. To learn more, visit us at



UPSTREAM is an environmental non-profit organization sparking innovative solutions to plastic pollution. We help entrepreneurs, policymakers, community leaders and non-profits ideate and accelerate the transition from single-use to reuse which saves businesses money, gets people back to work, protects public health, people AND the planet at the same time. To learn more, visit

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