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Foodservice Baskets & Paper Liners: How to Find the Perfect Pairing


So you’ve just gone through the process of researching, selecting, and buying tabletop baskets that perfectly fit your foodservice operation’s brand. Maybe they’re metal baskets. Maybe they’re plastic. Maybe they’re round, square, oval- or cone-shaped, or even a tray. Regardless of the material, shape, or size of the baskets you chose, there’s one thing missing: food-safe paper liners.

Considering the seemingly endless options for foodservice baskets, how do you even begin sorting through food-safe tissue paper to accompany them? We’re going to help you steer through some of the more popular options on the market to make your journey toward excellent food presentation a pleasant one.

 burger-basket-liner.jpgPictured: 11″ x 8″ Oval Basket w/ 2 holders, 3 oz. Ramekin, 12″ x 12″ Food-Safe Sports Newspaper

Why Use a Food-Safe Paper Liner in the First Place? 

You’ve already invested in tabletop food baskets. Do you really have to tap your budget again for paper liners? The answer is yes – you absolutely should. And we’ll tell you why.

From food safety to operational efficiency, presentation, dining experience, and branding, food-safe tissue paper affects multiple areas of your operation in distinct ways.

Pictured: 5″ dia. Fry Cone, 5.5″ x 5.5″ Wire Cone Food-Safe Basket Liner, 4.25″ Round Basket, 7″ x 7″ Food-Safe Basket Liner

By their very nature, baskets have spaces between the grids of the plastic or metal that comprises their structure. It’s part of what makes a basket, a basket. If you skip the paper liner, you run the risk of servers’ hands, your guests’ hands, and other unapproved food contact surfaces touching the menu item in the basket.

Food-safe paper liners create a barrier between the food and the basket, resulting in sanitary service. Additionally, no matter how well baskets are washed, it’s always possible for food to get stuck in the small spaces at the intersections of basket grids. Paper liners keep your fresh food away from any areas missed during cleaning.

Pictured: 12″ x 12″ Food-Safe New York Newsprint Liner12″ x 8″ Stackable Rectangular Grid Basket

Let’s take this notion one step further: Imagine you’re serving wings or nachos – something saucy or a little messy. Paper liners keep your expos’, servers’, and guests’ hands clean from the kitchen to the table to the dish pit.

Food-safe paper liners make cleanup painless. After ramekins or other reusable pieces are removed from the basket, grab a corner of the paper liner, dump the contents into the trash, and you’re ready to wash! 

From a branding perspective, paper liners provide the perfect space to add your foodservice operation’s logo or messaging. Whether you’re serving bread, appetizers, or entrŽes, paper-lined baskets will stay on the tabletop for a good portion of the meal. So why skip the chance to visually link your brand with your tabletop?

Finally, you can lean on the many styles available to support your brand’s positioning and skip the extra expense of customized logos or designs. You can find newspaper-style prints with different front-page themes already on them. Italian, French, sports themes, etc., can all be used to support your foodservice’s motif. 

custom-food-safe-paper-printing.jpgPictured: Food-Safe Tissue Liners

By now, you probably agree it’s worth your time and money to invest in food-safe paper liners. So let’s take a look at popular sizes and how you can pair them with your foodservice baskets.


Finding the Perfect Pairing for Food-Safe Paper Liners & Baskets

Because of the different dimensions and shapes of foodservice baskets, you’ll find that some food-safe paper liners work better than others regarding look and fit. Let’s check out some effective ways to pair paper liners with common foodservice baskets. 

The most popular sizes for food-safe paper basket liners are:

  • 12”x15”
  • 12”x12″
  • 12″x9″
  • 7”x7”
  • 5.5”x5.5”

By all accounts, 12”x12” paper liners are the most commonly used size due to their versatility. Although you can find foodservice baskets in plenty of sizes, most of them won’t be larger than a square foot. The majority of round, square, and oval baskets often used for serving bread, appetizers, or entrŽes pair well with 12″x12″ tissue paper. 

churros-on-aluminum-tray.jpgPictured: 13″ x 9″ Rectangular Tray12″ x 12″ Food-Safe Hawaii Newsprint Liner

Where you’ll find exception to this is with trays and baskets designed for plating larger items, like sampler platters and other family style meals. In those cases, look to 12″x15″ food-safe paper to accompany your basket service.

aluminum-serving-tray-paper-liners.jpgPictured: 18″ x 13″ Rectangular Tray12″ x 12″ Food-Safe Hawaii Newsprint Liner

Additionally, if you’re serving in oval or rectangular baskets/trays , which typically range from about 8″-15″ across, you may prefer the look you can get from either 12″x9″ or 12″x15″. It may be more congruent than what square-shaped paper liners can offer. It’s really up to you and the look you prefer. 

paper-for-cone-baskets.jpgPictured: Wire Cone, 5″ dia.5.5″ x 5.5″ Wire Cone Village Post Basket LinerFry Cone, 5″ dia.5.5″ x 5.5″ Food-Safe Basket Liner

The last two sizes – 7”x7” and 5.5”x5.5” – are typically produced as double-open liners. Double-open designs are attached on two sides of the square and the other two remain separated. This creates a pouch that’s perfect for cone-shaped baskets, most of which aren’t large enough to require a size bigger than 7″x7″. 

Another quality you’ll want to consider finding in your basket tissue paper is wax coating that’s approved for food contact. Not all wax coatings are food-safe, so double check the product to ensure you’re getting what you expect.  Wax-coated paper will add versatility to your service because you won’t be limited to where your food can come into contact with the paper and where it can’t. 

bread-baskets.jpgPictured: 8.5″ x 6″ Black Oval Basket, 12″ x 12″ Brown Food-Safe Tissue Liner ,8.5″ x 6″ Stainless Steel Oval Basket

Generally, you’ll want to look for food-safe paper liners that are about the same size or a little bigger than your baskets. If they’re too big, you run the risk of overflowing paper catching on something and taking all the food with it. Fortunately, you can count on the most common sizes on the market to supply excellent food-safe tissue paper solutions for your basket service. 

Let’s recap:

  • Most round, square, and oval baskets pair well with 12″x12″
  • Larger trays, oval, and rectangular baskets designed for family style service pair with 12″x9″ and 12″x15″
  • Cone-shaped baskets with diameters of 3″-5″ pair best with double-open 5.5″x5.5″ paper liners 
  • Cone-shaped baskets with diameters of 7″-8″ pair best with double-open 7″x7″ paper liners


If you’ve gone so far as to work with a manufacturer to create a custom shape for your foodservice basket like a guitar, boat, or rocket, you can probably still use most of the standard sizes on the market. However, if you’re not finding suitable options, you can always partner with G.E.T. to create paper liners in custom shapes, sizes, and colors. You can even add custom branded artwork like a logo, design, or messaging. 

Now that you know all the great reasons food-safe paper liners exist, what the popular sizes are and how they pair with most tabletop baskets on the marketplace, you can easily take your appetizer and basket service to the next level. 


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