How Squeeze Bottles Took Over Restaurant Kitchens Nationwide

Squeeze bottles are pretty neat, huh? Surely it reminds you of diner tables adorned with red and yellow squeeze bottles full of ketchup and mustard. They make it easy to apply just the right amount of sauce to your food, but little do we as consumers realize how commonly they're used in restaurant kitchens. In fact, it makes much more sense for cooks to use them. Here's why.

You can probably guess that chefs don't have squeeze bottles filled with fancy ketchup and mustard back on the line. However, their squeeze bottles are full of something else: oil. When in the weeds, glass bottles of oil can become slippery and inefficient, leading to broken bottles, injuries, and just overall taking way longer to screw the top on and off. When cooking in a busy kitchen, plastic squeeze bottles are easier to grab, quicker to use, and have the perfect precision for drizzling. Glass bottles have been the cause of so many mishaps in kitchens that — as Ji Hye, chef and founder of Miss Kim's in Ann Arbor, told Thrillist – having glass anywhere on the line is actually a health code violation in Michigan.

The efficiency of squeeze bottles

While glass bottles may be viewed as better for the environment, and that's debatable (via The Conversation), chefs in professional kitchens are not buying up boxes of glass-bottled condiments. When restaurants buy, they buy in bulk, meaning their ketchup, mayonnaise, oil, you name it, likely come in large gallon-sized tubs. It makes more sense for them to pour condiments into squeeze bottles when preparing for a busy night.

The squeeze bottles benefit all parties in different ways, according to Serious Eats. It's efficient for restaurant chefs who are moving at lightning speed because they're able to grip the bottles, control how much they apply to a pan or plate, and move on to the next thing without worrying about the glass becoming slippery. They're also able to buy their condiments in bulk, place them in reusable plastic squeeze bottles, then wash them each night, as Thrillist reported. On the consumer side, there's something about a squeeze bottle that makes you feel immersed in the cooking experience, whether you're splashing oil in a pan or drizzling a zig-zag design of ketchup onto your hot dog. According to Thrillist, legacy condiment companies like Tabasco have begun offering squeezable bottles.

Condiments are getting a new look

Now that the world is learning just how great squeeze bottles are, Lee Susen, the chief sales and marketing officer at McIlhenny Foods, the company that owns Tabasco, explained to Thrillist that the famous hot sauce brand has ditched the glass bottle for their sweet chili sauce and is now selling it in a squeeze bottle instead. Its thick consistency made dispensing it through the spout of the glass bottle difficult, so it only made sense to make that improvement. Also, the spice is said to be more mild, meaning consumers want more than just a few dashes.

The owner of Heartbeat Hot Sauce, Al Bourbouhakis, speaks to everyone's pain of applying too much hot sauce and ruining your meal by selling all of his sauces in squeeze bottles. This way we have more control over the amount dispensed, getting the good stuff moving with a much smaller spout and less risk of flooding your food. He also notes that plastic bottles weigh much less than glass bottles, reducing costs of shipping and the risk of breakage during transit, saving his company big bucks in the long run. However, hot sauces aren't the only products getting this makeover.

Now everyone can feel like a chef

If you haven't scrolled through TikTok in a while, you might've missed the trending olive oil being sold in a squeeze bottle, perfect for drizzling as a finishing oil or pouring into a pan for cooking. According to Food Network, Graza olive oil is sold in a squeeze bottle with a high-quality flavor and a similar look to Sriracha sauce. You shouldn't have to choose between delicious flavor and convenient packaging, and now you don't have to. The best part is that the bottle it comes in is opaque to help keep the olive oil fresh longer.

Whether you're oiling a pan, dashing hot sauce on your eggs, or drizzling crema on tacos, squeeze bottles make it easier — and just overall make you feel like Gordon Ramsay. Don't get discouraged if we haven't discussed your favorite condiments, because you'd be surprised how many brands of mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, hot sauces, specialty aiolis, and more are now sold in squeeze bottles. We now live in a world where we can finally ditch the dashing and dolloping, and get to drizzling.