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For fine dining restaurants, elegant chinaware is, without question, the natural choice. However, for cafeterias, fast foods or high-volume casual restaurants, expensive chinaware is just not practical. The rigors that the plates go through in a high-volume operation will mean a shorter life span for traditional chinaware. However, restaurants are also concerned not just about the durability of the dinnerware but also of how presentable it is for their customers. The solution? Melamine dinnerware.

Melamine plates, glasses and bowls provide an excellent combination of design and functionality. This dinnerware is made by combining melamine resin with strengthening substances, resulting in a very durable and lightweight product.

Here are some reasons why melamine dinnerware is a tasteful yet cost-effective answer to your restaurant’s needs:

Melamine is light yet hardy. It is considerably lighter than chinaware, which will make your waiters and dishwashers happy. However, it is not flimsy and delicate, despite its light weight. It does not break or crack easily. It can be dropped, used with a knife and fork, bump into other dinnerware and stacked high and not scratch, chip, crack or break.

Good price. Compared even to low-end chinaware, melamine dinnerware will still come out cheaper. Considering its durability, melamine comes out to be a good investment.

Savings on storage space. Because melamine dinnerware can be stacked up without worrying about cracks and scratches, you can save on precious storage space in your kitchen area.

Variety. One big advantage of melamine is that it is highly adaptable in terms of its designs. For more formal occasions, you can have melamine dinnerware that mimics the glossy finish of elegant chinaware. At first glance, you can easily mistake it for the real chinaware! You can also have colorful patterns that can match a wide variety of motifs and themes. There are melamine dinnerware that bear oriental designs with its bright reds, blacks and golds. Your Mexican restaurant can use melamine designed with earthy orange, yellow and cobalt blue. There are melamine plates that have unique shapes (such as that of a leaf or a fish). With the wide range of colors, designs and themes that melamine dinnerware can have, there is surely one that will be a perfect fit for your restaurant or café.

Insulation. Melamine stays at the same temperature regardless of whether you serve warm or cold entrees. Its insulating properties also help to keep cold or frozen food cool. This makes melamine ideal for deli displays and salad bars.

Food safe and BPA free. As long as you use melamine properly, it meets NSF standards for food safety. Although it is believed that melamine substances may leach into the food, this only happens during instances where the food is heated at temperatures higher than 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that melamine is not safe for use in microwaves and ovens.

Quick-drying. Because of melamine’s insulating properties, it also has the added advantage of being quick to dry after washing. Thus, you can have more cycles per plate since you do not have to wait longer for the plate to “cool down” and dry after washing.

Recyclable. Melamine is very durable, but when it is at the end of its very long and very useful lifespan, melamine can also be recycled. This is done by grinding the melamine down. The resulting material is useful as fillers for wood or other plastics. Using melamine can be your restaurant’s contribution to helping the environment.

 

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Does being eco-friendly also mean more profits for a restaurant? We would like to stress that being kind to the environment is a profit in itself and is something that every one of us should be involved with. However, if you do it right, running a “green restaurant” can actually mean hefty savings. Plus, you may be qualified to avail of tax credits or other government-sponsored incentives.

So how do you start? Here are some tips to help you run a green commercial kitchen and restaurant:

  • Invest in ENERGY STAR ® restaurant equipment. One hallmark of a green restaurant is its commitment to the wise use of resources such as electricity. ENERGY STAR ® certified restaurant equipment are more energy efficient because they minimize excess heat and the unnecessary use of water. The good news is that some states often have a rebate program for restaurants that get this type of equipment.
  • Commit to buying sustainable food. There are producers that actively practice sustainable farming methods. This refers to a conscious effort to grow produce and agricultural products while minimizing the negative impact on the ecosystem. This also involves growing their products organically so as to minimize the pollution caused by fertilizers and pesticides. If you can, go with local sources, since these produce a smaller carbon footprint when it comes to transporting the goods.
  • Get your customers involved. Going green is a great PR strategy to reach your customers. Get them involved with your campaign in various areas. Encourage water conservation on washrooms. Promote menu items that use local ingredients for your customers to be more aware about supporting local food producers. Let your customers know that you are using recycled paper products for takeout items. Or, you can have a recycling program where customers get points or discounts when they bring their own takeout container or when they return the empty containers for recycling. This establishes a stronger relationship with your customer and encourages them to come back to your restaurant more often!
  • Minimize the waste produced. Or at least, produce waste that can be recycled. This is an advantage when you are also working with “green” vendors that work to minimize the amount of packaging they use for their products or do their best to use recycled paper packaging. You can also do the same for your take-out containers.
  • Implement energy saving practices. Make going green a way of life for everyone in your restaurant. These include:
  • Educating your staff. Developing a “green” mindset will help the staff become more proactive in using resources such as water and electricity. Simple acts such as making a habit of closing the doors to the refrigerator or shutting down electronic appliances that are not in use will make a big difference on your utility bills.
  • Installing eco-friendly devices. Yes, this can mean a hefty investment on your part, but the long term savings and the environmental benefits are well worth it. You can install LED lighting in place of conventional light bulbs or install low flow toilets and waterless urinals.
  • Use green cleaners. Instead of conventional cleaners that have harsh chemicals, use dishwashing soap and cleaning agents that are gentler to the environment.
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Adding a Smoothie Bar to Your Café or Restaurant

September 1, 2014

Smoothie bars provide an excellent opportunity for restaurants and cafes who are thinking of adding to their range of food offerings. In fact, as people are becoming more health-conscious, we can find standalone fresh juice and smoothie bars popping up and thriving. Smoothies provide a good mark-up which makes them an excellent profit center. This […]

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Saving on Your Restaurant Equipment Purchases

August 25, 2014

Starting a restaurant business can be both exciting and scary. It is exciting as you see your ideas take shape and as you slowly accumulate the restaurant equipment and supplies you need. It can also be scary in that completing the required equipment will be no small feat. For one, buying equipment for a restaurant […]

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Let’s Get Grilling: Essential Gear for Your Grilling Enthusiasts

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Who can say no to food just off the grill? This starts with the “unhealthy” juicy steaks and burgers to more healthy fare – grilled lean meat, fish or vegetables. Grill restaurants can also grill ribs, pizzas or fish steaks. If you plan to get serve grilled food for your restaurant or simply want to […]

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Displaying Your Bakery Items to Full Advantage

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Get more sales for your baked goods by displaying your baked goods in all their mouth-watering splendor. You don’t simply put these baked items on the menu, display them where they can capture the customers’ attention and get them to buy on impulse.  (Never mind that they have already resolved to stay on their diet […]

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Choosing Glassware For Your Restaurant

August 4, 2014

For restaurants, drinks are a great profit center. Beverages, both non-alcoholic and alcoholic, provide restaurants with a big mark up.  Clever restaurateurs can even use marketing strategies to increase beverage sales. That is why the choice of glassware is very important. After all, the glassware is what your served beverages “wear to the party”. Here […]

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What to Look for When Buying a Wok

July 22, 2014

Stir frying is a good cooking method. It keeps the vegetables crisp, with its nutrients still intact while ensuring that meat is succulent and tasty, with a slight smoky flavor. Stir fries are easy to prepare and make. All you need to do is slice the raw ingredients, put the pan in high heat and […]

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Beef Up Your Kitchen Equipment: What to Add to Your Kitchen Essentials

July 15, 2014

Perhaps you have already equipped your home kitchen with all the necessities. Now, the next step is to add kitchenware that can help cut down preparation time, save oven space and help you whip up dishes that have unique preparation requirements. Of course, you also have to bear in mind that you have limited space. […]

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Making a Purchasing Plan for your Restaurant Equipment

July 8, 2014

Building all the kitchen equipment, cookware and utensils requires a huge chunk of your operations budget, especially when you are in the first phase of the business. You need to strike a balance between your budget and the equipment your kitchen needs. Also, you need to find the right supplier. The restaurant business just got […]

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