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How to Choose Dinnerware for Your Restaurant

by admin on June 3, 2009

It may not seem like a lot but dinnerware does play a major role in ensuring the palatability of the food in restaurants. We eat with our eyes, it is said and the use of dinnerware is key to food presentation. Just imagine what a 5-star restaurant would be like if it served its best steaks on styrofoam or paper plates. That could still work with a little creativity but there’s a high likelihood customers won’t be as pleased. Choosing dinnerware for your restaurant? Here are tips on the kind of factors you need to consider:

The ambience and look you want in your restaurant
Fast food restaurants generally do not have the same concerns as fine dining restaurants regarding dinnerware. Where fast food restaurants would probably do well with melamine, woven wood, plastics, and glass, restaurants offering finer fare may want to consider using porcelain or china plates. However, there are very economical china choices for casual dining as well.

Consider the kind of ambiance or look you’re trying to promote in your restaurant. Is it classic and formal? High-brow and fine? Funky and playful? Keep these in mind when choosing dinnerware. Square plates are trendy and stylish, while colorful plates like the Concentrix pattern by Tuxton dinnerware could even be mixed and matched with one another . Italian glass plates make beautiful serving pieces as well as dinner plates for an elegant setting.

Intended use of dinnerware
If your restaurant’s menu includes entrees on hotplates, you might want to consider choosing dinnerware that can withstand high heat. Microwave-safe and oven-safe dinnerware are practical choices. They are also reusable and are quite durable. Barring any accidental breakages, these types of dinnerware should last for a good number of years. Sizzle platters that include aluminum/steel plates on top of Bakelite or wooden under liners are an outstanding way to serve steaks and other dishes that should be served sizzling hot to the table.

Color and design
Color and design are very important factors to consider when choosing dinnerware for your restaurant. It usually has a lot to do with the type of service you’re offering, the ambiance you’re going for, the kind of customers you have, the color scheme of the establishment and of course, your menu.

A classic restaurant with basic family-friendly menu, for example, will do well with the basic white porcelain dinnerware. There are typically two types of white: Bright white/Super white or American white. American white is an off-white / beige color, where the bright white is a much purer white. If your restaurant serves more flavorful fare such as Chinese, Italian, Mexican or Spanish, adding color and design inspired by the cuisine will enhance the dining experience of your customers. There is a wide array of ethnic and Asian-inspired melamine platters and dinnerware perfect for serving family-style or large portions. Melamine is break-proof and economical. High-end restaurants serving gourmet cuisine should very carefully consider their dinnerware. Chef & Sommelier china has won awards due to its special design and ability to preserve the chef’s original presentation from kitchen to dining room.

A good third option is having your restaurant dinnerware customized to your specified design. Some of the most popular restaurants have their plates, bowls and utensils printed or designed to reflect their logo, for example, color or theme.

There are cheaper alternatives to the moderately-priced and more expensive dinnerware that you can use in your restaurants. Cheaper melamine, paper, plastic and bioplastics, for example, can be excellent choices. The only downside is that while economical, barring melamine, these materials do not last for too long. However, there are melamine plates that look almost exactly like porcelain, like the melamine serving pieces in Tablecraft’s Frostone Collection.

Dinnerware used in restaurants are generally priced higher than those used for homes, so be ready to spend. This is because they are manufactured specifically to fit the commercial setting. They are hard-wearing and are best for heavy-duty use.

When choosing dinnerware for your restaurant, have a budget in mind but make sure that you consider value above all. You might not have to spend more initially if you bought cheaper, less durable materials but in the long run, buying better dinnerware could save you more. You also want to take into account the smoothness of the bottom of the china. Better quality china will not scrape and scratch as much when stacked.

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