When was the last time you decided to refresh your tabletop? Every foodservice professional knows that presentation is crucial to the success of the establishment. Presentation of the food not only involves what the food looks like but the dinnerware, glassware, flatware and tabletop items used to add to the perceived value of the customers. Every three to seven years foodservice establishments should evaluate their overall tabletop display to determine if the items are still in good condition and if they are still meeting current foodservice trends.
Refresh Your Tabletop: Dinnerware
Dinnerware used by foodservice establishments can greatly impact the perceptions of end-users. Plates, Bowls and other dinnerware that is worn out, cracked, or outdated can leave a bad impression. It’s important to consider types of dinnerware available to provide an economical yet impactful display. Melamine is a good option for foodservice establishments that are wanting to replace their dinnerware while using an economical, versatile option. Melamine dishes are lightweight and often used in the fast-casual dining environment. Ceramic dinnerware is another great option for updating your tabletop. Ceramic dinnerware is most commonly used in cafes, independent restaurants, and casual dining chains. Lastly, Fine China can be used to refresh your tabletop. Fine China is often the costliest dinnerware option available. Fine China dishes are available in attractive designs and unique shapes. However, China is often the most fragile dinnerware option and should be handled with care.
Refresh Your Tabletop: Flatware
Flatware is often the most overlooked tabletop item in foodservice establishments but is often the most important. If flatware is warped, bent or corroded this can instantly impact the perception of the business. Flatware is also often being continuously replaced due to items being accidentally thrown away or pocketed by customers. Flatware is available in different grades based on the content of chromium and nickel. This ratio determines the durability of the flatware, which in turn can determine the number of times the flatware will need to be replaced.
Refresh Your Tabletop: Drinkware
Drinkware is equally important when it comes to perceptions of a foodservice establishment. Drinkware often falls into two larger categories including plastic drinkware and glassware. Often plastic drinkware is used in fast-casual restaurants, cafeterias, hospitals, and other foodservice establishments. Glassware is commonly used in sit-down restaurants and bars. Glassware can be made in a variety of styles, designs and can be used for a variety of drinks. Glassware unless designed for stacking should not be stacked, unlike plastic drinkware that can be stacked.
Refresh Your Tabletop: Tabletop Items
Alongside Flatware, Drinkware, and Dinnerware it is important to determine if you have tabletop items that need to be replaced due to wear, damage or if the style is outdated. Items to consider replacing are condiment shakers, pourers, and dispensers. This would include cheese shakers, sugar pourers, syrup dispensers, glass sauce bottles, and plastic squeeze bottles. Foodservice establishments should also consider replacing any worn or damaged table tents or menu holders as they are most commonly used. Lastly refresh your tabletop by considering replacing plastic baskets and serving trays as they, like dinnerware, are often outdated.