Restaurant Dinnerware - 4 Things To Consider

People have certain expectations when they go out to eat at a restaurant. Naturally, they want the place to be clean, the staff to be friendly, and the food to be good quality. However, there are equally significant details that many restaurant owners overlook when searching for ways to enhance the customer experience. One key element is restaurant dinnerware.

It is important to note that not all restaurants serve dinner. For example, a small cafe or bistro may only serve entrees and small meals through the morning or mid-afternoon. That said, the vast majority of restaurants do need to have commercial dinner plates. In fact, whether customers walk-in or book a reservation, they often implicitly expect restaurant-quality dinnerware. So, if the food comes out on low-quality plates and dishes, it will set a bad impression from the start.

Finding the best dinner plates for restaurants requires careful consideration of a few important factors. Even if you are looking for more casual restaurant tableware, you will need to factor in the price, material, color, and style. In today’s guide, we will examine each of these characteristics to help you find the best possible dinnerware for restaurants!

Dinnerware Price

As a business owner, you always have to keep an eye on the bottom line. This is particularly true for restaurants, which frequently have razor-thin margins. So, in order to keep your expenses as low as possible, you will need to consider the pricing of your dinnerware. This is not just for the initial purchase, either. Inevitably, dishes will chip or break and need to be replaced over time. If you choose the most expensive option, it may put you in a tough financial position every time you need to order a new batch of fancy restaurant plates.

However, high prices are often a reflection of quality. Though this is not always the case, it is usually true that “you get what you pay for.” This means that finding the best price point for your restaurant dinnerware set requires a careful balancing act. You will need to consider the price in relation to how much value the dishes offer to your restaurant. Ultimately, fancy plates are unlikely to draw new customers through the door, but creating a high-end ambiance through your dinnerware and other aspects of your restaurant can help ensure that one-time customers become regulars. Thus, you need to think about the value vs. the short and long-term expenses when you start shopping for restaurant dinnerware sets.

Dinnerware Material

The material of your dinnerware matters because it can affect the price, visual appeal, and durability of your purchase. For example, stoneware dishes generally offer the best value, as they cost less but are far more durable than glassware and many other materials. Additionally, stoneware has the appearance of stone, which can give it a unique rustic aesthetic that may appeal to some restaurant owners.

Alternatively, porcelain and bone china dinnerware are both a little more expensive, but they are also more durable than stoneware due to the firing process used to produce them. Additionally, porcelain and other forms of ceramic are some of the most common materials in restaurants. This means that generally speaking, you will already be meeting or even exceeding customer expectations by using porcelain or bone china. However, both stoneware and porcelain offer a bit more versatility in the colors and styles offered, whereas bone china is almost always a creamy, translucent white color. So, if customizing the look of your dinnerware is important to you, then you may want to opt for stoneware or porcelain.

Dinnerware Color

As mentioned in the previous section, color is somewhat dependent on the material you choose. Porcelain is one of the most versatile options, allowing you to have multi-colored dinnerware sets for virtually any occasion or setting. In any case, when it comes to finding the right color dinnerware for your business, many restaurant owners prefer to err on the side of caution. Consequently, most restaurants you encounter will use simple white or off-white coloring for their dinner plates, salad plates, and soup bowls.

However, there are plenty of exceptions. Restaurants that want to have a darker theme or make their dinnerware part of certain cultural traditions go with black or brown dinnerware. This is why stoneware is such a popular material, as it gives the natural appearance of stone, which can be both relaxing and appealing to many customers.

White, off-white, and to a lesser extent, black or brown are some of the most common and popular colors for restaurant dinnerware, but the possibilities are virtually endless. Though their textures are very different (stoneware tends to be more granular while porcelain is smooth), both can by dyed to have just about any color or combination of colors. Thus, while bone china may give off the feeling of “fine dining,” other materials offer much more customization.

This is particularly important if you want your dinnerware to match the color scheme or theme of your restaurant. For example, if you have a family restaurant that is designed to be kid-friendly, you may want to have brightly colored plates of green, blue, or pink. Alternatively, if you run a Mexican-style restaurant, you may want to use colors that people typically associate with Mexican food, like yellow or red. Ultimately, choosing the color(s) of your dinnerware will come down to your personal tastes, the color scheme of your restaurant, and the kind of visual experience that you want to provide to your customers.

Dinnerware Style

The style of your dinnerware can encompass a wide range of features, from the texture of the material to the shape of the actual plates and bowls. It also includes other noticeable features, like the lip, size, weight, and visual pattern of each dish. Oftentimes, restaurant owners try to avoid using unique restaurant plates because they prefer to put greater emphasis on the food.

However, it is important to try to put yourself in the shoes of the customer. For most people, going out to eat is a fun event. It is an experience. Every aspect of that experience is shaped by the kind of service, products, and even dishware that you provide. For example, if you have a 1950s themed restaurant, people will expect to see everything vintage. This means vintage seating, vintage music, vintage decorations, and — of course — vintage restaurant dinnerware.

Naturally, this is just one example. When it comes to dinnerware style, you will want to consider how your dinnerware can complement the food you serve. Do you want to “wow” your customers when their orders are brought to the table? Or do you want to create a comfortable, relaxed experience where people feel like your restaurant is a home away from home? Much like the material and color, the overall style of your dishes will be a reflection of your personal tastes and your brand. Whether you choose circular or square, deep-set or flat, raised-edged or short-rimmed, or multi-colored or monochromatic dinnerware, you just need to ensure that your dinnerware fits your budget and makes a good impression on you, your staff, and your customers!

Are you interested in acquiring beautiful restaurant dinnerware sets? Do you want to find dinnerware that is durable, visually appealing, and affordable? If so, be sure to check out our offerings at Stone Lain today!

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