4 Design Tips for Choosing Restaurant Dinnerware

By TriMark R.W. Smith

While for most of us, the role of dinnerware isn’t something we consider, for restaurateurs, chefs and foodies, the choice of plateware can make the difference between a great presentation and a truly poor one. It’s an important component of the overall look of your dining room and sets a tone which can be pleasing or off-putting. In your efforts to leave an everlasting impression on guests that dine at your restaurant, here are tips to consider when choosing the perfect dinnerware.

  1. Ambiance. Think about what it is you really want to portray in your restaurant. Is it a fine dining or casual establishment? Refined and sophisticated? Fun and trendy? Warm and colorful? For a finer dining atmosphere, opt for porcelain or china plates, while for casual atmospheres, choose melamine or plastic dishes. To get a trendy feel, use square plates, such as Churchill X Squared. To create a more fun vibe, add a little color to the table, like with Steelite Anfora Sedona.
  1. Mix and Match. Look for dinnerware that complements the feel of your restaurant. If you have white dinnerware, experiment by adding colorful accents or shapes to your setting. Even different textures can be a great way to express your creativity. However, if you prefer to stick with the timelessness of bone china, try mixing in accompaniment pieces in various shapes to give your setting a distinctive look while keeping it simple, too.
  1. Budget. Have a specific budget in mind, but also consider the value of your purchases. Keep in mind, buying better and more durable pieces now that are a little more expensive could save you more cash in the long run. Great quality china will not scratch as much when stacked, as the bottom is smooth and it is more resistant to markings left behind by flatware. Dinnerware for commercial settings is generally priced higher than for the home, their heavy-duty durability is well-worth the investment.
  1. Intended Use. If your restaurant serves some dishes on hotplates, look into choosing dinnerware that can withstand the high heat and investing in underliners. Shop for plates and bowls that are microwave-safe or oven-safe, which will be more durable and long lasting. Also, don’t forget about Sizzle Platters, which are a great way to serve steaks and other piping hot cuisines.

When selecting your dinnerware, be sure to take the time to choose the right options that fit your restaurant’s concept. It’s important that the first impression is a memorable one that leaves customers eager to come back again and again.


5 Comments on 4 Design Tips for Choosing Restaurant Dinnerware

  1. Bob Lowe
    June 30, 2016 4:42 pm at 4:42 pm (3 years ago)

    Thanks for the post. Ambiance is something I really look for in a restaurant. I think it can be fun to go out to a fancy restaurant every once and a while. I also like the ability to try new foods that I have never had before. It makes for a great experience.

    • R.W. Smith & Co.
      July 1, 2016 7:03 am at 7:03 am (3 years ago)

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us! We agree the atmosphere in a dining establishment has a tremendous influence on the overall guest experience. Your adventurous spirit with trying new foods is inspiring! We hope other readers will take your lead to seek out menu items that they are unaccustomed to ordering. Cheers to the quest for a memorable meal!

  2. Cindy Tesler
    November 8, 2016 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm (3 years ago)

    I agree that you should look for dinnerware that complements the feel of your restaurant. You also mention that even different textures on your dinnerware are a great way to express creativity. I think it’s a good idea to choose a fine dining restaurant that takes pride in their service by having plates without chips in them, spotless tablecloths, etc.

  3. Troy Blackburn
    January 4, 2017 7:55 am at 7:55 am (2 years ago)

    I wasn’t aware that in order to create a fine dining atmosphere, porcelain or china plates should be used. I’ve heard, too, that the different types of silverware that are used could make an impact on whether or not customers are going to be willing to come back. I’ll have to keep these things in mind if I’m ever in need of some new equipment for a restaurant.

  4. Easton Memmott
    December 12, 2018 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm (6 months ago)

    I like the tip that you gave to choose a restaurant that will fit your budget. My wife and I are talking about going out for dinner, and it is important for us to know that we can afford who we choose. If we decide to go out to eat, I will be sure to look for someplace that we can afford.


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