- • Budget- Commercial dishes, just like restaurant seating and tables, are more expensive than those for personal use. Restaurant dinnerware comes in a wide range of prices and typically if you buy in bulk, the more you will save.
• Durability - The reason commercial dishes are more expensive than those you might pick up for your own kitchen is that they are designed to withstand the wear and tear of restaurant use. Don’t believe me? Read my story about what happened when I bought non-commerical plates for my first restaurant.
• Restaurant Design- Opening a quaint little diner? Than the classic white plates and coffee cups will do just fine. Is your restaurant concept Mexican or Italian? Then perhaps plates with bold colors and designs. You dinnerware should reflect your restaurant theme and compliment the overall design of your restaurant. Some commercial dinnerware can even be customized with your restaurants name and logo.
Plastic, Paper or China Dinnerware?
A popular seafood chain in New England used paper plates for years. Their restaurant franchises all featured elegant interiors, with glassware and silverware. But they always had paper plates. Even as a kid I could never figure it out. Why didn’t they just buy china plates? Years later a friend of mine worked for the restaurant franchise when they finally made the switch to china plates. He told me that the company decided to switch because it was cheaper than to continue to buy paper plates. Well duh! Not to mention better for the enviorment!
There is a place for paper plates, like catered functions, such as barbeques or other outside events, but the cost of replacing paper plates continuously for years, is going to far excede the initial investment cost of china plates. Plastic plates, while more durable than paper and reusable, still won’t hold up the way classic china dinnerware will. So, even if you are opening a simple, casual soup and sandwhich shop or a diner, china is still your best bet.
Today’s glassware can make just as much as a statement as dinner plates. You can dress up your restaurant bar with funky martini glasses, oversized wine goblets or brightly colored tumblers. Just remember to buy from a commercial distributor, to avoid premature chips and cracks.
Another tip about restaurant glassware: You beer distributor can often give you promotional pint glasses and other restaurant glassware for free. But be sure to check your local liquor laws, first.