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Restaurant tableware often remains an afterthought in the restaurant design or refit process. Nevertheless, tableware is a crucial element that can completely transform the way diners look at the food served in a restaurant. As a result, leaving tableware selection to the end of the design process can have serious ramifications.

Rush decisions made before the opening day can easily lead to poor choices or overspending the initial budget. All that will not only have a negative impact on how diners perceive the quality of food and service but also on sales.

Without a doubt, choosing appropriate tableware for a restaurant is crucial for success. Modern restaurant tableware goes well beyond functionality. It plays a vital role in creating a compelling interior design and adds personality to the entire space. Carefully selected tableware enhances the way food looks on the plate and paves the way to a more immersive dining experience.

Since restaurant tableware plays a significant role in a restaurant’s success, it is vital to select with care. If you feel lost in the process, read our guide on this topic. Today we talk about everything you need to know about tableware selection and design. From key criteria to consider and practical tips on how to avoid overspending, you will find all the information you need to create outstanding designs and offer an unforgettable experience to diners.

Why is restaurant tableware selection crucial?

It is easy to think of restaurant tableware as a purely functional element and forget about its importance in terms of design. Nevertheless, food presentation and tabletop setting play a significant role in making a positive first impression. Carefully selected restaurant tableware can completely transform the way customers look at their plates. At the same time, it helps add a touch of personality, thereby enhancing the restaurant’s atmosphere.

Food presentation is an essential part of running a successful restaurant. As a result, choosing the right tableware for a restaurant is key to building a profitable business. Dinnerware selected in line with the type of cuisine and theme can completely transform the culinary experience. Besides that, tableware can become a powerful marketing tool that helps raise brand awareness and loyalty. By creating visual interest, it can be an efficient tool to turn occasional visions into regular diners.


How to choose the best restaurant tableware?

Like many other elements of the restaurant design, choosing appropriate tableware for a restaurant requires careful attention and thought. Choosing tableware for a restaurant is undoubtedly a substantial investment. As a result, it is vital to ensure that it will benefit the business in the long run. But how can that be achieved?

There are various criteria to consider when choosing the best tableware for a restaurant. First of all, like all other elements, it needs to be functional. It needs to match the type of dishes on the menu and retain its visual appeal even after continual use. It should be easy to clean and to store and tailored in size and type to the cuisine.

But besides functionality, restaurant tableware should also be aesthetic. Knowing how much effort goes into plating food, it would be a waste of time and money to not put the same effort into tableware design and selection. As such, the tableware you chose for your restaurant should reflect your restaurant’s style and please the eyes of customers. Above all, it should make the best impression possible on diners enjoying your food.

Besides the above guidelines, there are also a few practical tips that can help you choose the best tableware for your restaurant. And to help you do that efficiently, we share them with you today.

Set a Realistic Budget from the Start

Buying commercial tableware for a restaurant is undoubtedly an investment. Since commercial tableware tends to be more expensive than the one designed for personal use, it is crucial to set a realistic budget from the earliest stages of the design process. Excluding restaurant tableware from the design budget can lead to gross overspending or poor choices that might harm your business and sales.

Setting a realistic budget at the start of the restaurant design process will also help narrow down your choices. It will make you consider the true value of the purchase and help better align your vision with your budget. But how can you realistically estimate the costs?

There are several steps you need to follow. First, you should have a rough estimate of the number of items and types of decorative elements you will need.

Once you have that, you should decide what materials and decor you would like to use. Different materials have different costs, so this will be a crucial step in setting the budget.

Last but not least, you should decide whether you wish to opt for personalised tableware or not. Adding a branding touch can bring numerous benefits to your restaurant, but it can also increase costs.

Take Into Account the Type of Cuisine

First impressions matter. And the impression diners get when they look at their plates plays a crucial role in how they perceive both the quality and the taste of the food. In other words, well-selected tableware will not only make your food appear more delicious but also tastier.

In order to make the best first impression, it is essential to choose tableware in line with the type of food you put on diners’ plate. And here we are not talking about such basic things as not serving spaghetti in a bowl. Rather, it is all about finding the perfect shapes, colours and types of plates, glasses and cutlery that suit the specific dishes you have on your menu.

Choose Tableware that Matches the Restaurant Design

Besides ensuring that the tableware you choose matches the cuisine, you should also select tableware based on the restaurant’s design concept. Matching tableware to the restaurant’s style, design, and ambience, helps create a comprehensive theme and enhances the dining experience. It allows you to draw attention to the food and offer an unforgettable culinary experience.

Depending on the theme and style of your restaurant, you can use tableware in several strategic ways. You can opt for a more traditional table setting and design to tone down a bolder colour scheme in your restaurant. Or, you can choose to add a pop of colour by using colourful tableware in a more neutral-toned restaurant. To keep you focussed on your overall look, it is a good idea to select tableware based on the previously established concept design.

Opt for High-Quality Materials that Offer Durability

Like many other functional elements in your restaurant, the tableware will have to stand up well against continual wear. To ensure that your plates, glassware and cutlery retain their aesthetic appeal, you must not compromise on quality. Restaurant tableware needs to be durable, easy to clean and to store, and resistant against thermal shock.

When it comes to choosing materials, there are almost endless options to select from. From ceramic, china, melamine, glass, porcelain or even stainless steel or iron, you have great freedom of choice. Depending on your end goals, you might opt for a few core pieces that offer outstanding performance in terms of both durability and style and select items that create more visual interest, even if they might not be as durable.

Make it Unique & Individual

One of the most crucial properties of successful interior design is individuality, style and personality. Choosing your tableware wisely will allow you to give your restaurant a unique style and design that helps turn occasional visitors into regular diners. Using a variety of shapes, colours and designs will allow you to take advantage of your tableware beyond its practical function.

Commercial tableware can be customised to include your brand or logo. Doing that can not only help create a comprehensive design concept but also adds a branding touch that reminds customers of your brand and values. Using unique styles and designs will allow you to use tableware as a powerful marketing tool that keeps diners coming back.

The Bottom Line

Choosing the best tableware for your restaurant is undoubtedly crucial for success. With careful deliberation and thought, it can become an efficient marketing tool to helps you attract more customers and offer a more immersive and pleasant dining experience. There are no hard-and-fast rules to follow when it comes to choosing the best tableware for your restaurant. Nevertheless, investing time and money will certainly lead to positive effects. Do not be afraid to experiment with different styles and designs, and make sure you think about your choices ahead of time.

Do you need professional help in choosing the best restaurant tableware? At Contrast Interiors, we offer comprehensive restaurant and bar interior design services. We can help select appropriate tableware and provide advice from the beginning of the design or refit process. Contact us to find out more.