Choosing the right Crockery and Tableware
How do you navigate the best options when choosing tableware for your business – or indeed your home?
When you set out to open, or update a business venue a lot of emphasis will be on the big spends – lighting, furniture, bar etc. but don’t forget the huge impact that crockery, cutlery & glassware have on your customers’ experience.
Your chef will have a strong idea on how his food should be presented, and these ideas should balance with those of your interior designer to create a complete look.
Large white porcelain plates have been a long standing favourite: a ‘blank canvas’ on which your chef can present each dish. Some chefs like to accent this plain white with slate or wood accessories, and we are now seeing a resurgence in colour, with an emphasis on a more rustic finish and natural colours. New shapes are emerging which along with the reappearance of rustic colour and natural products can really be used to reflect new flavours and food trends.
Alongside crockery, your cutlery and glass need careful thought too. A recent survey found that cutlery can affect perception of taste & quality, so choosing a budget style of knife and fork may in fact be a false economy.
Recent retro & vintage trends in clothing and furniture have filtered through to glassware too, with some very expressive styles that you can use to bring out the style of your bar or restaurant.
Our years (25 now!) of selling tableware have taught us the important factors to encourage our customers to consider:
- Think about the style of your food – and use your tableware to reflect it.
- Table size – will 2 or 4 or 6 plates fit, with additional service items and glasses?
- Cost – an important consideration as you will be re-ordering tableware regularly, unlike chairs or ovens. Consider investing in a few key pieces to catch your diners’ attention, or look for durability guarantees to minimise ongoing outlay.
- Continuity of supply – end of line deals might offer a great saving, but if there’s no top ups available then you might be left with mismatched or unusable items.
- Buy the right amount – usually 1.5 x the amount of covers: so 90 for a 60 seater restaurant. Equally, if you’re opening a 4 room B&B, find a product that isn’t boxed in 48s as storage might become an issue!
- Use – do you need a different shape/size for each course/dish? Today’s chefs have moved away from starter/main/dessert and are more likely to require 2 plate shapes/sizes which they can then accent with additional items that fit each dish.
- Durability – yes, we know you might see something perfect and very affordable in Ikea, but be prepared to go back. And back. These are household items that just aren’t designed to last in a busy commercial environment. Crockery, cutlery and glassware all have varying degrees of durability, so it’s best to get some advice.
There is nothing to beat coming to Crosbys (or your local showroom) where you can look, feel, choose, set out a table and then take samples away. Once you’ve set out your choice of samples on your own table, under your own lights, and you know it’s the right combination, then you’re ready to place your order!