Dinnerware: Melamine, China or Ovenware?

Dinnerware: Where to Begin?

When it comes to ordering dinnerware for a restaurant or foodservice, certain types are better than others for certain environments. Perhaps you plan to buy china, but want to put an entree in the oven to finish it. Or maybe you just want to save in a few areas. Below are benefits to different types of dinnerware to ensure you choose the best one for your establishment.

melamine dinnerwareMelamine

One of the major benefits of melamine dinnerware is durability. It’s ideal for K-12 or college foodservices, outdoor applications or any setting more prone to being dropped.

Some establishments stray away from melamine because they feel it doesn’t have the same appeal as china. While it’s not the same, many manufacturers have really perfected the look to be as close to china dinnerware as possible.

One thing to watch out for with melamine is it doesn’t do too well in the microwave.

“The melamine does not do well in the microwave, so their application is really important to look at,” said Product Consultant Greg Otterman.

Also, if your restaurant or foodservice uses disposable dinnerware or trays, you’re throwing money away each month and hurting the environment. By switching to at least melamine dinnerware, you’ll be saving money and our planet.

china dinnerwareChina

The great thing about china dinnerware is it’s sharp look and wide variety. This type of dinnerware can be as casual or upscale as you need it to be.

Of course, the downfall will always be that it is breakable.  But, as we learned in our blog “Why Dinnerware Breaks and Tips to Avoid It,” there are many things a restaurant or foodservice can do to ensure china dinnerware lasts.

For instance: Don’t stack or shove plates and bowls into a bus tub (a.k.a. “clamshelling”).  Also, do not put regular china into the oven. We’ll get to what you can put in the oven shortly. Last, National Accounts Manager for Oneida Global Foodservice, Mike Coggins, said restaurants always need to make sure they have enough.  Just like a new pair of shoes, the more you use them, the more they will become worn down. China also needs to have an adequate amount of time out of a dishwasher to cool down. If not, you’re subjected to thermal shock.

If durability is important to your establishment, Oneida recommends choosing porcelain in their dinnerware buying guide.

ovenware dinnerwareOvenware

Ovenware is meant to be used in the oven, which makes it a pretty straight forward buying decision.

Why does it matter though? Ovenware has an even thickness and flat dry bottom which makes it ideal for oven or microwave use.

Manufacturers have gotten very creative with ovenware recently which will allow your restaurant or foodservice to have a nicer presentation. And what happens when you have an upscale presentation? You have a more profitable meal.

So if you are a restaurant or foodservice that plans to put dishes in an oven frequently, ovenware is the direction to go in.


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