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2017 Tabletop Trends with ITI Dinnerware

ITI Blog HeroInternational Tableware, Inc. (more commonly referred to as “ITI”) is Tundra’s top supplier of commercial dinnerware for the food industry, providing the latest tabletop trends that withstand the wear and tear of any bustling restaurant.

ITI knows that today, a restaurant’s success is about more than just the food.  People don’t go to restaurants just to eat. They want to be served and to leave feeling like they had an experience, not just a meal. It goes without saying that a major part of that experience is dining room ambiance, and I believe that every restaurant should appear interesting and make guests feel welcome. That’s why picking out the right dinnerware is so important. The question is – when it comes time to pick, where do you start?

So Many Choices

ITI has a variety of different shapes and designs to choose from. While it’s great to have choices, it can also be a bit overwhelming when making that final decision. A few things to consider first are your budget and your style of cuisine. Once you know that, you can then filter down by color and shape to find the perfect line to accompany the style of your restaurant.

Color

ITI Roma American White Dinnerware
ITI Roma™ American White Dinnerware

American White dinnerware was the beginning of ITI’s legacy in ceramic tabletop supplies. American White is basically off-white, and can even seem closer to beige depending on the lighting of your establishment (dim lights will show the off-white more, while bright lighting will make the plates appear closer to white). I suggest American White for a more casual, almost diner style tabletop, but really with the right food, you can make these plates look quite sophisticated.

ITI Torino™ Porcelain Dinnerware is a classic European White.
ITI Torino™ Porcelain Dinnerware is a classic European White.

European White is less beige than American White and less white than Bright White. ITI considers this a more traditional and artisan tableware color, and offers it in fresh designs and unique shapes.

ITI’s Bright White porcelain is the purest white you’ll find and is crafted from a mixture of different premium clays.  The color and shapes of ITI Bright White dinnerware is specifically designed to elevate dishes and to exude fine dining.

While you’ll want to avoid mixing the different shades of white dinnerware, ITI colorware is great for mixing and matching. You’ll see yellow, red, and orange plates at your local Tex-Mex joint but there’s opportunity with colored plates to jazz up any tabletop. It all depends on the color of your food. As long as you make your food pop (I’m picturing a slice of key lime pie on a cobalt blue Cancun™ dessert plate) you can definitely find room for some different colored china in your dining room. Some popular ITI colorware collections are Cancun™ and Harvest Elite™.

 

Shape

Round dinnerware is more durable (harder to chip when there aren’t corners) but does have a more casual/diner look to it, especially if you go with American White.  Some popular ITI round dinnerware collections are the Roma™ and the Dover™.

The ITI Roma™ Collection features a versatile style and round shape.

Square plates and bowls are going to generally give off a fine dining appearance, but as I said above, it’s easier to chip the corner off of something when it…has a corner.

ITI Chef's Palette™ Porcelain Plates
ITI Chef’s Palette™ Porcelain Plates have a sophisticated square edge.

Hybrid – If “mix n’ match” ain’t your thing, but you’re trying to find a dinnerware style that is not too casual and not too upscale, we suggest using a hybrid shape. The Quad™ Collection (super popular among breweries and farm-to-table type pubs) is perfect if you’re looking for something fashionably durable to plate sandwiches, soup, and pomme frites.

ITI Quad™ Fine Porcelain Dinnerware
ITI Quad™ Fine Porcelain Dinnerware has a hybrid shape.

2017 Tabletop Trends

At Tundra, we work with a lot of new restaurants and emerging concepts. Here are some of the trends we’re seeing as far building tabletop design:

Smaller plates! I’m sure you’ve noticed that within the last few years, most restaurants have expanded their appetizer list, or have added a section called “shared bites” or “nibbles.” Restaurant patrons are making their moms proud, and doing a really good job sharing because this trend, plus family style dinners, doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. All of which calls for smaller plates (vs entrée plates). Most restaurants are also trying to fit more tables in their space and smaller tables inevitably leads to the need for smaller serving dishes.

Mix and match. If you have an eclectic menu, or don’t really identify with either “casual” or “fine dining,” mixing and matching different plate styles is a fun way to differentiate your table-top swagger.  Maybe try serving elevated crab cakes on this ITI 12 in Chef’s Palette Platter and use these classic 6 1/4 in Dover sharing plates.

Asian cuisine (particularly Korean) is no longer “on the rise.” It’s 2017 and it has fully arrived. We’ve found that coupe style plates/bowls are a popular choice for Asian noodle dishes.  onsider using this ITI 32 Oz Torino Coupe Bowl to serve a classic Bibimbap.

untitled (50 of 107)-SSo, whether you know what you like, or have no idea, I hope this guide to ITI dinnerware helps clear things up a bit.  Keep checking back to see what new and clever designs we’ve added from ITI. And if you’re still not convinced of how important your tabletop design is, consider the vast amount of Instagram and Facebook posts out there that tag restaurants. Most people posting pictures of their food are (by no means) professional food photographers, so think of how enticing an Instagram post from your restaurant could be with the perfect lighting over a thoughtful tabletop presentation.  It could very easily draw people in just from some free social media marketing you got from one patron.

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About Dot Brantley

Dot Brantley is the Online Marketing Coordinator for Tundra Restaurant Supply. Having dabbled in pastry arts, restaurant management, and events coordinating, she brings a unique mix of industry knowledge to the table. Beyond her day job, she loves live music, adventuring in the Rockies, and overall enjoying the newfound glory of having weekends off.

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