As a restaurant owner, staying updated on the latest trends in restaurant tabletop design is crucial for the success of your establishment.
The design of your tables plays a significant role in creating a welcoming and memorable dining experience for your customers. The selection of cutlery, glassware, plating and tablecloths have become crucial to the dining experience.
It sets the ambiance, reflects your brand identity, and can even influence customer satisfaction. By being aware of the current trends in tabletop design, you can ensure that your restaurant remains visually appealing and relevant in today’s competitive market.
With a goal of sharing a read of where tabletop is headed in Q4 of 2023 and into next year, Total Food Service sought out one of the industry’s true visionaries: Simone Mayer of FOH (Front of the House). Her expertise as Founder and CEO of Miami, FL based FOH can provide valuable insights and inspiration for enhancing your restaurant’s overall aesthetic.
Simone Mayer’s expertise can help you identify innovative ideas, unique materials, and modern styles that align with your restaurant’s vision, ultimately attracting more customers and leaving a lasting impression on them.
What are the current tabletop trends in restaurants?
At FOH®, we’re always looking out for and considering the latest trends when designing our tableware concepts. That being said, while we take inspiration from what’s in style, we are also constantly improving our designs and searching for ways to propel new trends so that we can not only offer the WOW experience that chefs and guests crave but so we can bring something new to the table – literally.
Tabletop trends in restaurants are ever-evolving — since our inception, sustainable materials, minimalist designs, and unique serving vessels have been at the forefront. We manufacture solutions so every space achieves its desired look and feel. Sustainable materials such as bamboo and recycled glass have been increasingly popular as consumers become more environmentally conscious.
Minimalist designs that focus on simplicity and elegance are also popular, as they allow the food to be the highlight. Unique and unconventional serving vessels such as our Root boards and Kiln® colored porcelain are another popular trend as they add an element of surprise and delight to the dining experience. In terms of shapes, organic and abstract designs are highly sought after. A fresh departure from traditional round plateware styles, these plates offer tremendous versatility in plating dishes and promote a unique dining experience for guests.
The concept of “bowls” is huge right now. From poke bowls to breakfast bowls and everything in between, these dishes feature a wide range of ingredients, sectioned off to showcase each one individually as opposed to combining them. These types of dishes are plated in large bowls that will show off the colors and textures of each dish component and are easy to handle by both servers and guests.
How do tabletop trends impact the overall dining experience? How can tableware create a lasting impression on guests?
Well-curated tableware creates a lasting impression on guests and can even influence their perception of the food. Tableware is not just a functional item; it plays an integral role in setting the “personality” of the establishment and creating an ambiance that shapes the guest’s perception of the food. Restaurants that integrate trending concepts also present themselves as innovative and current, inspiring social-media-worthy photos and marketing messages.
A meticulously curated tabletop can leave a lasting impression on customers, transforming a simple meal into a memorable sensory journey that entices them to return. Plus, unique serving vessels and other creative touches can create excitement and elevate the dining experience. Collections like the new Bevel® play with visual sensory aspects of any stimulated setting you recall.
How can a well-curated tabletop setting make the food look more appetizing?
Firstly, our chef partners love the food presentation on the plate that complements and enhances the flavors and texture of their dish. Secondly, using appropriate tableware, such as dishes, flatware, and accessories, can make the food look more visually appealing. Lastly, using colors and textures in the plates and tableware can create a more vibrant and enticing dining experience.
Furthermore, the layout and placement of the various elements can also impact how the food is perceived. For instance, placing the main dish at the center and arranging the side dishes around it can create a focal point and draw attention to the main dish, making it look more appetizing.
For example, a light-colored tablecloth or placemats can provide an excellent backdrop for colorful and visually striking dishes. Similarly, pairing a bold-colored dish with simple cutlery and glassware can make the food stand out while adding elegance to the table setting.
Always curious that a $35 and over entrée was always served on a white tablecloth. Now it’s not uncommon to see a $50 entrée on a table with no cloth… maybe an expensive napkin? How does that impact your role?
The traditional use of a white tablecloth was to indicate the high-end price point of an entrée and it’s no longer a hard and fast rule. Customers are more focused on the quality of their food and experience, rather than the use of traditional symbols of luxury. As a CEO, my role is to stay ahead of these changes and adapt.
This may mean exploring new materials and designs for our tableware for your space, and ensuring that the dining experience remains exceptional regardless of traditional symbols. We take inspiration from current design trends and elements of nature to ensure the shapes, sizes, and colors of our plateware complement dishes and spark creativity for the chef.
Are there any emerging technologies influencing tabletop trends?
There will constantly be emerging technologies for the food and beverage industry. Like now, we see kitchens moving into all-electric equipment at a faster rate. These influences add a new level of engagement to the culinary experience.
What seasonal trends impact tabletop design?
As a manufacturer, we want to produce solutions that can evoke feelings of warmth and coziness, maybe mimicking seasons, but our end goal is to develop designs that have a wholesome lifespan for our customers.
It’s essential to be aware of these seasonal trends and incorporate them into the tabletop design to create an immersive and memorable dining experience. It creates a level of depth with the meal by incorporating elements of what’s happening around them into the story of the dining experience. Still, as a thought leader, we strive to stay one step ahead so our offerings are always fresh and exciting.
What are cost-effective ways for restaurants to incorporate seasonal tabletop trends?
Yes, different seasons inspire different colors, patterns, and textures. Overall, tabletop design can play a pivotal role in enhancing the dining experience and adding an extra layer of ambiance to a restaurant’s atmosphere.
Our focus is to help choose classic tableware that can be paired with simple seasonal accents, resulting in a design that will always feel on-trend. A restaurant can maintain its aesthetic by staying flexible and versatile while still adapting to shifting seasonal trends. Personalization is increasingly popular, with more restaurants offering custom tableware that reflects their unique brand identity.
Incorporating accents. Restaurants can add seasonal flowers to a tabletop display and garnish dishes with herbs, fruits, and vegetables that are also in season.
Can you share insights on the future of tabletop trends?
The use of biodegradable and recyclable materials is expected to become even more prevalent, and there is a growing focus on decentralized production models that prioritize local sourcing and shorter supply chains.
How can restaurants integrate sustainable tabletop materials without compromising on aesthetics?
Choose the right materials: sustainable, recyclable, and eco-friendly. Restaurants can create a positive environmental impact without compromising on aesthetics. Sustainable items can be just as chic as those made from other materials – if not more.
Sustainable pieces are usually made from different types of wood, which add a rustic and warm touch to any presentation. The neutral colors and organic textures pair well with all materials and can be integrated seamlessly. Alternatively, upcycling is an elegant and sustainable option that can add a touch of sophistication to any tabletop design.
How can restaurants create a cohesive tabletop design that aligns with their brand image?
The key to creating a cohesive tabletop design is to keep the restaurant’s brand identity in mind throughout the process. This means carefully selecting solutions that reflect the restaurant’s unique aesthetic. Remain consistent with colors, textures, and patterns, a restaurant creates a visual language that communicates its brand identity to customers. Moreover, it is essential to consider the dining experience as a whole, from the menu to the environment, to ensure that the tabletop design aligns with the overall vision.
Tableware plays a vital role in communicating the restaurant’s ethos to diners. For example, traditional ceramics and rustic pieces communicate a “homey,” intimate feeling, whereas modern suspension plates or a tiny serving dish can make the food feel extravagant and avant-garde. Choose materials, styles, and colors that best represent the essential theme of the restaurant and the types of dishes that are served.
What is the next step for an operator/dealer that would like more info on how FOH can help to update their tabletop strategy?
Our website is the perfect place to learn more about FOH®, www.fohworldwide.com, where we showcase our extensive solutions and offer resources on trends and best practices on our blogs. If you can visit us in person, you can see our showrooms in Miami, New York, Chicago, and Amsterdam. We would love for you to come see us!
Another option is to complete the contact form on our site to reach our team of experts, who can provide personalized advice and recommendations based on the restaurant’s specific needs and goals. We offer samples and mock-ups, allowing restaurants to see how different tableware and accents will look before making any commitments. Overall, by working with FOH®, restaurants can elevate their presentations and create an unforgettable dining experience for their guests.