Dinnerware is available in a variety of constructions: China, glass, and plastic. Some plastics are disposable while others are reusable. Here are the benefits of using reusable plastic dinnerware.

Red Melamine Set

Reusable plastic dinnerware, traditionally made of melamine, is extremely versatile. You can find it as plates, trays, bowls, fashioned in multiple sizes and painted in a wide array of designs.

These beautiful and unique designs can improve the perception of ones’ foodservice establishment. It makes it look and feel more upscale, permitting operators to charge higher prices for menu items.

Using reusable dinnerware empowers the establishment to be eco-friendly, which can also encourage positive brand perception. The benefits of eco-friendly equipment cannot be underestimated as it reduces the amount of garbage in landfills and improves the health of our planet.

White Melamine Plate

These benefits, however, are often overlooked because of cost challenges. Operators can view reusable dinnerware as more expensive since they have a “higher per plate cost than disposables” (“Reusable vs Disposable Dinnerware: Costs & Benefits for a Foodservice Operation,” 2017). This idea chooses to ignore long-term expenses.

While reusable dinnerware will cost more initially, it typically ends up costing less than disposables because they don’t need to be replaced as often. As G.E.T. Enterprises points out 100% of disposable dinnerware must be replaced. Compare that to the mere 10-20% of reusable items that need to be replaced over time.

Blue Melamine

Plastic dinnerware won’t shatter like glass and China. When it does break, it isn’t hazardous to customers and staff like glass and China either. Individuals are far less likely to get to hurt during cleanup. Items are also far less likely to break in the first place.

Reusable plastic dinnerware is not ideal for some establishments, however. For instance, disposable plates and flatware are imperative for foodservice operations that don’t have a dishwasher. They function for on-the-go dining. China dinnerware is preferred for upscale restaurants and hotels that have waitstaff clear tables (“Most Durable Dinnerware for Casual or Fast-Casual Restaurant: Disposable vs Melamine vs China,” 2019).

Reusable dinnerware is best for establishments where presentation matters, customers dine in, and dishwashers can be or are already installed.

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