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Trends in Plates and China for 2017

There was a flurry of media interest last year at the news that bowls were beginning to replace plates in British households. The low-sided coupe bowl, sometimes called a pasta dish, has become a staple for consumers who are more and more likely to eat from their laps on a sofa rather than a table in the kitchen or dining room.

For restaurateurs, this was no surprise. Tableware has long been a part of the theatre of dining and a new crockery option can elevate a customer’s experience from good to great without them realising why.

So what are the trends in tableware and crockery for 2017? And why has tableware, the third most important part of a restaurant’s proposition after food and service, become a hot topic?

Tableware has long been a part of the theatre of dining.

Making your tableware Instagram-ready

Social media has been a key driver of the new attention on tableware. Pinterest plates and Instagram eating are inescapable with thousands of pictures of food and plates uploaded every day. 

Canny restaurateurs have been quick to seize the opportunity of seeing their dishes given a wider audience, and tableware is a crucial part of that. Plates need to play their part in encouraging customers to take a picture of the creation in front of them – a shareable plate now has a double-meaning for Instagrammers.


Crockery in the home

It’s important to understand the context of customers’ home experience, particularly with the consumer sphere becoming ever more varied. Restaurateurs may want to underline the difference between eating out and eating in, or they may want to recreate a home-from-home feel – either way, they need to understand how their customers are eating. Social media experts report that healthy eating has driven online trends, with bowls for smoothies, quinoa and rice particularly popular, as well as Buddha bowls.

Blank canvas or colourful background?

Colours and patterns are making a comeback after a move towards more esoteric materials like slate and roof tiles. The trend a couple of years ago towards serving on unusual items like shovels, flat caps and dustbin lids seems to have passed. There has been a move towards much more classic designs. For chefs that want to focus entirely on the food, the opportunity provided by a classic white plate is still unsurpassed.


Getting tableware right for your restaurant

There’s little point in serving modern British cuisine in a thali dish or using a bowl for a Sunday roast. Burgers and ribs go well on darker tones, possibly metal, while a hipster café might consider something more dramatic. Crockery choices will vary depending on the restaurant’s theme, and authenticity is usually the key to long-term success.

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