Top Eight Benefits of Melamine Dinnerware

Unsure of the right type of dinnerware for your high-volume, casual restaurant? Melamine dinnerware is the stylish solution for your busy eatery! For environments where china just won't stand up to the rigors of commercial use, melamine is the stylish, economical solution for your restaurant service. It offers a more upscale tabletop presentation than disposable paper dinnerware and fast food baskets. Plus, your wait staff and dishwashers will love its easy maintenance design. Melamine's lightweight construction makes it easier to handle than china, and melamine dishes dry quicker because of the material's heat-retaining properties.

Thanks to its durable, lightweight construction, melamine is a popular choice for school cafeteria settings. But melamine tableware isn't just limited to plates and cups. You'll find melamine bowls, saucers, display trays, ramekins, fry cones, chopsticks, and more! Use it at your fast casual eatery, day care facility, cafeteria setting, assisted living community, and other high volume food service operation. It's available in so many colors and styles that you can even find designer melamine dinnerware that looks just like china and hand crafted ceramic! Read on for the top eight advantages of buying melamine dinnerware.

1. Shatter Proof and Break Resistant

Durable

Melamine dinnerware is virtually indestructible, making it the ideal choice for your high volume restaurant. This helps speed up table service - no need to carefully stack melamine plates and cups in your dish tub as you would have to with china. Melamine is an organic industrial compound created by combining melamine resin with strengthening materials. That means it can stand up to the rigors of everyday use: a tray dropped in a cafeteria, a cup dropped at a restaurant, a plate dropped in the kitchen, and other food service scenarios. Plus, melamine is relatively resistant to scratch marks from forks, knives, and other utensils. Look for models with a reinforced rim and foot for additional durability, such as the Carlisle Dallas melamine dinnerware line.

2. Stack Up the Savings

Plate Stack

Not only does investing in melamine dinnerware save you money initially, but it's a smart long term investment. While chinaware and other ceramic dinnerware shatters when dropped, melamine's durable construction means that it stands up better to use and abuse over time. No more replacing plates, cups, bowls, and other serving ware every time they chip or break. You'll see great savings stack up over time.

3. China-Like Appearance

China

There are dozens of designer melamine lines created to mimic the look of fine china and other ceramic dinnerware. Available in both solid color and patterned designs, you're sure to find the perfect high end melamine dinnerware to match your restaurant theme. Check out basic designs like GET's Diamond Cambridge and Santa Fe melamine dinnerware for the simplistic, sophisticated look of off-white china. For a hand glazed ceramic appearance, check out melamine serving ware like the GET New Yorker collection and Thunder Group's Tenmoku line. You can even serve up an artisan, hand textured look at your table with Pebble Creek melamine dinnerware from Elite Global Solutions.

4. A Color and Theme for Every Occasion

Melamine tabletop ware is designed for just about every application, from contemporary catered events to Mexican restaurants. GET's melamine Molcajete bowls have the same mortar and pestle look as traditional salsa and guacamole bowls, without the weight and expense! Check out GET mosaic platter dinnerware for your Mediterranean themed cafe. For your Chinese restaurant or hibachi grill, check out the traditional decorations that adorn our Asian-Inspired dinnerware collection. Add a bright splash to your catered display with boldly colored GET Brasilia bowls. You'll even find American Metalcraft faux slate and wood displayware made from melamine to bring a rustic appeal to your catering foodservice.


5. Heat Resistant and Cold Insulated

Heat Resistant and Cold Insulated

Even when serving hot entrees, melamine stays cool to the touch. This protects restaurant servers and diners from burn hazards associated with hot plates and other serving ware. Thanks to its stay cool properties, melamine is also great for kitchen tools like tongs and ladles that will be handling hot soups and boiling water. And thanks to melamine's high-heat retaining properties, it dries faster than standard dishware. This saves you time and hassle in your dishroom!

Because melamine is such a great insulator, it's also ideal for cold food and buffet displays. Melamine food pans are great for cold applications like deli displays, buffets, salad bars, and more. For a stylish catered display, place melamine displayware in an ice filled container to keep plated items cool.

6. Food Safe and BPA Free

Melamine Plates

Many reports have surfaced questioning the health hazards of melamine tableware. However, the FDA Safety and Risk Assessment of Melamine states that this type of plastic tableware is safe for use. The study concludes that melamine will not migrate, or transfer, into food product as long it is not heated to 160 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. That's why melamine is not suggested for microwave and conventional oven use.

Popular brands like GET and Carlisle carry certified BPA free melamine products. Additionally, many lines of melamine dinnerware and other kitchen tools meet NSF approval for food safety.

7. Recyclable

Many earth conscious consumers wonder where melamine falls on the list of recyclable plastics. Melamine is categorized under Class #7 on the list of Plastic Resin Codes. This means that it is a widely used plastic that does not fit into the more commonly used #1-6 classifications. Melamine cannot be melted for recycling like other plastics; however, it can be ground down and used as a filler for other plastics or wood.

Eco-friendly lines like Elite Global Solutions Greenovations are changing the way restaurateurs think about recycling melamine. Made of 50 percent bamboo and 50 percent melamine, this eco-conscious dinnerware is biodegradable. It boasts the same durable features as regular melamine, and is even dishwasher safe. The GET BambooMel line boasts a similar "go green" design.

8. Dishwasher Safe

Melamine Plates

Unlike glazed dishes, melamine tableware is 100% dishwasher safe. In fact, many lines of melamine serving ware can handle heat that exceeds recommended dishwasher water temperatures, just to show you how durable this plastic is! For instance, GET melamine dinnerware can withstand temperatures up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, while Carlisle melamine tableware withstands up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Note that this exceeds the recommended dishwasher temperature settings for melamine.

When washing melamine, follow these simple care instructions to extend the life of your plastic dinnerware:

  • Presoak melamine products if necessary in a high quality presoak dishwashing detergent.
  • Do not use serrated knives on melamine products.
  • Do not use melamine products in a conventional oven.
  • Do not use melamine products in a microwave oven.
  • Do not use harsh abrasive cleaners, steel wool or metal scouring pads on melamine products. For safe scrubbing, use a light duty white scrubbing pad.
  • Do not use chlorine bleach on melamine products.

Related resources:

Chinaware Guide

Flatware Buying Guide

Table Linen Guide

Restaurant Dinnerware Shopping Tips