Setting a table with fine china plates, silverware, crystal and napkins used to be an everyday thing. These days, that kind of dining experience is mostly found in fine dining restaurants and rarely in other hospitality establishments.
But bringing an element of this lost art to the forefront of any tabletop setting can mean the difference between true dining and just eating. An inviting table in a restaurant, café or when catering for an event, reflects your offer to your patrons. Even the simplest meals can seem like a culinary delight when served in an interesting setting.
Adding to the appearance of a table can be as simple as presenting your napkins differently. But simply stacking the napkins in a pile on the table is not dressing to impress. Experimenting with the presentation by trying different folds or using accessories such as silver napkin rings and ribbons will add an element of grandeur to the table. For a crafty, inexpensive solution, cardboard rings are another great look for any occasion.
Although cloth napkins are a preferred choice, they tend to go walkabout in Jamie Oliver’s case. The celebrity chef reported having 30,000 napkins stolen every month by light fingered diners. Quality paper napkins can be a beautiful and economical alternative for everyday dining establishments who don’t want to incur the cost of replacing cloth napkins. Paper napkins are easily replaceable and don’t require laundering at the end of the day.
In order to keep up appearances avoid the cheap and tatty paper napkin options you find in supermarkets. Look for something that offers a linen feel, elegant embossing and quality thickness like the Livi GT Premium Napkin. In crisp white it is simple, fresh and compliments any décor.
The paper napkin is also is a unique, inexpensive and effective marketing tool. Printing a brand or design on a napkin offers another point of difference to a table setting. Max’s Café in the United States cleverly prints sayings on its napkins in regards to its service, including “Warning: we bake our breads crusty as can be. If you like soft bread, eat the middle”.
When choosing paper napkins you should also remember to look for brands that are environmentally friendly. The Livi GT Premium Napkin is certified by globally recognised forestry scheme PEFC (The Programme for the Endorsement of Forestry Certification) which is made of material that comes from sustainably managed forests.
So next time you rework those table settings think how you can make your patron’s dining experience a little more special by doing something different. It could be as simple as changing the table linen you use and presenting it creatively.