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REVEALED: How my family’s old kindergarten projects are increasing foodservice profits

Is your home’s kitchen cupboard like mine? In it, we have three melamine plates – two created by my daughters and one by my wife. Remember those old projects, where you drew your pattern on a special piece of paper and a few weeks later, it would come back on a plate? My wife has used her one on every Fish and Chip night since 1980.


Melamine is an enduring choice for serving food to our children – it’s easy to see why. My kitchen cupboard attests to the durability of melamine. It’s scratch and chip resistant, yet light in weight and easy to clean. If it can survive a hungry toddler, does it warrant inclusion to your foodservice business? Let’s take a look at what we’ve noticed from both the little and big kids at home.

Take it anywhere

Our melamine plates are often out by the barbecue, by the pool and at camping grounds around the country. Melamine is chip and scratch resistant and has absorbed the occasional drop from little fingers. Shown to be 4 times more durable than ceramic, melamine tableware is an excellent choice for both indoor and outdoor use.

Lightweight plates and bowls are also easier to handle – whether it’s your serving team carrying them throughout the day, or diners moving about with them in a more casual setting. Handling of large bowls and platters filled with food at buffets and service counters is easier too.


Keep everyone safe

We select products for our children that are safe for them to use. Melamine ticks this box in two ways that also apply to commercial environments.

Solid materials are one of two things – they are conductors or insulators. Ceramic conducts – put some soup into a bowl and you’ll notice it quickly becomes hot to the touch. Melamine insulates, so the heat is trapped in the soup. An important feature around our kids.

More useful to business is that this insulation property works the same way with cold. Prepared salad or deli meats at a buffet keep cool for longer in or on melamine. This then slows down the perishing of foods.

Melamine is also non-porous, scientifically proven to harbour less bacteria than ceramic and wooden dishes. Its scratch resistance preserves this quality throughout its working life.  

Is melamine really safe for serving food though? There were well-documented instances in 2007/08 of melamine contamination in infant formula in China. Manufacturers added a chemical mix of melamine and cyanuric acid to the formula, to create the illusion of a high protein content – and they were convicted for this in 2009. Melamine tableware is FDA-approved food safe when used as directed and it is BPA free.


Colour your world

Melamine plates for children are a favourite because of their vibrant colours and designs. The same is true for us big kids too!

The new 2019 Dalebrook Tableware catalogue features 9 stunning new ranges of tableware. More buffet and counter looks are highlighted in our 2019 Food Display catalogue. Using modern, eye-catching designs, innovative restaurants, hotels, caterers and retailers are creating food displays that amaze not just customers on the day, but also the social media audiences sharing the dining experience.


An excellent investment

A considered selection of melamine solutions into your food display armoury becomes an excellent investment:

  • Durability equates to a longer life-cycle to reduce ownership costs.
  • Easy to clean and maintain, commercial quality pieces are dishwasher-safe, robust enough to appear good as new after 500 commercial dishwasher cycles.
  • Lightweight for easy handling – less drops, less breakages, less replacement cost
  • Combine flexibility of use, suited to indoor and outdoor dining, with your selection of contemporary, classic, modern and colourful designs – deliver a quality dining presentation in any environment

5:50pm Friday night now – pizza night! Time to grab the old faithfuls out of the cupboard again.

*Article Cover image credit - Annie Spratt

*here's the 1980 plate!


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