How to Choose? Restaurant Table Linen

Posted on Jun 8, 2021 | 0 comments

Why does the appearance of your restaurant linen matter so much? Imagine for a moment you’re interviewing a potential host or waiter – one of the faces of your establishment. He shows up to the interview wearing a purple corduroy suit that’s two sizes too big for him, red dress shoes, and a lime green checkered tie with an old stain on it. Is your first impression, “Hire that guy right now”? Probably not. He may be the most qualified person for the job, but his first impression has robbed him of any chance to prove to you that he’s got what it takes to impress your guests.

Your tablecloths can have the same impact on your customers – whether it’s the color, material choice, or cleanliness. Your food may be the best in town, but if your table linen is giving off the wrong vibe, customers may not even give you a chance. Let’s talk about a few of the key considerations to ensure your linens are making the best first impression for your restaurant.

Keep In Shape

This one is simple enough to figure out quickly. Your tablecloths should match the shape of your table – whether they’re square, rectangular or round. This ensures the cloth will lay properly and cover all areas of the table that you want it to cover.

Size Matters

For this step you’ll need to get out your tape measure. Measure all sides of your rectangular or square table, or the diameter of your round table. Now, sit down in one of the chairs and measure the distance between the edge of your table and the top of your thighs – this is your drop length. Add this distance to your measurements the whole way around the table to determine your final size. If you would like a longer drop to your cloth, perhaps to reach the floor for a more formal look, then simply measure from the table edge to the floor. Not quite an expert with a tape measure? No problem! Check out this handy graphic for reference.

Material Makes a Difference

Choose the material for your tablecloths to fit your restaurant’s mood and the maintenance you’re willing to put into your linens. Keep in mind that lower thread count is the more durable choice and won’t be easily damaged. Cotton tablecloths are a great option for casual dining or the do-it-yourself laundry approach because they are inexpensive, machine washable, breathable, and come in a variety of colors. Cotton is also very durable, so your tablecloths will last.

Polyester shares many of cotton’s benefits and gets some added perks of its own. Poly won’t shrink if it’s subjected to long wash cycles, doesn’t easily wrinkle, and dries quicker than cotton so you can turn it around faster if you’re washing linens yourself. This is a great option for an upper scale dining experience, but if you really want to impress then there’s yet another option: satin band.

Satin band is often made of 100% cotton but has a silky feel and shiny finish that provides another level of luxury for high-end dining. 

Color Sets the Mood

Remember the lime green tie on our waiter candidate? Much like that makes you cringe just thinking about it, the wrong color table linen can turn your customers’ stomachs before they even taste your appetizers. Try to choose a color that fits the mood and personality of not only your restaurant, but also the experience you want your guests to have. Bright, fun colors are a great choice for casual dining, while neutrals such as white and cream are the preferred option for fine dining.

Table linens can bring a pop of color from your branding into neutral room décor, while white or cream linen goes with almost any color scheme and adds an air of sophistication. Consider how many tables you have and how close together they are as well. You may look at one blue tablecloth and love it, but will you still like the look when it’s covering 40 tables and looks like the ocean across your restaurant? The decision is yours!

Maintenance, Commitment, and Moving Forward

This is where we talk about practicality. It’s important to decide up front whether you have the means and space to purchase your own linens outright and give them proper care, or whether it’s best to outsource to a local linen company. If you purchase your linens, you’ll want to choose an option that is durable and easy to care for. You will also need the ability to launder them yourself and the space to store multiple sets. This is an ongoing expense and time commitment, which leads many restaurant owners to use a commercial laundry service to ensure they always have the linens they need and that they are clean, pressed, and ready to impress your guests.

If you’re interested in talking with a local linen company about your restaurant’s needs, we are here for you. Call to speak to a Textile Sales Consultant today!. Don’t forget that in addition to tablecloths, we can also provide napkins, aprons, bar mops, uniforms and more to make your business run smoothly and take one more responsibility off your plate.   

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