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Mafsi Article 2007

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Mafsi Article 2007

  1. 1. Homer Laughlin China Tabletop: Co., the authority on Trend American Manufactured Tabletop since 1871, sees the future trend in Not tabletop to parallel the comforts of home. Trendy …2007 and Beyond By Ray Leibman, The Homer Laughlin China Co. OutFront 16 www.mafsi.org / WINTER 2007
  2. 2. Customers today are traveling more, and spending more time away from their home base, and as such want the experiences of new cuisines and new decors but serviced and served in a homey place setting, that brings comfort to a high point. The Asian fusion concept has allowed the manufacturers to experiment with new shapes and new forms of dinnerware to accentuate the feeling of the plates highlighting the foods served. Multiple use applications for dinnerware is also trending up, with the same size and shape plates capturing the main course as well as the last All in all, the experiences that people want course. Soups are now used for dessert, as are ninner and expect are measured by the total “WOW” plates and even odd-shaped plates are finding their way factor of food, ambiance, service, panache, and into food service as part of the panache and ambiance. most importantly the feeling of comfort. Color is also beginning to form the essence of the “WOW” factor, by making the food polenta with butter pecan ice have taken over the types and blend with the color of the cream and orange slices. regions as in the past. Of plates. Whether it be a solid or Let us not forget the other course the prices have inched pattern, the food compliments tabletop items, such as their way back up, so that the the plate rather than the plate stemware, flatware and linens. presentation of using finer complimenting the food. Since comfort is the direction, stemware is putting the In working with some of the then they will stay true to their customer back in a comforting finest culinary schools, we see functionality and traditional in position of value and quality. the evolution of warm whites their appearances. When referring to the flat- rather than stark winter white Stemware seems to be ware being used, the issue of plates. The perception of losing their stems lately, but polished versus satin finishes comfort comes through with this is not developing as a continues to come up. The the spectrum running on the trend but rather more trendy. trend is going back with the warmer, more comforting side. The direction is to conjure up traditional polished look and Red dessert plates are thinner rimmed stems to developing the patina finish serving up cherry sorbets, augment the delicate wines over time. It allows for the purple plates are serving up that are now making the warmer feel of home away blueberry pie, and yellow rounds. Wines have become a from home. Polished also plates are serving up chocolate norm again, and the brands enhances the look of the table www.mafsi.org / WINTER 2007 17 OutFront
  3. 3. making the presentation a soil resistant product. These higher value perception characteristics are now while still maintaining the feel available in cotton like blends of comfort. that are more comforting and Linens and tablecloths are pleasurable to the touch and back with the white on white, the feel. black on black, etc. look, along All in all, the experiences with plain warmer colors to that people want and expect extenuate the total are measured by the total presentation and not disturb “WOW” factor of food, Ray Leibman, marketing consultant, the experience of the plates ambiance, service, panache, The Homer Laughlin China Co., can and the food. Softer blends are and most importantly the be reached at 304-387-1300, ext. taking the place of stiff, shiny feeling of comfort. OF 523 or rleibman@hlchina.com. Looks Good… From the server’s point of view, large, thick and heavy 12-inch plates are almost impossible to handle easily in any form of “A But Does it la Minute” service and if you use American Banquet Service (tray service with covers) stick Serve Easy? to the new, larger trays. Ask the chef and/or purchaser to pick-up, Considerations to take hold and carry at least two such plates in the when purchasing china right hand (when serving food properly from the left with the left hand) and two such plates Having used Home Laughlin China in many in the left hand (when clearing food properly of the operations I’ve been privileged to open, from the right with the right hand). You’ll find I can say their china is as easy on the hands as this cumbersome to say the least and it is to the eyes. And this is a very important sometimes impossible to maintain the artistic aspect to consider when choosing china. presentation of the cuisine when the plates are As a professional opener for the hospitality loaded with food and sauces. industry, I’ve always suggested that chef’s My advice from the service point of view is opinions not be the primary in the purchase of to buy china that looks good but not china. Ask your server’s opinions and before tremendous (in size and/or weight). Why let a buying, see if you can hold two or three plates chef’s good works go in vain when just a few easily in either hand (while piping hot). Also extra wasted minutes can mean the difference test to make sure four full stacks of plates with in food quality and ultimate guest satisfaction? covers will fit easily on a standard waiter’s tray Is it any wonder that statistics are showing (or on an oversized tray if you’re intending to that 73 percent of patrons return to food use 12-inch plates.) In all my trainings, I test service facilities due to service, while only 12 my servers and their supervisors and owners percent return because of food? Good food in their ability to easily lift a waiter’s tray with has become a given, so don’t let it be ruined a minimum of 10 covers. by improper service because you gave looks If the china is too heavy and cumbersome priority over ease of serving. and you’re using any form of “A la Minute” (hand service) you’ll need four servers to Ian Maksik, also known as the “Professor of Service” properly serve a table of eight if they’re only can be reached at ian@usawaiter.com or visit able to easily carry one-plate in each hand. www.usawaiter.com. OutFront 18 www.mafsi.org / WINTER 2007

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