The linen you need for your restaurant

Restaurants come in many shapes and forms, from fine dining to the casual motorway lorry stop type, but they do have one thing in common: they all need to use some form of linen. The exact items required will generally depend on the style of the restaurant, and getting this right can make a huge difference in how successful the business is in the long term.

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Casual dining restaurants

Family-friendly places, often part of a large chain, offer a big menu and a quick turnaround. They are efficient but warm and welcoming and priced to appeal to ordinary people who want a little treat. The napkins may be paper here, but the tablecloths are usually made from cotton of some kind to emphasise the step up from a roadside diner experience.

Cafes/coffee shops

Independent cafes and teashops may opt for cloth table covers that can be laundered daily, especially if creating a particular ambience through theme or decoration. Larger places or chain shops are less likely to cover tables, but staff will generally wear some form of a uniform.

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Fine dining restaurants

Customers expect a high-end experience, from the items on the menu and the way the staff conduct themselves to the décor and linens. In this kind of place, the visual elements create the atmosphere; kitchen staff are bound to wear crisp, white uniforms, and the tablecloths – which are essential to showing off the sparkling restaurant cutlery sourced from specialists such as – will be plain, and made from top-quality linen.

Fast food

Fast food joints usually provide a basic dining experience. Wipe-clean tables are the norm, though staff are more likely to be fully kitted out in official company uniforms than in some higher-end places. Customers in this type of restaurant don’t expect or perhaps even want linen napkins and tablecloths; consuming food in a short amount of time is the focus of most customers.

Before you decide on the best kind of linen to supply for your restaurant, think carefully about what the target audience will expect, and then choose items that will strengthen your brand and fit in properly to the overall experience. In some cases, table linens are essential; in other cases, they’re optional. Don’t forget to factor in the costs of laundering and eventually replacing the items you use daily.

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