Repeat Diners: Five Ways to Keep Them Coming Back For More

5 ways to ensure that your diners become repeat dinersRepeat diners are a critical part of success in the contemporary business world, making up 71, 68, 64, 63 and 51 percent of sales at quick service, fast-casual, casual-dining, family-dining, and fine-dining establishments respectively, according to research from the National Restaurant Association (NRA). Continue reading Repeat Diners: Five Ways to Keep Them Coming Back For More

Melamine Dinnerware: A Combination of Beauty and Functionality

For fine dining restaurants, elegant chinaware is, without question, the natural choice. However, for cafeterias, fast foods or high-volume casual restaurants, expensive chinaware is just not practical. The rigors that the plates go through in a high-volume operation will mean a shorter life span for traditional chinaware. However, restaurants are also concerned not just about the durability of the dinnerware but also of how presentable it is for their customers. The solution? Melamine dinnerware.

Melamine plates, glasses and bowls provide an excellent combination of design and functionality. This dinnerware is made by combining melamine resin with strengthening substances, resulting in a very durable and lightweight product.

Here are some reasons why melamine dinnerware is a tasteful yet cost-effective answer to your restaurant’s needs:

Melamine is light yet hardy. It is considerably lighter than chinaware, which will make your waiters and dishwashers happy. However, it is not flimsy and delicate, despite its light weight. It does not break or crack easily. It can be dropped, used with a knife and fork, bump into other dinnerware and stacked high and not scratch, chip, crack or break.

Good price. Compared even to low-end chinaware, melamine dinnerware will still come out cheaper. Considering its durability, melamine comes out to be a good investment.

Savings on storage space. Because melamine dinnerware can be stacked up without worrying about cracks and scratches, you can save on precious storage space in your kitchen area.

Variety. One big advantage of melamine is that it is highly adaptable in terms of its designs. For more formal occasions, you can have melamine dinnerware that mimics the glossy finish of elegant chinaware. At first glance, you can easily mistake it for the real chinaware! You can also have colorful patterns that can match a wide variety of motifs and themes. There are melamine dinnerware that bear oriental designs with its bright reds, blacks and golds. Your Mexican restaurant can use melamine designed with earthy orange, yellow and cobalt blue. There are melamine plates that have unique shapes (such as that of a leaf or a fish). With the wide range of colors, designs and themes that melamine dinnerware can have, there is surely one that will be a perfect fit for your restaurant or café.

Insulation. Melamine stays at the same temperature regardless of whether you serve warm or cold entrees. Its insulating properties also help to keep cold or frozen food cool. This makes melamine ideal for deli displays and salad bars.

Food safe and BPA free. As long as you use melamine properly, it meets NSF standards for food safety. Although it is believed that melamine substances may leach into the food, this only happens during instances where the food is heated at temperatures higher than 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that melamine is not safe for use in microwaves and ovens.

Quick-drying. Because of melamine’s insulating properties, it also has the added advantage of being quick to dry after washing. Thus, you can have more cycles per plate since you do not have to wait longer for the plate to “cool down” and dry after washing.

Recyclable. Melamine is very durable, but when it is at the end of its very long and very useful lifespan, melamine can also be recycled. This is done by grinding the melamine down. The resulting material is useful as fillers for wood or other plastics. Using melamine can be your restaurant’s contribution to helping the environment.

 

10 Party Must-Haves for Your Home

Do you take pleasure in being a host and seeing your loved ones and friends having a great time at your parties? Do you see yourself doing a lot of entertaining in the next months? Here are some items you can consider investing in to make your hosting responsibilities more manageable and enjoyable:

Chafers. Serve your scrumptious dishes on several sets of chafers that keep the food nicely warm and ready for your guests throughout the duration of your event. With chafers, the food is always well-presented and more convenient for both you and your guests.

Cake server sets. What is a party without cake? Or, for that matter, any reason to eat cake can be a good reason to invite friends over. A cake server set can make it easier for you to have your cake and eat it, too (as well as slice and serve it).

Stands for cakes and cupcakes. Present that exquisitely decorated cake in the best light with a cake stand. And as everybody is still crazy about cupcakes, you can also consider getting one. Cupcake stands are not only great for displaying and serving cupcakes but can also be used to serve other items such as candies or sweets in paper cups, bowls of fruit or mini pies. You can also use it as a stand for decorative items such as candles or potted plants.

White plates. If you entertain often, you can think about getting commercial dinnerware such as white plates. These are classier and more trouble-free for your guests than handling wobbly paper plates. White plates can be easily matched to any theme or color motif. Even with the possibility of breakage, you do not have to worry about getting matching replacement plates. While you’re at it, you can also get while salad plates and bowls.

White servers. Going with the “white” theme, white servers can provide you with a lot of mileage when you use these for your buffet or dessert tables. You do not have to worry about matching the servers with the tablecloth and the theme. White servers will also save you some storage space since you do not have to get differently-colored servers for different occasions.

Drink dispenser. Serve juice or punch using a beverage dispenser. They come with a built-in spigot so that guests can get their own juice. It is best to get a glass beverage dispenser. Plastic ones may take on the smell of the previous drinks while acrylic ones may get discolored or cracked over time.

Reusable decors. Choose bunting, banners and garlands that can work for virtually any occasion. That way, you can hang these and focus on other things in your party. Get party décor that provide non-specific messages like Party Time, Great Times or Celebrate! You can also get brightly-colored buntings that do not contain any message.

Table cloths. Again, you can go with white table cloths that you can dress up with toppers, runners and centerpieces that go with the color motif of the party you are having. Neutral colors such as cream will also work. It is best to get table cloths in solid or plain colors, without any patterns.

A variety of containers. Your décor and food can be made even more interesting with glass votive holders, apothecary jars and mason jars. You can fill the apothecary jar with marshmallow or colored sweets for your candy buffet. You can also serve “salad shots”, chocolate mousse or tiramisu using mason jars or votive holders. You can also buy some buckets and bowls that can hold small party favors, chips or juice boxes.

Biodegradable cutlery. Rather than buying plastic, go green with biodegradable knives and forks. There are varieties that are 100% biodegradable and recyclable.

You can order most of these from LionsDeal.com where you can avail of more party supplies at wholesale prices.

 

Considering Eco-Friendly Disposable Dinnerware

More and more restaurants are going green in their operations and in their equipment. Going green is actually not just an environmentally friendly choice. It can also positively affect the bottom line as the restaurant can significantly lower the water and utility bills and provide good PR that can help keep existing customers and get new ones.

However, can good business sense and ecological awareness go together for some areas of the restaurant operations, such as the use of disposables? Restaurants (especially fast foods) opt for disposable wholesale dinnerware because these are cheaper and more convenient. Restaurants save on the manpower and water needed to wash dishes and cutlery. Disposables are also necessary for take-out requests. However, disposables are considered non-environment friendly. Since these are designed for single-use only, they produce a considerable amount of waste.

Environmentally Friendly Disposables

The good news is that there are currently a number of “green” alternatives to disposable wholesale flatware and dinnerware. These alternatives make use of renewable resources and are produced using more energy-efficient processes that minimize waste. These are also biodegradable, unlike plastic and Styrofoam dinnerware that are not.

To be more ecologically friendly, opt for reusable materials rather than disposables. However, if disposables are absolutely necessary, here’s a quick rundown of biodegradable choices that are available in the wholesale restaurant supply market:

Bagasse Sugarcane. Sugar can be produced by squeezing the juice from sugarcane and processed into a finished product. After the juice has been extracted, the remaining pulp is either thrown away or burned. With bagasse sugarcane products, they found an alternative use for the discarded pulp. The fibers from the pulp can actually be processed further to produce bagasse, which is very similar to paper. The biodegradable dinnerware produced from bagasse material is quite strong and does not easily fold up or get distorted. It is heat resistant up to 200°F, is allergen free and freezer safe. It is also microwavable and can hold both hot and cold food, as well as liquids.

Corn Plastics. This type of bioplastic is produced by combining PLA with various other starches and shaped into various disposable supplies. PLA or poly-lactic acid comes from corn starch sugar. Corn plastic is similar to plastic and is heat resistant up to 120°F but it is not microwavable. You can plunk these into the freezer and not worry about them breaking down or deforming. Corn plastic production uses only about 50% of resources required to produce traditional plastics.

Potato Starch. The starch from potatoes is processed and combined with other vegetable starches so that it hardens enough to be shaped into cutlery and plates. Potato starch disposables are heat-resistant up to 200°F and are freezer safe.

Paper dinnerware. Paper can be coated or uncoated. Coated paper plates, cups and disposables repel grease and moisture and provide more rigidity so that it minimizes leaks and distortion. The uncoated version is best used for light and dry food. Paper dinnerware is the cheapest option as compared the the first three options. However, coated versions can be less biodegradable that potato starch, sugarcane and corn disposables. Paper dinnerware is considerably cheaper than the first three options.

Most of these alternatives are more expensive than their plastic and Styrofoam counterparts. However, when making your choice of disposable products, consider not just their material and cost but also the durability and insulation properties. You will be surprised to see that the ecologically-friendly alternatives hold up very well when compared to their plastic and Styrofoam.

 

Why Families No Longer Eat at the Family Dinner Table Together

In a day and age where children and parents are busy and in financial times that require dual parent incomes, studies show that only half of families eat dinner together more than three to five times weekly. On average, these meals only last a mere 20 minutes, as parents often feel bombarded with extracurricular school activities, such as sports and school events.

Many missed family meals are contributed to parents and children not having the same eating schedules, parents and teenager children missing meal times and longer commutes and more domestic chores filling the evening hours.

The top reasons families cite for missing regular meals together include:

  • Many parents work long hours.
  • Most family members prefer to eat at different times.
  • Some families, in difficult economic times, are relying on shift work or night schedules.
  • After school, events and sports clubs take a great deal of time, often clashing with traditional family meal times.
  • Many families contribute not eating together because family members prefer eating different types of food and not one single meal option.
  • More parents are experiencing lengthy commute times.
  • More children want to watch TV and their programs interfere with traditional meal schedules.
  • Work issues, such as having to work on-call or from home, often interfere with meal schedules.
  • Some parents prioritize socializing versus family meal times.

Eating family meals together is important for the physical and mental wellbeing of families, parents and children. The benefits of eating family meals together include:

  • Families tend to eat healthier foods when they sit down together.
  • Kids have a decreased chance of becoming obese or overweight.
  • Kids have a lower chance of becoming cigarette smokers later in life.
  • Children are less likely to experiment with underage drinking.
  • Children are less likely to experiment with marijuana and other illicit drugs, including abusing prescription medications.
  • Parents see an improvement in children’s grades.
  • Family meals help families improve their communication styles and interaction techniques, helping parents learn more about their children’s daily lives.
  • Children are more apt to share serious problems when eating family meals with parents.
  • When children can share their school accomplishments over a family meal, they feel that parents are proud of them.
  • Families that eat together report feeling less tension and stress at home.

LionsDeal offers a wide selection of commercial dinnerware, including restaurant flatware and even kitchen equipment. Striving to help make it easier for families to eat more meals together, LionsDeal is committed to offering the best kitchen and dining products.

Graduation Party Themes

With graduation right around the corner, Lions Deal offers excellent tips and advice for planning the perfect graduation party.

  • Boat Rides – Magical, delightful and signifying that graduates are embarking on life’s next journey, renting a boat adds a special touch to any graduation party.
  • Candy Bar – Graduates love candy and why not offer personalized candy, such as M&M’s, chilled chocolates and bite-size morsels. These can easily be displayed on food trays and set on a table. Additionally, some graduates may consider incorporating an ice cream bar – a perfect summer time treat!
  • Relaxing – Relaxed parties that pay tribute to a time gone by, with childhood board games, old movies, old cartoons or even a night filled with karaoke, are a great way for grads to relax among childhood friends. Consider adding touches of classic toys from childhood, too. What a great way to bring back memories!
  • Clothes Themes – To announce which college everyone is attending in the fall, considering asking everyone to don their new school colors. It’s a fun guessing game!
  • Amusement Park – Graduates can plan an excursion to a local amusement park, complete with roller coasters, Ferris wheels and even character photos. The party can later come home and hosts can serve mini-corndogs, pizza, cotton candy and other fair-style foods.
  • Brunch – The latest trend for graduates is having a late-night BBQ that highlights breakfast foods! Have guests come over in pajamas and service French toast, pancakes, sausages, eggs, toast and omelets. What a great late-night pick-me-up!
  • Luaus – This tried and true theme is always popular, especially in the warm summer months. Classic trends include flower leis, Hawaiian music, grass skirts and plastic coconut cups. Beach tunes blend perfectly with this theme.

Hosts can also incorporate slideshow events, collecting digital pictures throughout the years and playing them on a TV or computer screen so they constantly feed. This is a great way for people to remember fond events, see one another growing up through the years and remember the true value of friendship.

Lions Deal specializes in offering commercial dinnerware and commercial kitchenware. They offer catering supplies, as well as supplies necessary to host a large gathering, including chafers, carafes, condiment stands, kitchen equipment, pizza pans, measuring spoons and much more. Boasting truly incredible, rock bottom prices, their affordable goods are ideal for graduation parties.

Finding the Right Healthcare Dinnerware

Various large organizations often purchase their tableware, flatware and dinnerware from Lionsdeal. The reasons vary but include low prices and consistent quality. Usually when healthcare organizations require these things, they are looking for both those features but they also need a wholesale dinnerware supplier they can count on year after year.

Most hospitals and clinics go through a great amount of dinnerware during the course of only one year. Items are lost, stolen or broken by patients and attendants. If you are a hospital administrator, then you understand how important it is to have durable flatware and dinnerware that is nice looking but also inexpensive to replace. Patients should enjoy using your coffee cups, plates and silverware because it reflects on the quality of your hospital. But using expensive items can break the budget.

Searching for wholesale flatware or cutlery at Lionsdeal, for instance, gives you a wide range of great choices in a number of price points. Another area where many healthcare organizations often do endless searches looking for the right items at the best prices is food preparation equipment. Lionsdeal specializes in commercial grade food preparation equipment for restaurants, hotels and healthcare facilities. They also offer excellent quality commercial refrigerators and ranges.

Imagine the convenience of being able to order all your dinnerware, flatware, and food prep equipment, plus major appliances from one central location that offers low prices. This makes it easier on your accounting department and you can always count on consistent quality at Lionsdeal.

The Lionsdeal website features regular specials where you can save money on things you really needed to purchase anyway. That means you can go ahead and buy a few cases of clear plastic water pitchers when they go on sale. And hospitals use hundreds if not thousands of those clear plastic water pitchers each month. Lionsdeal has so many other items that any hospital or healthcare organization will need. These include signage, menus, self-serve dispensers, and even janitorial supplies.

At Lionsdeal, you can quickly locate disposable cups, plates and cheap silverware for your healthcare facility and most do need those items as well. By purchasing all your kitchenware supplies from Lionsdeal, you get quality you can count on, friendly customer service and the lowest prices around. Once you start doing business with Lionsdeal, you’ll quickly see why so many restaurants, hotels and healthcare organizations choose Lionsdeal every day.

Lionsdeal understands the importance of giving its customers great customer service and low prices and that’s how they’ve earned such a solid reputation. Save some time and money on your next dinnerware purchases by shopping first at Lionsdeal.

Getting the Right Flatware and Dinnerware for your Catering or Restaurant Business

Dining is more than just consuming food, it’s an experience that engages not just the sense of taste, but also of sight, touch and smell (you can even add the sense of hearing if you are able to enjoy a good conversation and music while dining!). With that, you should seriously consider your choices for restaurant flatware and dinnerware so that these complement your food.

A great set of dinnerware and flatware not just gives your tables and restaurant a harmonized look and create the right ambiance. This also serves to make a good impression on your clients and guests.

When choosing your tableware, you should consider the following:

Coordination with the overall design. What’s your restaurant concept and motif? Your tableware should complement your theme, as well as the overall design. For instance, if your restaurant mainly serves Chinese cuisine, then the patterns and designs of your dinnerware should match this look. Perhaps you can go for dinnerware with red and gold accents. Or, if you have an Italian restaurant, then your dinnerware should be reminiscent of utensils to be found in la cucinaItaliana in Rome.

Durability. Remember, you don’t plan to use these for just a few times. These should bear up against heavy use and industrial dishwashing. Dishes that are for home use tend to crack and chip with the heavy wear and tear brought about by catering or restaurant use.

Attractiveness. How good does the dinnerware look? Again, the fact that dining is a multi-sensory experience comes into play when you choose the colors and textures of your dinnerware.

One important thing to remember is that you are in a business. You need to have a balance among design, attractive, durability and cost.

Buying Flatware

When making your flatware selections, you usually have a choice between silverware and stainless steel. Silverware is more delicate and very expensive. As for stainless steel, you can choose between 18/0 and 18/10 flatware. The first number indicates the chromium content (which gives the flatware its stain and rust-resistant properties) while the second number indicates the nickel content (which provides the flatware with its shine). The remaining numbers indicates the percent of composite steel (which provides the strength of the flatware). You should also consider the heaviness of the flatware. Of course, the heavier the silverware, the more resistant it is to bending and breakage.

Another consideration is that although 18/10 flatware is better, it is also considerably more expensive. You should weigh the need for quality with the possibility of loss due to theft or someone in your staff inadvertently losing it or throwing it out.

After considering the quality, your next concern would be the design. Look at the different silverware patterns and choose one that complements the rest of your dinnerware.

Buying Dinnerware

As a general rule, white plates are visually appealing. Choose the ones that are wider as this provides you with better plating design opportunities. You can choose from:

– Vitrified china. This is glass fired at high temperature and makes it strong and resistant to cracking and changes in temperature.

– Polycarbonate. This is a mix of carbon plastics and polyester and is very durable.

– Tempered glass. This is toughened glass that is very resistant to breakage. If it does break, it cracks in very small pieces.

You can also consider getting some melamine dinnerware for not-so-formal settings. Melamine is durable enough to stand up to the rigorous requirements of restaurants and catering services while maintaining its looks as these are stain and scratch resistant. Melamine dinnerware also comes in an amazing variety of colors and textures. You will surely find many designs that perfectly fit your restaurant’s overall concept or motif. Melamine is also very affordable.

Some may think that dinnerware is an inconsequential detail – but in the food business, details are important! Your customers will notice and appreciate your efforts. Lionsdeal offers excellent deals not just on discount flatware but a host of other wholesale kitchen equipment and commercial kitchenware.

Choosing Flatware

Choosing flatware can be a big decision whether you’re buying for your home, catering company, or restaurant. It’s always important to find flatware that fits your style and budget. Lionsdeal has plenty of options that fit well in a variety of environments. Here are a few of the options and how to care for them.

Economy

The economy flatware category contains discount flatware that fits well in many environments. These styles tend to be a little more basic, but there are many that have designs. Many have designs on the handles. One example of this type of flatware is the Peacock flatware. Others have straight handles that are plainer, but they shine very nicely.

Classic

The classic flatware options are mostly simple, but elegant. Some feature handle designs that look great. Flatware that has a design would fit well in a formal setting. They would be a great choice to go with a china set. Also, many of the options in this category are from Oneida, which is a trusted manufacturer.

Contemporary

All the contemporary flatware available would fit well in a trendy environment. Many trendy cafes or restaurants could use it in a table setting. The flatware comes in different shapes and styles that are very different from the other two categories. Some simple styles are available, and so are many designs. One interesting design is featured on the Hammer Forged flatware.

Choosing Flatware

The flatware that’s right for you isn’t decided by the setting alone. The environment that you’ll use the flatware in is important, but your personal style is also important. You may like some of the classic flatware even though your other dinnerware items are more contemporary. These two styles can usually be matched.

Caring for Flatware

Once you’ve chosen your flatware it’s important to take care of it. All of the flatware you’ll find at Lionsdeal is high quality and made of stainless steel. This is a durable material that doesn’t demand a lot of attention. However, it shouldn’t be ignored either. It’s bad to wait a long time to clean it after it’s been used. Letting food sit on the flatware for days or soaking it overnight is also bad because it can cause stain spots.

This flatware can be cleaned by hand or in a dishwasher. Washing it by hand only involves using dish soap and warm water. Putting the flatware in the dishwasher is a little more complicated. It shouldn’t be washed in a load that contains a different type of metal. It’s also best to stay away from any soap that contains bleach, because it can eat away at the coating.

When you look through all the options at Lionsdeal you’re sure to find at least one flatware style you like. Many designs will be able to match with any style you have at your home or restaurant. After you find the flatware you’re looking for, you can browse through all the other items Lionsdeal offers. A few of these items are restaurant supplies and equipment, dinnerware, disposable products, and office supplies.

Chargers for Every Occasion

Chargers were originally utilitarian elements of a table setting, in that they helped to protect servers, patrons, and tabletops from burns. They also helped keep linen stains to a minimum. Later, they were used to compliment a formal place setting, but that is no longer the rule. In fact, chargers are perfectly acceptable for any dinning occasion.

When dinning, a charger is meant to hold the dinnerware, however if a first course is being served, place the soup bowl or salad plate on the dinner plate, and then lay the napkin on the top dish. Using a napkin ring is a nice touch that helps pull the look together. Buy them separately, in matching or contrasting shapes and colors.

When choosing charger plates and napkin rings for a restaurant setting it makes sense to stick with one basic theme. However, a wider selection is a better choice for a catering company or a personal chef. That is because keeping several shapes, colors, and styles on hand will enable you to match the tone of any event. Some examples would be to use silver or gold for milestone anniversaries, red for romance, or a combination of gold and red for holiday meals. Floral patterns are a great choice for a spring luncheon, plaids or warm colors work well in the fall, and cool or light colors add fun to a summer picnic or celebration.

In addition to place settings, chargers make great, inexpensive decor. Place varying heights of pillar candles onto a glass charger and you have an instant centerpiece. What’s more, it is low enough not to interfere with conversations.

Use the same idea in a private or guest bathroom to encourage a relaxing, candlelit bath or place several around a pool during an evening swim. A glass charger can also take the place of a fruit bowl, or an appetizer/cheese tray. Plastic ones are perfect for holding snacks for the kids; just place a paper towel underneath the snacks to prevent staining.

You might also consider placing one on a dressing vanity to hold perfumes, or small trinkets, or set one on a foyer table to hold keys, outgoing mail, or pocket change. A glass charger also makes a good cake plate in a pinch. In a restaurant setting, it is a useful tray for transporting a few glasses of wine, presenting the guests check, or holding napkins on a buffet.

As you can see, chargers are multifunctional items that can be used in many different ways. Look for them in materials such as clear or colorful plastic, acrylic, matte or shiny lacquered finishes, natural wood, and glass. Styles run from contemporary to traditional, and shapes vary as well.

Red, black, or white square chargers complement an Asian or contemporary theme. Rounds are more of an elegant, yet traditional style. However, they are such a versatile product that you can always choose to go against convention, and create your own custom style.

Lionsdeal has a variety of different colors and shapes for chargers. They have all your kitchenware equipment and restaurant supplies to dinnerware and discount flatware. Once you have these basic kitchen essentials in place, you will have everyone amazed at the feel and style of your restaurant or catering business.