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The Importance Of Table Settings

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The Importance Of Table Settings

Whether we like it or not, the first thing we see as customers when being seated at a restaurant, is the tableware, for the simple reason that the food hasn’t been served yet. First impressions are important.

Table settings set the tone and expectations of a guest’s dining experience.

For example, if you walk into a restaurant and see empty tables, it’s likely that it’s been designed with casual dining in mind, and that you will be serving yourself in some way i.e., collecting your own utensils and napkins after ordering from a central point.

On the other hand, if you visit a restaurant that has pre-laid tables with premium napkins, table covers, and all the necessary utensils, guests will assume a more upscale dining experience, as everything is available to them in anticipation of what will be served. With a full set table (napkins, cutlery, condiments, etc.), research has shown that guests will assume they should order at least two courses – a subliminal upsell!

Setting The Mood (#goodfoodmood)

Food presentation is half of the battle especially in the age of social media, when the younger digital generations are 99% more likely to rely on Facebook and Instagram to choose a restaurant, than their older counterparts. Using the right table settings helps you ‘put your best foot forward' and set the mood by complementing the food and creating the right atmosphere for the customers to enjoy. Too busy, and you risk overshadowing the food, too plain and it becomes underwhelming.


An important factor, especially in light of recent events, ¾ of customers surveyed in the UK said that good hygiene will be a bigger factor when deciding on a restaurant to frequent. An immaculately set table demonstrates that the establishment considers hygiene to be a top priority, through the use of placemats, napkins, and table covers, thus reassuring guests. Consider sealable napkin pockets for cutlery to improve overall hygiene without sacrificing style.

Speed Of Service

As British marketing tycoon David Ogilvy stated “A well-run restaurant […] takes advantage of every split-second opportunity to speed up service”. Smart table settings have everything a customer needs for their meal, ensuring that service is unhindered and runs smoothly, as customers do not have to wait for utensils and condiments and therefore good service reviews are easier to achieve. An important factor when you consider that 60% of your potential customers read online reviews before going out for a meal.

How can well-planned table settings help you?

  • Sets the right atmosphere and mood for your restaurant food to make customers more comfortable. The longer they stay in your venue, the more money they are likely to spend.
  • Create stunning tablescapes to encourage social media sharing and increase brand awareness in a digital era.
  • Improves hygiene and reassures customers.
  • Improves speed of service, everything needed is available to the customer.

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