The Right Smallwares Improve the Customer Experience

Posted by Melanie Trainor The Right Smallwares Improve the Customer Experience

Too often foodservice establishments approach their smallwares simply as tools, but should consider how they can elevate a guest’s experience.

If dinnerware, glassware and flatware look overused and worn down, a negative impression can be created. Perceptions are not limited to food - the décor and visible aspects of the dining environment influence customer opinions on parts of the restaurant they can’t see.

Smallwares also resonate with the staff. Whether in a fast-food chain or a five-star establishment, a catered event, or in the window of a food truck, the right mix of products can help daily operations run more efficiently, improve employee morale, and create a safer workplace.

Front of House

Tabletop presentations are an important part of dining practices. Restaurateurs should consider the vision that they are striving for when setting the display. Each restaurant segment has a typical look and feel that guests take notice of, which should be consistent with the larger brand message.

Keep your tabletop up-to-date by adding new accents and accessories, pushing the envelope to surprise and delight your patrons. Focus on the elements you want to complement the experience your restaurant delivers.

Back of House

In foodservice, we believe it’s about the right tools that help achieve excellence. Follow the food and see the smallwares in the back of the house:

  • Receiving
    For weighing products and re-packaging produce and food items to keep well-traveled boxes from entering your refrigeration areas.
  • In the Prep Area
    Used for cleaning, cutting, measuring, proportioning (preparing food for cooking). Knives, manual chopping, slicing and dicing machines, portion-control bags, scales, rotation and food safety labeling, allergy precautions, and food containers.
  • Cooking
    Bringing all elements of a dish together. Each method requires its own special set of tools, sauté pans, tongs, ladles, and oven mitts.
  • Plating
    Preparing the food to present to the guest and create the desired visual effect including squeeze bottles, sauce spoons, and plating tweezers.
  • Sanitation
    Bussing, racking, cleaning, dishwashing, and even garbage cans.

Utilizing the right tools can help support the success of your operation. Here’s why:

  • Tool Functionality
    Quality pans rarely warp. Knives should keep their edge. Durable ladles don’t end up looking like they were used in a telekinesis side show.
  • Reducing Turnover
    A great set of tools shows your staff you are committed to the business, and that you believe in the people producing your food.
  • Cost of Ownership
    What is more cost effective: $2 kitchen spoon lasting a few months or a $7 spoon that will last for years.

Content Provided by John LaForge of TriMark Strategic

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