Disposable VS Reusable: What’s the Best Dinnerware to Buy for Your Small Diner?

Best Dinnerware

There’s a lot of decisions to consider when you have an eatery, everything from the type of food to the decorations that bring everything together. One of the things you shouldn’t have to spend too much time on is deciding the best dinnerware. The right type of dinnerware gives your establishment a finishing touch.

With so many different types of dinnerware, you might be wondering how you’re supposed to choose between all of them. There’s a lot of factors to consider, everything from what fits in your budget to what matches the aesthetics.

If you’re wondering what the best dinnerware is for your eatery, keep on reading.

Best Dinnerware 

Depending on the type of eatery you have, whether a food truck or a fine dining restaurant, you’ll want to make sure you have the right dinnerware for your customers to use. There’s no universal ‘best’, it all depends on your preferences and what your restaurant needs.

When looking at dinnerware, think about what works for your budget and what the best type of dinnerware is.

Consider Your Budget

While there are plenty of affordable options for your home, commercial dinnerware tends to be more expensive. Don’t get discouraged though, there are plenty of options no matter what your price range is.

While it might be tempting to skimp out on dinnerware to put more money in other elements, consider that this is where the food will end up. You’ll want to do proper research on what gives you the best bang for your buck. Dinnerware costs can range everywhere from $500 to $2000.

Type of Dinnerware

When it comes to the type of dinnerware, consider things like durability and design. What might work for one eatery won’t necessarily work for yours. With the constant wear and tear use of a hectic setting, commercial dinnerware is meant to last. Some more than others.


Disposable dinnerwear is common in fast food places and casual dining. You may have seen them more regularly as food trucks gain more popularity. They’re great for convenience and it allows your customer to just toss them and go.

It also saves you the headache of having to have a ton of plates that constantly need to be washed. Here are two of the most popular options for disposable dinnerware.


You can find paper plates pretty much everywhere nowadays, not only in eateries but in offices and homes as well. Here are some of the benefits of paper:

  • Safety
  • Ease of Transport
  • Convenience

Unlike glass plates, paper plates can’t fall and break. There’s no chance of sharp edges cutting you or anyone else.

Paper is also easier to travel with since they’re thin and compact. Unlike thick commercial plates, you won’t have to worry about the fragility of having to transport large quantities of plates made of something like glass or porcelain.

Some of the negatives for paper dinnerware includes:

  • Lack of durability
  • Environmental Impact
  • Disposal methods

Paper plates are flimsy and don’t easily last, especially with the constant wear & tear of restaurant environments. Speaking of environments, paper plates are not very ‘green’ and many of your customers might be put off by the carbon footprint than paper plates bring. While there are compostable options, it is still more environmentally friendly to choose something reusable.

There’s also a lot of trash that you’ll be responsible for. Even if you don’t have to wash dishes, you’ll need to have a system in place to get rid of all the additional trash.


Reusable plates are very common in the restaurant business. They’re known for their durability and affordability. If you have the capability to install a dishwasher or an industrial sink and dryer, consider investing in high-quality reusable dinnerware.

Porcelain and Bone China

Porcelain is made of refined white clay called kaolin. It’s nonporous, light, and often translucent. It has a delicate look to it and if you have a high-end restaurant or eatery, it is a good option to consider.

Porcelain is often thicker than china but it has a brittle composition that leads to chippings. These require more replacement than bone china.

Bone china is made of a finely grated composition, similar to porcelain but with added ox bone ash. This enhances durability. This is still considered a more upscale dining appearance.

Both porcelain and bone china are expensive options but have a pleasing look and good durability.


Metal dinnerware and commercial grade Silverware is seen as a great option for any eatery. When it comes to hygiene and sanitation of your kitchen, you’ll want the best option. Stainless steel is incredibly easy to clean unlike other materials like wood which can get food stuck through the cracks.

Metal is also heat resistant so you won’t need to worry as much about damage.


Plastic dishes, also known as melamine, are tough. As one of the most durable reusable options, they’re a good idea for a casual eatery that has a high volume of customers. Although they’re dish-washing safe, hand-washing will ensure it’s durability.

Some of the disadvantages of plastic dinnerware are that there are toxic chemicals involved in making plastic and although they can last longer, they easily get scratches and stains.

Choosing the Best Dinnerware 

Once you have an eatery, you don’t want to be bogged down by all the options that should be quick to decide. One of the important choices to make that should be simple is the type of dinnerware. There are many factors to consider when weighing your options, everything from cost to the material.

If the right research is done, you’ll find the best dinnerware for you and your eatery. Regardless of whether you choose reusable or disposable options. Get ready for a lot of happy customers.

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