What’s to love about antiseptic-looking, plain plastic bowls? While they meet food safety rules, they are about as attractive as a seagull stealing your chips. Luckily, there are other options.
If you’re in the food retail industry, you know that people eat with their eyes first. That couscous salad will sell better with a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds, and the meat display looks nicer adorned with parsley.
If you know this, then why use boring standard serving-ware?
Food safety is very important
In order to comply with food standards, your food needs to be stored and served in vessels that are practical. You don’t want anything with texture, as it’s easy for food and sauces to get stuck. You need it to be commercial-dishwasher safe, so that you know when it’s cleaned, it’s safe to use again.
In terms of functionality, you don’t want heavy bowls or platters, as they become difficult to move around. You also want an anti-slip base so that wherever it sits, it stays securely. And, you need it to take the knocks and rigours of a busy café, shop, restaurant or supermarket. Things get dropped, shoved and moved around a lot in the hustle and bustle.
This is where a product like melamine comes in. It’s lightweight enough for everyone to lift easily. It withstands rough treatment and the high temperatures of a dishwasher. And, a smooth surface means it’s easy to maintain.
Attractive serving dishes encourage sales
There are a range of ways that your food presentation helps to sell the food.
Have consistency: Decide on a theme, or ‘look’, and then be consistent across the entire cabinet/ store. The theme can be broad, whether it’s all the same colour, all a certain pattern, or all very formal. Whatever the theme is, be consistent across all the dishes.
Make the food the highlight: Studies have shown that the harder the food is to see, the less likely customers are to choose it. Also, studies have had varying outcomes in regards to food and colour: red shows ‘stop’, but at the same time apparently it makes you hungry. If in doubt, it’s far easier to choose neutral colours.
Present food attractively: Historically, elaborately presented food showed that you were wealthy and powerful. It shows that the more complex the dish, the more important you were. There still is an element of that in modern food presentation; the more complex it is, the more your customers will assume it’s expensive and refined.
White’s not always right: White is commonly used by food retailers due to the belief that food is best presented against a blank canvas. However, this is not always the case. Potato salad and sushi, for instance, are already white and look unappetising on a bland plate. For restaurants, most dishes can be served beautifully on white plates, and white plate supply is the easiest to source. This is why cafes and restaurants often serve on white plates; but that doesn’t mean it’s the best way to serve wholesale food, such as in café counters or supermarket delis.
Concrete melamine is the best of both worlds
If you need to find the balance between practical considerations and aesthetic ones, a perfect compromise is ‘concrete’ melamine.
You have sturdy, food-safe melamine plastic that is light, dishwasher safe and takes the knocks of any commercial kitchen or store. It is safe and functional from -30oC to 120oC, and is stain, chip and scratch resistant.
Then, you have a stylish finish in a neutral colour that makes everything look its best. It looks fantastic in any contemporary store or café, giving a modern update to the plain standard white.
Mills Display has two modern, functional items in concrete:
The bowls are ideal for a deli counter or salad bowls in a café display. They show the food off perfectly, while having a consistent, clean modern feel.
The platters are great in delis, salad or buffet counter displays, as well as for caterers looking for a platter for nibbles or grazers.
Contact us for all your display needs
Mills has been in the industry for many years and our staff understand what you need. Whether it’s our beautiful concrete melamine bowls, a step riser to display them at their best, or imitation parsley to separate and highlight the food items, there are a range of amazing products.
We are NZ owned and operated, and have a showroom at 327A Neilson Street, Penrose, Auckland. Drop us a line or give us a call on 09 634 5962 to find out how we can help your store displays look amazing, be highly functional, and help to encourage sales.