Listen & Learn: These Hospitality Experts Weigh in On the Custom Question

You might have dreamt of this moment before: your guest nestles into that corner table. They unfold their napkin and are greeted by a set plate with your perfectly printed logo in lovely, design-driven typeface (that you’ve spent hours and days and years perfecting). If you’ve owned a restaurant and purchased tabletop before, you’ve envisioned a moment like this. You’ve considered customizing your dinnerware. 

Many restaurants decide to ‘go custom’ as the insiders of foodservice distribution call it. But let’s be real: when you’re faced with file formats, Pantone colors, lead times and just the overall collaboration required, the whole process of custom dinnerware can seem a bit daunting. If you know someone who has recently undertook the task, they might tell you that working with a trusted partner to help guide you through it all, makes all the difference. 

Custom dinnerware by Figgjo Norway at the new Flex Mussels, New York City

“Working with Singer M Tucker has given us the most seamless, informative, helpful guidance I could have possibly hoped for,” says Alex Shapiro, who owns Flex Mussels alongside her parents Laura and Bobby Shapiro.  “I couldn’t be more thrilled with how prepared and helpful the team was.”

She began developing the newest location on the Upper East Side. Shapiro knew a special tabletop moment had to be a part of the experience. Using Figgjo’s Klassik collection, Shapiro and her designer, Sasha Bikoff, carefully selected a palette of poppy colors that would rim each plate and bowl, a playful logo and fun stencil artwork inspired by seaside moments that give guests a pleasant surprise at the end of each course.

“We wanted to evolve the design. Owning a small restaurant, I always thought these things were unattainable, but it’s quite easy and very doable,” says Shapiro. “I was so impressed by Figgjo’s design capabilities and how many options they gave us to choose from so we got exactly what we wanted.”

You can expect more creative custom dinnerware from the team behind Flex Mussels in 2023 and beyond.

Any operator who has ordered custom china knows that preparation is key. Lead times can vary from six weeks to six months. There are drawings to render, samples to fire. Time, and a vision, are paramount.

When Executive Chef Markus Glocker set his heart on opening Koloman in NoMad, he also had his heart set on the Create! Collection by Bauscher–with his own signature touch: a tasteful thin black line that brings an elevated framing to every dish that touches the table.

“I had this vision in my pocket for over two years,” says Glocker. “With these times, you need to order far in advance to get to the finish line, especially with custom pieces. Before you sign a lease, make sure your concept is 90% finished in your head. Time is not on your side.”

It’s no surprise that Koloman debuted last month to glowing reviews. 

“The guest reaction at the table has been priceless,” says Glocker. “Everything comes together and everything makes sense. The china plays a big role in the evening. The customer knows they are in a serious place.”

We have more to say. We’ll be back in your feed next month with more exclusive interviews and tips for tailoring your tabletop procurement. For now, you can start your very own custom dinnerware conversation and request a copy of the brand-new Fall 2022 LMT Provisions catalog, now available online and in print. 

Send us a note, we always love to hear from you: [email protected] 

Singer Equipment Company is the fourth largest foodservice equipment and supply dealer in the United States and remains privately owned and operated in its third generation of family leadership. Headquartered in Elverson, Pennsylvania, Singer maintains offices and 8 distribution centers throughout the East Coast. Singer offers the power of a century of experience combined with highly personalized service delivered nationwide.

The post Listen & Learn: These Hospitality Experts Weigh in On the Custom Question appeared first on Total Food Service.

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