Types: Tabletop accessories include bread boards or baskets; charger plates; cheese bowls or shakers; napkin rings and dispensers; oil/vinegar cruets; salt-and-pepper mills or shakers; ramekins; serving trays; sign holders; condiment squeeze bottles; thermal beverage servers; wine buckets and stands; creamers and sugar holders; votives or candlesticks; electric table lamps; and more.
Capacities/Footprints: Sizes and capacities vary greatly. For example, operators can choose to serve guests salt and pepper using tall wooden or clear plastic mills brought to a table, in mini-shakers that hold only 1/2 oz. or with combination units that contain both seasonings in reversible or side-by-side configurations.
Energy Source(s): Table lighting can require 110V electricity.
Manufacturing Method: Tabletop accessories are available in a variety of materials, from wicker and wood to glass and plastic or metals with mirror finishes in brass, copper, gold or silver tones. Salt-and-pepper shakers, creamers, sugar bowls, sauce boats, coffee servers and vases are usually made of china, glass or stoneware in the same textures, colors and patterns as dinnerware.
New Features/Technology/Options: Eclectic shapes, such as “origami-inspired” plates with projecting corners, tilted-square wine buckets and spiral wire-bound condiment caddies, lend new visual interest to tabletops. Brushed stainless steel, however, represents a growing trend.
Prime Functions: Tabletop accessories keep dining necessities at hand. They also add decorative touches that help to differentiate operations from their competitors.
Key Kitchen Applications: Providing dressings, sauces and other seasonings in tabletop servers, gives diners a sense of participation in the preparation of meals.
Purchasing Guidelines: Many owners look to set themselves apart from their competition with tabletop accessories. It is one of the most important aspects of a restaurant because the table is the first thing a guest will see.
Food Safety & Sanitation Essentials: Spoilage can become a problem if containers aren't regularly emptied and thoroughly washed.