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.
2012 Best In Class Winners
See who FE&S readers named this year’s Best In Class winners. Manufacturers were evaluated for product quality, product value, product design and aesthetics, service and support, sales reps, product inventory and available product information. Click here to see the complete results.