“Setting tables is all about making it prepared for what is to come.” — Paul Bolles-Beaven.
A restaurant owner should care that guests receive a good experience on their premises. This enhances the success of a business.
Table setting is a key part of a guest’s experience at the restaurant.
Your dinner tables are more than a place to eat. The way you set them tells guests what type of dining experience to expect from your restaurant.
When setting tables, deciding on the tablecloths to use can be difficult. To begin with, you need to understand how tablecloths can transform your restaurant.
- Using tablecloths brightens tables and the entire room. They give you more decorating options because they come in a variety of colours.
- Quality tablecloths protect your tables from stains and hide scratches and nicks.
- They minimise noise at the dinner tables between the cutlery, tableware and glassware.
- They create a positive dining experience for guests at a restaurant. A survey on diners showed that tablecloths have a positive effect on the perception of food and ambience at a restaurant.
So, how do you make a choice about which shape of tablecloths to use in your restaurant?
Image from: pxhere
The shape of your dinner tables determines the tablecloths to use. Use round tablecloths on round tables.
Round tablecloths are versatile. They are used for weddings, corporate functions and cocktail parties. You can use different colours to suit your theme.
To create an intimate setting in your restaurant, use round tables. Place tablecloths that match this setting. Australian Linen Supply stocks tablecloths of different colours.
Some examples include:
To bring some flair to your round tablecloths, use overlays. They are an easy and affordable way to add colour and texture to round tablecloths.
For instance, if your tablecloth is brown, place a white square overlay on top as shown below.
Brown square tablecloth covered with white, square overlay. Image from: Verena Hehn
Watch this video and see how to add overlays to round tablecloths:
How to Work Out Your Round Tablecloth Sizes
Round tables come in different sizes. When choosing the size of your tablecloths, pay attention to the diameter of the tables.
Consider setting up your restaurant with round tables of different sizes. This will accommodate different groups of guests.
The diameter of the table determines its size and the number of people who will sit per table. The bigger the diameter, the higher the number of guests it can accommodate.
For instance, a table that is 90 centimetres in diameter can seat four guests while one that is 120 centimetres will seat six guests.
If you are hosting a cocktail party at your restaurant, use cocktail tables. You can have a tablecloth with a sash of a different colour to brighten up your cocktail parties.
The sash gives your event a chic look. It also helps the tablecloths from blowing in the breeze, especially if the event is outdoors.
When sashing a cocktail table, use a tablecloth that is one size larger than what you need. Sashing causes the tablecloth to lift at the bottom, which exposes the legs of the table.
A tablecloth that is one size larger allows the extra fabric to cover the legs of the table even after the clinch.
A cocktail table with a sash. Image from: Hans
A drop is the length that a tablecloth hangs below the surface.
The drop of your tablecloths sets the tone and atmosphere of the restaurant. It lets guests know if the setting is casual or formal.
There are three kinds of drops:
1. Full Drop
Image from: Jacques Bopp
Usually, a full drop is common in a formal setting such as a wedding banquet. The drop goes down to the height of the table and is between 20 to 30 centimetres.
2. Half Drop
Image from: Quang Nguyen Vinh
A half drop is popular in casual settings. The drop is usually short enough to rest above the laps of guests. A standard drop for a casual setting is 15 to 20 centimetres.
3. Puddle Drop
Image from: Josh Appel
This differs from a full drop. Puddle drops go beyond the height of the table and allow the tablecloth to puddle on the floor. It is often used on elegant occasions.
It is easy to trip on a puddle drop because it is long. So, when hosting an event, consider a puddle drop tablecloth on tables not used for dining. An example is your gift table at a wedding.
To calculate your drop, take the length of your linen (L) and subtract your table’s height (H) then divide by 2. Drop = (L-H) ÷ 2
For example: If your linen (L) is 300 centimetres and the height of your table is 150 centimetres, your drop would be 75 centimetres. (300 - 150) ÷ 2 = 75
NB: 75 centimetres is the standard full drop, and anything over 75 centimetres is a puddle drop
Image from: Ruslan Keba
Use square tablecloths on square tables and knockdown cocktail tables. They also work on round tables.
At first glance, it is easy to assume that a square tablecloth can never fit on a round table because it has a different shape. How wrong!
Square tablecloths are suitable for formal and casual settings.
Here are some tips to consider when using square tablecloths on round tables:
Join two square tablecloths.
For the tablecloth to fit the entire table, join two pieces together. Ensure all the edges are even. Uneven edges will be distracting to guests.
Tie the corners of your tablecloth.
This will ensure your tablecloth sits well on the table and doesn’t keep moving.
Opt for stretchable linens.
Use tablecloths made of fabric that can stretch. This will allow the tablecloth to cover the whole table.
Use extra long tablecloths.
Use extra-long square tablecloths and fold them so they fit on your round tables. You can use clips or fasteners to prevent the tablecloth from hanging.
How to Work Out Your Square Tablecloth Size
There are different lengths of tablecloths suitable for formal and casual settings.
For a formal setting, use tablecloths between 45 to 80 centimetres longer than the diameter of the table.
For a casual setting, use tablecloths between 30 to 50 centimetres longer than the diameter of the table.
When calculating the drop, first take the measurements of the square table from one side. Subtract the table length from the linen length and then divide by two.
To calculate your drop for a square table, take the length of your linen (L) and subtract your table’s width (W) then divide by 2. Drop = (L-W) ÷ 2
For example: If your linen (L) is 260 centimetres and the width (W) of your table is 120 centimetres, your drop would be 70 centimetres. (260 - 120) ÷ 2 = 70
This is considered a full drop.
A Few Things to Remember
When buying tablecloths, do not compromise on the quality of the fabric. Always choose high-quality fabric over cost. At first, this may seem expensive, but high-quality linens will serve you for a long time.
Polyester, for example, is a great choice of fabric for tablecloths. It is elegant, durable, machine-washable and wrinkle-free. This will set your restaurant apart from competitors.
Buy commercial linen because it will last longer than linen for personal use.
Even the best quality tablecloths will do you no good if they are not well-maintained. Keep them clean and steamed.
Also, iron them from the reverse side of the fabric and make sure they are nicely folded before storing. If you maintain your tablecloths well, they will serve you for a long time.
Now you know everything there is to know about round and square tablecloths. Go ahead and impress your guests with the perfect tablecloths for your restaurant.
Australian Linen Supply caters for all your table linen needs. They stock good quality tablecloths in a variety of shapes and colours. They also deliver within Australia.
Get in touch with them today!
Feature Image: WikiPedia