“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well. “- Virginia Woolf
Every restaurant owner wants their customers to have a wonderful dining experience at their restaurant.
But how do you achieve this?
The secret is to pay attention to how you set tables.
The table forms a great part of one’s dining experience, yet it’s one of the most overlooked components.
A table that isn’t well set sends the message that you don’t care about your customer’s comfort.
To enhance your guests’ experience, tailor each table setting to match different occasions. For instance, if you’re hosting a party, set up the restaurant space to feel fun!
Here are three special occasions and table setting ideas that suit them.
1. Christmas Dinner
Christmas dinners are not your average meals. Guests deserve a great table setting to enjoy a meal and toast to a glass of wine
Set your tables with beautiful white tablecloths. They are classy and blend well with the Christmas theme. Factor in the size and shape of your tables and the tablecloths available.
Your centrepieces should be outstanding. Be creative and use flowers that are in season or opt for a vase with coloured marbles in red, green and gold.
Bring some holiday cheer to the table by folding your napkins in creative shapes. Watch this video to get some ideas
Christmas is a season of giving. Go all out and serve a magnificent meal in a well-set table. This is a gift to your guests.
Place the charger at the centre of the place setting. Your dinner plate goes on top of the charger.
Next, place cutlery on the table in the order of use, from the outside in. The forks go to the left of the plate, beginning with the dinner fork and followed by the salad fork.
On the right side of the dinner plate, place the knives. Start with the dinner knife then the salad knife.
It isn’t a Christmas dinner without a toast. Place some wine glasses on the table for your guests.
The wine glasses go to the right of the place setting above the table knife. Use crystal glasses with stems to add a sparkle to your table.
Finally, add some fun by bringing crackers to the party. It will make your guests re-discover the child in them.
2. Birthday Party
a) Children’s Birthday Party
Begin by creating a guest list. Confirm the number of guests that will be coming to the party. It will help you narrow down an outdoor venue.
Select a theme for the birthday that is of interest to the birthday boy or girl. A cartoon character or a popular animation is a suitable choice.
Have balloons, cutlery and napkins in colours and designs that match the theme.
Fine china and silverware are not necessary because this is a casual setting. Serve finger foods on colourful paper plates.
Use drinking straws, ice umbrellas or decorative pickers for your drinks. For healthy desserts, serve fruits such as grapes, mangoes and oranges.
Have a backdrop next to the dessert table with plenty of photos of the birthday boy or girl. Guests will love to see the various milestones of the child through photos.
Make sure everything about the party looks colourful. Children are quite visual and love plates with different coloured food.
The party won’t be complete without entertainment. Plan some fun activities for kids such as bouncy castles or getting creative with crafts.
b) Adult Birthday Party
Marking a milestone such as turning the big 3-0 calls for a celebration, but so does any other birthday! Plan a party that will be memorable to the guests.
If the party has a theme, provide appropriate decor. Start with the basics, such as tasteful decorations, confetti balloons and flowers.
Find out the number of expected guests. It will help you plan proper seating arrangements for them.
This being a formal setting, you will need the following:
- Place cards. Make the party special by using place cards on the table to show guests where to sit.
- Napkins. Add a touch of elegance by folding napkins in creative ways. Pick napkins that are durable and versatile to allow you to have neat folds.
- The perfect tablecloths. Set your tables with top-quality tablecloths in a favourable fabric such as polyester. It is wrinkle-resistant and can withstand many washes.
Chair covers. To complement the tablecloths, have fitted chair covers to give the party an elegant look.
Australian Linen Supply has a variety of linen. They stock good quality and affordable table linen. Check them out today!
- Silverware. Bring out your best silverware. Place the charger in the middle of your place setting and arrange everything else around it.
- Decorative centrepieces. Go for unique pieces that are natural. Use centrepieces that are short enough to allow guests to see each other across the table.
When setting the dinner table, pay attention to the symmetry of your cutlery.
Serve a variety of drinks, including alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Let guests choose according to their preferences.
3. Wedding Reception
The table setting will depend on the theme of the wedding. This determines the level of formality the wedding reception will have.
Lots of weddings take a formal setting with three-course meals. Some prefer a buffet or informal setting.
Rustic themes are popular for Australian weddings. You can also have classic and traditional, romantic, or garden and outdoor themes.
Bohemian or boho-chic themes are also becoming more popular now.
Let’s have a look at some of the themes and the appropriate table set up.
This theme is earthy, simple and has a countryside appeal. It takes a casual setting.
For the dinner table decor, incorporate natural elements such as wildflowers and fruits.
Set these in large, communal tables in a rectangular shape.
Add some candles on the table and twinkle lights on a tree overlooking the dinner table. This will brighten the occasion and give it a touch of sophistication
Place flowers in vases as centrepieces on the table to achieve that countryside look. You can have paper flowers of different sizes in the vases.
Serve food in a classic buffet style. Assign servers to manage the flow of traffic and prevent a build-up of queues.
Make the food appealing by arranging it in varying heights on the buffet table. Begin with the appetisers, soups, salad and entrée. Place drinks and dessert on a separate table.
This wedding style is bold, chic and incorporates lots of colours. When placing your centrepieces, mix lots of colourful vases with a variety of flowers.
Use coloured marbles as place cards to show guests their seats.
Lay Turkish or Moroccan rugs as a placemat on the table. They bring texture and warmth to your occasion with their diverse colours.
This is an informal setting. You will need the following:
- Dinner plate. This is the first item to be set on the table.
- Knife. Place it to the right of the dinner plate.
- Forks. Place these on the left side of the plate, starting with the dinner fork and followed by the salad fork.
- Spoons. These go to the right of the knife.
- Glasses. Place them at the top right of the dinner plate above the knife.
This is also known as a formal wedding and takes the form of an elegant black-tie wedding.
When setting the table, go for fine china and silverware.
Place crisply folded napkins on the plate to achieve a polished look. A simple rectangular fold of the napkin is classic.
Set the table with a tablecloth made of satin fabric, as it spells elegance. Go for one with a minimal colour palette of black and white. Here are some examples.
Let’s Wrap Up
Table setting for these special occasions is now as easy as ABC. Go ahead and impress your guests.
Wondering where to get quality and affordable table linen in Australia?
Australian Linen Supply caters for all your linen needs.
They are a one-stop-shop. Go and shop table linen today.
Image from: freepic.diller