Restaurant Table Linens / Industry / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

What's the difference between your basic mom-and-pop pizza joint and fine Italian dining? Pretty much, it's presentation. A ...

What's the difference between your basic mom-and-pop pizza joint and fine Italian dining? Pretty much, it's presentation. A huge part of that is table linens -- tablecloths and restaurant napkins.

Any restaurant needs table linens to project the right image. A tablecloth with stains or tears is a bad sign, and napkins should feel fresh and seem completely unused to every incoming patron.

Covered in this guide:

1. How to select table linens
2. Custom-cut vs. standard tablecloths
3. How to buy a tablecloth, napkins and table linens wholesale
4. When high-end (or low-end) restaurant linens are the best choice

Table linens and restaurant linens basics

As you might expect, table linens, tablecloths and napkins come in a variety of types and styles, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Understanding esoteric textile terms is a good start when buying a tablecloth for restaurant tables.

Tablecloths, standard vs. custom-cut tablecloth

Most tablecloth vendors have standard sizes, but you can also order tablecloths cut to size and napkins to match. This is particularly important if you want the tablecloth (there are two types: an underlay tablecloth and overlay tablecloth) to hang down to the floor from restaurant tables.

Buy tablecloths and napkins from wholesale linen companies

Online prices are low, but wholesale linen sellers are often able to cut prices further due to special volume contracts or because they own foreign production mills that make table linens. directory for restaurant supply wholesalers.

Napkins are the front line in the customer experience

A nice tablecloth matters, but nothing will come closer to your customer, other than the food itself, than napkins. Manufacturers of table linens go to great lengths to make restaurant napkins that can keep up with the finest food.

  • Texture says a lot about your restaurant. Restaurant napkins with a fine, silky weave might seem nicer, but if you serve up fried chicken and coleslaw, perhaps heavy, cotton napkins would serve.
  • Always ask for volume discounts and long-term pricing. You will have to replace table linens as they get stained or torn, so a good supplier will be more interested in your return business than a one-off buy.
  • Before you spend on tons of table linens, make sure you budget for regular cleaning service. If cleaning will break your bank, vinyl tablecloths are no great sin in most family-style operations.

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