Melamine Dishes Offer Durability and Convenience

Melamine is an organic compound that, once processed, can be combined with resins to make a durable material that is commonly found in kitchens all over the world. Melamine dinnerware, servingware, and utensils are popular choices in both residential and commercial kitchens. We've compiled a list of five reasons you should consider melamine products for your commercial foodservice operation.

Durability

Melamine is one of the most durable dinnerware materials available. Melamine plates will rarely break when dropped, and are also scratch- and stain-resistant. Because of this durability, melamine dishes tend to last longer than many other dish types, meaning you have to replace your dishes less often, saving you money and time.

As a testament to the confidence that melamine dish manufacturers have in the material's resilience, many of them offer warranties on their dishes that last several years. As long as the dishes are handled and maintained properly, they can serve your restaurant for years to come.

Appearance

While durability is important, appearance is also a key factor when it comes to your customers' dining experience. Melamine dishes are available in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and textures, meaning you can find the perfect fit for your foodservice operation. While solid colors are the most common, many melamine lines are available with patterns, such as the Tea Rose pattern from GET.

Bestselling Melamine Dinnerware Patterns
Pattern NameImage
White with Checkered RimWhite melamine dishes with checkered rim pattern
BarcelonaMelamine plate with colored rim
Diamond RodeoMelamine plate with brown rope border
CelebrationMelamine plate in blue, red, yellow, and green
Monarch KingstonMelamine plate with fluted rim with a dark green stripe
Japanese TraditionalLight brown melamine plates with green areas and blue kanji.

For restaurants that are going for a more rustic aesthetic, melamine dinnerware is available that mimics the appearance of pottery, china, and even wood. Specialty plates are also available with prints and shapes such as pizza, fish, or shells. If none of those are quite right, some melamine dinnerware manufacturers are able to put custom colors or designs on their products, so you can have dishes with the colors or logos you need to fit your branding.

Convenience & Safety

Melamine is unmatched when it comes to convenience. The melamine resin acts as an insulator, so it stays cool to the touch even when holding hot food, protecting your servers and customers from burns. This same property makes them great for holding cold food on frost tops or in cold wells.

Melamine is BPA-free, which can be a huge reassurance to customers who are concerned about the health effects of the products they use, and melamine is approved by the FDA for serving food, as long as it is not heated past 160 degrees. Due to this temperature restriction, melamine dishes should not be used in the microwave, cheesemelter, salamander broiler, oven, or other cooking equipment.

Green Options

As more and more restaurants join the green revolution, melamine dinnerware and servingware manufacturers have responded, developing eco-friendly melamine lines. These include:

  • Carlisle Ecomade is compostable and will start breaking down after 90 days in the proper environment. This line is made with recycled plastic and sustainable resources and includes dinnerware and displayware.
  • GET BambooMel is made of melamine and bamboo fiber, a rapidly renewable resource.

Simple Maintenance

Even the hardiest of dishes must be maintained, and melamine plates are no exception. However, the maintenance is simple and easy to implement. Most importantly, melamine dishes should never be used in the microwave, in the oven, on plate warmers, or under a heat lamp. These can cause the dish's lustrous glaze to crack or burn, and can also be a health hazard, as it can allow melamine particles to leach into the food the plate or bowl is holding.

Melamine dishes should be rinsed as soon as possible after use to help prevent stains, and should not be scrubbed with steel wool or metal pads. It is recommended that you use sponges or woven pads to remove stubborn food, and that you presoak when needed. Melamine is dishwasher safe, but should never be used with bleach or any other chlorine-based cleaners. If your melamine becomes stained, GET recommends that you soak the dishes in water with an oxygen-releasing agent for an hour, then wash by hand or in the dishwasher as usual.