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Time for a dining ‘make over’? It’s about more than menus as you create a first-class ambience and experience, with a product that is still practical
In the wake of the pandemic and rising inflation rates, budgets are tighter, and the idea of a full restaurant refurbishment could be one expense too far for many hoteliers and restaurateurs. But adding pristine table linen remains a popular and simple way to create a sense of occasion by giving a dining space a subtle facelift. Whether it’s clean white tablecloths or napkins that add colour contrast, linens create an immediate sense of luxury, while enhancing the all-round customer experience, in a cost-effective and sustainable way.
Raj Ruia, director at Richard Haworth explains: “The tablecloth look remains synonymous with the expectation of a luxurious dining experience and can absolutely make an impactful first-impression. If tablecloths are too much of a conventional choice for your restaurant however, linen napkins can be enough to freshen things up. They can inject a splash of colour to restaurant interiors, whilst communicating that sustainability is something you care about as an operator.”
Richard Haworth’s popular Amalfi table linen range is regularly used in high profile restaurants across the country, including at The Goring, The Clove Club and Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants. Available in 27 colourways to suit every season and interior style, the Amalfi range is made from revolutionary cotton soft fabrics to ensure ultimate durability, while providing a more sustainable solution to paper towels and other one-use options.
Ruia points out: “Today’s customers are extremely savvy when it comes to understanding the impact disposable serviettes can have on the environment. Diners are increasingly making considered choices, including where and how they dine out. Whether that’s understanding where their food has been sourced, or the carbon footprint of the linens inside the restaurants they frequent, they want to know they are supporting businesses with ethics.”
The Amalfi range has a unique stain-release fabric technology that requires lower temperature washes, with less rinsing and chemicals, resulting in a more environmentally-friendly and durable product. This provides minimal shrinkage and superb stain release. Ruia adds:” So not only do our linens look impressive, but they also launder incredibly well and last for longer – meaning they will keep both the front and back of house staff happy.”
Recent surveys show that guests value personalisation when it comes to their experiences and Richard Haworth continues to see an upturn in the personalisation of its items, including table linen ranges where napkins embroidered with a restaurant logo help to set the brand apart.
The cotton soft white Amalfi napkin is now available with an overlocked trim in 25 colour options. The plain weave fabric combines specially designed fibres for a unique soft touch finish which will appeal to those looking to add a subtle hint of colour to a plain white look.
Whether it’s clean white tablecloths or napkins that add colour contrast, linens create an immediate sense of luxury, while enhancing the all-round customer experience, in a cost-effective and sustainable way
At Linen Connect they know that table linens are one of the most critical purchases for any hospitality buyer, as they set the ambience, signal your standards, and are one of the most important points of contact between you and your customer. Sales director Richard Yates says: “Without exception, all our table linens are designed to meet the highest durability and quality standards for use in demanding hospitality environments, without compromising at all on the luxury finish and the handle your customers and guests expect.“ That’s the promise whether you opt for the luxurious feel of the Renoir range in the finest 100 per cent cotton (with satin band) through to Linen Connect’s market-leading 100 per cent polyester range, Forta.
Yates explains: “We’ve been working on developing and improving our products across decades, meaning that they look as good as new after every wash. You can also sleep well knowing that our table linens are delivered with our uncompromising commitment to sustainability. We have a deeply engaged environmental and social governance framework through our entire vertical supply chain, and further impact well over one million people each year through our philanthropy and investment.”
Fraser Donaldson, group hospitality sales and marketing director at Vision Linens offers buyers a challenge: “When looking to find the best first-class table linen, why not go straight to London’s most prestigious 5-star hotels and ask them what linen they choose to dress their table with?” The answer, he believes, is that you’ll find Vision’s V Cotton Sateen table linen, chosen to frame some of the most luxurious dining experiences and iconic afternoon teas. The Stylish V Cotton Sateen table linen is made from 100 per cent mercerised cotton. The process of mercerising cotton not only increases the lustre, but improves shrinkage, strengthens the fabric and increases colour retention. Its sateen weave construction produces a stunning satin type finish, with a simple, uninterrupted plain design, in classic white and with a hemmed finish.
Choosing a cotton tablecloth over polyester, will give a crisp finish and a luxurious drape, says Donaldson. V Cotton Sateen table linen can be made to order in any size and with the option of bespoke embroidery, taking you to a whole new level of sophistication.
Another way, to achieve a highbrow look is to consider the classic table linen patterns such as ivyleaf, rose or even a stylish satin band. Vision’s V Polyester Rose table linen comes in a vast array of colours to choose from including ivory, dusky Pink, royal blue and many more.
Donaldson reveals: “This product has been a firm favourite over the last couple of months as we see hotels preparing their table linen stocks, ready to service the two-year backlog of weddings, due to the pandemic. In particular, the pastel colours are proving a popular choice, while polyester provides a quick laundering turnaround with a faster drying time than 100 per cent cotton and gives an unmatched robustness, appreciated by both on-premise laundries and commercial laundries.”