Quality and character
When it comes to selecting tableware for LPM Restaurant & Bar, our primary aim is to make sure it aligns with our brand’s core values, which are focused on unpretentious elegance and a shared dining experience. Our goal is to evoke a timeless, heritage-inspired ambiance, while remaining relevant to present day guests. We look for tableware that exudes quality and character, and has a sense of storied history, while remaining vibrant and alive in the context of our dining experience. This approach steers us toward clean lines, neutral hues and designs that beautifully bridge the past and present, enhancing the unique charm of LPM.
Functionality and durability are of the utmost importance to us at LPM, especially given the high volume of guests we serve. We collaborate closely with our suppliers to rigorously stress-test the chosen tableware, ensuring
it can withstand the demands of our bustling restaurant environment. We also involve our teams in the testing process to ensure that they ﬁnd the tableware comfortable and practical to work with. Our aim is to not only have visually appealing tableware but also equipment that seamlessly supports our daily operations, enhancing the overall dining experience for our guests.
Multi-functional is a must
The latest trends in tableware design have an emphasis on sustainability and innovation. We’ve noticed a growing interest in eco-friendly materials like bamboo and recycled glass. Minimalistic, multifunctional pieces are in vogue, allowing for creative presentation without overwhelming the dining experience. At LPM, we’re exploring these trends while staying true to our brand’s core values of simplicity and authenticity.
Ensuring brand alignment
We start the process from concept design phase, working with our restaurant and bars’ brand designers to select tableware that is most compatible with our brand and complements the identity, values and style we want to communicate to our customers. It’s important for us that our customers experience our brand at every step within their dining experience. Tableware is a form of physical contact with the brand and needs to be carefully thought through.
Doing the homework
Understanding our guests’ preferences and expectations is at the heart of what we do when launching a new concept. While tableware is not the primary reason people visit a restaurant concept, it plays a major role in translating our culinary creations and communicating them to our customers. We try to gather feedback that goes beyond ﬂavors and portion sizes to include presentation, and tableware plays a major part here. Prior to selecting any tableware, we take our time connecting with our large network of qualiﬁed suppliers and going through their extensive portfolios to ensure that we choose the options that best match the identity of our concept and customer base.
Recently, tableware design and materials have witnessed several transformative trends, led by a noticeable shift toward sustainability and the use of eco-friendly materials. Complementing this is the artisanal approach, including handcrafted, highly sought after, locally sourced items. In terms of aesthetics, minimalist designs are leading the way, while we are also seeing a surge in multi-functional tableware items and innovative materials like bamboo, stone and metal.
A unifying factor
Tableware plays a vital role in enhancing an overall dining experience. Selecting tableware in line with a brand and image begins with a thorough understanding of the establishment’s identity and target audience. We conduct a comprehensive brand analysis, consider the interiors, the establishment’s ambiance and market positioning, geographical location, cultural nuances, its environmental ethos and the culinary repertoire when making a decision, within, of course, the conﬁnes of the budget. These factors should seamlessly converge to craft a uniﬁed and memorable dining experience.
Ergonomics and the bottom line
Visual appeal, functionality and durability are all factors at the core of our selection process. We subject the tableware to rigorous functionality tests, assessing factors such as ergonomics, ease of handling and suitability for menu items. Our focus on durability extends to evaluating materials for their resistance to wear, chipping and the demands of a busy environment. We also prioritize user-friendliness and hygiene by taking into account considerations like weight and dishwasher compatibility. To optimize storage efficiency, we embrace stackable options, streamlining kitchen operations and service. Better storage usually means less breakage. Our commitment to durability extends beyond the initial investment; we understand the importance of ensuring that the cost of replenishing equipment aligns with the projected revenue of the establishment.
The latest trends indicate a shift toward sustainability and eco-friendliness, with biodegradable materials, recycled glass and organic shapes gaining popularity. Additionally, minimalistic and artisanal designs are trending, with an emphasis on unique, handcrafted pieces. Technological advancements have also led to innovative materials like titanium-reinforced ceramics, providing both style and durability. Integration of smart technology, such as heated plates or interactive serving pieces, represents another emerging trend.
Finding the right ﬁt
Chinese food has a lot of traditional practices related to how particular dishes and recipes are served, meaning that as a high-end Chinese restaurant, we have much to consider. While we have speciﬁc brand colors, the process of creating and designing new tableware requires us to seamlessly align with the crockery in terms of proportion and arrangement. With this in mind, we regularly test out new tableware and actively look for new suppliers and designers to ﬁnd the ﬁt that is best, both in terms of being visually appealing and helping our chef and kitchen team serve dishes with as much authenticity as possible.
We make sure our tableware at Shi is both visually appealing and functional and durable for daily use. This means opting for high-quality materials that can endure extensive usage, including repeated washing and storage. Maintaining traditional Chinese authenticity, which our customers regularly tell us they feel when dining at Shi, through our interiors, tableware and food, is also a priority.
Collaborations on trend
We are always on the lookout for new crockery suppliers and that includes engaging with custom-made crockery design studios to craft plates that match our speciﬁc style and preferences. Collaborations with renowned designers and the use of heat-resistant, non-toxic, environmentally friendly materials that offer excellent electrical insulation and high-wear resistance are among the upcoming trends I can visualize. Also, more home-grown brands teaming up with larger hospitality groups to create crockery lines exclusively for that venue – a trend that has already taken off in many of the world’s foodie-fashion capitals.
FROM THE ARTISANAL PERSPECTIVE
Our menu consists mostly of Lebanese cuisine, so the serving dishes have to accommodate all mezze items in different sizes and forms. Having a pottery manufacturing studio on the premises works to the chef’s advantage, since every time he comes up with a new dish, he has the opportunity to create a suitable plate for presentation purposes. Since Lebanese cuisine tends to be very colorful, we usually serve the food on tableware of a single plain color free of motifs. The color schemes vary according to the color of the food – a darker base for light-colored food and vice versa. For our buffet, however, we like to use large serving dishes that are far more intricate in their designs, complete with mixed glazing and various motifs, all inspired by the beautiful nature we have around us.
We try our best to choose heavy duty and durable materials, avoiding thin edges since breakages are inevitably high in F&B outlets.
Preference for porcelain
I think these come down to the cuisine and image of the restaurant. There are a lot of new unbreakable materials on the market nowadays, but personally, I always prefer the feel of a porcelain dish to others.