China Dinnerware Guide

Essentially there are five or six types of dinnerware used in restaurants, eateries, buffets and banquets. These dinnerware types consist of china dinnerware, glass dinnerware, plastic or melamine dinnerware, wood, metal and even disposable paper dinnerware. Your choice of dinnerware leaves a lasting impression on your diners. The plates, bowls, saucers, cups and serving platters you decide on is an important decision. In this product guide, we’ll cover the primary type of dinnerware that can define your establishment, china dinnerware.

China is a word that can refer to a lot of different styles and finishes. There are many aspects to china that determine look, feel and durability. Certainly porcelain is the most common used in restaurants, but there are other types of china you can find in front of the house situations. Let’s look at them:


  • Medium expense
  • Medium weight
  • Can be ornate
  • Mirror-like or glowing finish
  • Non-porous surface makes for easy cleaning
  • Durable
  • Mostly dishwasher safe

Bone China

  • High expense
  • Light Weight
  • Blend of porcelain and ash
  • Milky-white finish
  • Double-fired makes it very durable
  • Mostly dishwasher safe


  • Medium expense
  • Heavy
  • Often glazed for long-lasting sheen, great for displaying
  • Chip resistant


  • Not very expensive
  • Light Weight
  • Made of a natural ceramic
  • Dishwasher safe

Creating the look of your unique dining area takes careful planning. Depending on your menu, you may need more than just standard dinner plates and salad bowls. Let’s take a look at some of the alternatives and additions to plates and bowls.


Style, color, shape, and pattern should all figure into your selection of the plates for your tables. It’s important to consider what foods you serve as well as who your patrons are. Are you a specialty dining establishment whose chef considers each plated portion a work of art? Does their style suit a more traditional feel, or a contemporary one? Are your portions served in certain shapes?

Style Type

  • Rolled Edge – classic look that is easy to use.
  • Narrow Rim – larger serving area
  • Wide Rim – smaller serving area


  • White
  • American White
  • Cream White
  • Bone White
  • Bright White
  • All other color variations


  • Round
  • Square
  • Rounded Square
  • Oblong
  • Rectangular
  • Oval
  • Triangular


The pattern of your dinnerware will add that little something to your table or your food presentation, which can completely compliment the meal – or detract from it. Even though your dinnerware is the focal point of the table setting, it’s also important to consider the flatware and glassware that may be patterned as well. Popular patterns include:

  • Neo-Classic
  • Tundra
  • Silk
  • Reno
  • Fiesta
  • Cascade
  • Caprice
  • Bamboo
  • Undecorated


Style, color, shape and pattern figure just as important with bowls as with plates. Another consideration for bowls, then is the type of bowls you may need. The right type of bowl for the right application rests heavily on the bowl capacity.

Bowl Capacity

  • 0 to 5 oz. – Fruit Bowls
  • 6 to 10 oz. – Soup, Grapefruit or Nappie Bowls
  • 11 to 15 oz. – Soup or Dinner Salad Bowls
  • 16 to 20 oz. – Large Soup or Pasta Bowls
  • 21 to 32 oz. – Jumbo Soup or Pasta Bowls
  • 33 to 64 oz. – Extra Large Pasta Bowls

For a traditional dine-in dining room, you will want to consider the following guide for china type minimums:

For a 100 Seat Dining Room:

9" or 9 3/4" Main Course Plates 25 to 30 dozen
7 1/4" Plates (Salad and Dessert) 33 to 38 dozen, depending on if you use specialty salad bowls/plates
6 1/4" Plates 33 dozen
Platters (Steak or Breakfast applications) 4-8 dozen
Cups 33 dozen
Bouillon Bowls 20 dozen
Saucers 33 dozen (Should match number of cups)
Fruit Bowls 25 dozen
Soups RD 10-15 dozen
Hot Cereal Bowls 5-8 dozen
Sugar Bowls & Packet Holders 4-8 dozen
Creamers 4-8 dozen


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