Melamine vs. Ceramic Dinnerware: Why You Should Switch


If you run or own a casual restaurant that sees a lot of volumes, the cost of dinnerware and breakage is never far from your mind. For years, ceramic dinnerware was the number one solution, but melamine dinnerware may be the cost saver you have been looking for. Melamine is stylish and economical, but can better withstand the harshness of commercial use than ceramic options. It looks better and more upscale than paper dinnerware and baskets, which presents a higher value perception for the food being served on it. Those aren’t the only reasons to consider it for your business, though.

Melamine dishes are available in plates, cups, bowls, saucers, display trays, chopsticks, and more. The material’s lightweight composition makes it easier to handle. The same material also has excellent heat dissipation speeds, allowing it to dry faster. It is a popular choice for a variety of high-volume food service operations including school cafeterias and daycares, health and nursing home facilities, and casual dining restaurants. There are a number of melamine designs out there, providing a look just like ceramic and china.


One of the primary reasons many restaurant owners invest in melamine dishware is due to its reputation for being break and shatter resistant. The strengthened resin is able to easily withstand dropping and banging. No need to worry about how your busser stacks dishes in a bin, the dishes are put up after washing, or when a dish hits the ground during a busy service. The same material makes it resistant scratches from utensils. If you are looking for additional durability, be sure to look for melamine dishes with reinforced rim and foot designs. This increased durability means that you are going to save time and avoid unsightly messes, but also that you are going to save money by minimizing your replacement costs.

Carlisle Gathering Melamine Round Platter 18"


Sometimes, cheap dishes look just like what they are—cheap dishes. It plays a sort of psychological trick on diners’ minds. If the dishes are cheap, what kind of ingredients are being put in the food? Melamine helps belay these issues by having beautiful china-like and ceramic-like appearances. There are a variety of options available including solid colors and patterns, rustic to elegant.

Temperature Compensation

Melamine dishware is heat resistant and cold insulated. Its heat dissipation feature allows dishes to stay cool to the touch even when serving hot dishes. This also makes melamine a prime option when choosing kitchen utensils like tongs and flippers. Because of the way melamine handles the heat, the dishes dry faster, helping quicker throughput from the dishwashers as well. This same physical property makes melamine ideal for displaying cold food on display and in buffets, helping keep cold food, salads, and desserts colder, longer.

Safe for Food

There have been some to question the safety of melamine in plates, bowls, and other dishes. The questions particularly come about when people believe that the resins may be releasing harmful toxins when the melamine is heated. However, these fears are improperly placed. The FDA Safety and Risk Assessment of Melamine states that this type of plastic tableware is safe for use. The study goes on to specify that material will not transfer into food so long as it is not heated to higher than 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Melamine also comes in BPA-free varieties.

The Best Outdoor Dinnerware 

Melamine dinnerware is one of the best options for outdoor and poolside dining because of it's exceptional durability. There is nothing worse than broken glass outside because it's hard to sweep up and if it happens near a pool, it can cause a real headache. Spare the trouble of broken glass where it doesn't belong by removing the risk and using melamine. Since it will not break when you drop it on hard concrete patios, it's a great solution for fast-paced environments, especially around kids. When you need unbreakable dinnerware, melamine is that way to go.

Dishwasher Safe

Melamine dishes are 100% dishwasher safe. Many melamine dishes have been designed to withstand temperatures in excess of recommended dishwasher water temperatures.


Make the switch to Melamine Dinnerware today.

Featured products