Supplies 2010: What’s Hot In Smallwares & Tabletop

Morgan was featured in the Foodservice Equipment Report’s piece on “What’s Hot in Smallwares & Tabletop.” See what she had to say below:

Change Your Perspective

M. Tucker Co., Paterson, N.J.

Morgan Tucker, Senior Account Executive

2009 supplies volume (smallwares & tabletop): $12 million

There are 12 million stories in New York, which is probably why so many trends start there and work their way across the country. One trend with positive implications, according to Morgan Tucker, senior account executive at M. Tucker Co., Paterson, N.J., is that “people are starting to spend money again on tabletop.”

“For a while, restaurateurs spent on things like a wire bread basket instead of new china,” she says. “Now we’re seeing people looking for all kinds of things, but nothing that matches.”

Operators want new and different, so the trends Tucker sees include a wide range of servingware from wood to marble in lots of different colors—including products in earth tones like mocha and wheat going into autumn, but predominantly black going into winter with harder, colder materials to match, such as marble, glass and slate.

Centerpieces and décor, however, are trending toward the warm and homey. “We’re seeing more centerpieces—lamps, urns, vases—that are different and interesting,” she says. “No more glass votives. They’re things you’d find in your home, but nothing that looks uniform or commercial.”

The increased spending, at least in New York, also has been for better, more durable tableware. “There’s been a move toward bone china with significant ash content,” Tucker says, “with real translucence and increased durability. People are using bone for both color and for its long-lasting wear. My customers are going back to that super-vitrified plate with a lifetime warranty instead of the inexpensive porcelain adopted a few years ago to cut costs.”

The big trend in smallwares, she says, is toward tools and equipment that can go from the back of the house to the front. “Anything that can do that easily is a winner. Things that are interchangeable, push-and-play, that they can move and use in different places.”

In addition to utensils and cookware that can double as servingware, Tucker cites small countertop equipment that operators can use for single service and put away—counter convection ovens, induction burners, even waffle irons for desserts or the latest New York craze, chicken and waffles.

Read the full article here!

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