As a skilled salesperson, you know that not every product is a fit for every client. That’s why you work hard to effectively target your clients to offer them useful solutions to their problems. And that’s why your clients see you as a resource and trusted business partner.
You also probably know that melamine dinnerware is an excellent fit for a huge range of foodservice clients. However, some operational practices can create displeasing results due to higher than expected replacement rates for a handful of your clients.
Here at G.E.T., we aim to use our 30+ years’ experience as leaders in melamine dinnerware to be a resource and business partner for you.
Because melamine dinnerware is a great fit for almost any kind of operation, it’s more effective to share the short list of clients who may not be. This knowledge will help you to:
- Target your clients with precision
- Sell them a product they’ll love
- Build trust in your business relationships and earn repeat purchases by recommending relevant solutions
- Save both of you some headaches dealing with post-sale customer service resolutions
Let’s take a look.
Featured: Magnolia™ melamine dinnerware collection
Melamine Dinnerware is Best Used for Plating, Not Heating or Warming
Nearly every foodservice operation uses some type of heat source for cooking or warming. However, not every place exposes their dinnerware to those same heat sources.
If your client consistently places their dinnerware in or under these heat sources, melamine may not be the best material for them:
Some foodservice operators find that using these implements to steam veggies quickly, melt cheese, toast a breadcrumb topping, etc., are best for their operations. That’s perfectly fine.
The issue at hand is when melamine dinnerware is regularly exposed to temperatures above 200°F, it can:
- Brown, dull, scorch, or otherwise lose its luster, which can negatively impact brand positioning and perception because guests prefer to eat on clean, bright plates
- Become brittle and chip, crack, or break before the end of its normal service life, creating additional expenses for operators due to more frequent replacing
- In many cases, void the manufacturer warranty, which means your client loses protection on their investment
Because the main component in melamine dinnerware is wood pulp, it dries out when it’s repeatedly exposed to high heat over time. That’s what leads to the decrease in durability and the loss of shine. Manufacturers know this, which is why plenty of them include a heat-related caveat in their warranties.
This small group of clients will likely be better off with china because it can withstand high heat better than melamine.
However, for the ample number of operators who only use their plateware to plate food before it’s served, melamine is a great option because:
- Your clients can achieve the beautiful presentations they desire
- Its service life is 50%-100% longer than china, thanks to its durability
- Over the course of its service life, it's typically more cost-effective than china, which helps keep tight budgets in check
- Available in a wide range of styles to fit almost any décor, resulting in mass market appeal
Featured: Kanello™ melamine plates and bowls
Melamine Dinnerware Stays Young With Steak Knives Out of the Picture
All plateware, whether melamine or china, can scratch over time. However, if your client is serving steaks, china is likely a better option for them.
Steak knives can scratch the surface of melamine dinnerware, resulting in a shorter service life than using everyday spoons, forks, and knives. Additionally, if a custom design or decal is applied to the plateware, the scratches can cut through the protective layer on top and compromise the artwork's appearance. All this can leave your clients' plates looking tired and in need of replacement.
Featured: Rustic Mill™ melamine dinnerware
Keep Colors Vibrant: Kick the Bleach
Bleach has many useful applications, but it’s not great for cleaning melamine dinnerware because it’s a whitener and will ultimately lead to less than stellar looking tabletops.
- Sanitize, yes, but there are other bleach-free ways to meet that end like quat sanitizers
- Discolor, dull, and fade the surface, leading to unsightly dinnerware and unhappy guests
Many low-temp dishwashers rely on bleach for sanitizing tableware as opposed to high-temp dishwashers which sanitize with heat. If your client uses a low-temp dishwasher, they can easily work with their local detergent experts and providers to find a bleach-free alternative that effectively sanitizes.
Featured: Cosmo™ blue melamine entrée bowl
If Your Client’s Guests Can’t be Trusted – In Other Words, Don’t Sell to Detention Centers
The needs of detention center populations may be far from the minds of most law-abiding citizens like you. However, they’re worth paying attention to because detention center occupants have to eat just like the rest of us.
While melamine is one of the most – if not the most – durable materials for dinnerware on the market, it's not unbreakable. And because of its superior durability, if it’s broken, it can make for a hearty, possibly quite sharp piece of weaponry. We’re not saying that all detention center populations fall into the “cannot be trusted with dinnerware” category, but some certainly do.
If you’re working with a dinnerware provider for detention centers, we recommend reaching out to local wardens for a list of approved dining hall materials. They may vary by county, region, or the security level of detention centers.
Fine Dining Establishments Crave a Different Kind of Buzz
Featured: Minski™ melamine dinnerware
Melamine dinnerware can look just as upscale as fine china. However, it won't necessarily solve the same pain points for fine dining that most other foodservice operations face because fine dining simply focuses on a different set of priorities. Therefore, this customer group won't be as motivated as the rest of their industry peers to consider melamine.
Their table service is typically slower and more refined than most establishments. This means servers are not rushing around to "turn and burn" tables, which can create ample opportunity to bump into people and things, often resulting in broken china.
Further, fine dining operators look for, or innovate themselves:
- The latest breakthrough in culinary possibilities, like Alinea's edible, floating balloon
- Custom-designed fine china
- The next trend in dining, from attitude to the food
Fortunately for you, fine dining only accounts for about 10% of foodservice operations. That leaves you with 90% of the market share that can benefit from melamine plateware. So, with all this opportunity to sell melamine tableware, why choose G.E.T. over other players in the space? Because we're not like other providers in ways that you'll love.
How G.E.T. Is Different from Other Melamine Tableware Providers
Creating the best possible experience for our dealer sales reps before, during, and after the sale is paramount to us here at G.E.T. because you’re a vital part of our success. We do this by:
- Always standing behind our products so you can sell with confidence
- Offering an easy-to-use sample request program that allows you and your clients to hold and feel our industry-leading melamine dinnerware, making a strong emotional connection
- Creating peace of mind for you and your clients by certifying each melamine product we carry through NSF International, which means we only offer products made with pure melamine, food-safe design features, and many other benefits
- Typically shipping orders within 24 hours, ensuring your products arrive on time
- Keeping our warehouse stocked, so you don’t have to bother with custom or back order delays
- Providing complete tabletop solutions for every foodservice segment so you can get more done and sold from a single source
- Employing knowledgeable, professional customer support teams who will answer your questions from the moment you’re interested in our product all the way through post-purchase support
- [email protected]
- (800) 727-4500
G.E.T. also creates custom content specifically for our dealer sales reps, aimed at making your lives easier by providing:
- Product insight and creative applications
- First-to-market advantage via current information about new products your clients will love
- Selling points targeted to specific client audiences
- Sales materials you can share with your clients in just a few clicks
Be sure to subscribe to our blog to keep up with the latest resources. Here are a few of our favorites:
- How to Make More Commission with Enameled Cast Iron Alternative
- Help Your Clients Make Money with Merchandising Displays (While You Do, Too)
- Pampa Bay Review for Dealer Sales Reps: Luxury Serveware
If you have any success stories about making a client’s day by selling them melamine dinnerware, share it with your peers in the comments!