Choosing a Crockery Set
Choosing the correct crockery set is an extremely important decision to make. The following are the two main types of crockery that you can expect to find in a commercial environment.
Porcelain & Earthenware Crockery
Porcelain and earthenware don't go through the same processes as china and therefore do not offer the same benefits. Colours may not be as vivid and whites can lack the pure translucence associated with china. This type of commercial crockery also tends to be thicker in order to have the same strength as bone china, yet is not as resistant to chipping. The surface may also be rougher to the touch.
Commercial Bone China
Bone china has a beautiful pure white translucency which not only looks fantastic on its own, but is the perfect base for all forms of decoration as the manufacturing process allows colours to shine. This popular variety is also fully vitrified (the surface is made glassy and non-porous) which gives it great strength, durability and chip resistance.
UK Crockery Manufacturers
There are three main manufacturers of crockery in the UK. All are based in Stoke on Trent which is historically renowned for its crockery production and still known today as The Potteries. The three main producers in the UK are Churchill, Dudson and Steelite. As well as the UK manufacturers there are a number of companies from abroad that cater the UK marketplace and often represent a cheaper alternative to those based in the UK.
Patterned Commercial Crockery Sets
The vast majority of catering establishments will have white crockery sets with traditional round plates and sometimes shaped designs which are easy to match and replace. Some prefer decorated pieces either with colours or a logo. If you are considering an incorporated design feature, please think carefully about the quantity as a major consideration is the cost of production and the availability of extra pieces which will be required from time to time.
Pieces of crockery sold to the commercial marketplace are very durable and many also come with an edge chip guarantee (subject to normal usage).
When choosing a commercial crockery set, ensure that the pieces that you choose are not line ends and that replacements and top ups will be readily available.