When we dine inside a restaurant these days, considering the current social distancing rules, it is such a treat. We find ourselves noticing every little detail, like what’s on the walls, the plant at the cash register, the soft glow of the lighting and oh- the napkins at the table.
Rather than those solid white or red standard napkins, we seem to notice more and more a seemingly new striped breed- the bistro stripe napkin. And like the first women with colorful stripes in their hair, now the look is everywhere. You walk down the street and even silver haired grandmas have purple highlights and there are colorful striped napkins in your favorite steak house. These are a new breed of an old kitchen staple, the bistro napkin.
The bistro napkin is different than traditional napkins. Instead of being square, it is a rectangle at 18 by 22 inches and has stripes running along the long sides.
We all know that there is “nothing new under the sun” and the bistro napkin is no exception. The inspiration for this popular napkin is the old French kitchen towel.
The bistro napkin found its way into some restaurants on the east coast about eight years ago. It then grew in popularity on the west coast and has spread both ways inward toward the center of the country.
No one can predict when a new style or if a newly introduced style will catch on. But what some call a glorified tea towel has won the hearts of so many restaurant owners and country club general managers.
Some attribute the success of the bistro napkin to its versatility. You can dress it up or dress it down. You will find the bistro napkin in casual street cafes and upscale steak restaurants at the table as well as wrapped around a $500. Bottle of wine being poured into a crystal glass.
. But the traditional cloth napkins, associated with fine dining were viewed as “too elegant” and “too stuffy.” They were looking for a napkin that said “small and intimate,” as well as comfortable, not too formal but also high quality food.
Enter the bistro napkin. Some say it’s as trendy as ramen noodles, formerly deemed food for poor college students. Its success is not only the look, but the feel as having more body than the traditional napery. Its blend of cotton and spun polyester as well as 100% spun polyester gives it extra body and feels thicker to the touch. This blend also extends the life of the product. And this brings the update to the classic French tea towel which is typically all cotton or linen.
Bistro napkins provide a pop of color to your table. The yarn that is the woven stripe color is yarn dyed- that is dyed to the desired color separately than the other threads in the weave. So it is possible to match a logo color of the restaurant and/or change the traditional stripe to a different configuration of stripes or other stripe-like designs and even add a logo to the weave.
Keeping the same traditional pattern of the bistro stripe, it is now possible to do a “reverse bistro.” In this configuration, the body of the napkin is the design color and the stripe is white. This is particularly effective with table settings that feature all white or ivory plates, cups.
Your customers are part of the paradigm shift where their favorite restaurant is a part of their life and they want to feel like home there. Whether it’s farm-to-table, or a theme restaurant, the customized bistro napkin will give that homey personal feeling tot their dining experience. Some restaurant experts are astonished that this “glorified” tea towel is such a hit. Since this napkin can be a home in an opera house or a local country western bar, it seems to give a feeling of connection to the customer.
Now the challenge is to make it special and individual and take this restaurant staple to the next level.
. Dreamtex specializes in just that. Our company slogan is “you dream it, we create it.” From different stripe configurations to woven in logos, we can help your restaurant connect that comfortable at home feeling to your establishment.
Our customers love their custom logo napkins. They tell us that their customers really notice them. After all the napkin is the most personal item in your restaurant other than the food and drink. It is the first thing that they pick up, and the last thing that they put down. Make their experience complete.
Custom napkins will also jog your customer’s memory when they are new to your eatery, because they will have looked at your logo at least a dozen times while they are enjoying their meal.
Although they are custom to your design, you can send our napkins to your regular laundry. You do not have to wash them yourself.
When you are ready to impress your customers and boost your brand, contact us. Just go to www.customfabricnapkins.com and use our contact us page. We will get back to you and in a short phone conversation and follow up email, we can get the party started.
Images of the beautiful process of coooking by chefs. One chef is seasoning, one chef is preparing and one chef is dusting with flour.
Welcome to Dreamtex Custom Napkins. This is our first blog post. We hope you will enjoy our tips and helpful information that we are going to be sharing. Through our blog, we will wander through the wonderful world of napkins, including details about our custom cloth napkins and why they can help with your customer retention and kick your customer’s impression of your establishment up a notch.
So let’s begin at the beginning. Unless you grew up in the restaurant business, there is another reason you got yourself into an industry where you get up in the morning, thinking about the restaurant and collapse in bed at night later than you thought and you dream about the business.
You have a passion for food and are probably a great cook. You want to be your own boss and you have probably worked in a restaurant at some point and know you can do it better, serve better food and make a lot of money.
Owning and running a restaurant is a challenge. From the first pot that you buy to the first customer walking through your door, there are a million decisions to make that could keep you up at night.
The reality of it is you are constantly competing with an increasing number of other restaurants, fighting inventory costs, high employee turnover and juggling literally hundreds of options in drinks and food choices to serve your customers.
Work hard-Dream Big!
But there are rewards. The industry will never die. There will never be robot chefs. And you will continue to touch the lives of people who come to your place to celebrate a birthday, propose marriage with the ring in a glass of champagne or who just need a night out. So you are in it.
Your first step, once you make the big decision, is to decide who you are. Uncle Joe makes killer chili, you are the king of steak, and you mom makes the best pies that could convince even Tom Brady to give up his keto diet. So you gather all your recipes, and make up a menu.
But who are you really. Are you Salvatore’s Italian Restaurant, or Harry’s Steak House. Can you come up with a name that will roll off the tongue of that hungry customer who will recommend you to his friends and family? And once you do, how do you tell the world who you are.
The restaurant industry in constantly growing, yet according to many studies, it has one of the highest failure rates among the retail and service industries. One of the main reasons is that restaurant owners fail to recognize the importance of establishing a recognizable brand.
Creating a brand that customers will remember gives you the edge. It has been shown that 65% of a company’s business comes from recommendations of existing customers through word of mouth. You want your customers to feel positive about their restaurant experience even if when they were there your service was not 100% up to par.
On top of fabulous food, cooked perfectly, gracious servers and a clean establishment, what do you need to do? You need a BRAND, a logo, a phrase that you want to imprint on the guest’s forehead so they can spread the word. Starbucks didn’t open their doors with “coffee shop” written on a chalkboard outside the door.
Jeff Bezos, president of Amazon said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Your brand is what you want people to remember from the first bite of steak, to the last bite of apple pie, from the first time they try and remember your restaurant’s name, to the next time they try to find you online.
So let’s say you have developed your brand, you have a great logo, and you have a menu that stands out. Other than the food and the great service, what can you do to create a memorable experience.
This is where we step in. At Dreamtex, we can help you make the most of every moment your customer spends inside your doors. Let’s talk napkins. We’ll start with the basics.
So what is a Napkin. A napkin is a square of cloth or paper usually folded and used at the table for wiping your mouth and fingers while eating.
Napkins have been around since the 1300’s. Before then, people used bread to wipe their face among other things. They were commonly used by the Romans and English. The word napkin comes from Middle English, borrowing the French nappe, a cloth covering a table and then adding –kin, the diminutive suffix. Serviette is used in some other countries like the United Kingdom Ireland and New Zealand and usually refers to the paper variety. Napkin refers to the cloth variety.
Paper napkins were used as early as the 2nd century BC in China where paper was invented. These napkins were typically used for serving tea.
Every restaurant out there even street vendors and food trucks use napkins. Traditionally only restaurants with an upscale atmosphere and lots of $$$$$ signs after their listings on the web, use cloth napkins, but things are changing. From the banning of plastic straws, plastic bags, and recycling, the climate is changing. From boomers to millennials research and surveys show that these groups tend to support businesses because they are environmentally friendly and make efforts to reduce their foot print on the planet.
The switch to the use of cloth napkins in restaurants is part of this growing trend. Cloth napkins add class, and they also reduce how many paper napkins your customers will go through, as well as reducing the amount of trash you deal with daily disposing of the dirty paper napkins. It is good for the planet and good for your bottom line.
Some contend that just because you are eliminating the waste of paper napkins, that doesn’t mean that you are saving the world. They point out that the amount of chemicals used to was the napkins and the chemically laden water pumped into the waste water systems is just as bad.
No so. Many commercial laundries are members of the Environmental Stewardship Program and EPA programs such as Waste Water Sense, Energy Star, and Waste Wise. This insures that the cloth napkins are washed, dried and finished with techniques selected to meet quality standards that minimize environmental impact.
Cloth napkins along with table cloths reduce the noise in a restaurant. All that clinking of plates and glasses being placed on a table goes away and enhances the customer experience. Surveys showed that at least 75% of customers cared about the way that their table was set and think that when a table is set with cloth napkins, the food will be more tastefully prepared and the service will be at a higher level.
We eat with our eyes. This is why chefs spend time creating dishes that are beautiful. Some people even think that food tastes better when the table is set with cloth napkins and they expect to pay more for their experience.
It has also been shown that using linens and cloth napkins are one of the best ways to prevent germ transfer on restaurant tables. No one likes a dirty table. So servers and guests alike stay healthier. And guests appreciate that their forks, spoons and knives are delivered on a cloth napkin rather than placed directly on a table.
Third party research done for major table linen manufacturers concluded that more than half of patrons expected to pay up to 64% more for the meal when served with cloth napkins and associated their opinion of the restaurant with better service and appearance.
By now you are probably saying to yourself, cloth napkins make sense in every way over paper, and there’s more.
They hold up better than paper. When you need a whole stack of paper napkins for that Louisiana rib dinner, one cloth napkin can stand up to the messiest fingers.
They are decorative. Your tables will look more finished and will create a lasting impression that sets you apart.
And you can use them for other things. Place a cloth napkin in that bread basket and wrap those freshly cooked dinner rolls in it for an explosion of fresh bread aroma at the table.
Wrap them around a wine bottle for a classy presentation. Or fold an extra one to place under that small succulent on the table.
And now the best part. Circle back to the beginning of this blogging adventure and remember the discussion. Who are you? What is your brand identity? So now you have a great logo, it’s on your store front, your menu, maybe even your server’s apron. How about your cloth napkin.
That’s right. How about your logo on every cloth napkin used in your restaurant. That’s your ace in the hole. See the reasons why.
The average wait time for a party to be seated at a restaurant is 20 minutes. During that time they are looking around the restaurant. They may notice your wall of fame where you have posted all of the celebrity patrons you have had through the years. Then your selection of liquor behind the bar reflected in the mirrors behind the bottles, even the pattern in your ceiling. But again and again their eyes wander over the tables, all set with your logo napkins. Again and again their brain takes a snapshot of that logo and associates it with the wonderful aroma coming from your kitchen and imprints it. Voila-brand recognition.
Now they are seated and reading the menu. Back and forth, from page to page, their eyes again notice that logo napkin to the left side. Imprint.
Now they are sipping a glass of wine waiting for their food to arrive. Habitually the fiddle with the silverware all the while noticing your logo napkin. They run their fingers over it, feeling the fine quality, and being impressed with the experience. Imprint.
At dinner, they are continually using the napkin to catch a drip, wipe and wipe their fingers. Your logo napkin is the only thing in your restaurant that has personally touched them and created a positive experience. Imprint.
And when they are finished, they take your logo napkin and loosely fold it, placing it next to their plate with happy thoughts. Imprint.
Without any effort on your part, you have accomplished a connection with your guest. Your logo has been stared at, touched, picked up, made contact with their face and hands, and accompanied a great dining experience. They will remember who you are.
Businesses pay hundreds of hard earned dollars to accomplish what you have done for free without any extra effort on your part.
82% of Americans now live in cities, almost double what that number was 100 years ago. There is a big opportunity to have the edge and be competitive and we can help.
Now for the best part. We can make that happen for you. Here at Dreamtex, we produce high quality napkins that are durable and maintain their value. So instead of having a revolving supply of paper napkins, you can maintain an inventory of beautiful and functional cloth napkins with your own colors and logo.
Our design department will take your logo and create a napkin design that you can be proud of. We will manufacture your napkins and insure a great looking cloth napkin that reinforces your restaurant brand and makes you more money.
And you might wonder what is all of this going to take from me, and is it going to take forever.
It is simple, first fill out the contact form that you will find on our Contact Us page. Our Sales Director will contact you and discuss your needs. He will answer your questions and discuss time lines and approval samples.
We will need a copy of your logo in a high resolution file and color reference numbers for matching.
Our design department will prepare a schematic drawing for your approval. At that time, you may make changes to the design, such as logo position, logo size and other design changes. We will prepare more artwork and a simulated mock-up of how your napkin will look flat and folded.
Once you have approved our design, we will have it sampled for your final approval and then send it to production. The whole process takes is shorter than you think.
Other details about delivery ect. will be discussed with our Sales Director.
Don’t know what you are doing, we can help. For example, we helped a client with a brand new logo. They actually had three different logos that they were using in two different color combinations. We took those logos and created two options to choose from in three color ways. They made their selection, and we made their napkins.
Feeling lost, don’t know design, color information. You tell us that when you opened, you just went to a local printer for your menus and signs, and picked out red. No worries.
Just provide us with a sample of that color on the menu, a business card or sign, and we will do our best to match that color as closely as we can for your cloth napkins.
Don’t know anything about design. We can show you how your napkin will look folded in a couple of different ways to get the most out of showing your logo.
Dreamtex has provided custom textiles for over 50 years.
In 1956 Michael Young and his wife Rowena established Michael Young Textiles in the garment district of New York City and set out to provide quality textile products in a timely and cost efficient manner to customers all over the world. In 2000, Dreamtex, Inc. was established to service the increasing demand for specialty and custom fabrics.
Dreamtex, Inc. supplies dobby, jacquard and printed fabrics for a wide variety of applications, including upholstery, bedding, wall covering and drapery and top of bed. For over 60 years we have been supplying businesses in the residential, hospitality, outdoor, contract, healthcare, and transportation industries with domestic and internationally made fabrics. And we have designed and manufactured napkins as well as other restaurant and hospitality products like aprons, chef coats and pants and more for industry providers in the background.
Throughout the years, Dreamtex has maintained the traditions of integrity and teamwork that were Michael Young’s stock in trade. Our constant focus is our commitment to our clients, by the continued improvement of our products and services.
Now due to customer demands and new opportunities, you can work directly with us. We are located in Boca Raton, Florida. We are real people and your calls are not routed to a foreign country for customer service.