Retail vs. Commercial Melamine
What are some of the key differences between retail and commercial-grade melamine products? It is common for food service operators to explore this question when stocking for their business. Just like traditional dinnerware, there are degrees of quality that may justify your investment requirement.
Melamine qualities vary depending on where it is purchased, the manufacturing process, material thickness, design features, and intended use. Retail-grade melamine is known for its low price point, thinner material and smaller quantities. Retail melamine has low requirements for safety when compared to commercial-grade options. The melamine available from retailers is meant for light-duty use and will not stand up to the abuse of everyday use.
Alternatively, commercial-grade melamine is extremely sustainable and made to withstand heavy use and commercial dishwashers. The design features are centered around durability and high safety standards. Commercial melamine is usually thicker and sturdier than retail-grade melamine and is consistent throughout every piece. Higher safety standards include FDA-approved materials, factory audits, product testing, and bacteria-free surfaces.
The availability of retail melamine is typically low and inconsistent, whereas commercial products are stocked for many years and the options remain consistent. Retail sales rely on one-time sales while commercial sales rely on large reorders of products. Due to these larger runs of production, the colors of commercial pieces usually remain available for long periods of time.
When choosing the right product to accommodate your needs, take these general practices into account. Remember that not every melamine piece is created equal and high quality comes with a higher price tag. If you’re purchasing melamine for a commercial environment, make sure to purchase commercial-grade products to protect your investment.