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Dave Turner's




FROM THE TOP September/October 2019 The Fall season is trying to arrive here in the Northern Hemisphere and we can’t wait as its our favorite time of the year. The changing seasons are great gifts to us all no matter what corner of the world we reside. Times are also changing in our category of hospitality tabletop. Lifestyle trends are threatening, venture capital has moved into town and the winds of consolidation on nearly all levels continue to blow solidly in our direction.

It is generally my feeling that the next 12-24 months could be a difficult time for operators, supply chain partners, and, most especially, manufacturers who do not have solid and true points of competitive advantage. And even those who may be truly differentiated will need to have the resources, the talent, and the skillsets to properly executive against the rising bar of customer expectations. While I continue to believe this is the greatest time in decades in the hospitality tabletop segment, the coming months are likely to be filled both with turbulence – and tremendous opportunity. I wish to each of you much of the latter. If you’re headed to Milan, make sure you let us know and if you see me there, please say hello! I'm sure you have thoughts on my comments. Safe travels to all. Cheers!


TabletopJournal From The Top Product Feature France's Mealplak

Products & Companies Hall China, Elite Global Solutions, Libbey, Tovari, Mogogo, Villeroy & Boch, RAK Porcelain and more.....

Industry Views Better Buffets Help Planners Create Better Conferences

Industry News Steelite International, Four Seasons Hotel, Arc Cardinal, Sysco, Quantas, Ritz-Carlton, Churchill, Every Other Thursday and more.....

Mixed Bag Crown Brands, Hilton Hotels, Service Ideas, and more.....

Commentary Re-Kindling Your Professional Passion



France’s Mealplak Lets You Unleash Your Individual Presentation Creativity A brand that we fell in love with early on is Mealplak. With its artistic hues, unique texture and potential for luminescence, with Mealplak – it was love at first sight. And, since its acquisition by Revol Porcelain, the creativity and the variety of serving options from Mealplak has only gotten better and better. And, now, there’s even more reason to fall in love with Mealplak – it’s their ability to customize to your individual needs. Mealplak has a wide variety of shapes from squares and rounds, to rectangles and even gourmet and podium shapes for you to help bring out your inner creative self. Colors are equal in the wide array of offerings. If you want to differentiate yourself, customize your plaks according to your needs by playing on the shape, the thickness, the color … or include your logo. Here is the link to the Mealplak feature story we ran recently:


Libbey Inc. Announces Second Quarter 2019 Results

Libbey Inc., one of the world’s largest glass tableware manufacturers, recently reported results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019. Second-quarter 2019 Financial & Operating HighlightsNet sales were $206.2 million, a decrease of 3.5 percent, or a decrease of 2.5 percent in constant currency versus the prior-year period.

Elite Global Solutions Launches New MOROCCO Melamine Dinnerware and Serveware

For nearly the past 20 years, Elite Global Solutions has supplying artisan melamine dinnerware and serveware products that give the classic look of porcelain, stoneware, marble and wood without the breakage. All are dishwasher safe and designed to handle both hot and cold food applications. For more information, go here:


For the first time, Hall China introduces completer items made specifically to complement one of Homer Laughlin’s dinnerware lines. Hall’s new Sepia™ and Pesto® completer items join the popular Sepia™, Pesto®, and Indigo™ dinnerware family—with ramekins and bakeware and service for appetizers and desserts, all ready to liven up a conventional table, create an artisan-inspired environment, or act as the focal point of a tablescape. To learn more, go here:


The percent of american adults who are not dining out as much as they would like to be


Tovari: More Beauty and Inspiration – and WOW! – for Your Restaurant Tabletop

We’ve just returned to our studio in here in Baltimore from a quick trip and upon arriving opened up the latest delectable collection from one of our favorite tabletop resources – Holland’s TOVARI BV! The newest catalog from this Dutch market leader is 300 pages of pure beauty and inspiration for your restaurant tabletop! Est. 2011


Mogogo: Design, Innovation and Quality at the Heart of New BHP Product

VILLEROY & BOCH INTERIM REPORT ON THE FIRST HALF OF 2019: ADJUSTS FORECAST FOR 2019 FINANCIAL YEAR The Villeroy & Boch Group generated consolidated revenue of € 393.2 million (including licence income) in the first half of 2019, representing a year-on-year decline of € 26.4 million or 6.3 %. While the Tableware Division continued its positive performance in the second quarter of 2019, revenue development in the Bathroom and Wellness Division in the first half of 2019 was characterised in particular by the reduction in inventories on the part of Villeroy & Boch customers as well as delayed implementation of large residential construction projects, especially in China. To learn more, go here:

RAK PORCELAIN: MAY WE MAKE A FEW SUGGESTIONS? In the ever-changing world of hospitality, tabletop increasingly means much more than just dinnerware, glassware and flatware. Tabletop has blended into buffetware and buffetware has blended into tabletop. But, in both categories, staying on top of your game is the key for both a supplier – and an operator’s – success. To learn more, go here: o-design-innovation-and-quality-at-theheart-of-new-bhp-product/

We’ve talked before about RAK Porcelain and its fondness of going over the top in introducing lots of new products. And while we like a lot of their new dinnerware collections, it’s their new SUGGESTIONS Series that has gotten our attention lately.SUGGESTIONS is a wide collection of serving pieces designed by Spanish dinnerware designer Gemma Bernalto have maximum visual impact for the dining guests. Creative chefs will enjoy any of the 10 “mini” collections contained in the SUGGESTIONS Series.

October 2019

18-22: HOSTMILANO It's almost here! You've made your plans to attend the HostMilano show in Milan and it's just a few weeks away! With 2165+ exhibitors and 187,602 professional visitors from 177 countries, this is where hospitality meets business. So, get excited and, more importantly, get yourself to HostMilano! For more information:Â


MGM RESORTS PURCHASES STAKE IN OPERATOR OF NOMAD HOTEL BRAND According to reports, including in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, MGM Resorts International has purchased a 50 percent stake in the Sydell Group, a hotel company that operates the NoMad brand, among others. The two companies are already familiar with each other; NoMad opened a 293-room boutique hotel on the top four floors of Park MGM in October. The move could help MGM capture a specific kind of traveler — those that belong to a younger, affluent demographic, according to Jefferies analyst David Katz. About 24 percent of Las Vegas visitors last year were 60 or older, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. To learn more, go here:   h

Simple. Elegant. Affordable. www.tenstrawberrystreet/hospitality


Welcome to The Future: All-New Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center

On the uppermost floors of what is now the city’s tallest building and 10th highest in the United States, the allnew Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center is now open – and taking its place amid the world’s finest hospitality experiences. The entire Comcast Center building and the interiors and furnishings of Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia have been designed by world-renowned architect Norman Foster of Foster + Partners, who has effectively redefined the skyline of one of the country’s most historic cities. me-to-the-future-all-new-four-sasonshotel-philadelphia-at-comcast-center/


Steelite International and CEO John Miles are set to host a fundraiser at its Youngstown, Ohio Showroom and Experience Center this coming week on Tuesday, September 17th.Titled “A Night in Napa” with Carmen Policy, the event will feature wines from Casa Piena vineyards in Yountville, California which is owned by former Youngstown native Carmen Policy and his wife Gail. Also involved will be top local restaurants from the Youngstown area such as local favorites Michael Alberini’s, Aqua Pazzo, Bistro 1907, Springfield Grille, and Station Square.

Interior Design: The Need to Personalise and Diversify

The trend to personalize and diversify within the hospitality experience is front and center at the upcoming HOST Milano show this coming Oct 18-22nd in Milan and nowhere is it more apparent than in interior design, where the optimizing the guest experience is of premier importance. -design-the-need-to-personalise-anddiversify/

BETTER BUFFETS HELP PLANNERS CREATE BETTER CONFERENCES It’s no secret that there’s been a tremendous amount of attention within the tabletop and buffet categories in recent years towards banqueting and catering, especially to the business meetings sector. In fact, enhanced food & beverage experiences at conferences and meetings is at an all-time high.And, the great news is – all this attention continues to be warranted. And, here’s why.

Steelite International


Stellar Dining Series by The Ritz-Carlton Builds Momentum with More Michelin-Star Chefs and Artisans for 2019 The Stellar Dining Series by The Ritz-Carlton will orbit Asia Pacific again for a second year, landing in Tokyo, Kyoto and Guangzhou, three of Asia-Pacific’s most renowned gourmet destinations. Between 11 September to 13 October 2019 each destination will unveil exciting collaborations and interactive workshops for a multi-sensory journey that showcases chefs, star mixologists, sommeliers and pâtissiers from seven Ritz-Carlton hotels in Asia and Europe. To listen to the full interview, go here:

Churchill Announces Interim Results

Churchill China plc, the manufacturer of innovative performance ceramic products serving hospitality markets worldwide, has recently announced its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2019. With both overall revenue and profits up double-digit percentages, Churchill management told local news paper The Sentinel that it “pledged to ‘accelerate investment’ at its Stoke-on-Trent headquarters after seeing profits and revenue rise in the first half of the year”. For more on what the buzz is all about, go here:


Better Buffets Help Planners Create Better Conferences It’s no secret that there’s been a tremendous amount of attention within the tabletop and buffet categories in recent years towards banqueting and catering, especially to the business meetings sector. In fact, enhanced food & beverage experiences at conferences and meetings is at an all-time high. And, the great news is - all this attention continues to be warranted. And, here’s why. IACC (International Association of Conference Centers) has recently put out their “Meeting Room of the Future” report and, in the report, they found that three critical areas that continue to drive decision-making when it comes to business conferences:   1.    Younger and younger generations are playing larger roles in business conferences – as both delegates and meeting planners.   2.    Planners are continuously required to do more with less. Budgets for business meetings have generally remained flat….while at the same time….the demand for unique experiences has increased.   And, # 3….here’s the important one…. 3.    The demand from meeting planners for enhanced food & beverage offerings is at an all-time high.   And, in case you were wondering…. A hotel’s food & beverage offerings are the third biggest factor for meeting planners when determining site selection for their meetings. First is location. Second is price. But F&B in third place is a huge decision driver when selecting where meetings are to be held. And, so here’s where great tabletop and buffetware can really come into play. When suppliers are meeting with conference centers or business banquet locations to discuss tabletop or buffetware needs, consider how our category products help address the priority needs that current meeting planners say they are looking for.



3 Building Blocks Building Strong Brands (continued)

Better Buffets Help Planners Create Better Conferences According to the IACC, here are the priorities that today’s planners have….. Meeting individual dietary needs; to be able to accommodate allergies and personal eating plans or preferences Source food offerings that are local…and seasonally appropriate Be mindful of food waste Be creative in the presentation of the food & beverage Being flexible in the setting menus….. These are the challenges that today’s meeting planners face most often. Creative suppliers of tabletop and buffetware need to understand these priorities and then tailor their presentations to how the products that they have to offer help conference venue operators and meeting planners overcome these challenges. Along with the IACC report, we came across a great “real-world” article in Meetings Today by Michele Polci. Michele is the Director of Catering Sales for Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas and oversees the sales efforts for all catered events held across one million square feet of banquet and event space at eight Las Vegas properties. In her article, Polci gives 10 Crucial Food & Beverage Trends for Meetings. All of the trends that Michele offers up are very insightful, but one really caught my eye…. Michele points out that today’s meeting planners are taking note and trying to do their part in conservation and sustainability. This translates to meeting planners seeking venues where their F&B serving pieces that are re-usable or natural. As suppliers of permanent dinnerware and reusable serving pieces and buffetware, we should already know that our products are definitely on-trend for conservation and sustainability. Now, its has to be a high priority for those of us seeking to work with conference centers and banqueting operators to reinforce this point to decision makers for those types of venues. Conservation. Sustainability. Just a couple of reasons that great tabletop and buffetware can enhance and elevate the overall food & beverage experience at business meetings and conferences. More than ever. #TabletopMatters


Drink Pink with Arc Cardinal in Support of Breast Cancer Awareness

NEW PODCAST: EVERY OTHER THURSDAY As you may know by now, we are preparing to debut our newest podcast - Every Other Thursday. Catchy title, we know. This podcast is targeted to be quite a bit different from our current SEAT YOURSELF podcast.

Arc Cardinal proudly announces its fifth year partnership with the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) by inviting customers to join the fight against breast cancer and ‘Drink Pink’.

We'll have hospitality experts Greg Kirrish and Jay Allie join us each episode to bring their industry insights and sometimes all-too-candid opinions. And, just to mix it up, we will have an occasional industry guest or two join us, as well With our showcasing of interesting products and a vigorous roundtable discussion on the hot topics of the moment, you can expect Every Other Thursday to be spirited and, once in a while, even a little controversial. The new Every Other Thursday is set to debut in late October, so stay tuned... www.

Support our chefs:

Qantas and Quandoo Dish Up Delicious New Way To Earn Qantas Points Around the World

SYSCO ACQUIRES J. KINGS Qantas Frequent Flyer has partnered with Quandoo to reward members with Qantas Points on restaurant bookings in Australia and around the world.The collaboration with Quandoo, a worldwide booking platform that connects diners to restaurants, will enable frequent flyers to earn Qantas Points when they make reservations through the Qantas Restaurants portal on and the Qantas app.

Earlier this month Sysco acquired J. Kings Food Service Professionals. This enables Sysco to have a stronger presence in the ever competitive New York metro food service business. Sysco’s EVP of Foodservice Operations Greg Bertrand commented…”As Sysco continues to focus on M&A as part of our strategic growth plan, we believe J. Kings with its strong local presence, combined with Sysco’s scale and depth, will provide customers with even more of what they need to be successful in the competitive New York market area.” For more information on Sysco, listen to our SEAT YOURSELF podcast for the week of August 26th at:


Crown Brands, LLC Signs Exclusive Licensing Agreement with MCIC

Crown Brands, LLC is pleased to announce an exclusive licensing arrangement with MCIC of Garden City, New York, which will be effective September 1, 2019.  Under this agreement, MCIC grants Crown Brands, LLC an exclusive license for the manufacture, promotion, sales and distribution of the MCIC Product.

Live Like a Rock Star at Hilton Cleveland Downtown


Service Ideas recently announced the launch of a new collection of metallic finishes to expand the color selection on some of their most popular serviceware products. The new finishes come as welcome additions for foodservice operators looking to add an element of luxury to their tables and buffet setups. Service Ideas has been breaking the mold with colors and patterns as an alternative to the predictable stainless steel finishes commonly seen in foodservice ever since introducing wood grain and marble finishes at the 2017 NAFEM Show.

DID YOU KNOW..... Hilton Cleveland Downtown invites music enthusiasts from around the world to indulge in an over-the-top rock and roll experience with the property’s Cleveland Rockstar package in the hotel’s Rock and Roll-themed suite. Available now through April 30, 2020, the Cleveland Rockstar package is the ultimate getaway for music-lovers visiting the Rock and Roll Capital of the World all-year long. Additionally, all guests who book this package will receive donor status at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, with their names listed and recognized at the museum.

The average time people spend daily on social media is 2 hrs 23 min.?


Passion Play: Re-Kindling Your Professional Passion Sooner or later, every one of us hits a stage in our everyday professional life where we are simply grinding it out. The passion is gone, we are running from task to task, from assignment to assignment, all while making little or no progress. The professional work that we fell so deeply in love with is simply no longer fun. Where did our passion and energy go? And….more importantly….how can we get it back? According to Forbes Magazine, way over half of the people in the U.S. feel disengaged in their jobs. When we are passionate, we are engaged and we do our best work. And we understand that ALL jobs have a certain amount of good and bad parts to them. And, not every day is an A+ day, no matter how passionate or engaged you are. But, that said, we all feel a far better sense of purpose and fulfillment when we are passionate about what we are doing. And, particularly if we’ve been doing something for an extended period of time, that passion can wane. If you have ever felt that way, you are not alone. We all have those “work is drudgery” feelings from time to time. So, show yourself a little compassion and understand that is normal. But just how you re-ignite that inner passion is what is important. In a recent LinkedIn article we offered up 3 easy tips for doing just that: *Stolzle available thru RAK inUSA Only

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TabletopJournal Newsletter Sept/Oct 2019  

TabletopJournal Newsletter Sept/Oct 2019