A Guide to Restaurant Tablecloths

Discover tips for choosing the perfect tablecloth for your restaurant's tabletops, including insights on Sam Tell trusted brands Marko and Snap Drape.

April 04, 2024     5 minute read

A good meal doesn’t feel quite complete without a nice, elegant tablecloth setting that ties the food, décor, and ambiance of the restaurant all together. Tablecloths are essential tabletop elements that enhance not only the aesthetic of your dining space, but also contribute to its functionality, cleanliness, and branding efforts, leaving a lasting impression on your customers.

It is important to keep in mind that not all tablecloths are equal - restaurant quality tablecloths are designed to meet the rigorous demands of commercial dining and can be very different from tablecloths made for the home or other events. They are typically made from high quality materials that are durable, stain resistant, and easy to clean.

According to a 2019 study, table linens have a great influence on customers’ perception of the restaurant and its food. Finding the right tablecloth fit is essential for creating a professional look and keeping customers satisfied and coming back to your establishment in the long run. Here are a few things to consider when you’re picking tablecloths for your restaurant:

1. Material

The ideal material for your restaurant tablecloth depends on the kind of establishment you are running, and the needs and expectations that you have for your tablecloth. The two popular options for tablecloth are polyester and vinyl.

Polyester tablecloths can be used in a range of restaurants – from fine dining to casual – and exhibit robust and durable qualities, affordability, and versatility in terms of color and style options, while mimicking the look and feel of cotton. Unlike cotton, however, polyester fabrics experience minimal fading, shrinking, and wrinkling, and dries much faster, while being crease-resistant and facilitating easier maintenance and cleaning. Not only that, but polyester is naturally flame retardant, making it a safer option for your table setting. Top of Form

Vinyl tablecloths, on the other hand, are a good choice in casual dining establishments. Their wipe-clean design eliminates the need for washing and drying, ensuring easy maintenance, while most commercial vinyl tablecloths are equipped with flannel backings to prevent slipping. Vinyl fabric maintains along lifespan because it is less prone to abrasions, UV, and liquid damage. Available in pre-cut shapes and rolls, these tablecloths provide users with the flexibility to create custom sizes to suit their specific restaurant-tablecloths-fabric

2. Size

Measuring your tabletops to determine the size and shape of tablecloth you will need is a critical step. When doing this, consider how much your cloth you want to hang over the sides of the table, otherwise known as the “drop”. The length of the tablecloth helps dress the table and sets the tone for the meal. Casual restaurants usually tend to go with a 6–8-inch drop, compared to more formal dining establishments that have longer drops of about 12-15 inches. Use Carlisle’s tablecloth size calculator to find out what size you need for your restaurant tables.


3. Color

The color of your tablecloth depends on your aesthetic preference and what look you’re going for. While white is the most common tablecloth color choice as it is neutral and tends to work in most establishments, there is a wide range of colors and designs to choose from. However, whether you choose a solid color or choose a patterned tablecloth, it is important to visualize how it will go with the rest of your establishment’s aesthetic, décor, and tableware.

Sam Tell’s trusted tablecloth picks:

Marko and Snap Drape are two prominent brands under CFS Brands offering restaurant-quality tablecloths, each with its own unique features and characteristics.

Since 1946, Marko has served the foodservice industry with over 3,000 table covering solutions consisting of fabric products, vinyl products, and specialty products. Marko tablecloths and linens are trusted for their exceptional durability, crafted from high-quality materials and designed to withstand the rigors of daily use in commercial dining establishments. Marko’s tablecloths weave elegance into any business, and are treated to be easy to clean, stain and fade resistant, and experience minimal shrinking and wrinkling, ideal for busy restaurant environments. Marko offers a wide range of styles, colors, and patterns to accommodate various table shapes and dimensions, and also offers a range of products beyond tablecloths, such as table runners and placemats. Marko tablecloths are suitable for a variety of dining settings, from casual cafes to fine dining, offering versatility in both style and function.

In 1973 Snap Drape introduced the first patented clip-on table skirting which offered an efficient, cost-effective way to dress up banquet tables and stages. Still going strong, Snap Drape is the final word in finished textile products for banquets and fine dining. Snap Drape Tablecloths feature innovative designs and technology, such as snap-on skirting clips and accessories, allowing for easy installation and customization of table setups. Snap Drape offers tablecloths in a variety of materials, including polyester, spandex, and vinyl, catering to different preferences and needs in terms of durability, appearance, and maintenance. Snap Drape is well-known for its reputation as a leading provider of table linens and drapery solutions for the hospitality industry. Snap Drape also offers options for custom table covers, allowing for tailored solutions to meet specific design requirements and branding needs.

While both Marko and Snap Drape offer high-quality tablecloths suitable for commercial use, Marko emphasizes durability and practicality, while Snap Drape focuses more on innovative design and has more advanced capabilities for custom tablecloths. Ultimately, the choice between the two brands depends on specific preferences, requirements, and budget considerations.



If you are interested in Marko or Snap Drape tablecloths for your restaurant, contact your Sam Tell sales rep today to learn more!

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