3 Things To Look For In Quality Dinnerware

If you see the words “Made in the U.S.A.” on your dinnerware, that isn’t always a guarantee of quality—or even that it was made here, for that matter. But if dinnerware comes from our factory at Homer Laughlin, you can be assured that it was “Made Right Here”! Our high-quality products carry the Made in the U.S.A. hallmark, and it means they are made by American workers to environmental standards widely recognized to be the highest in the world.

In a very real sense, our dinnerware is homemade. Think of crusty, hearty homemade bread made with natural, wholesome ingredients—there’s no comparison to the ordinary loaves on grocery shelves.

Most dinnerware companies today don’t actually make what they sell. Homer Laughlin and Hall China have never stopped manufacturing durable, beautiful foodservice dinnerware in a wealth of colors, patterns, and styles—as they have for more than a century.

What are some simple ways to tell if your dinnerware is a quality piece? Check for the following traits.

VITRIFICATION. Vitrified china results when the clay goes through either a single-firing or double-firing process at a high temperature, making it nonabsorbent, nonporous, hard, smooth and lustrous, sanitary and strong. The key is the temperature.

To be called vitrified and suitable for foodservice, the dinnerware must have a glazed ceramic body with extremely low porosity (0 to .5%). The body is then high fired at 2,000°F to 2,350°F. The result is a very durable body—especially when alpha alumina is added—with high chip- and impact resistance.

If your current ware retains stains, dulls after repeated washings, or weakens over time, it was not properly vitrified.

ATTENTION TO DETAIL. Were you expecting your new dinnerware to match your last order? If it doesn’t, ask yourself: Is the pattern consistent on all pieces? Are the shapes symmetrical? Are the colors the same throughout your order?

As global procurement agents seek and find the lowest-priced “similar” replacement or order general-stock items from unknown factories around the world, “close enough” is often what a restaurateur gets.

Now flip it over. Are the unglazed foot-rings on the bottom polished and smooth so the plates won’t scratch each other when stacked—or worse, mar a table or snag a tablecloth?

As a Genuine Manufacturer™ with nearly 150 years of experience and extensive production capabilities, Homer Laughlin says “Yes!” to all these questions.

QUALITY CONTROL INSPECTION. A lot can happen at any stage of manufacturing. The key is to know what to look for—and then to actually look for it. We do.

In total, our factory produces about 27,000 to 40,000 dozen dishes a week. Every piece is inspected by hand before being dried, and those that don’t make the cut are recycled. But that’s not all. From there, your dinnerware moves on to the final steps of drying, glazing ,and being fired in the kiln. Then it’s inspected again, packed by hand, and shipped to your table. With dinnerware from Homer Laughlin and Hall China, you’ll be able to see and feel the difference.

When you’ve been around for almost 150 years, people know they can count on you for quality. But that takes jobs—around 800 employees in total for us—here in the U.S.A.

And maybe that’s the last measure of quality to look for.

Ask how many American jobs are saved or created with every order. Ask us how proud we are to have our products on tables like yours all across the country. When you see Homer Laughlin or Hall China stamped on the bottom of your dinnerware, you can trust that our reputation is built in. We make it right. We make it here. For you.


July 2019


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