Paper plates vs washing dishes: Which Is Better for Your Restaurant?

Paper plates vs washing dishes: Which Is Better for Your Restaurant?

Which is better for your restaurant? Paper plates or washing dishes? Not all restaurants have the same purpose and business strategy. So, to make a decision, let's compare these two types of plates based on a number of factors in the article below to find out what is the biggest priority of your restaurant.

Comparison of Paper Plates and Washing Dishes

When comparing paper plates and washing dishes, here are some factors your business may want to consider

Purpose of use

Paper plates are one type of disposable plates that are typically used for single-use purposes. Therefore, they are suitable for takeaway service or for outdoor events such as fairs, food courts, etc. Made of paper, paper plates are suitable for light meals, emphasizing convenience and speed. Currently on the market, paper plates are improved to be suitable for both dry, wet, or oily food.

Conversely, washing dishes are reusable products, so they are suitable for on-site dining, especially in restaurants. Washing dishes brings certainty and luxury to the user. Washing dishes are suitable for all types of food, including hot, cold, wet or dry food.


In terms of cost, paper plates are less expensive than washing dishes. This is because paper plates are typically used for one time and are made from paper. Meanwhile, washing dishes are made from materials such as porcelain, ceramics, etc., which can be used multiple times.

Thus, paper plates are a suitable solution for the short term, but you will need to buy them in large quantities and may need to repeat the purchase many times. With washing dishes, the initial investment may be large,

Environment Impact

Both paper plates and washing dishes have a certain impact on the environment. Both of these options are suggested to reduce plastic waste. But when comparing the environmental impact between paper plates and washing dishes, there are certain differences between the two.

With paper plates, today's paper plates are quite durable, suitable for many types of food, and recyclable and compostable. Therefore, the impact on the environment after use is much less than plastic plates. However, it is necessary to classify and handle properly. To keep benefits of paper plates, it's important to understand composting at restaurant

With washing dishes, depending on the material, consider the eco-friendliness of this type of dish. Washing dishes are also made from materials such as ceramics, porcelain, wood, etc., with their own characteristics. But all need to be used for the maximum amount of time to maximize sustainability.

How Does Food Packaging Impact the Environment?

Operational Efficiency

When considering operational efficiency, each type has different factors. Below is a table of the pros and cons of the two types of plates to help businesses visualize better:


Paper Plates

Washing Dishes


Very high. No need to wash or store dirty dishes.

Low. Requires washing and storing dishes after use.

Preparation Time

High. Requires taking plates out of packaging.

Low. Dishes are already available.

Cleanup Time

Low. Simply throw away used plates.

High. Requires washing, rinsing, and drying dishes.

Labor Cost

Low. No labor needed for washing.

High. Requires staff time for washing.

Storage Space

Moderate. Requires space for storing unopened packages of plates.

Low. Washed dishes can be stacked efficiently.

Waste Management

High. Creates paper waste that needs disposal or recycling.

Low. Minimal waste if using eco-friendly detergents.

Risk of Breakage

Low. Paper plates are less likely to break than dishes.

High. Dishes can break during use or washing, requiring replacement.

Customer Perception

Paper plates and washing dishes offer different experiences for customers.

With paper plates, since they are disposable products, even though they are convenient and have a low price, they give customers the feeling of being cheap, suitable for fast food or takeaway dishes.

With washing dishes, they are products with high durability, bringing a sense of aesthetics and high quality to customers. Using high-class ceramic and porcelain washing dishes can also upgrade the user experience.

Which Is Better for Your Restaurant?

Above are 5 different factors when comparing paper plates and washing dishes, so which type of product is right for your business? If you are still hesitant, Kimecopak will help you answer more easily below.

Paper plates are the preferred choice if your business:

  • Delivers food: Paper plates are convenient for packing and transporting food.
  • Offers takeout: Customers can easily take their food with them without worrying about returning the plates.
  • Hosts outdoor events: Paper plates are easy to use and clean up for outdoor events such as picnics, fairs, etc.
  • Has a high volume of customers: Using paper plates can save time and effort on washing dishes on days with a high volume of customers.
  • Offers buffets: Paper plates make it easy for customers to get food and reduce waste.

Washing dishes should be the preferred choice for businesses that are:

  • Fine dining restaurants: Using reusable plates creates a luxurious and upscale experience for customers.
  • Restaurants serving high-end food: Reusable plates help preserve the taste and quality of the food.
  • Businesses that want to protect the environment: Using reusable plates helps reduce waste and protect the environment.
  • Businesses with a long-term budget: Although reusable plates have a higher initial cost, they will save money in the long run compared to using paper plates.

However, your business can also completely combine both of these forms to bring the highest efficiency to your business operations. For example, use washing dishes for dine-in service, use paper packaging for company events or take-out food.

In conclusion, paper plates and washing dishes both have their own advantages. Depending on the purpose of use and the business model, your business can choose the right product type


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