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How Do I Choose the Best Serving Tray?

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  • Written By: Tiffany Manley
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 01 September 2016
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With so many options available when purchasing serving pieces, it is easy to get lost in the decision of choosing the best type of serving tray to purchase. A serving tray accomplishes a few key things: it provides a sturdy surface for presentation of food, drinks, and other items; it provides a stylish way to present your food and drinks; and it might complement the décor of a party or gathering that you are hosting. Serving trays tend to get the most use during a special event or occasion, so it is important to know what choices you have when choosing one. To decide on the best tray, determine what its main purpose will be, what will be placed on the tray and the décor around which the tray will be presented.

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A serving tray might be used for many reasons. In order to choose the best tray, you should determine what your needs are. If you would like a tray to serve food to a number of people, such as a catered affair, choosing a tray that is wide enough to hold a number of items but also is well-balanced, sturdy and not too large is the way to go. When using a tray to bring the holiday turkey to the table, a simple tray large enough to hold this single food item will suffice. If your tray will be used mostly for decorative purposes, it can be of any size, shape, color or material you would like, because its purpose is more about presentation rather than function.

Not only is it important to choose a tray that is the right size and material for your needs, it also is important to choose a tray that can reasonably handle the items to be placed on it. If the majority of what you will be serving on the tray consists of beverages, you might choose to go with a tray that has a handle or a nonslip surface to prevent excessive sliding. When the tray will be used to transport a large or heavy item, a serving tray with side handles might be the best tray to use. The tray is supposed to be attractive but functional for transporting the items safely to their destination.

Although function should be the first determining factor in deciding on a serving tray, its appearance is important as well. A tray should match the overall look of the space in which it is being used. Sleek stainless-steel trays would work well at an event with modern décor. Serving trays made out of fine porcelain with intricate patterns might fit in nicely with the family’s holiday dinner. Choosing a tray that is both functional and attractive can truly tie together a fine meal or event.

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