Plastic serving platters come in all shapes, sizes and colors, appropriate for a variety of occasions, foods and budgets. One of the primary differences between different types of plastic serving platters is whether they are intended to be disposable or reused. Other differences include platter size and whether the platter is divided into sections to accommodate different types of foods. Platters can be finished in a variety of colors and, in some cases, can appear to be made from crystal or metal.
People choose plastic serving platters for a variety of reasons. They are typically lightweight, hard to break and often cost less than platters made from other materials. Another reason is that many plastic serving platters are intended for one-time use. This makes them a staple for restaurants, delis and catering companies. In fact, some companies manufacture platters with lids specifically for the food service industry. While these platters make for convenient clean-up, some people prefer to not use disposable platters or dishware out of concern for the environment.
Some plastic serving platters are divided up into different sections. One common version is a divided vegetable or chip tray with an area in the center that holds some type of dip or salsa. Other trays are divided into several equal areas or are molded to accommodate deviled eggs. It is also possible to find small plastic serving platters that are intended to serve candy or nuts to guests. In all of these cases, the specially designed platter can add a great deal to a party host's food presentation.
In many areas, it is possible to find platters in most any color. It is also common for manufacturers to produce platters that are decorated in accordance with holiday themes, such as Christmas platters. Some plastic serving platters may strongly resemble their crystal or silver counterparts and may be used by both caterers and homemakers alike for more formal occasions, particularly if there will be a lot of guests. Brightly colored square plastic platters can add a modern look to a buffet or dining room table.
When choosing plastic serving platters, it's generally important to keep in mind that disposable platters are often times very thin and can't bear a lot of weight. In addition, if people will be using various types of utensils along with these platters, the platter itself may be damaged. If an individual plans to use a platter to serve food that will also require serving utensils, he or she should consider purchasing a sturdier, thicker platter.