How to Use Charger Plates | Definition, Materials, Etiquette, & More


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Charging plates have been in use since the 19th century. They are sometimes referred to as serving plates and under plates. They have both practical and decorative uses. That is why we bring you How to use charger plates.

These charger plates are used as a base for serving dishes and enhance the dining experience. These decorative plates are often placed attractively due to their use, adding to the dining table’s aesthetics. They are placed when other tableware items, such as cutlery and glasses, are placed on the table. Charging plates are kept throughout the meal and are only removed before dessert is served.

Because they must contain all of the dinner plates, a charger’s size is usually slightly larger than that of a dinner plate. The practicality of service plates is that they prevent spills and stains on the tablecloth.

They also retain the heat in dinnerware in the dining room. Therefore, they keep the heat of the pieces of food and, therefore, also protect your table from heat damage. Thus, dinners are also protected because if the main course is hot, it can be safely rotated around the charger plate’s edge.

What is a Charger Plate?

The plates and bowls used to serve each dish of a meal at casual parties are put on a charger plate.

The food that will be consumed should not come in touch with chargers for table settings.

They serve to improve the aesthetic appeal of your table, make it simple for waiters to change bowls and plates that are kept on the charger, and guard against stains and harm to your linens by collecting food and spills.

How to Use Charger Plates

Note that these types of plates are traditionally larger than traditional food dishes. Place a charger plate on top of each seat’s mantle or placemat and finish setting up the table.

This charging plate has been designed to serve as a base.

When service is ready to begin, servers will place soup bowls, salad plates, and entrees directly on the charger. As soon as the main course is finished, remove the charger plates with the plates’ rest before serving dessert.

Charging plates can be used as display trays to display delicious appetizer and dessert selections or further enhance the dining room’s ambiance with votive candles or flowers. It is also important to check the table before guests arrive.

How to Use Charger Plates

Additional Popular Uses for Charging Plates

  • Charging plates are often used to energize the environment, commonly seen in more refined dining environments as table markers to set the stage and subtly establish high-end expectations.
  • However, the uses for charge plates don’t end there.

Some other uses include:

  • Table centerpieces to accent decorations
  • Protect your table or table covering from food or beverage stains.
  • Cake server
  • Serving Tray
  • A base layer for multi-course meals

Besides their decorative style in fine dining establishments, charger plates are also popular for high-end events, weddings, celebrations, banquets, etc. They are a simple and affordable way to dress up any occasion.

Do you use charger plates for buffet

What is a Charger Plate used for?

Charging plates serve many practical purposes and provide elegance and enhance the table decor in a fine dining establishment.

They anchor the dining table, creating a nice ambiance while being aesthetically pleasing to guests. Chargers also prevent soiling of the table and tablecloth while serving.

Charger plates can catch the meal bits and prevent spills and messes that would otherwise stain the tablecloth or spill on the table. It also helps retain heat in dinner tables, as they are placed directly under plates and bowls.

What to use instead of charger plates

Common Charger Plate Characteristics

When choosing the right charger plate for your dining area, some common features to consider, from colors to shape, have a lot to do with it. Ask yourself these questions and determine that the load plate you’ve chosen is right for you:

Can you use charger plates with paper plates

Is it dishwasher safe?

Opt for dishwasher-safe load plates for faster cleaning at the end of service. It is important to know the solid plate color you have on your table.

Read More: Standard Dishwasher Size

Is it environmentally friendly?

Choosing eco-friendly load plates made from a sustainable alternative allows you to ensure that your establishment is taking the right steps to affect the environment positively.

What shape are they?

Charger plates are available in various shapes, including square and round, allowing you to find the shape that best fits your table.

Charger plate label

Since charger plates are used as decorative tabletop pieces and are traditionally used in formal settings, there are certain formalities you must adhere to when using them?

Adhere to the following protocol guidelines when using the load plates for your exclusive catered event, wedding, fine dining restaurant, or dinner party:

  • Prepare ahead of time: Charging plates should be set up and ready when guests arrive.
  • Wait for guests to finish eating: Chargers always leave the table after all guests have finished eating the main course. Chargers should be removed with the plate still on top, as this clears the table and makes it ready to serve dessert.
  • Know when to remove charger plates: chargers can be removed once all guests are seated or remain on the table throughout the meal.
  • Follow proper placement guidelines: Position the load plates at a distance of one centimeter from the lower end of the table for perfect alignment.
  • Please avoid direct contact: Never serve food directly on a charger plate unless coated with a food-safe material.

Other uses of the charger plate

The elegance of a charger plate needs not be limited to holding a plate of food. Here are some other uses for your chargers:

  • Uses the load plates as a plate or tray for passing small appetizers or desserts, but be sure to place a placemat or linen napkin on top of the charger when it comes in contact with food.
  • Place the candles together to form an elegant centerpiece.
  • Place floral arrangements on top of chargers for plates to create a colorful base.
  • Whether you’re hosting a formal gathering, hosting a wedding, or planning a reunion, chargers for Plates are a very important part of a table setting.
  • Regardless of the formal event, you are planning. You can use the information above to make sure you adhere to proper use, etiquette, and presentation of charger plates.
  • Many venues often use chargers with placemats. Aesthetically it is not wrong so that it can be done.
  • The dining table and dining tables do not always have to have a charger plate. It all depends on the table setting you want and what food you will have, and how important the event in question is.

Difference between a Charger Plate and a Traditional Placemat

Placemats are still popular, but the trend for charger plates is growing faster for unique dining experiences.

While a placemat is typically made of fabric, wicker, or plastic, a charger plate display is usually made of high-quality ceramic or metal.

Glass and wood chargers are also available, although glass chargers have fallen out of favor in recent years.

This may explain why glass chargers are not as popular as they used to be. Since the charger plates are also used for presentation, you do not need to buy many of them as standard tableware. Glass charger plates are manufactured in bulk, and usage does not always coincide with production output.

The load plate par excellence is circular, even though triangular and square chargers are available, depending on the mood you wish to set. Also, numerous color and style options are available to make Ly’s fence endless possibilities. Perhaps this is one reason you should use instead of charger plates in many places today.

Why are charger plates not safe for food

How to Use Charger Plates: FAQs

What is the point of a charger plate?

Charger plates can catch bits of food and prevent spills and messes that would otherwise stain the tablecloth or spill on the table. Chargers also help retain heat in the dishware, as they are placed directly under plates and bowls.

Do you use chargers with placemats?

Place a load plate on top of the cloth or placemat on each seat and complete the table preparation process. The charger plates are designed to act as a base. Once the service is ready to begin, servers will place soup bowls, salad plates, and entrees directly on top of the charger.

How do you clean charger plates?

Hand washes with warm water. Use mild non-acidic soap. Rinse and let dry completely.


Charger plates are useful for more than just imaging and stain prevention. In many places, opt to eat off charger plates. It is not a bad idea. You can always use a decorative charger plate on your table to add a little more aesthetics.

Use charger plates to keep the dining tablecloth in place, effectively eliminate wrinkles and create a firmer base for other decorations.

Have a small imperfection in your table or tablecloth? Place your charger plate strategically, and no one will notice.

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