What is Luncheon Plate? History, Material & Uses 

A luncheon plate is an 8.75 to 9.50 inches plate used for formal lunch events/meetings. Like dinner plates, luncheon plates often offer similar services. But to serve traditional food or appetizers, their size is preferable. Their size is between a dinner and a salad plate. This unique size can be used as a backup of both. So they have another popularity.

The plate concept came in the 7th century; Europeans started making the 1700s. And luncheon plates began their journey after the 1880s. 

However, there are different plate types by size, shape, style, and material. In this article, you will get to know many things about luncheon plates.

The History Behind Luncheon Plates 

History Behind Luncheon Plates

Luncheon plates are a classic addition to any table setting. These plates have been used on sugar and pineapple farms since the 1880s. The plantation workers brought launce in bento boxes made from dinner leftovers.

For the mid-day break, they ate the food from the box. Basically, from this comes the idea of carrying light food to the workplace. Then these plates of specific sizes come into the market considering light luncheon food.

Why is It Called Luncheon Plate?

Luncheon refers to lunch but at a more formal and elegant event. This word comes from the 14th century and origins from “nuncheon,” which means light midday meal. The plates used for this meal are appropriately called “luncheon plates” because of their intended use.

From the beginning, these specific sizes and designs of plates started for use at luncheons. Its name resembles its use. 

Luncheon Plate Material, Size, Shapes, and Styles

Luncheon plates are specially made to keep and have light mid-day meals like sandwiches, chips, burgers, etc. A wide variety of luncheons is available in terms of construction, proportions, and aesthetics. Check out the handy table below to get an idea of how many distinct luncheon plate options exist.

Ceramic (most of),
Porcelain china, Bone China, Glass,
Wood, Metal,
Stone (rarely), Earthen (occasionally),
Bamboo, Melamine,Disposal plastic/paper
The ideal size is 8.75-9.5 inches in diameter (According to the need, you can get different diameter size luncheon plate between this limit)Triangular, Round,  Square, Rectangular, Coupe plates,   (They all are maximum flat plates, only coupe come with a slight concave.)China plates,
Charger plates, colored glass plates, decorative plates, Bone china, Fine china, Traditional stoneware, Fine stoneware, Cream ware, Tin-glazed plates, Royal Cauldon    

What is a Luncheon Plate Used for? 

The midday meal is traditionally served on luncheon plates. Plates range in size, form, and material, each with unique uses. These plates are the right size for picking off an individual serving from a larger meal.

At lunch, usually, everyone takes a light noon meal. Luncheon plates are suitable size plates to use that time to pick the light or smaller meals. Even you can use these luncheon plates as charge plates below the soup bowls.

What is the Function of the Luncheon Plate?

What is the function of the luncheon plate?

Generally, luncheons are used to carry mid-day formal meals at any luncheon. They are manufactured to pick small meal portions. Moreover, as they are not too small or too big, they are accessible for the back job of a dinner plate or salad plate. Many refer to them as dessert plates too.

People love them as they take the short storage area in the kitchen. Formal or informal for both luncheons, they are a perfect size. Their particular size makes them unique. 

Read More: What is a Chop Plate or Charger Plate?- Materials, Features & Uses

Tips for Using Luncheon Plate

Though luncheon plates especially are made for a specific reason. But you can make more use of it. Here are some pointers for utilizing luncheon plates for various uses.

  • You can use them to serve formal or traditional dishes at your formal lunch program.
  •  You can use them as a salad plate. Even as a dinner plate.
  • Or even to serve dessert, you can use them. 
  • As a charger plate, they can also help you carry a hot food bowl. 
  • They’re great for having on hand for quick meals or snacks at home.

How Do You Take Care of a Luncheon Plate?

How Do You Take Care of a Luncheon Plate

Luncheon plates are made specifically for formal luncheon parties. They’re multipurpose enough to use at work or home. See the following procedure to take care of luncheon plates. 

  • Use a mild solution and soft sponge to wash so no scratch can fall on its surface. (If your plates are metallic, then try with the metal cleaner to wash.) Remember, After each use, proper cleaning is a must.
  • To cushion the plates, keep a plastic container in the sink. Thus your plates will be safe from any damage at washing. 
  • After washing, store them on the shelf safely. 

What Are the Benefits of Using a Luncheon Plate?

Luncheon plates have some incredible benefits that make them a unique choice. Their primary specialty is their size. Let’s see, keeping a luncheon plate, what benefits you can get:

  • Due to their lightweight, luncheon plates are simple to transport.
  • Regarding storage, luncheon plates are a great option because they are smaller than standard dinner plates.
  • You can store your luncheon plate in the fridge or the dishwasher, as this is secure.
  • Its textured surface confines the number of scratches.
  • They are stackable and easily can fit into the shelf.

How to Choose the Right Luncheon Plate?

Here are some considerations when picking up a lunch plate: First, check the material of the plate. 

  • Choose plates of sturdy and long-lasting material, like bone china or white porcelain. 
  • If you want dishwasher-safe plates, check the manual before buying or choosing your luncheon plate.
  • Try to buy plates from well-known stores and brands.
  • According to your demand and necessity, fix how many plates you need and buy the accurate number set.

Some Serving Ideas for a Luncheon Plate

Below are some Luncheon plate serving ideas; what you can serve at your elegant luncheon.

  • Sandwiches
  • Salads
  • Other light appetizers like chips, dips, rolls, bruschetta, etc.
  • Some other sides, like soups and fresh fruit cuts.
  • Sweet or baked food 

What is the Difference Between a Dinner Plate and a Luncheon Plate?

Dinner plate and luncheon are quite the same to look. Even they both plates are made from the same type of material and styles. However, a luncheon plate is little distinguishable from a dinner plate. Like-

  • Luncheon dishes are less substantial than their evening counterparts. The average diameter of a luncheon plate is 8.75 to 9.5 inches. Typical dinner plates measure between 10 and 10.5 inches in diameter.
  • You can use luncheon plates as chop or charger plates below the soup bowl. In contrast, dinner plates are not suitable for this job.
  • For salad, snacks, or a light meal, luncheon plates are preferable to dinner plates.

Read More: Different Types of Dinnerware and Their Uses with Picture


Are Lunch and Luncheon Are Same?

No, though they both refer to midday meals and their taking time is also the same, there is a little difference. Lunch is supposed to be a meal you take at home or out mid-day with your family or friend. In a word, lunch means an informal meal, Whereas luncheons are especially associated with formal events.

Final Verdict

The luncheon plate is a part of our formal table setting. They serve a second purpose as dinnerware. Luncheon plates can be used professionally and informally at home amongst loved ones. Hope the preceding advice will help you not only keep your luncheon plates in pristine condition but also put them to their best use at the table.

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