From the pages of Restaurant Franchising
G.E.T. Enterprises Brings Melamine into the 21st Century and Goes Green

These days, pressure is on every industry to go green. Going green includes fewer disposables, less waste overall, and using products that are recyclable, made from sustainable resources or recycled materials. G.E.T. Enterprises addresses all of those concerns, according to Noel Flather, vice president of sales at G.E.T.

“G.E.T. has led the industry,” he says, “with sustainable products from re-usable Eco Take Outs to our Bamboo Mel Melamine along with our eco-friendly, plantation-grown wood products. We continue creating items that are sustainable and affordable. G.E.T. doesn’t pursue bamboo products that are ‘glorified’ disposables.”

G.E.T. manufactures plates, cups and drinkware, platters, serving trays, and more, using melamine, plastic, and, for some products, sustainable woods.

Typically customers come to G.E.T. with a product made of glass or ceramic they want to have replicated in plastic or melamine, then the engineers at G.E.T. get to work making a mold. “A lot of our success lies in the fact that we can take existing items and reproduce them to look like the real ceramic deal,” Flather says.

“In the last several years a lot of quick service restaurants have converted from disposable units for in-house dining to these reusable materials.” Melamine is an ideal option because it has the look and feel of ceramic pieces, but it is far more durable and stands up to commercial use, commercial dishwashing, and sanitizing.

Melamine is an ideal option because it has the look and feel of ceramic, but it is far more durable and stands up to commercial use.

“I like to say it’s not your mother’s melamine,” Flather says. “Melamine has gone through a renaissance. Back in the day you could get white or tan, and they didn’t use the same type of glaze. You didn’t see decorations.” Now, some of G.E.T.’s specialty pieces are decorated and glazed in such a way as to look like Italian ceramics.

“We use under-glaze decals and a thicker glaze for decorative pieces. The colored plates have solid color throughout. It is a less expensive alternative to ceramic or glass,” he says, and once a company makes the investment in melamine, it can count on having it around far longer than ceramics and glassware.

Melamine is considered sustainable because it uses a percentage of paper fiber in its makeup, and it is a suitable product for the company to market as one of its new, “sustainable” products.

In the past several years, G.E.T. added a significant number of sustainable products to its line up, including Bamboo Mel (combined bamboo and melamine) products. “We are pursuing creating these on our own because more and more customers are requiring these products,” Flather says.

Bamboo Mel, for example started out with 30 percent bamboo content, and the company has worked the percentage up to 50 percent. Bamboo ware is reusable, not disposable, and, as the company sees it, meant to be a sustainable alternative to traditional plastic foodservice items.

Bamboo is a fast growing and renewable resource, replenishing itself quickly.

G.E.T. has partnered with companies providing rubber wood from tapped out rubber trees, which are no longer used for the rubber sap, to make wooden high chairs and booster seats for food service clients.

“We have a dedicated marketing team that works with sales in offering a total approach to the chain accounts,” Flather says. Clients include franchisors and multiunit operators as well as groups of franchisees working together for buying.

“We want to approach a customer with a total package and not just an order for a plate. To know what they need, we eat there, get an idea of the business and offer the customer several different ideas.

“Our aim is to meet the needs of the customer.”

For more information about G.E.T. Enterprises, visit