For many restaurants, placemats offer a good alternative to tablecloths when it comes to table coverings and ways to protect the tabletop. Placemats generally require less cleaning than tablecloths, and they can be very stylish additions to your tabletop design. When choosing a placemat, size, shape and material should always be on your mind. The traditional placemat is rectangular and constructed of cloth or other woven fibers. Wicker, rattan or bamboo placemats are excellent choices for casual to high-end restaurants that want to maintain the feel of the “natural” warm tones of their wooden tabletops. On the other hand, if you have dark or tile tabletops, you may want to go for a colorfully designed placemat, whether it is made of dyed bamboo or colorful cloth. You may also want to consider a more unique shape. Octagonal placemats are coming into style, and a round placemat is a logical choice if you use round plates and want the shape of your restaurant placemat to match.