Napkins vs. Coasters

napkins or coasters

Currently using napkins? Here’s how coasters stack up!

Beverage coasters versus beverage napkins, it’s a debate as old as time like Jordan or Lebron, Pacino or DeNiro, or is a hotdog a sandwich? It’s really no surprise who we are pulling for as we are a coaster company… BUT we are going to try and be as bias-free and transparent with all of the data and pricing.

Try not to let this color your decision.

The number of standard ink colors included in the price of the beverage napkins is one. If you want to add a second color it is $175 more for 2,500 napkins. The standard colors for coasters is 4 color process, which means full color. If you are ok with a single color logo or message on the napkin, one color should work for you. If you would like your logo in full color or if you want images full color coasters are for you.

There is more than one side to every story.

According to the specs for cocktail napkins the price includes a one color imprint on the front of the napkin. With the coasters you get full color on both sides and you can have 2 different images. This allows you to not only brand but taylor your brand’s message, or put something interesting, factual or entertaining on the other side of the coaster.

Does size matter?

Beverage napkins are 5” x 5” and coasters are 4”x 4” square. The beverage nap has the coaster beat for size, with one caveat, the printable area on a napkin is 3-¾” x 3-¾”  and a coaster can have full coverage, 4”x4” with the image bleeding off the edge to give it a custom look. This can be very beneficial if you have colorful striking images on the coaster.

Reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Both the coaster and the beverage napkin are recyclable. In fact both are made with recycled materials. Where the difference lies is in the reuse category. Beverage napkins often can’t be reused.Once the napkin gets condensation on it, it tends to start to warp and deteriorate. Coasters on average can be used for 9 or more visits with each guest having 2.3 drinks on average per visit. If used efficiently your 2,500 coasters could really equal 22,500 beverage napkins.

Price is right.

On the surface beverage napkins wins in the price per unit and total price category coming in at $275 and $.11 per unit. When looked at by price per use, coasters take the victory by being 6 times more cost effective than napkins at $.0182 per use.

What is more, is that if you are advertising or marketing items on coasters the cost per impression (which is the cost each time a patron views the coaster) is $.00088 ea. Which means if you are a restaurant focusing on upselling the patron to higher end meals or beverages and advertising them on the coasters you are going to get more exposure for your money.

And the winner is….

In the end it really depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you want a simple branding tool the beverage napkin is for you. If you want branding, surface protection, marketing, patron interaction, multiple use, low cost per use and multiple colors, coasters are a clear choice for you. There is one more category the beverage napkins win, it’s the stick-to-the-bottom-of-your-glass category. When you are ready for coasters, just peel the bev nap off the bottom of your glass and place a super absorbent, beautiful coaster under your drink.


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