Why Do Restaurants Give You A Hot Towel?

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It is now very standard practice to give diners hand towels at elite or expensive restaurants before their meals. To someone who sees the practice as strange, the next question is ‘why do these types of restaurants do this? If you have flown first class, for instance, or you have dined at an expensive or first-class restaurant, most likely, you have been handed a towel before your meal.

Hot towel in restaurants

So, Why Do Restaurants Give You A Hot Towel? The tradition or practice of giving out hot towels to diners or customers in restaurants is traceable to Japan, where ‘oshibori’ as these hot towels are called were given out to customers before meals for use in cleaning their hands.

Particularly, in Japanese restaurants, these towels may be either hot or cold, which is dependent on the season that prevails at the time.

There are also instances where people can use these towels to clean their faces too, if they have nothing against doing so.

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This practice of using the ‘oshibori’ has indeed extended well beyond the borders of Japanese restaurants. In most European restaurants, you may be served a wet towel either before or after a meal for cleaning up your fingers and the area around your mouth.

This is mostly because it is considered unhealthy or vulgar to clean areas of the body such as the neck, or behind the ears or the neck in a restaurant.

Conversely, if you must use a hot towel to clean your face, you can first, clean your face before you use the towel in cleaning your hands. This is a most healthy sequence than would otherwise have the case.

Although it is very popular to give out hot towels to guests or customers however, the practice is more among high-end or upscale restaurants. In these places, steamed hand towels are given out to the diners at the end of a meal. 


What usefulness does a hot towel serve in a restaurant?

The tradition of giving out hot towels in restaurants is basically for their diners and crew to use in washing their hands both before and after meals.

In addition to this, it is also known that hot towels, when applied to the skin will exfoliate it, which will in-turn effectively remove any dead or dry skin.

This will pave the way for new skin to grow in a very healthy manner. On the other hand, when you apply a hot towel to your skin, the heat causes a sort of vasodilation of the blood vessels in the skin, a process which increases the blood flow to it.

As a result of the increase of this blood flow to the skin, waste substances are tossed out and the skin is given the chance to grow healthier and be well ventilated.

These are some of the most important reasons why hot towels are given out to diners in most high-end and elite restaurants.

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What do I do with the towel given by the restaurant?

Hot towels are given to diners at restaurants for them to use in cleaning their hands both before and after the meals. In addition to this function, the hot towels have other uses on the skin too.

They can make the skin to enjoy a more satisfactory blood circulation through giving it the chance to eliminate wastes and other injurious substances, a practice that will equally enable it to grow more properly and in good health.

Hot towels whether in restaurants or anywhere are good in exfoliating the skin, a process that will rid of all dead and dry skin such that new skin can grow without any interference. These are some of the purpose for handing out hot towels at restaurants and what you should do with them.

Is it mandatory to use the hot towel provided by a restaurant?

Although the tradition of giving out hot towels at high-end restaurants is meant for use by all it’s diners, however, one can choose not to use the provision.

To even make matters more convenient, a diner is even free to make provision of his towel, if they do not wish to make use of the one given by the restaurant. Therefore, it is not mandatory for anyone to use the hot towel provided by the restaurant if they don’t want to.

Are the towels given at the restaurants clean?

In order to make matters more understandable, the practice of giving diners hot towels is common mostly among highbrow restaurants.

These towels are provided by some of the world’s best manufacturers and suppliers. Furthermore, they are so carefully chosen and properly cleaned or sanitized such that the chances of any irritation or harm to the body is reduced to the barest minimum, if not totally eliminated. All in all, the towels given to diners at restaurants are very clean.

Can I bring my own towel to the restaurant?

If for whatever reason you prefer not to use the hot towel given out by the restaurant, you are at liberty to make provision for your towel as you please.

However, it is still important to choose the towels that are most suitable for that purpose. One, choose a towel that is as absorbent as possible.

To this effect, you should choose mainly towels that are made of cotton fabric; cotton is about the most absorbent of all known fabrics.

In addition, make sure that hot towels are always properly washed and sanitized. If you maintain these ha it’s, there is nothing the matter with bringing your hot towel to the restaurant.


How long does a towel stay hot?

How long a towel stays hot depends on several inter winning factors. Firstly, how long your towel stays hot depends obviously on how heated it is and how securely it is stored; if it is stored where there is less wind or air floating around, it is bound to stay much longer got.

However, all in all, after putting all these interrelated factors into consideration, your hot towel can remain hot or warm for as long as a couple of minutes.

The primary determinant here is the warm-up time of the towel, which in turn depends on the nature of its fabric. For example, the warm-up time for an average hand towel is between 15 to 20 minutes, although there are brands that can take longer or shorter than this.

Conversely, if your showers take shorter times, you should do well to choose towels that warm up faster. Your towels are meant to stay warm all day long.

To be able to achieve this, there are towel racks that are designed to operate all the time. Most of these towel racks run on wattage between 120 and 140 Watts.

This wattage is enough to warm up the towels all day long without the fear of causing any fire hazards even in your absence.

Therefore, should you leave your towel rack on, your towels are, for all intents and purposes, safe, and second, they are assured to stay warm all the time.

Specifically, the fastest and most effective way to warm up your towel is through the use of a microwave, which we have discussed earlier.

All you got to do is to nuke the towel in a microwave. First, run the towel under the faucet in the kitchen, and afterward, wring it thoroughly to rid it of moisture hidden in its fabric. Make sure that after wringing, the towel is only damp.

Then, throw the towel in a Pyrex dish or on a plate and proceed to microwave it for not less than about 30 seconds only.

Does hot towel open up pores?

Whenever the skin is warmed appreciatively, it causes the blood vessels to expand or dilate, a process that is commonly referred to as vasodilation.

This will cause the removal of water that have filled and clogged the vessels. Through this process, the oxygenated blood reaching the skin will also increase such that the skin will breathe more effectively and grow better too.

It will enable your skin to eliminate all dead and dried skin cells as well as give new cells the chance to thrive more properly.

Nothing maintains your skin healthier than this. So, yes, applying a hot towel to the skin is a  guaranteed way to open the sweat pores in it and also to make it healthier too.

Why Do Restaurants Give You A Hot Towel – Conclusion

Wherever hot towels are given, it is done with specific uses in mind, which apply to both planes and restaurants. However, doing this involves knowing what types of towels to look for and where to look for them.

This is because one, they warm up at different rates, and second, they stay warm for different lengths of time too. Although there are several ways to heat up towels, but the use of a microwave is one of the commonest and most readily applicable.

After washing, there are special towel racks that will efficiently maintain your towels got all day long. These racks run a microwave device. And what is more, the racks can keep your towels got without the fear of any fire accidents no matter how long they stay on.

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