I was struck by this hook on the front page of nytimes.com today:
Schools are shelving the once-ubiquitous trays in the hopes of conserving water, cutting food waste, softening the ambience and saving money.
Everything communicates. Clearly trays say a lot — like “pile on more than you really need” and they also say “this is a cafeteria vs. perhaps some place a little more elegant”.
Here’s the article by Lisa Foderaro.
BTW.. while searching for a photo to illustrate this post I found some trays that literally say something.