Flatware

Flatware goes hand in hand with your dinnerware selection as they both help to sell your establishment’s ambiance. As with dinnerware and glassware, there are hundreds of styles and patterns of flatware to choose from and making a final decision can often feel overwhelming. After all, a fork isn’t just a fork. There are several factors to consider, like style, weight and quality. We’re here to help make this decision easier by reviewing these and other factors.


Our top commercial flatware brands include:


 

 

Silverware Styles

There are several different types of restaurant silverware that we’ll get into in more detail below. The first step, however, is choosing a style and making sure it’s consistent.  Your style selection will go a long way towards setting the mood and channeling a positive dining experience for your guests.

Each brand has their own distinct pattern names, but they all fall under a select few different styles. Some common styles include:

  • Classic flatware – simpler flatware that offers up a hint of nostalgia, great for fine dining or mom and pop establishments
  • Modern flatware – sleek and chic, modern flatware features a more upscale look with bold architectural elements
  • Decorative flatware – features unique themes to personalize and accommodate your specific décor
  • Artisan flatware – trendier flatware that presents a stylish flare to really set it apart, ideal for farm to table restaurants or local coffee bistros

 

Flatware Weight

After the style is decided, the next step is to determine the weight you want. As you browse through the gargantuan selection of commercial silverware on the market, you’ll notice two prominent weight types: Medium and Heavy.

Medium weight is the lightest weight, and typically the most economical option. It’s preferred in high volume areas, like food courts and cafeterias.

Heavy weight flatware, though more expensive, makes up for the cost in its durability. It is more difficult to bend and warp, ideal for most commercial restaurants.

 

Flatware Quality

While shopping, you’ll also notice the stainless steel composition is often called out as a marketable feature. The two most common types of composition you’ll see is 18/0 and 18/10 (sometimes shown as 18/8). This refers to the percentages of chromium and nickel in the stainless steel. Chromium gives the flatware strength, and the nickel compound prevents rust and keeps the shine.

18/10 constitutes 18% chromium and 10% nickel, offering maximum protection against corrosion, food and cleaning. This is a durable composition that also features a soft shine and polished finish, enhancing the look of quality.

18/0, on the other hand, features 18% chromium with no nickel. This flatware composition is typically reserved as the economic option priced at a value; however, this may need replaced more frequently. It’ll be more likely to scratch and rust versus it’s 18/10 counterpart, but can be used with magnetic flatware retrievers. 


 

 

Type

Description

Teaspoon

A classic addition to traditional place settings, teaspoons are usually between 6” to 7” and utilized for a variety of functions, from stirring coffee and drinks, to desserts and soup.


Tablespoon

A larger version of the teaspoon, usually around 9” in length. Used more for serving purposes.

 

Dessert Spoon

Features a wide, oval shaped bowl, larger than a teaspoon, but smaller than a tablespoon.

 

Soup Spoon

Similar to a dessert spoon, but with a deeper oval-shaped bowl designed to hold more liquid.

 

Demitasse Spoon

Characterized by a longer handle and smaller bowl, used to stir coffee drinks.

 

Bouillon Spoon

Another kind of soup spoon, though smaller than traditional soup spoons.

 

Iced Tea Spoon

A longer version of a demitasse spoon used for stirring larger drinks.

 

Dinner Fork

A standard among all table place settings, used for the main course.

 

Salad Fork

Slightly smaller than a traditional dinner fork, used, as the name suggests, for salad or smaller items like dessert.

 

Cocktail Fork

A small fork used mainly for appetizers like oysters, cheese cubes, shrimp cocktail, etc.

 

European Dinner Fork

Usually larger and heavier than traditional dinner forks. Used for more formal occasions, often seen in fine dining establishments.

 

Dinner Knife

Used for cutting main entrée dishes. Usually features a rounded tip.

 

Butter Knife

Smaller than a dinner knife with a dull edge and rounded tip. It’s used for spreading butter or jam.

 

European Dinner Knife

Larger and heavier than the traditional dinner knife. Like the European Dinner Fork, this knife is often found in fine dining operations.

Flatware Types

There are numerous types of flatware to be used for different dining applications.


 

 

Recommended Flatware Usage

When estimating the amount of flatware to purchase, you should take into account the number of seats, table turnover rate, specialty menu items, warewashing capacity, operation type, and backup inventory reserves. This will help to determine the type of flatware (see above) to purchase and the quantity. You’ll always want to have more on hand than current seats available.

Once you’ve taken all this into consideration, you can determine the quantity (sold in case packs by the dozen) you should be safe to begin with by multiplying the number of seats in your establishment by the ordering factor in this chart, and then divide by 12.

 

Fine Dining

Casual

Diners

Teaspoon

5

4

4

Dessert/Soup Spoon

2

2

2

Tablespoon

0.25

0.25

-

Iced Tea Spoon

1.5

1.5

-

Demitasse Spoon

2

-

-

Bouillon Spoon

2

2

2

Dinner Fork

3

3

3

Salad Fork

1.5

1.5

-

Cocktail Fork

1.5

1.5

1.5

Dinner Knife

2

2

2

Butter Knife

1.5

1

-

 

Common Table Settings

Common Table Settings

For example, say you’re a casual establishment with 50 seats in need of teaspoons. You’d find out how many to purchase by calculating the following:

50 x 4 = 200

200 ÷ 12 = 16.67

You’d want to order 17 dozen teaspoons. This should give you enough backup supply to accommodate rushes while factoring in the time it takes to run dishwashing cycles.


Care and Handling

The best way to ensure a long product life is to be proactive in your handling of your commercial silverware. Here are some suggestions.

To protect against corrosion, we recommend:

  • Never let your restaurant silverware remain soiled overnight
  • It is recommended to presoak flatware for 15 minutes, and then wash at a high temperature
  • Ensure presoak solutions and avoid extra-long presoaking
  • Avoid low temperatures or chlorine baths, which attacks silver and metal

Tips for bussing commercial flatware:

  • Sort all items in bus trays, and avoid overloading
  • Load into presoak containers immediately after use
  • Use only plastic or stainless steel containers for presoaking, avoiding aluminum, copper or copper alloy
  • Don’t put restaurant flatware into glasses or cups
  • Store in a dry area away from cooking fumes and corrosive materials

Tips for dishwashing:

  • If using a basket, put forks and spoons handle down and knives handle up
  • Wash silverplated and stainless steel flatware separately
  • Presoak immediately after use, wash immediately after presoak, dry after rinsing
  • Dissolve liquid and powder presoak compounds completely before adding flatware
  • Wash in a vertical position in temperatures above 135°F and rinse in clean water at 180°F
  • Use nonabrasive, noncorrosive cleaning agents and a water softener or wetting agent

Ready to Shop!