An ideal restaurant is replete with good art décor, furniture, lighting, music besides great cuisine and friendly staff. However, one thing that goes amiss is cutlery. Have you paid enough attention to choosing the right cutlery? Many restaurateurs feel that it is not necessary to go beyond using standard knife, spoon and fork cutlery. However, you’ll be surprised to know how wrong cutlery can turn out to be a disaster for your business. Depending on what food you serve, there are several types of cutlery available in the market. The following article will give you a glimpse of how you can bring variation in cutlery type and make dining out a memorable experience for your patrons.
Type of cutlery
Cutlery implies implements used for cutting and eating food. It includes knife, fork and spoon. There are different types of knives, forks and spoons. A complete cutlery set may include butter knife, soup spoon, seafood fork etc.
Different knives are designed to serve specific tasks. Choosing the right knife makes it easier to perform that task. A knife can be designed for striking, chopping, tearing, dicing, spreading, carving or slicing. The difference lies in the blade of the knife whether it is pointed, blunt, serrated etc.
Dull blades are used to cut soft or cooked food while serrated knives are easy to cut meat. Non-serrated steak knives allow for a cleaner cut while pointed knives help in cutting or paring fruits. Knife with a broad flat blade is suitable for eating fish while knife with blunt ends is used to spread butter, cheese spreads, marmalades etc.
Classification of knives based on size
Dinner knife is sized between 9 ½ and 10 inches. It is used to cut and push food. It also serves as a replacement for salad knife if latter is not available.
A steak knife can be used in place of dinner knife or in addition to it. It can be serrated or non-serrated depending on specific steak cuts. It is usually four to six inches long.
Slightly smaller than dinner knife, luncheon knife is used with luncheon plate to suit the size of the plate. Dinner knife is equally acceptable when luncheon knife is not available.
Fish knife is used when fish is served for dinner. Fish knife measures 8 ¾ inches with a wide blade and dull edge. The tip of fish knife aids in separating layers of fish and lift bones.
Dessert knife can be used for dessert, fresh or candied fruit. It can be used to cut cakes and pastries. It goes together with the dessert spoon.
Measuring between 6 ½ and 7 ¼ inches, fruit knife has a pointed tip and a narrow straight. The blade can be serrated or slightly curved. It is meant to cut and peel fruits.
Small in size at 5 to 6 inches, butter knife has a rounded point so that it does not scrape the bread while spreading butter. Dinner knife is equally acceptable if butter knife is not available.
Spoons are used to transfer food from platter or bowl to mouth. There are different types of spoon for specific tasks.
Teaspoon : It is meant for stirring coffee, tea, soups and eating.
Tablespoon : A tablespoon is bigger than a teaspoon and is used for serving food from serving bowls.
Place spoon : It is an all-purpose spoon bigger than a teaspoon but smaller than a tablespoon.
Soup spoon : A large rounded spoon used for eating soup. An oval spoon is used in case soup contains meat, vegetables, bread crumbs etc.
Dessert spoon : It is used for eating sweet dishes and puddings.
Sundae spoon : Long spoons to reach the bottom of sundae glass and eat liquid or semi-liquid food like ice-cream toppings, floats, jelly etc.
Fruit spoon : Fruit spoon has an elongated bowl and a pointed tip that aids in cutting fruit and eating fruits like grapes, oranges and melons.
The two-tined fork is used cut meat while there or four-tined fork has other uses.
Dinner fork : Meant for the main course, dinner fork measures around seven inches.
Salad fork : Used for eating salad, in salad fork outer tines are notched, wider and longer than inner tines. It is six inches in length.
Forks with extra long tines : Such forks are meant for eating spaghetti, noodles.
Dessert fork : It is used for eating cake, pies and pastries. It is more or less similar to salad fork.
Fish fork : It is used for holding and serving fish. Tines are uniform in width and length.
Sea food fork : Sea food fork is ideal for eating crustaceans. Also called crab fork, lobster fork, it serves two purposes. The double-pronged slim end is used to pick sea food while the curved scraper is used to scoop out the meat.
Choose cutlery carefully
Choosing the right cutlery can be mind-boggling especially if you are a first timer. Bear these quick tips in mind while purchasing cutlery.
• Avoid limited edition cutlery
• Apart from the standard fork, knife and spoon set, decide what else is necessary based on what you serve. For example, if you serve sea food, do buy seafood forks.
• Buy durable cutlery set that lasts you longer. Stainless steel is the safest bet.
• Cutlery should be in sync with the theme of your restaurant.
• Make sure cutlery is comfortable to handle. Try it before buying.
• Buy light weight cutlery for kids.
• Have sufficient stock as a backup in case of any mishap.
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