The choices you make, in catering, define the kind of customer you attract to your establishment. You only have to watch Master Chef, or The Great British Bake Off, to see the differences in cooking styles and types of catering. The industry is huge – each establishment with its own niche and its own interpretation of the dishes it supplies.
One might be a simple café, providing hearty breakfasts and good strong tea. Another might be a five star restaurant in which unique combinations of flavours are served to extremely discerning guests on plates that look like works of art. These two, and every shade in between, make up the culinary and hospitality industry in the UK: and for each type of place, or each requirement, there’s a different style of catering cutlery.
On an aesthetic level, catering cutlery has to match the feeling of the establishment. A greasy spoon, for example, can’t have fine, delicate cutlery unless it’s doing that as part of an overall gimmick: serving good solid British brekkie food in a genteel atmosphere, perhaps.
By the same token, the high end restaurant or hotel brasserie is unlikely to offer its guests bog standard chunky knives and forks. Those are ideal for use in a greasy spoon – but for a restaurant where each plate costs £100, not so much.
Then there are the specialty types of catering cutlery, which apply to every level of the trade. These examples of the tools used to serve and eat food illustrate the “other part” of the equation that you use to decide what kinds of cutlery you have in your establishment: the function, as opposed to the form, of the item.
This is ably illustrated by the humble steak knife – a staple of many a British pub for decades, and an item without which the punter cannot enjoy his or her steak-based meal. The serrated edge makes short work of foods that would otherwise be impossible to cut properly – so any restaurant or bar with steak on the menu needs steak knives in its cutlery bins.
Of course, there are different designs of steak knife just as there are different designs of a range of other catering cutlery – so the restaurant or bar can specify steak knives in general to cope with the meat on the menu, and the select a look and price point that matches its ambiance.
There are a number of specialty items of catering cutlery to consider – fish knives; shellfish knives; long dessert spoons; soup spoons; children’s cutlery; and baby cutlery (the last is always made from tough plastic). To work out which items are required, the restaurant or bar owner must look not only at the menu but at the projected nature of the clientèle: and then make decisions based on the general policy of the restaurant.
Some high end restaurants, for example, will not accept children – defining themselves as eating spaces for grown-ups. In these establishments there is therefore no need for child’s or baby cutlery.
Monica Jefferson is a freelance writer. She has researched on various catering cutlery and loves finding the best for less in catering cutlery and economy cutlery online. Monica enjoys reading and swimming.