Different Types of Cutlery used in Food & Beverage Service

What is Cutlery?

Cutlery is known as Silverware or Flatware in the United States, where cutlery usually means knives and related cutting instruments. The main items of Cutlery in Western culture are the knife, fork, and spoon. Cutlery is available in various designs in Silver, Plated silver, Stainless steel, etc.

Stainless steel cutlery is available in many grades of quality and finish. The two best qualities are those marked 18/8, which means a composition of 18% chromium and 8% nickel, and 12/12, which means 12% chromium and 12% nickel.

Burnishing machines, the Polivit method, and plate powder methods are used for retaining the shine and removing stains.

What are the Different Types of Cutlery?

These are the different cutlery items for f&b service in hotels:

1. Knives

A Knife can be used for striking, chopping, tearing, dicing, spreading, carving, and slicing. Different types of knives are designed for different tasks.

For example, Serrated Knives are very easy to use to cut meat. And the non-serrated steak knives were used for a cleaner cut. Pointed Knives are always used for cutting and paring fruits.

Types of Knives and their uses

1. Chef’s Knife

A chef’s knife, also known as a French knife, is usually an extension of a Chef’s hand. This is so because it is the most common knife used for various operational jobs in the kitchen, such as chopping, slicing, etc. The length of the blade is usually 8 to 12 inches.

2. Paring Knife

The paring knife, also known as a Fruit knife, is usually used for small jobs such as paring apples, taking wedges of lemon, hulling strawberries, etc. The blade is usually 3–4 inches long.

3. Tourne Knife

The Tourne Knife, also known as a bird’s beak knife, is the same size as that of a paring knife; the only difference is that the cutting blade is slightly curved to facilitate the cutting of a vegetable into a barrel shape.

4. Boning knife

A boning knife has a thinner and shorter blade than a chef’s knife and is used to cut meat away from the bone. The heel of the knife is slightly curved so that the knife can rest on the bone while deboning.

5. Filleting Knife

It’s similar to a boning knife but has a flexible blade for ease of filleting a fish.

6. Bread Knife

A long, serrated knife is used to slice bread or sponge cakes. The blade is usually 12 to 15 inches long.

7. Carving Knife

A thin, sharp blade is usually used for carving cooked meats or big joints of roast on the buffet.

8. Cleaver Knife

A cleaver knife is generally used in the Chinese Kitchen for cutting and chopping. It has a large, wide blade and is heavier than a Chef’s knife. A multipurpose knife can also be used as a mallet to flatten a piece of ginger before chopping.

9. Palette Knife

It is not a knife for cutting purposes. But it is a flexible spatula with a rounded tip and is widely used in confectionery to decorate cakes.

2. Spoons

Spoons have been used by humans since very ancient times. Spoons were made from Ivory, Gold, and silver. With the coming of the Industrial Revolution, Spoons started to be made from stainless steel, and this was initiated only after 1970.

Types of Spoons and their uses

There are many types of spoons used for cooking:

1. Taste Spoon

Spoons are very essential when having food. This spoon is used for food tasting.

2. Cocktail Spoon

The cocktail spoon is a long-handled spoon. It is used to stir drinks and mix them in long drink glasses or beer glasses. This type of spoon is present in the Bar.

3. Baby Spoon

This is a very small spoon, and it’s used by babies to eat food.

4. Salad Spoon

Salad spoons are generally used with a Salad fork; when used together, they can help mix the vegetables or salad, which makes it easier to serve.

5. Long Drink Spoon

These spoons are designed to stir hot and cold drinks from long glasses or big mugs.

6. Soup Spoon

It is used for thick soups.

7. Sundae Spoon

Ice cream or any shake with ice cream served in a tall glass.

8. Ice Cream Spoon

For Ice cream served in coupes, most hotels use a teaspoon in place of an ice cream spoon.

9. Dessert Spoon and Table Folk

For spaghetti, the spoon is placed on the left and the fork on the right.

10. Coffee Spoon

For Coffee served in demitasse after lunch or dinner.

11. Egg Spoon

Used with boiled eggs; teaspoons may be used in place of egg spoons.

12. Long Drink Spoon

These drink spoons, as the name suggests, have a very long handle. These spoons are designed to stir hot and cold drinks from long glasses or big mugs.

13. Fruit Spoon

Fruit spoons are smaller in size compared to tablespoons. These spoons have pointed tips, and they also have an elongated bowl that helps them cut the fruits easily.

3. Forks

Generally, a Fork is used to cut meat, while four-toothed forks have other uses.

Types of Forks and their uses

1. Seafood Fork

A seafood fork is used for eating crustaceans. It’s also called a Crab fork or a lobster fork, and it serves two purposes. The double-pronged slim end is used to pick seafood, while the curved scraper is used to scoop out the meat.

2. Dessert Fork

A dessert fork is used for eating cake, pies, and pastries. It is more or less similar to the Salad fork.

3. Salad Fork

A salad fork is used for eating salad. The salad fork’s outer tines are notched, wider, and much longer than the inner tines. It is six inches in length.

4. Fish Fork

It is used for holding and serving fish.

5. Dinner Fork

It is basically used for the main course. The dinner fork measures a minimum of 7 inches.

6. Fork with extra-long Tines

This type of fork is used for eating Noodles and Pasta dishes.

Selection Criteria for Cutlery Items in F&B Service

1. Types of Metal: The type of metal needed for a service operation depends on the profile of the restaurant and the capital available. Silver and plated silver are expensive and suitable for high-class dining operations that cater to elite customers, but maintaining this type of cutlery is very expensive and consumes more labor for polishing.

2. Service TypesMenu items, Type of Cover Setup, Style of service.

3. Quantity: Seating capacity rate of seat turnover washing method storage facility. Well-cleaned and polished cutlery that is required during service is stored in the compartmental drawers of sideboards. The order of storage of different types of cutlery is from right to left; the most frequently used ones are on the right, and the least frequently used ones are on the left.

4. Pattern: Availability for Replacement Decor It is available in a matte or shiny finish. While deciding on the pattern, it is always better to keep the same pattern for all pieces of cutlery, and a cover should not have cutlery of different designs. It is always advisable to go for plain cutlery, as its replacement and cleaning are easier.


Foodservice equipment of various qualities is available to meet the requirements of different styles of catering operations. The success of the catering business undoubtedly depends on the availability of service equipment. The menu forms the basis for identifying the requirements for service equipment.

Though different types of service equipment may be procured for dishes and drinks offered for sale, using multipurpose equipment not only saves money but also reduces storage space and maintenance costs.

Frequently used hollowware items, such as sugar bowls, sauceboats, ashtrays, straw holders, and so on, should be stored on shelves at a convenient height for better handling.

Extra Cutlery and Hollowware that are required for different function catering are stored in a separate place in a cupboard or in a box that can be locked. The cutlery or hollowware should not be wet.

Dipayan Mondal
Dipayan Mondal

Dipayan is the author of this blog. He completed his hotel management degree from GNIHM, Kolkata. And he is very passionate about the hospitality industry. And right now, he is working as a successful hotelier in a 5-star hotel.