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How to Place Cutlery in a Formal Table Setting

How to Place Cutlery in a Formal Table Setting

Cutlery is placed in the order they will be used, starting from the outside and working in. A tip to remember this is thinking of a meal as being the full experience and as the diner traverses each course, the area on the table diminishes with each course until the end when nothing is left.

Which side of the setting does Cutlery sit?

Forks are positioned on the left and the knife(s) and spoon(s) are on the right.

The cutting edge of knives face the plate.

Cutlery for the first course sit furthest from the plate, on the outside, working their way in with each course until completion.

How to place special Cutlery

If your menu requires special utensils like seafood forks or steak knives, add them to the setting according to the order of the course.

Bread and butter knives sit on the bread plate with the blade facing inward. The bread plate commonly sits to the left, beyond and slightly above the forks.

Dessert utensils are positioned above the plate in formal settings with the fork blades on the left and the spoon bowl on the right.

Tips for table settings and placing Cutlery

Ensure the cutlery is of good quality and is polished and clean. When placing them it’s recommended to use a waiter’s glove, especially in formal settings, to avoid tarnishing.

Ensure all cutlery is meticulously placed in consistent order to avoid confusion. Keeping knife blades facing the plate and all cutlery level at the same distance from the edge of the table for a more orderly experience.

Napkins can be placed in any location though it is common to place them to the left of the forks or on the bread plate with a crisp fold or napkin ring for an elegant touch.

If you offer multiple courses as options, remove redundant utensils and glassware, or insert additions as needed, to ensure a fine dining experience for your guests. 

Maintain and clean cutlery appropriately so they keep their sheen and lustre. Dirty or tarnished utensils can have a negative impact on the dining experience. 

Reward Hospitality stocks cutlery and accessories for a fine dining experience

Stock up on the essentials to set your tables for success. Reward Hospitality New Zealand stocks an array of cutlery as well as tabletop pieces to deliver on your diners’ expectations. It is also vital to train your team appropriately to deliver beyond the quality of your menu and there is a lot to consider when delivering excellence.

If you’d like to know more, visit our Resource Centre for more advice and information to train and educate your team. We also have a vast array of products with everything you need to run an efficient, successful, and memorable business. If you need advice or assistance, our friendly Customer Experience Team are available via online chat, email or a phonecall, and our Territory Managers are available around the country for a one-on-one consultation.

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