TigerChef Flatware Guide

TigerChef Flatware Guide

When choosing the proper commercial flatware for your restaurant, hotel dining room or catering hall, it is helpful to have information as to the proper flatware to use for each meal. Whether you serve meals such as breakfast, lunch and dinner or just appetizers, coffees and desserts, you will want to make sure to have the appropriate flatware. The following flatware guide provides a list of commercial flatware that is most commonly found on the market, along with an explanation of the traditional uses for each piece of flatware.

Dinner Knife

The dinner knife is the longest knife in a traditional 5-piece flatware setting. It has a moderate serration for cutting food and it can also be used as a spreading knife. It is a part of every table setting.

Butter Knife

The butter knife is approximately 5 to 6 inches long and is the smallest knife in a set of flatware. The tip of the blade is slightly rounded and a bit wider than an ordinary knife, making it makes it easy to spread butter, jam and other soft spreads on rolls, toast or muffins.

Steak Knife

The steak knife is a specialized knife that is not part of a traditional set of flatware, but if your eatery specializes in steak or other thick meat, you will want to have these set on your table. The steak knife is usually about 8-1/4 to 9 inches long and has a sharp tip with a serrated edge that easily cuts thick portions of meat.

Fish Knife

The fish knife is a specialized knife that is not commonly found in a traditional flatware setting. A fish knife measures about 8¾ inches long and features a wide blade with a dull edge and a notched point at the tip that is used to separate the skeleton from the body of the fish and lift the bones onto a plate.

European Dinner Knife

The European Dinner Knife is larger and heavier than a traditional dinner knife (nearly a third!), but similar to a traditional dinner knife. It has moderate serration for cutting prepared foods. It is used for formal occasions and can be found in most upscale restaurants and other formal dining settings.

Dinner Fork

The dinner fork is part of the traditional five-piece flatware setting. It is about 7 inches long and is used to eat the main course at any formal or informal meal. It is a part of every table setting.

Salad Fork

The salad fork is usually flatter and slightly broader than a dinner fork and it measures about 6 inches long. The salad fork is often made with an extra wide left tine to give the diner leverage when cutting thick veins of lettuce or other vegetables. The salad fork is used in formal and informal dining. It can also be used to eat other types of appetizers, such as pasta.

Fish Fork

The fish fork measures about 7-1/4 to 7-3/4 inches long and is used to eat fish in both formal and informal dining settings. The fish fork features an extra wide left tine that assists the diner in easily separating the fish from the bone.

Dessert Fork

The dessert fork is a specialized fork that measures about 6 to 7 inches in length and resembles a salad fork, only a little narrower. Although it is not part of a traditional flatware set it is typically used for cutting and eating pies and cakes.

European Dinner Fork

The European Dinner Fork is larger and more durable than the traditional dinner fork. It fits perfectly on formal dining tables, and is usually found in upscale restaurants and other formal dining settings.

Cocktail Fork

The cocktail fork is a small, narrow, three-pronged fork made with short tines and a long handle that is about 4½ to 5½ inches long. The purpose of a cocktail fork is to spear the seafood that is served in compote or a shell, such as shrimp cocktail. It can also be used to eat other bite-sized appetizers like cocktail meatballs or olives. The seafood fork is used in both formal and informal dining.


The teaspoon is a classic piece of flatware and part of most standard flatware sets. The average teaspoon is about 5½ to 6¼ inches long and is used typically for stirring and sipping coffee and tea. The teaspoon can also be used for desserts, cereal and soups. Due to its smaller size, it may be the utensil that is most frequently lost in any commercial or home setting, so be sure to order plenty of extra teaspoons.

Soup Spoon

The soup spoon is similar in size and shape to a tablespoon but the bowl is a bit wider and deeper, the handle is longer and it is designed to hold more liquid. The overall length of the soup spoon is anywhere from 5-3/4 to 8-1/4 inches. It is designed for consuming soup that contains pieces of food such as grains, vegetables and pasta. The soup spoon is used in both formal and informal dining.

Dessert Spoon

The dessert spoon is about 7 to 7¼ inches long. The shape of the bowl is oval and it can hold almost two teaspoons of delicious dessert, like chocolate mousse. The dessert spoon is used in formal and informal dining.


The tablespoon is generally used as a serving spoon to serve vegetables or other side dishes. The tablespoon looks like a traditional teaspoon, but is larger in size and is usually kept with the serving bowls in the middle of the tabletop setting for serving purposes.

Bouillon Spoon

The bouillon spoon is another type of soup spoon but is smaller. It has a shorter handle and a round shallow bowl and is approximately 5 to 5-1/2 inches long. Unlike a soup spoon, it is designed for consuming clear broths. It can be found at luncheons or other light meals.

Demitasse Spoon

The demitasse spoon is similar to the standard teaspoon, but it has a longer handle and a smaller bowl. It is approximately 3¾ to 4½ inches long which coordinates with the size of traditional demitasse cups and saucers found in formal dining. It is designed to stir drinks such as espresso or cappuccino.