An Atmosphere You Could Cut With a Knife: Catering Cutlery and the Ambience Factor

A lot of the things that go into making a really good restaurant or hospitality venue are the ones that don’t get noticed. To put that another way, if people aren’t noticing things then nothing is out of place – and that means that the place is playing properly to the expectations of its clientele.

It can be hard to illustrate the importance of the small things without a real world example. If a diner enters a restaurant and there’s no little thing that has been wrongly specified, or chosen without reference to the overall look and feel of the place, then he or she sees nothing out of place (as noted) and so his or her expectations of the restaurant do not begin to falter.


If, on the other hand, the diner is seated and the first thing he or she sees is a stain on the tablecloth, or a dirty knife, then his or her expectations begin to revise themselves. The atmosphere, which is so carefully conjured by many restaurants and eating places, starts to fall away – and with it the potential for enjoyment of the meal in the way the restaurant’s designers have intended it to be experienced.

It must be noted that the degree to which small decisions affect the ambience factor changes as you go up and down both the price scale and the expectation scale. Expectation scale is here taken to be a measurement of the degree to which the design of an eating establishment leads its diners into an expectation of a definite kind of experience. So a highly decorated theme restaurant, for instance, delivers highly on the expectation scale by pointing out very thoroughly that it only cooks Mexican food, or Chinese food.

An establishment that offers no obvious visual cues to being either particularly focused on one kind of dining experience, or located within a solidly high price bracket, has more leeway when it comes to the small things. Even here, though, a truly poor decision can put customers off. In general terms these decisions tend to be more involved with cleanliness and décor than with the minutiae of cutlery and crockery, though.

The establishment with a certain expectation for how it makes its guests feel is wise to look to every part of its décor and feel – and that includes the catering cutlery it decides to use. There are grades of cutlery, nominally in quality and definitively in appearance: selecting knives and forks that don’t look right for consumer expectations can put a dent in the overall experience, from which the diner may never recover.

A high class tea room, the Ritz for instance, is required by the expectations of its customers to use specific plates, cups and knives and forks. That is to say, if a diner at the Ritz did not get served tea with heavy, classy feeling (and looking) cutlery, then he or she may begin to feel that something had gone awry. The opposite may be said of the greasy spoon: in here, “posh” cutlery would be similarly out of place.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *