Commercial Grade Flatware Explained

You can tell a lot about a restaurant or eatery by the flatware on the table. Is it patterned? Shiny? Does it bend? Is it heavy or light? Are there rust spots on your butter knives? Let’s explore all of the options that restaurant managers need to know when purchasing flatware for their table settings. We’ll look at weight, stainless steel types and some popular flatware patterns from major brand names in commercial flatware.


You know what it is like when you pick up a fork or a spoon that is substantial. It’s heavy. It doesn’t bend. That might be the exact impression you want to give to your customers in a high-end steak house. But it may not be economical for a commercial cafeteria setting, where usage is high and so is potential for damage.

Medium Weight

  • Easily damaged
  • Light weight
  • Basic pattern designs
  • Budget friendly – though needs replacing more often
  • Best used in cafeterias, mess halls, school lunchrooms, etc.

Heavy Weight

  • Hard to damage
  • Heavy in hand
  • Can have intricate pattern designs
  • Best for restaurants, high end catering & event services, banquet facilities, etc.

Stainless Steel Type

Restauranteurs almost always use stainless steel flatware. Stainless steel delivers the durability factor required for high usage under professional circumstances. Stainless steel is dishwasher safe, whereas some other metal types used for flatware is not. For flatware, stainless steel is categorized by the percentages of chromium and nickel it contains. Chromium determines how hard the stainless steel is and nickel determines how well it can fend off corrosion (rust), foods (with high acid content), and cleaning chemicals.

420 Stainless Steel Flatware

  • 13% Chromium
  • 0% Nickel - resistance to corrosion, but not from rusting or cleaning
  • Least expensive of all stainless steel types
  • Often called 13 chromium steel
  • Pitts very easily if not cared for properly
  • Easily loses the “like new” appearance

18/0 Stainless Steel Flatware

  • 18% Chromium
  • 0% Nickel – No protection from corrosion or cleaning
  • Budget friendly
  • Typically low luster
  • High shine

18/8 Stainless Steel Flatware

  • Considered premium steel
  • 18% Chromium
  • 8% Nickel – Good protection from corrosion and cleaning
  • Better quality look than 18/0
  • High luster
  • Longer lasting with durable construction

18/10 Stainless Steel Flatware

  • Considered premium steel
  • 18% Chromium
  • 10% Nickel – Best protection from corrosion and cleaning
  • High quality look often with a polished finish
  • High luster
  • Very durable

Some of the primary names have been supplying the foodservice industry with flatware for long time. Chances are, if you are looking to replace missing flatware, one of these brands has the pattern you are looking for. World Tableware (supplied by Libbey), Oneida, Walco have defined commercial table settings and flatware, providing classic design patterns and new favorites for generations past and those to come.

World Tableware Popular Flatware Patterns

  • Classic Rim Flatware
  • Republic Flatware
  • Grand Regency Flatware

Oneida Popular Flatware Patterns

  • Chateau Flatware
  • Needlepoint Flatware
  • Village Common Flatware

Walco Popular Flatware Patterns

  • Freya Flatware
  • Pacific Rim Flatware
  • Windsor Flatware

Vollrath Popular Flatware Patterns

  • Queen Anne Flatware
  • Thornhill Flatware

ABC Flatware Popular Flatware Patterns

  • Norfolk Flatware
  • Medium Windsor Flatware
  • Dominion Flatware

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