Flatware is undeniably an integral piece of restaurant equipment. Different types of flatware offer different advantages, whether price, durability, or feel are taken into consideration. But no matter how luxurious the flatware, it will still be susceptible to wear and tear from use as well as the natural environment. The extent to which flatware can be used in a restaurant greatly depends on the amount of wear and tear it has received as well as the care and attention which has been given to itatt. With proper and consistent care, flatware can be used in a venue for the longest amount of time possible.
1. Purchase wisely
Caring for flatware needs to be done for any type of flatware, but purchasing good quality flatware can help make the process of maintaining it more effective and long-lasting. Whereas cheap flatware can easily get scratched and may be more likely to rust, high quality flatware requires regular maintenance,
but has the potential to last over a period of a few years, depending on the amount of use the venue gets out of it. Venues just starting out may consider purchasing temporary, less expensive sets of flatware as an initial way of getting the business off its feet and evaluating its earning potentials, while lowering start-up costs and therefore risk. However, having good quality flatware throughout a business’s life-span is important to providing a good customer experience and maximizing the use the venue can get out of the flatware.
2. Keep it clean
Washing any type of flatware as soon as it is done being used will help prevent corrosion as a result of food bits and other food components being stuck to it. Acidic, basic, or salty foods such as lemon, salt, or vinegar can cause corrosion and pitting of the flatware over time and should therefore be minimized. Though each time the flatware is used, there may not be a defining, visible effect on the flatware, over time a lot of small bouts of contact with corrosive material can cause the utensils to be corroded. In order to prolong this process as much as possible, utensils should be washed as soon as possible after use.
3. Keep it dry
Water can cause some types of flatware to rust and others to stain. In order to prevent this, flatware should be dried quickly after it is washed. Some venues even choose to polish their flatware before placing them on the tables, in order to ensure that there are no water stains.
4. Use it
Using silverware can actually help maintain it. The regular use and washing of silverware helps prevent tarnish. If a venue has lapsed on this point, however, polishing when needed can keep silverware looking shiny and new. During slow seasons, businesses may want to consider storing unneeded silverware in airtight packaging in order to prevent tarnish. This can be done by wrapping it in cellophane wrap and storing in airtight bags, or simply by vacuum packing. Alternatively, silverware used can be rotated in order to help ensure regular use of all the silverware overall.
5. Know when to move on to newer flatware
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Even with the best and most attentive care, silverware and stainless steel flatware will look old with time, whether from tarnish, bending, scratches, or a combination of factors. Though most of the imperfections can be slowed or minimized with proper care, sometimes there is just nothing more that can be done to make the flatware look impeccable. Food businesses should be honest with themselves about when it is time to repurchase flatware to keep their venue feeling as nice and updated as possible in order to ensure a positive customer experience.
Caring for flatware can be a burden. The list of recommendations above requires that constant attention be paid to flatware on a regular basis. Slacking on flatware care can lead to a loss in funds as utensils demand replacement or as customers become less impressed with the ambience of the venue. Like a good knife that needs to be sharpened regularly between uses, good flatware must also be buffed to be kept as pleasant and attractive as possible. If a sharp knife is not maintained, it will likely become so dull that a large amount of work will be required in order to restore it. Similarly, flatware that has not been kept up properly may be beyond fixing up prematurely. This can be prevented by investing a little time on a regular basis in flatware maintenance.