in Food and Drink Service
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These pages explain:


1.Earthenware should have a complete cover of glaze to ensure a reasonable length of life

2. China should have a rolled edge which will give added reinforcement to the edge.

3. The pattern should be underneath and not on top of the glaze. Patterns on top of the glaze wear and discolor quickly. China with the pattern under the glaze is more expensive but will last longer.

Earthenware for hospitality and catering industry often has a trade name to indicate its strength.

For example:

  • Vitrified
  • Vitreous
  • Vitrock
  • Vitrex
  • Vitresso
  • Ironstone
  • Steelite
  • Micratex

Vitrified ware is the strongest, though strength and economy are not the only factor to consider, appearance and style are often more important.


There are various classifications of china.

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Bone China.
This is a fine, hard and expensive china. The price of bone china means that usually only very high class hotels and restaurants use it. The range of design, pattern and colour is very wide.

Normal earthenware which can be made stronger than that designed for domestic use. There are a standard range of designs and patterns in range colours.

Vitrified earthenware is economical particularly where it is in used continuously. Domestic weight earthenware is lighter and thinner than hotel earthenware or vitrified hotelware. Some china has a manufacturers stamp and the date month or year on the base.

China should be stored on shelves in piles of not more than two dozen. Any higher may result in toppling. Storage should be at a convenient height so that placing on and removing from shelves can be made safely. Keeping china covered to prevent dust and germs getting on the china is advisable.

The sizes of China items vary according to the manufacturer and the design.

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A Guide to Sizes
Sideplate 15 cm (6 ill)
Sweet plate 18 cm (7 in)
Fish plate 20 cm (8 in)
Soup plate 20 cm (8 in)
Joint plate 25 cm (10 in)
Cereal/Sweet plate 13 cm(5 in)
Salad Crescent
Breakfast Cup and Saucer 23~-28 cl (8-10 fluid oz)
Tea Cup and Saucer 19cl (62l3 fluid oz)
Coffee Cup (Demi-tasse) & Saucer 9.5 cl (31/3 fluid )
Consommé Cup and Saucer
Hot Water Jugs

Milk Jugs
Cream Jugs

Coffee Pots

Hot Milk Jugs

Sugar Basin

Slop Basin
Butter Dishes


Egg Cup Soup

Bowl/Cup Platter

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There are three main types of tableware:
1. Flatware: all forms of spoons and forks.
2. Cutlery: knives and other cutting implements.
3. Hollow-ware: consists of any items made from stainles steel or silver other than flatware and cutlery, such as teapots, milk jugs, sugar basins, oval flats.
A range of patterns of flatware,hollow-ware and cutlery with different designs nad prices.

It is advisable to consider the following when purchasing flatware and cutlery:
1. The type of menu and style of service offered.
2. The seating capacity.
3. Cover turn-over.
4. Wash-up and its turn-over.
With silver plate the manufacturer may quote 20, 25, 30 year plate. This tells you the assume life of the silverware it depends on the weight of silver plating. There are no legal standards and the quality of Al plate differs with each manufacturer. There are three standard grades of silver plate

  1. full standard plate
  2. triple plate
  3. quadruple plate

A Hallmark on silver indicates:

  • the standard of silver used
  • the Assay office responsible

The two letters are:

  • the maker's mark
  • the date letter

Plain cutlery and flatware is more popular than patterned because it is cheaper and is easier to keep clean.

Handles are important in cutlery. The best knives have hard soldered silver plated, nickel or stainless steel handles. Plastic materials are much cheaper.

'Sanenwood'is a material which is impervious to boiling water and will not crack or chip from which handles are madev

Stainless steel flatware and cutlery is available in a variety of grades. The higher priced designs usually have alloys of chromium which makes the metal stainless, and nickel which gives a fine grain and shine

18/8 stainless steel denotes 18% chromium and 8% nickel.

Stainless steel is finished to different degrees of polishing:
1. High polish finish
2. Dull polished finish
3. A matte non reflective finish

Stainless steel resists scratching far more than other metals and does not tarnish or stain.

Careful storage is important to prevent loss and damage. Ideallt store in boxes or drawers for the specific item. Lining with baize prevenst the items scaratching and sliding. Hollow ware is best stored on labled shelves indicating where the items should be stored.

Shelves should be at a convenient height for placing and removing the items. Flatware, cutlery and hollow-ware should ideally be stored in a room or cupboard which can be locked. It may be stored in cutlery trolleys.

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Specialist items.

Asparagus tongs

Caviar knife

Gateaux slice

Dessert fork

Oyster fork

Dessert knife
Pastry knife/fork

Nut crackers

Grape scissors
Lobster pick

Lemon press
Butter knife
Grapefruit spoon

Snail dish
Ice cream spoon

Snail fork

Sundae spoon

Cheese knife

Snail tongs

Skewer (Kebabs)


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I . Oyster fork
2 . Grapefruit spoon
3. Steak knife
4. Corn-on-the-cob holders
5. Cheese knife
6. Fruit knife and fork
7. Pastry slice
8. Grape scissors and
9. Nutcrackers
10. Jam spoon
11 . Sundae spoon
12. Lobster crackers
13. Lobster pick
14 . Finger bowl
15. Caviar knife
16. Snail tongs
17 . Snail fork
18. Snail dish
1 9. Silver skewers
20. Pastry knife and fork
21. Shellfish cocktail holder

match dish to equipment above

• Round with two ears.

Has 6 indentations to hold a portion (6) of snails.
• Sweet trolley—serving portions of gateaux
• Cheese board
• To cut and hold a portion of grapes
• Dessert—fruit basket
• Preserves
• Grapefruit halves
• Ice-cream sweet in a tall glass
• To break the shell to gain access to meat
• Part of the make up of a cover to certain dishes, i.e. oysters, dessert, globe artichoke, etc.
• Dessert—fruit basket
• Shellfish cocktail/oysters
• To extract the snail from its shell.
• For attractive presentation of a Kebab.
• Corn-on-the-cob. One to pierce each end of the cob.
• Used in the service of afternoon teas.
• in which a shellfish cocktail would be presented.
• Grilled meats.
• To extract the flesh from the claw
• To hold the snail shell.
• Has a short broad blade used for spreading the caviar

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