Cutlery Sets Buying Guide

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Since its invention, disposable cutlery has always been designed for customers to eat their to-go orders at any location. However, these eating utensils are not only for your patrons' convenience. When packed in assorted sets, cutlery kits can be simply dropped into take out bags to eliminate the hassle of your staff searching for proper utensils to pair with meals.

A cutlery set with a fork, knife, and spoon included matches any meal and ensure your customer is never missing a utensil. In order to choose the best type of cutlery set for your business, read through our buying guide so you can learn about the different types of cutlery sets.

What Are The Different Types Of Cutlery Sets?

In the foodservice industry, there are two types of disposable cutlery sets:

  • Cutlery packs - An assorted set of cutlery that sometimes includes a napkin and is usually wrapped in plastic or paper.
  • Retail packs - A boxed set of cutlery that contains a large number of eating utensils.

How Many Pieces Are In A Cutlery Set?

Depending on the vendor, each cutlery pack will have two to five pieces. Some sets only include a fork with a napkin, while others may have a fork, knife, spoon, and napkin. Retail flatware packs consist of ten or more assorted pieces.

What Is A Full Cutlery Set?

While a place setting typically consists of five pieces (dinner fork, dinner knife, salad fork, teaspoon, and tablespoon), cutlery sets include the most essential pieces (fork, spoon, knife, and napkin) for the pack to be more compact. Because of their disposability, cutlery sets are more suitable for informal or semi-formal events.

Cutlery Set Materials

Whether it's wrapped or unwrapped, most disposable cutlery is crafted from plastic or wood. While most plastic cutlery is seen as harmful to the environment, some are constructed from compostable bioplastics, making them a nature-friendly option. Cutlery made out of natural wood is strong, sturdy, and environmentally-friendly with some even being made out of sustainable bamboo. Despite there only being two types of materials, these sets are available in various styles.

Wooden Cutlery Sets

Wooden cutlery sets can be made out of different types of wood such as birch, bamboo, pine, poplar, and more. If the wood is natural, unvarnished, and made without chemicals, it can be composted. Thanks to their high heat tolerance, wooden cutlery can be used to enjoy all kinds of food. They are also very sturdy to keep from cracking during use.

However, wooden cutlery kits don’t just boast a strong and eco-friendly construction, each piece features a unique wood grain pattern to give your place settings a rustic touch. You can find many types of wooden cutlery sets such as wrapped cutlery kits, tied cutlery kits, retail packs, travel sets, and even handmade sets. One of the best things about wooden cutlery sets is that their look is versatile. Use them for take out and delivery orders, or add them to your tablescapes. They will never look out of place! To learn more about our wooden cutlery sets, take a look at the video below:


Plastic Cutlery Sets

The most common type of disposable cutlery is plastic utensils made out of polypropylene (PP) or polystyrene (PS) plastic. Plastic flatware can be made in different sizes and colors, making it easy for you to find a set that complements your restaurant’s or event’s theme. Both types of plastic are recyclable and easy to dispose of in a nature-friendly way. While these plastic eating utensils might have a lot in common, they do have slight differences.

  • Polypropylene - PP plastic is very flexible, it can twist and turn to a certain degree without reaching its breaking point. It can even be used for food that is as hot as 250F.
  • Polystyrene - PS plastic can handle food that is as hot as 180F, but it is not very flexible and will break if used with an exerted amount of pressure. Despite not being as strong as PP, they are a cheaper option.

CPLA & PLA Cutlery Sets

Most polylactic acid plastic (PLA) cutlery sets and crystalized polylactic acid plastic (CPLA) flatware sets include forks, knives, and spoons. Both of these plastics, also known as bioplastics, are made out of plant-based materials such as cornstarch. They’re both biodegradable and compostable and also known for their lightweight construction. The main difference between the two is that CPLA can tolerate temperatures up to 185°F while PLA can tolerate temperatures up to 105°F.

Cutlery For Convenience

Disposable cutlery sets offer major convenience for catering services, restaurants, bed and breakfasts, and other foodservice establishments. They eliminate the need to clean cutlery after serving each guest and don’t have to be replaced if lost. Not to mention, they can be simply added into take out bags so you won’t have to rummage around your cutlery storage area to look for a small dessert spoon.

Cutlery sets include an assortment of pieces that can match multiple meals or be used to eat several courses. Including a prepacked cutlery set with every dish allows customers to have everything they need within reach. They also save you time arranging place settings or packaging meals to ensure you quickly give guests their orders.

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