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Updated: Mar 15

By: Megan Glenn

Dining alfresco is all the rage and has been a pleasant trend that most people enjoy. Whether it's home cooking, house gatherings, or a restaurant, having the right flatware for outdoor gatherings is no longer just about what looks nice or even convenient. Ensuring that guests or patrons can enjoy great food safely is a top priority for all.

Silver Silverware

Restaurants are ditching fancy sterling silver flatware and ceramic plates in most places for disposable products, in an effort to stop the transfer of bacteria and lower liability. The official recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) does advise that restaurants use disposable plates and flatware as a safety precaution. Researchers are still assessing the transmission potential of ceramic dishes and flatware. The resurgence of flatware and ceramic plates at restaurants could also come down to analyzing handwashing versing dishwashing procedures even if dishes and utensils are handled with gloves and masks.

Choosing Cheery Outdoor Flatware

For outdoor parties that are privately hosted, party throwers have a wide variety of options to choose from. For a more formal gathering, some may want to use semi-disposable, or real dishes and flatware. Your choice may also depend on the type of food that you are serving. If heavier meals that could potentially soak plates are being served, hard plastic or ceramic plates might be best. Prewashing and individually wrapping plates and flatware with both gloves and a mask on will protect your guests from spreading germs. Also, be sure to handle plates and flatware that have been used with gloves as well.

Whether using disposable, hard plastic, or real dishes and flatware, bright multicolored settings always add a vibrant tone to summer gatherings. If you decide to pre-pack individual food portions, stackable clear plastic containers are a perfect way to display food for your guests. Using disposable materials will save you time and can be easily recycled after use. If you'd like to use disposable products but are worried about your carbon footprint, there are multiple disposable products that are kinder to the Earth that can be taken advantage of. Biodegradable paper or wood plates, straws, and flatware are widely available. Having a wide variety of sizes for dishes and utensils for both serving and eating will meet all of your guests' dining needs.

There are many ways to reuse plastic cutlery if you choose to do so. Old plastic forks are perfect for labeling plants in your garden and can even ward away certain pests when inserted spikes up. Arts and crafting projects are also a good use of old plastic spoons.

Bells and Whistles That Add a Nice Touch

Small details can add a unique touch to any outdoor event. Stainless steel cob skewers are great for grilled corn on the cob, and a crab cracker is definitely useful for crab or lobster boils. Chopsticks, a watermelon baller or a potato chip grabber, can also add personality to your setup. Edible spoons are quickly rising in popularity and will surely delight your guests. Spoons can be purchased, or you can make your own out of salt, oil, and whole-grain flour.


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