You've savored your way through a beautiful meal, making sure your utensils did not touch the tabletop surface throughout service. It’s kind of your thing and it makes you feel more civilized and safe when you dine. Upon arriving, you pulled the flatware out from the rolled napkin and carefully propped, leaned, and balanced the cutlery on any elevated surface you could find.
Now, it’s dessert time. There are no plates or elevated surfaces left on the table. Everything has been cleared. The server may have even wiped each place setting with one of those white cloths we instinctively know is a bit suspect for germs and bacteria. Before you know it, as you enjoy conversation with your dinner mates, the server swings by and places dessert spoons or forks in front of you in anticipation of the final course. He sets them directly on the table top without even flinching. And yet, you feel uncomfortable about this. What can you possibly do?
Well, there’s an incredibly easy solution, actually. At the end of this beautiful meal, I swooped in and placed an Uplift flatware rest under our spoons, as I had under all of the utensils at the beginning of our meal. In a way, it’s too late, though. It only takes a moment of contact to contaminate utensils or make us feel strange about the possibility of it. It’s an unnecessary distraction from a fine dining experience or any dining experience at all. And if you were dining on white table cloths, you likely subconsciously prayed the whole time that your fork or knife didn’t slip off the plate and inadvertently make a mess.
This previously unrecognized operational gap and diner stress point has an elegant solution. It should be the new standard for table setting design and service patterns from the start of a meal until the end. Together, we can educate the restaurant industry. Together, we can serve and dine cleanly. It’s only civilized.