How to Roll Silverware

Rolling silverware is common practice in restaurants, diners, and catering businesses. It allows you to add a touch of elegance to your table setting no matter what is on the menu. It also helps keep silverware clean and helps your staff serve guests efficiently. In this blog, we’ll walk you through the process of rolling silverware and share tips to improve your silverware rolling techniques.

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How to Roll Silverware Video

Watch the video below for a step-by-step walkthrough of how to roll silverware:

How to Roll Silverware in a Paper Napkin

silverware rolled into a white paper napkin with red napkin wrap

Rolling silverware in a paper napkin is a quick and convenient process. To do so, you’ll need a paper napkin, your preferred silverware, and a paper napkin band. The napkin band is not necessary, but it allows you to create a more appealing final product. Adhere to the steps below to roll your silverware in a paper napkin correctly.

  1. Prepare napkin: Begin by placing your paper napkin flat on the table.
  2. Position the knife: Place the knife diagonally across the napkin. For the best results, extend the tip of the knife slightly beyond the corner of the napkin.
  3. Place additional utensils: Stack the fork directly on top of the knife, followed by the spoon. The handles of all three utensils should be even with one another once they are in place.
  4. Fold bottom corner: Hold the silverware in place with one hand and use the other to fold the bottom corner of the napkin up. This should completely cover the ends of the silverware.
  5. Fold side corner: Continue holding the silverware in place. Using your free hand, fold the side corner of the napkin inside so that it partially covers the handles. Make sure the napkin is folded tightly around the silverware, but not tight enough that it could rip.
  6. Roll: With both folds completed, roll the silverware away from you.
  7. (Optional) Secure with a napkin band: To prevent the napkin from unraveling, consider using a paper napkin band. These self-adhesive bands keep your silverware in place and add an extra layer of detail.

How to Roll Silverware in a Cloth Napkin

silverware rolled into a white cloth napkin

Rolling your silverware in a cloth napkin creates a more upscale table setting. To do so, you’ll need a cloth napkin and silverware. For the best results, iron your napkin to ensure there are no unsightly creases or wrinkles in the final product. To properly roll silverware in a cloth napkin, follow these steps:

  1. Place the napkin: Begin by placing your ironed cloth napkin flat on the table.
  2. Fold the napkin: Fold the napkin in half diagonally. This should create a triangular shape.
  3. Position the silverware: Place your silverware in a neat stack on the napkin. Position the stack near the inner edge of the long side of the napkin.
  4. First fold: Fold the left corner of the napkin over the silverware.
  5. Second fold: Fold the right corner of the napkin over the silverware. With both corners folded in, the napkin should resemble the shape of an open envelope.
  6. Roll: Keeping the silverware securely in place, roll the stack away from you. This should result in the silverware being neatly wrapped and secured inside the napkin.

Pre Rolled Napkin and Cutlery

If you don’t have the time to roll cutlery on your own or are responsible for serving a large group of people, pre-rolled plastic cutlery offers a convenient solution. As their name suggests, these cutlery sets come pre-rolled, allowing you and your staff to quickly and conveniently create an appealing table setting. Perfect for catered events and wedding receptions, they are easy to prepare and facilitate quick cleanup. While they aren’t a perfect replacement for hand-rolled silverware, they allow your staff to focus on more pressing matters.

Silverware Rolling FAQ

silverware on white paper napkin

When it comes to rolling silverware, there are many details to take into account. Below, we’ll answer some of the internet’s most frequently asked questions about rolling silverware.

How to Roll Silverware Fast

Many foodservice establishments require their staff to roll silverware after closing. While important, this can be a tedious task that takes time away from other closing responsibilities. If you’re looking to save time, use the method below to quickly roll silverware in a paper napkin.

  1. Center silverware: Position your knife and fork in the center of the napkin.
  2. 1st fold: Fold the napkin in half diagonally, creating a triangular shape. Be sure that the fold is tight around the silverware, as this will help you maintain control as you roll.
  3. 2nd fold: Fold the bottom end of the napkin over the handle of the silverware.
  4. Roll: Using the palm of your hand, quickly roll the silverware into the napkin.
  5. (Optional) Secure the silverware: Use a paper napkin band to secure the silverware.

How to Wrap Silverware in a Paper Napkin with a Ribbon

To wrap silverware in a paper napkin with a ribbon, begin by following the first six steps outlined in our instructions. Then, rather than securing your wrap with a napkin band, follow these steps:

  1. Cut: Allow yourself 6 to 10 inches of ribbon to tie with. It is easier to use too much ribbon than too little.
  2. Wrap: Wrap the ribbon around the napkin. For the best results, it should be positioned slightly above the center of the napkin.
  3. Tie: Use the ribbon to tie a knot and secure the napkin. The knot should be tight enough to keep the silverware in place, but not so tight that it distorts the napkin. Once the knot is tied, use the two free ends of the ribbon to form a bow.
  4. Adjust: Confirm that the bow is even and cut off any excess ribbon.

What Size Disposable Napkin Should You Use for Rolling Silverware?

An 8" x 8" disposable napkin is the best size to use for rolling silverware. While other sizes can also be suitable, it's essential to use a square napkin while rolling. Because of the various folds that need to be made, a square napkin will provide the most even and consistent results.

Do Servers Need Gloves When Rolling Silverware?

Whether a server is required to wear gloves when rolling silverware can vary by state. Be sure to check with your local regulatory authority to learn what rules apply to your business. At the very least, all servers and food handlers should be expected to maintain good personal hygiene in the workplace.

Back to Top

Knowing how to roll silverware is an essential skill that can help your employees work efficiently. Rolling silverware in a napkin is an easy way to create an organized table setting and is ideal for a variety of restaurants and diners. By adhering to the information above, you’ll learn the necessary tips to improve your silverware rolling skills.

Posted in: Catering Tips|Kitchen & Cooking Tips|By Jason Kurtz
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Please refer to our Content Policy for more details.
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