Where Does the Butter Knife Go in A Place Setting?

The Ultimate Glossary of Terms About Where Does The Butter Knife Go In A Place Setting:

If you are a person who loves to invite their friends in his home every weekend, then you must consider the best presentation of the dining table with the perfect placement of the utensils. The required illustration of the presentable dining table varies from event to event and course to course in a meal. A one-course dinner can be served with a casual table setting, while a three-course needs a formal or informal setting.

Where Does the Butter Knife Go in A Place Setting

 Importance of table setting

Finding an appropriate table setting is mandatory. How does it feel if you go for a buffet and find out that the table is presented with the formal setting? You will get uncomfortable if the table at the wedding is served with the informal table setting.

Relevant table setting according to the event has a direct impact on three things: mutual relationship of the gathered people. They consider themselves necessary and regarded your hospitability. It affects the overall serving and appearance of the food.

So, don’t get panic. The table setting is not much complicated. Just by sticking to some basic rules and guidelines, you will gain mastery in all types of settings.

Types of table setting

Various table settings are used for different meals. However, three main table settings are listed below:

  1. Formal table setting
  2. Informal table setting
  3. Basic table setting


Formal table setting

The formal table setting is widely used in weddings, formal meals, and occasions and at events where more than three-course of dinner will be served. You may find this table setting at expensive restaurants where three to seven-course of the meal is offered.

So, what are the rules for formal table setting?

What should I put in the center?

  • Place an iron table cloth on the table.
  • At the center, put the charger. Almost all the courses placed on the charger. It includes a salad course, soup, and fish course.

How to set the utensils in a formal place?

On the Right side

  • Place the salad and dinner knife on the right of the charger.
  • As the soup is the first course, the spoon is placed at first from the right side.

On the left side

  • Starting from the left side, put the salad fork first.
  • The fish fork is placed after the salad fork.
  • In the last course, dinner is served, so the dinner fork is laid down at the end.
  • For a more pretty look, you can put the napkin before placing the forks.


  • All the utensils should be spaced about half inches from each other.
  • Utensils on both sides should be lined up in a row, and the bottom of the utensil must be aligned with the bottom of the charger.

Where the butter knife is placed?


  • Put the butter plate on the top left corner.
  • The butter knife or serrated knife informal setting is placed at the top of the butter or bread plate. The pointing end is faced towards the left side while the handle is towards the right.
  • Above the charger, the desert teaspoon and fork are settled.
  • Now, arrange glasses for cold drinks, wines, and water at the top right corner.


Informal table setting

It is one of the most accessible table setting widely used in informal dinner parties and small gatherings. When you serve your guests without getting formal, for example, if you arrange a small get to gather for your close friends, then instead of getting formal, most probably you will emphasize how you can spend quality time with your friends.

So, here are some general rules to set the table informally.

What should you put in the center?

  • First, put the service plate at the top of the charger. It is often replaced or taken away for the next course.
  • Take the napkin. Fold it beautifully and place it on the plate before initiating the serving.
  • Desert spoon is just located right above the entrée or service plate.

How to set the utensils in informal placing?

On the left

  • Starting from the left side, but the salad fork first. It is a little bit smaller than a dinner fork.
  • Now, put the dinner fork with the charger or service plate.

On the right

  • In food courses, soup is always the first course. From the right side, first put the soap spoon.
  • A salad knife is then placed.
  • In the end, right after the service plate, the dinner knife is settled.

Where are the glasses settled in an informal setting?

To right corner

  • Two glasses are usually used in an informal table setting. That is water and wine glass.
  • Both are placed at the top right corner.


  • In an informal table setting, a butter plate is not necessary. So, a butter knife is not always used.
  • All the utensils should be spaced evenly from each other. And their bottoms should be aligned with the charger or service plate.


Basic Table setting

Setting the table for your kitty and dinner parties will be easier if you’re used to the primary table setting. Make your serving quick by placing cutlery and dinner plates in their proper place.

General rules

  1. Lay down the table mat on the table where you are about to serve.
  2. Put the dinner plate in the center.
  3. On the left side, place the dinner fork on a nicely folded napkin.
  4. The dinner knife and spoon are placed on the right side, spaced evenly.
  5. On the top-right corner, the water is settled.

This is how basic table setting involves in just a few simple steps.

Wrapping up

When you spend several hours preparing delicious food for your family or friends, then don’t end up serving it inappropriately. To organize your meal on a dining table nicely, follow these simple guidelines stated above. Dinner plates, cutlery, glasses, and glass water filters are mandatory in all the placements.

However, Butterknife has not used all the table placements. But whenever it includes, it is placed on the butter plate. It depends upon the food courses and the events you organized at your place.