Why Do Salad Forks Have Notched Tines?

A salad fork normally has notched tines to help cut the vegetables in a salad. The tines are especially helpful in providing leverage when cutting through the thick veins in lettuce leaves.

Used in both formal and informal dining, a salad fork often has tines that are flatter and wider than a typical dinner fork. A salad fork, about 6 inches long, is normally smaller than a regular fork.

Some restaurants set two dinner forks with the silverware service, instead of providing a special salad fork. Other restaurants may choose to set the table with only one fork, if a salad course is not served as a normal part of the meal.