If you are looking for flatware that is good quality, with a beautiful shine, but not overly expensive, consider a flatware collection made from 18/8 stainless steel. 18/8 stainless steel is made with an 18% chromium content and an 8% nickel content. Since Chromium is a hard, white metal with corrosion-resistant properties, it adds to the durability and longevity of the steel alloy. Nickel is a silvery, white metal with stain-resistant qualities of its own, plus it increases the silvery shine of the alloy, highly sought after in fine dining flatware. When chromium and nickel are combined, the nickel enhances the stain-resistance of the chromium and the stainless steel alloy lasts longer and stays shinier and brighter.
While 18/8 stainless steel is just as strong and hard as other grades of stainless steel, it is more corrosion resistant than 18/0 stainless steel and less so than 18/10 stainless steel. Because of its percentage of nickel, the stainless steel alloy is a more expensive metal than an alloy without nickel. As such, 18/8 stainless steel flatware looks great and keeps its shine, but costs more than 18/0 stainless and less than 18/10 stainless flatware.
Note that some people have nickel contact allergies, so using 18/8 flatware would not be ideal for those customers. However, for the foodservice establishment that is looking to save a bit of money, but would prefer an elegant looking collection of flatware table settings, the 18/8 stainless steel flatware that is available on Restaurant Supply.com is an excellent alternative to the more expensive silverware collections.