Debenhams bosses point out that even when people do arm themselves with cutlery, it is more often just a fork.
They have reported this change in the use of cutlery among the English at a time when pizza firm Domino's has announced that it has bucked the credit crunch with a huge 25 per cent rise in profits.
They have now launched a "civilized dining campaign" to help lure Brits back to the dining table and cutlery.
"Using both a knife and a fork to eat has held this country in good stead for centuries, it's one of the mainstays of being British. It is all about maintaining standards," the Daily Star quoted spokesman Ed Watson as saying.
"So we want to act now before the single fork habit becomes ingrained in the next generation," he added.
According to Domino's, its sponsorship of Britain's Got Talent was behind profits rising by a quarter to 13.6million pounds in the past six months.
The firm is also expanding and taking on staff despite the recession. br>