TYPES OF FOOD SERVICE There is a variety of food service; the type used in any establishment will depend on a number of factors:
• the policy of the establishment
• the type, size and site of the establishment
• the time available
• the type and number of customers
• the type of menu and its cost
For most types of food service customers are seated at a laid table and served by one or a combination of the following service methods.
Service methods: Silver/English, French/Butler, American/Plate, Russian, Family, Buffet, Gueridon.
Silver (English) service
This usually includes serving food at the table. It is a technique of transferring food from a service dish/platter or flat to the guest’s plate from the left. It is performed by a waiter usually using service fork and spoon, although occasionally two forks, two fish knives or some other type of specialist service equipment. This technique requires much practice. It is almost always used, e.g., for a banquet, in many top class hotels, restaurants and cruise liners. Waiter is holding platter in the left hand serving from the left side of the customer, using a fork and spoon.
French (Butler) Service
A very exclusive and personalised service in which emphasis is on the presentation of the food as much as is on the quality and taste. The food is individually presented on dishes, platters or flats to each customers by staff for customers and they help themselves from a serving plate held by the waiter(butler)or can be placed directly on the table. It requires highly skilled staff and is found in luxury dining establishments. Waiter is holding platter in his left arm or putting platters on the table so the customer can help themselves. Always presenting platter first. Waiter always serving from the left side of the customer.
This type of service is found in a wide variety of catering establishments and is probably the most common style of food service. Food is pre-plated in the kitchen and served to customers, sometimes under cloche/plate covers which are removed in front of the guests. The advantages of this type of service include the maintenance of food presentation and portions, and the possibility of a faster turnover of customers. Waiter is always serving from the right side of the customer. Dishes are prepared and decorated in the kitchen and then served. Appetizers, soups, main course and desert.
It is a manner of dining that involves courses being brought to the table sequentially. The table is laid with food and the customers help themselves.
Main courses are plated with dishes of vegetables placed on the table for customers to help themselves; e.g. ethnic restaurants.
In the buffet style is all of the food available, at the correct temperature, in a serving space other than the dining table, and guests commute there to be served or sometimes to serve themselves, and then carry their plate back to the table. Tableware and napkins may be conveniently located on the buffet table for the guests to pick up with their meals. Buffets vary from the very informal to the rather formal setting of a wedding reception, for example. The buffet format is preferred in occasions where a very large number of guests are to be accommodated efficiently by a small number of service personnel. It requires highly and is found in luxury dining establishment s.
Gueridon service is a form of food service provided by restaurants to their customers. Generally foods are precooked in kitchen and then waiter does the final work in direct view of the guests, using a “gueridon”. This type of service includes preparing food (salads, main dishes or desserts). The waiter has to carry out such procedures as filleting, carving, flambéing and cooking speciality at the table. Special equipment and tableware are required on the trolley for ease of operation. It is the most advanced form and demands dexterity and skill on the part of the waiter who in turn must have good organizational ability. Gueridon Service needs high skill, great knowledge, pure concentration and years of experience. First, the waiter shows the customer the meal. Waiter is using two hands. Plating the plates and serving them from the right of the customer. A gueridon typically consists of a trolley that is equipped to prepare, cook and serve food. There is a gas hob, chopping board, cutlery drawer, cold store (depending on the trolley type) and general working area.
The luxuries of having a personal chef aren’t reserved for the wealthy and famous.