Food & Beverage Service Basics, Style, Sequences

Food & Beverage Service Basics, Techniques (Style) & Sequences :A restaurant is a commercial establishment committed to the sale of food & beverage. A restaurant may be a licensed part of a hotel operation, whereby the sales of the restaurant contributes to the sales performance of the hotel as a whole. Restaurants are also independent business entities under individual ownership & management.

Different types of restaurants:

Restaurants (in general)
A restaurant is a retail establishment that serves prepared food to customers. Food & Beverage Service is generally for eating on premises, though the term has been used to describe take-out establishments & food delivery services. The term covers many types of venues & a diversity of styles of cuisine & service.

Coffee Shop/Diner
A concept borrowed from the United States, distinguished by its quick Food & Beverage service. Food is pre-plate and/ or combined with buffet service & the atmosphere informal. Table cover layouts are less elaborate & have basic essentials only. Diners are characterized by a wide range of foods, a casual atmosphere, a counter, & late operating hours.

Specialty/Ethno/Ethnic Restaurant
The entire atmosphere & décor are geared to a particular type of cuisine. Thus restaurants, which offer Chinese, Japanese, Indian cuisine would be termed “specialty restaurants”. The Food & Beverage service is based more or less on the style of the country from which the particular cuisine originates.

Theme Restaurants
Restaurants in which the concept of the restaurant takes priority over everything else, influencing the architecture, food, music, & overall ‘feel’ of the restaurant. The food usually takes a backseat to the presentation of the theme, & these restaurants attract customers solely on the premise of the theme itself.

Gourmet Restaurant
These are high class calibers, serving up more exquisite food & beverage service, thus mostly also a more expensive cuisine. An expected five star/ diamond service with appropriate table layout & atmosphere is to be experienced in such establishments.

While originating as a part of Neapolitan cuisine, the dish has become popular in many different parts of the world. A shop or restaurant where pizzas are made & sold is called a “pizzeria”. In restaurants, pizza can be baked in a gas oven with stone bricks above the heat source, an electric deck oven, a conveyor belt oven or, in the case of more expensive restaurants, a wood- or coal-fired brick oven.

A rotisserie has also become known as a restaurant specializing in spit-roasted meat & chicken. The word comes from French where it first appeared in Paris shops around 1450. Additionally in restaurants a “rotisseur” is the chef responsible for all spit-roasted, oven roasted, grilled & in some cases fried foods.

A bistro is a small restaurant serving moderately-priced simple meals in a modest setting. The concept developed in Paris, France. Bistros are defined mostly by the foods they serve. Slow-cooked foods like braised meats are typical.

In France, a brasserie is a café doubling as a restaurant with a relaxed setting, which serves single dishes & other meals. It can be expected to have professional Food & Beverage service & printed menus (unlike a bistro which may have neither), but more informal eating hours than a full-fledged restaurant. The word ‘brasserie’ is also French for brewery and, by extension, “the brewing business”.

In a cafeteria is little or no table Food & Beverage service, whether a restaurant or within an institution such as a large office building or school; a school dining location is also referred to as a canteen or dining hall.
Cafeterias are different from coffeehouses, although that is the Spanish meaning of the American word. Instead of table service, there are food-serving counters/ stalls, either in a line or allowing arbitrary walking paths.

Tea room/Tea house
A tea house or tearoom is a venue centered on drinking tea. Their function varies widely depending on the culture, & some cultures have a variety of distinct tea-centered houses or parlors that all qualify under the English language term “tea house” or “tea room”.

Fast Food Gastronomy
A fast food restaurant is a specific type of restaurant characterized both by its fast food cuisine & by minimal table Food & Beverage service. Food served in fast food restaurants typically caters to a Western-style diet & is offered from a limited menu; is cooked in bulk in advance & kept hot; is finished & packaged to order; & is usually available ready to take away, though seating may be provided.

A bar (also called a pub or tavern) is a business that serves drinks, especially alcoholic beverages
such as beer, liquor, & mixed drinks, for consumption on the premises. Bars provide stools or chairs for the patrons along tables or raised counters. Some bars have entertainment on a stage, such as a live band, comedians or a floor show. Bars that are part of hotels are sometimes called “long bars” or “hotel lounges”.

A coffeehouse is an establishment which primarily serves prepared coffee or other hot beverages. It shares some of the characteristics of a bar, & some of the characteristics of a restaurant, but it is different from a cafeteria. As the name suggests, coffeehouses focus on providing coffee & tea as well as light snacks. This differs from a café, which is an informal restaurant, offering a range of hot meals, & possibly being licensed to serve alcohol.

French cafés offer a wider menu, although it is not common for customers to order a full meal.
American cafés may or may not serve alcoholic beverages, & the serving of coffee is incidental to the serving of food. British cafés, however, do not sell alcohol. In Europe, cafés often have an enclosed or outdoor section extending onto the sidewalk.

Enoteca is an Italian word which literally means ”wine library”, which is used to describe a special type of local or regional wine shop which originated in Italy, but which has also spread to some other countries. A genuine enoteca is primarily directed at visitors/tourists which have the possibility to buy local wines & to taste these wines at a reasonable fee. The reason such establishments were named after ”wine libraries” was that they were intended as a hands-on source of information on local wines rather than as regular outlets for larger quantities of each wine, or primarily intended for established customers.

Food & Beverage Service Techniques (Style) & Sequences

Food & Beverage Service techniques depend on the following criteria :
1. Service Time
2. Time available the guest has to spend in the restaurant
3. Type of client
4. Food & Beverage Service material
5. Qualification of associates
6. Art, style & capacity of the restaurant

Classification of Food & Beverage Service Techniques – How do we serve the food to the guest?

1. Food & Beverage Service by plate/Pre-plated service/American Service
Pre-plated Food & Beverage service means that the food is served on the guest’s plate, prepared in the kitchen & brought to the guest. This type of Food & Beverage service is commonly used in restaurants where Food & Beverage service is required to be fast or formal. The plates are always served from the right side.
This type of service is suitable for:
A la carte service, banquets, gourmet menus, single components within a menu (first course, mains, desserts etc.)

2. Food & Beverage Service by platter/English Service – Silver service
Food is brought on platters by the waiter. Each guest has a pre-heated plate on the table. The waiter serves from the platter, always from the left side onto the guest’s plate. For “supplement” service the waiter replenishes new platters from the kitchen.
This type of Food & Beverage service is suitable for:
Small banquets, gourmet a la carte restaurants, “supplement” service, family hotels & events with guests of different age
Silver service is the name given to the highest standard of table service. This usually includes serving at table. It is often performed by a silver service “waiter” using service forks & spoons from the customers left. In France, this kind of service is known as “English Service”.
•Silver service is always served from the left.
•Meals are served to the customer from platters, not plated in the kitchen.
•The guest to the host’s right is served first.
•Service continues clockwise.
•Plates are cleared from the right.
Glasses are stacked in a diagonal to the right & away, with wine (by course) in order, & then lastly, water glass in front.

3. Guèridon service/Service from a trolley with heating elements
The platters from the kitchen are presented to the guest/ host first, then the waiter places the platters on the sideboard/ trolley with heating elements. The hot plates for the guests are placed in front of the platters. The waiter serves each item from the different platters onto the hot guest plates & distributes all prepared plates until each guest has its plate. The platters are presented from the left side, the plates are served from the right side. The waiter serves each guest using a service spoon & fork. This type of Food & Beverage service is a very elegant service technique & needs professional waiters & time.

This type of Food & Beverage service is suitable for:
A la carte service, banquets.

4. Voiture service/Service from a chilled or heated trolley
Specialties or daily specials/ sets are presented from a moveable (sometimes heated) trolley, & served on a chilled or heated plate. Salads, cheese or sweets can also be served from the trolley.
This type of Food & Beverage service is suitable for:
Business lunch, combined with buffets or brunches to relief the kitchen during peak times

5. Buffet service
• Buffets cater cold or hot food & beverage items.
• Buffets can also be part of a menu like a salad-, first course-, or dessert buffet.
• Buffets can be themed such as a farmer-, American-, or International buffet.
• It depends also on the time of the day like a breakfast, brunch, or lunch buffet.
• Or it can be even a beverage, aperitif, liqueur, or coffee-break buffet
We differentiate between self serviced & served buffets. Self-service buffets are operated in a one-way direction. The guest picks first the plate, then the first courses, followed with the hot items, finished by the dessert section.
This Food & Beverage service is besides the hotel also seen in industrial canteens, colleges, hospitals or cafeterias.
The guest may have to buy coupons. Sometimes food is displayed behind the counter & the guests may indicate their choice to the counter attendant.

This type of Food & Beverage service is suitable for:
Large banquets, festive banquets, single courses or parts of a menu.

Classification of Food & Beverage Service Sequences

1. French Service/Family Service
The food is pre-platted & presented from the left side & placed in the middle of the table. The guest serves themselves. This type of Food & Beverage service is popular in the French & Asian cuisine (i.e. Thai), also for fondue specialty restaurants. Commonly seen combined with the table d’hôte service.
French service is suitable for:
Resorts, family hotels & resorts, group hotels, seminar hotels.

2. A la Carte service
À la carte or a la carte is a French expression meaning “from the menu”, & it is used in restaurant terminology in one of two ways
• It may refer to a menu of items priced & ordered separately.
• It may designate the option to order a main course item along with the choice of an accompanied side dish included with the dish, at no extra charge.

Service techniques used:
Pre-plated service, platted service, French service, Voiture service

3. Table d’hôte service
A French phrase which literally means “host’s table”. It is used in restaurant terminology to indicate a menu where multi-course meals with limited choices are charged at a fixed price. Such a menu may also be called “prix fixe” (“fixed price”). Because the menu is set, the cutlery on the table may also already be set for all of the courses, with the first course cutlery on the outside, working in towards the plate as the courses progress.
Food & Beverage Service techniques used:
Pre-plated service, platted service, French service

4. Banquet service
A banquet is a large public meal or feast/ event, complete with first, main courses & desserts. It usually serves a purpose, such as a charitable gathering, a ceremony, or a celebration. The menu, the time & the location is given; also a banquet is always for a group.
Food & Beverage Service techniques used:
Pre-plated service, platted service, French service, Guèridon service, buffet service

5. Room service
Basically a part or a separate menu available to guests served in their room. Also used in hospitals, residences for elderly people etc. The service might be available around the clock or within a specific time frame.

6. Catering service
Depending on the event, food & beverages, cutlery, chinaware, stainless & glassware is served outside the premises. It is either a banquet service or a food delivery catered served by the hotel / resort or company.

Basic Food & Beverage Service Rules

There are basic principles in food & beverage service that a waiter must know & follow:
1. In service always walk on the right side.
2. Never make an abrupt stop whilst walking (The waiter behind you may run into you).
3. Always walk forward not backwards.
4. The service napkin is either on the service station or in the vest pocket.
5. The left hand holds the plate, the right hand serves it.
6. When food is served by the waiter at the table from a platter onto a guest plate, the service is done from the left.
7. When food is pre-plated the service to the guest is usually done from the right, though modern convention permits service from the left also.
8. Beverages are served from the right.
9. Soups are served from the right unless it is poured by a waiter from a large tureen into a soup cup in which case it is done from the left of the guest.
10. Bread & butter are served from the left.
11. The fish bowl is served from the left.
12. Ladies are always served first, the oldest before the youngest.
13. Never reach across a customer. Hence, when a guest is present at the table, all items & equipment on the right of the guest must be placed from the right & items on the left from the left.
14. Always clear plates when all customers have finished eaten.
15. During clearing or moving food to another plate, slightly turn away.
16. Clearing is done the same way then serving, clockwise & from the right.
17. Never turn your back to the guest whilst talking or working in front of him.
18. Hot dishes from the menu are served on a hot plate, cold items from the menu is served on a cold plate.
19. For birthday, anniversary or honorable events in general, the honored person is always served first. But if it is a hosted dinner, the host is always served last.
20. Kids are always served first when accompanied by their parents.
21. Always serve Cutlery & glasses from a service tray.
22. Each drink is served in its respective glass type.
23. Never carry more then four plates when clearing tables.
24. Bread plate, butter, salt & pepper is cleared after main course, unless cheese is served for dessert.
25. If cheese is ordered, clean cutlery is to be set.
26. After main course is cleared always use a table crumbler. (Table crumbler)
27. The host or person ordered the wine always tastes the wine, unless the person wishes that another guest tastes the wine.
28. White wine & Champagne is opened on the table or for Champagne in the hands but never in the wine cooler.
29. White wine & Champagne is served with a wine/ service napkin to avoid temperature increase & for protection.
30. The label faces always the guest when opening a bottle.
31. If wine is served out of a wine rack/ holder (not decanted wines), wine glasses are taken out touched on the stem & slightly turned before pouring.
32. Wines are to be tasted by the host before decanting.
33. An ashtray is full & to be cleared after one cigarette bud.
34. For Guèridon service; always use both hands to serve each item on the guest plate.
35. For banquets; always remove the napkins after coffee service.
36. Never ever place a service tray or cleared plates on a set, clean or by guests used table.
37. Dome covers are removed straight back to the kitchen & not left on the guest table.
38. Always use large spoon & fork for service cutlery (service by platters, on buffets).
39. Sauces, condiments or bowls are always served with an under plate & doily.
40. Wine capsule is opened below the lip.
41. Don’t turn the bottle when opening the bottle with a corkscrew.
42. Always remove all empty glasses before coffee is served.

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