Different Types of Service in Hotels – Types of F&B Service
When it comes to hotels, there are various types of services that guests can expect to receive. The most basic type of service is room service, where guests can order food and drinks to be delivered to their room. This service is usually available 24/7 and can be a convenient option for guests who prefer to dine in the comfort of their own room.
Another type of service that many hotels offer is housekeeping. Housekeeping is responsible for cleaning and maintaining guest rooms, as well as providing fresh towels and linens. This service is usually provided daily, but guests can request to have their room cleaned less frequently if they prefer.
For guests who require additional amenities, many hotels offer concierge services. Concierge services can help with everything from making restaurant reservations to booking tours and activities. They can also provide information about local attractions and transportation options.
Some hotels also offer spa services, such as massages, facials, and body treatments. These services can be a great way for guests to unwind and relax during their stay.
Overall, the type of service that guests can expect to receive at a hotel will depend on the hotel’s level of luxury and the guest’s individual needs and preferences. However, regardless of the type of service provided, hotels strive to ensure that their guests have an enjoyable and comfortable stay.
There are many different types of food and beverage service types or procedures, but the major category of food service is 1) Plate Service, 2) Cart Service, 3) Plater Service, 4) Buffet Service, and 5) Family style service.
Below is the list of different types of food and beverage services followed by hotels, resorts, restaurants, fast food establishments:
1. Table Service / What is a Table service?
- Table service is considered a border category of service style which consists of English Service, American Service, Pre plated Service Etc.
- In this type of f&B service, the guest is seated at the table with a laid cover and orders from the menu.
- The guest has to be greeted with eye contact and a warm welcome.
- The server or waiter should normally address the guest by sir or madam.
- If the server knows the guest’s name then they should address the guest by their Surname and title.
- Assist the guest in seating as per the number of persons or any special requests.
- While seating the guests the least desirable areas like the tables near side stations, kitchen, dishwashing area, etc. to be only offered if all other tables are full.
- The menu is to be presented after opening to the women first, then the host, and clockwise for other guests.
- Special attention is to be given to kids.
- When serving the guest orders the server or waiter should have a good understanding of who ordered what dishes.
2. English Service / What is an English Service / Family Style F&B Service?
- English service requires the food to be placed on large platters or in large bowls.
- These food portions are then delivered to the guest’s table by waiters/servers.
- Once the host checks and approves the food the same is placed on the table.
- The guests then pass the food around the table and serve themselves.
- In some cases, the host may also ask the waiter to serve the food.
- This is a common type of F&B service style as the ease of service and waiters shouldn’t be highly skilled.
- The Family style F&B service is easy to implement.
- The servers or waiters shouldn’t be that much skilled.
- This type of service also requires little dining area or space. There is a higher or rapid table turnover rate with this type of service.
- One of the major disadvantages of the family-style service is the difficulty in controlling portion sizes.
- This is because the last guest who gets served may not get enough items if other guests have taken more.
3. French Service / What is a French service?
- French Service is a very detailed and highly skilled type of service.
- It is a very elaborate and expensive type of service.
- The chefs demonstrate culinary skills, by preparing meals in front of the guests.
- Normally all fine dining restaurants follow this type of service.
- VIPs and VVIPs are also given this kind of service style.
- Plated entrees are served from the right and all other courses from the left.
- Beverages are served from the right.
- The French Service style is very expensive because it involves professional waiters to the server properly and slowly.
- The ambiance and decor of the restaurant are always in high luxury.
- All diners are given individual attention and they enjoy it.
Note: Read about the French Classical Menu
4. Silver Service / What is a Silver Service?
- The service style is similar to the French Service and Guèridon Service.
- The difference is an elaborate sterling silverware is used for the food and beverage service.
- Because silver cutlery and crockery are expensive, EPNS (Electroplated Nickel Silver) serviceware is used most commonly in hotels and restaurants.
- Only fine dining or specialty restaurants use silverware due to the high investment and maintenance cost.
- In this kind of service, the food and beverages are served in silver cutlery and cookery.
- The table is normally set with sterling silverware.
- All food is portioned into silverware from the kitchen itself.
- The silver platters are kept in the table side station normally with hotel plates.
- During serving the waiter presents the food to the host for approval and serves it to the guests.
- A service spoon and fork are used for serving.
5. American Service / What is an American / Pre-plated service?
- One of the most common and widely accepted kinds of food and beverage service.
- The servers take guest’s orders in the dining area.
- The order is sent to kitchen staff via KOT (Kitchen Order Ticket).
- Food is prepared and pre-plated in the kitchen itself by the chef.
- The server or bus person brings the food to the restaurant and places it on side stands.
- Pre-plated food is then served to the guests by the server.
6. Russian Service / What is a Russian service?
- Similar to the French Service but faster and less expensive.
- Display and presentation are the major part of this service.
- Whole joints, poultry, game, fish, etc are elaborately garnished and dressed.
- After presenting to the guest the server or waiter portions or carve them and serve to the guests.
- Normally only one server is required per table.
- No extra space is required for the equipment like the French F&B service type.
- Ideally suited for banquet service with a fixed menu.
7. Cart Service / What is a Guèridon Service / Cart Service?
- In this type of F&B Service partially cooked food from the kitchen is brought to the service area in a Guèridon trolley.
- The Gueridon troll has a portable heating unit for completing the cooking process.
- A wide variety of fish, meat, and poultry is either cooked or flamed (flambéed) in the trolley.
- Chef du Rang is responsible for taking orders, serving drinks, and preparing food at the table.
- In a large hotel, Commis du rang assists the Chef du rang.
- Both Chefs should know how to use a spoon and fork to serve the cooked food to the guests.
- The prepared food should be garnished as per the standards before serving.
- This type of F&B service can be only implemented in a well-planned and designed dining room.
- The Food is always served from the right-hand side of the guest.
- All the fixtures furniture, layout etc should be compatible with the elegant service style offered.
- Gueridon Type of F&B service provides highly personalized guest service.
- High level of customer satisfaction as the dishes are prepared, carved, or flamed in their presence.
- Good merchandising device.
- The average Spending power is high.
8. Snack Bar Service / What is a Snack bar service?
- A Tall stool is placed on a counter so the guest may order and eat at the counter.
- A menu card is presented or the guests can choose the food directly from the display counter.
- In some restaurants, the available items are simply displayed on a blackboard or LCD monitor.
- This kind of service is normally followed in bars and Pubs.
9. Self-Service / What is a Self-Service?
“self-service” refers to a dining model where customers play an active role in selecting, ordering, and sometimes even serving their food. This approach is designed to provide diners with more control and convenience in the dining experience. Here are several aspects of self-service in restaurants:
- Buffets: Buffet-style dining is a common form of self-service where customers can serve themselves from a variety of dishes arranged on a table or counter. Buffets are often used for breakfast, lunch, or dinner service and can include a range of options such as salads, main courses, and desserts.
- Cafeteria Style: In a cafeteria-style restaurant, customers typically move along a counter or display area, choosing their desired dishes from a selection. They may then proceed to a checkout or payment counter before finding a place to sit and enjoy their meal.
- Fast Casual Restaurants: Many fast-casual establishments employ a self-service model. Customers often order and pay at a counter, sometimes using self-ordering kiosks or mobile apps, and then receive their food at a designated pick-up area. This approach is a middle ground between fast-food and full-service dining.
- Self-Order Kiosks: Some restaurants, especially in the fast-food industry, have implemented self-order kiosks. Customers use these electronic kiosks to browse the menu, customize their orders, and make payments without interacting with a cashier.
- QR Code Menus: With the advancement of technology, some restaurants provide customers with QR codes on tables. By scanning the code with their smartphones, diners can access a digital menu, place orders, and pay without the need for a physical menu or interaction with waitstaff.
The self-service model in restaurants is often associated with faster service, increased efficiency, and lower labor costs for the establishment. However, it’s important to note that not all restaurants adopt a self-service approach, and traditional full-service dining, where customers are seated and served by waitstaff, remains a popular choice in many establishments. The choice between self-service and full-service often depends on the type of cuisine, target audience, and overall dining experience a restaurant aims to provide.
- In this type of Food and Beverage Service, the guest/customer is required to help himself/herself.
- Normally food is either kept on a counter or buffet.
- The customer picks up the required food from the buffet.
- Payment is either done before the food pickup or after the food is picked up.
- The layout for such an F&B service type should be done for free guest flow.
10. Buffet Service / What is a Buffet Service?
- Buffet service displays food in a chafing dish on counters or tables.
- Guests or customers help themselves to pick up as many and as many items, as they would like to eat.
- Plate and cutlery (fork and spoon) are kept at the start of the buffet counter.
- There are servers behind the counter who help the guests with serving the food from the chafing dish to the plate.
- A buffet can be a simple food spread to very elaborate food, beverages, starters, desserts, and salad presentations.
- The staff should consistently keep the buffet containers full.
- Some kind of buffet setup like a sit-down buffet serves to serve the food to the guests sitting at the table.
- There is on-the-spot cooking in some buffet counters eg. counters which cook the displayed fish or meat, or counters for pasta, etc.
- Guests are also allowed to replenish any item they prefer.
- Special attention and planning are required for the buffet layout.
- The recommended number of guests on a buffet counter can server is 70 – 75.
- The number of buffet counters and the banquet layout are to be decided as per the total min guaranteed guests who will attend the party.
- This type of service is recommended for large gatherings or parties.
- The banquet staff should maintain cleanliness and order during buffet service.
11. Cafeteria Service / What is a Cafeteria Service?
- This type of service is generally used in Canteens, Industries, Staff Cafeterias, etc.
- Has a limited or fixed menu.
- The pricing may or may not be at a subsidized rate.
- Entry to such a cafeteria may be restricted to authorized people only.
- There is limited space with basic facilities.
- Clearance of the used plates and so on is done by the guest itself.
- Narrow tables with high tables are often placed to save space.
12. Single Point Service / What is a Single Point Service?
- The guest pays for the food and beverage over the counter.
- From the same counter, he/she receives the food and beverage.
- Most of the fast food, takeaways, kiosks, drive-through, etc. are examples.
- Automated vending machines are also considered as single point F&B service.
13. Room Service – What is a Room Service / In Room Dining Service?
- This type of f&b service as the name suggests is provided in the guest room.
- The room service menu should match with the guest’s needs, expectations, and hotel operations.
- Guest make food and beverage orders from the room telephone, interactive television, or hotel mobile app.
- The maximum of the room service orders in a hotel is for breakfast.
- For small orders, the room service tray is properly laid out and is used for serving the guest.
- For large orders, a room service trolly is used for serving.
14. Take Away Service / What is a Take Away Service?
- Similar to the single-point style of F&B service.
- Takeaway orders are received either over the counter, driveway, telephone, website, or mobile app.
- Payments are either made in advance via online payment or paid by cash at the time of order pickup.
- All Fast food restaurants provide takeaway options.
- An automated Kiosk is also used for selecting and ordering takeaways.
- The automated vending machine is also used for this type of service.
15. Mobile Pantries / What is Mobile Pantries?
- These are moving food preparation pantries installed in service elevators.
- Orders taken by the order takers are passed on to the moving pantry.
- The food is then prepared and served on the appropriate floor.
- There are other types of mobile pantries where the food is prepared in the main kitchen and then sent to the floor with a mini mobile pantry.
- In-room dining staff picks up the food from the floor and serves it to the guest room.
16. Blue Plate Service / What is a Blue Plate Service?
- Blue plate service is a type of table service commonly used for a small group of guests.
- Normally the table and dining area are small in service.
- These are pre-plated meals with meat, veggies, etc.
- The serving plate might also have divided ridges.
17. What is Automatic or conveyor belt Service?
- Food and beverages are served to guests via a conveyor belt.
- Guest makes the order via the restaurant or hotel’s mobile app after selecting the table or seat number.
- Food is then delivered via a conveyor belt to the table.
- There are restaurants with continuous conveyor belts circulating the counter, chef places the prepared dishes on the conveyor belt. E.g.: Sushi Restaurant.
18. Robotic Service / What is Robotic Service?
- This type of service is often found in Casino’s and Luxury Cruise Liners
- Guest makes the order on an interactive touch screen after scanning their room key card.
- Selections are made from the touchscreen, which is then sent to the robotic arms processors.
- The order is then prepared by the Robotic arm and placed on a small conveyor belt.
- Payment is automatically charged to the guest room account.
- Smartphones with the hotel’s or cruise liner’s mobile app installed are also used for selecting the orders.
- Normally this type of Robotic arm is used to prepare cocktails and mocktails in BAR.
In conclusion, choosing the right type of food and beverage service for your hotel is crucial. Each service type has its advantages and disadvantages, and it's important to consider the needs of your guests when making this decision. From buffet service to plated service, there are a variety of options available that can cater to different tastes and preferences. Ultimately, providing excellent food and beverage service is a key element in creating a memorable experience for guests at your hotel. So take some time to evaluate the different types of F&B service available, and choose the one that best suits your hotel's unique needs.