Different Types of Food and Beverage Services in Hotels | Restaurants
There are many different types of food and beverage service types or procedures, but the major category of the food service is 1) Plate Service, 2) Cart Service, 3) Plater Service, 4) Buffet Service and 5) Family style service.
1. Table Service / What is a Table service?
Table service is considered as 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 laid cover and orders from the menu.
The guest has to be greeted with an 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 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 to side stations, kitchen, dishwashing area etc. to be only offered is all other tables are full.
The menu to be presented after opening to the women first, then the host and clockwise for other guests.
Special attention 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 a 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 to control the portion sizes.
This is because the last guest who gets served may not get enough item if other guest had taken more.
3. French Service / What is a French service?
French Service is a very detailed and highly skilled type of service.
It is very elaborate and expensive type of service.
The chefs demonstrate culinary skill, by preparing meals in front of the guests.
Normally all fine dining restaurants follow this type of service.
VIP’s and VVIP’s are also given this kind of service style.
Plated entrees are served from the right, all other courses from the left.
Beverages are served from the right.
French Service style is very expensive because it involves professional waiters to the server properly and slowly.
The ambience and decor of the restaurant are always in high luxury.
All diners are given the individual attention and they enjoy.
Note: Read about 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.
Due to the fact that silver cutlery and crockery are expensive, EPNS (Electroplated Nickel Silver) service ware is used most commonly in hotels and restaurants.
Only fine dining or speciality 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 is the table side station normally with hotel plates.
During serving the waiter present the food to the host for approval and serves to the guests.
A service spoon and fork is 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 guests 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 bring the food to the restaurant and placed 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 the 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 the Chefs should know how to use a spoon and fork for serving the cooked food to the guest.
The prepared food should be garnished as per the standards before serving.
This type of F&B service can be only implemented on 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 personalised 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. Snak 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 itself.
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 BAR and Pubs.
9. Self Service / What is a Self Service?
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 prior to the food pickup or after food is picked up.
The layout for such 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, they would like to eat.
Plate and cutlery (fork and spoon) is kept at the starting of the buffet counter.
There are servers behind the counter who helps the guests with serving the food from the chafing dish to the plate.
Buffet can be a simple food spread to very elaborate food, beverage, starters, dessert, salad presentation.
The staff should consistently keep the buffet containers full.
In some kind of buffet setup like sit-down buffet serves to serve the food to the guest sitting the table.
There are on the spot cooking in some buffet counter eg. counters which cook the displayed fish or meat, or counters for pasta etc.
Guest are also allowed to replenish any item they prefer.
Special attention and planning are required for buffet layout.
The recommended number of guests one a buffet counter can server is 70 - 75.
The number of buffet counter and the banquet layout to be decided as per the total min guaranteed guests who will attend the party.
This type of service is recommended for large gathering or party.
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 limited or fixed menu.
The pricing may or may not be at a subsidised rate.
Entry to such cafeteria may be restricted to authorised people only.
There is limited space with basic facilities.
Clearance of the used plates and soon is done by the guest itself.
Narrow tables with high tables are often placed to save space.
12. Sngle 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 receive the food and beverage.
Most of the fast food, takeaways, Kiosk, 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 per the name suggest is provided in the guest room.
The room service menu should match with the guest needs, expectations and hotels operations.
Guest make food and beverage order from the room telephone, interactive television or hotels mobile app.
Maximum of the room service orders in a hotel is for breakfast.
For small orders the room service tray is properly laid out 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.
Take away 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 restaurant provide take away option.
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 send to the floor with a mini mobile pantry.
- In-Room Dining staff picks up the food from the floor and serve to the guest room.
16. Blue Plate Service / What is a Blue Plate Service?
Blue plate service is a type of table service commonly use for a small group of guests.
Normally the table and dining area is 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 Conveyer Belt Service?
Food and beverage are served to guest via a conveyer belt.
Guest makes the order via the restaurants or hotels mobile app after selecting the table or seat number.
Food is then delivered via a conveyer belt to the table.
There are restaurants with continues conveyer belt circulating around the counter, chef places the prepared dishes on the conveyer belt. Eg: 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 hotels or cruise liners mobile app installed are also used for selecting the orders.
Normally these type of Robotic arm is used to prepare cocktails and mocktails in BAR.