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How to Clear Soiled Plates in Restaurant | Coffeeshop?

SOP Number: F&B SOP - 49 - Clear Soiled Plates

Department: Food and Beverage Service – Restaurant

Date Issued: 09-07-2018

Time to Train: 30 Min

Purpose of this SOP:

A table that is not properly cleared can easily create a bad impression. The Restaurant staff should strive towards having a few items on the tables as possible.

It is also important to clear the table in the correct way and without bothering the guest in order to deliver quality service. Therefore it is very important to ensure that the concerned F&B employees know how to clear soiled plates in a professional manner and by following the hotels operating procedures and standards.

1. Preparation for clearing soiled plates:

  1. Keep good eye contact with the table and prepare to clear the soiled plates.

  2. Only proceed when all the guests have finished their course, all plates, cutlery and side dishes related to the dish must be removed.

  3. For removing equipment from the table, the same service rules apply as for serving the items.

  4. If the item is served from the right, it must be removed the right.

  5. Of course, if the guest is not easily reachable from that side, one shall collect the items from the other side.

  6. The guests on the table have finished eating.

  7. The cutlery is placed together on the plate.

  8. There is nothing left on the plate.

2. Approach the table:

  1. With a genuine smile.

  2. Ensure good body posture.

  3. Then say:  “Did you enjoy your main course/dessert/starter?”  /  “Excuse me, Sir/Madam, may I take/clear your plate?”

  4. Always keep eye contact without staring at the guest

3. Clearing the soiled plates:

  1. From the right hand side of the guest.

  2. Ladies first, eldest to youngest, before the gentlemen.

  3. Or plates with most left-over’s first.

  4. With an open arm, pick up the 1st plate in your right hand, turn slightly left and away from the guest and transfer the plate to your left hand.

  5. Put your thumb on the end of the fork.

  6. Place the knife under the fork across the plate.

  7. Move clockwise to the next guest.

  8. Pick up the 2nd plate with your right hand.

  9. Transfer the 2nd plate to your left hand using the plate carrying technique.

  10. As you turn away from the guest carefully scrape.

  11. Any food items onto the 1st plate.

  12. Continue to place all the cutlery on the first plate & in the correct position.

  13. Move clockwise to the next guest.

  14. Pick up the 3rd plate with your right hand & place directly on the 2nd plate.

  15. As you turn away from the guest carefully scrape any food items onto the 1st plate.

  16. Continue this process until you have max. 6 soiled plates in your left hand.

  17. Make sure the plates are well balanced and that all food items & all cutlery are on the first plate Leave table and place the soiled plates at the designated area.

  18. Take special care not to spill any food items.

4. Other Points to note while clearing plates:

  1. Approach the guest from the left-hand side to avoid reaching across the guest to collect the plates.

  2. Pick up the bread & butter plates one by one & use the plate carrying technique.

  3. No more than 6 plates at the time.

  4. Make sure soiled plates are cleared in a timely manner.

  5. Clear other tables if your hands are empty.

  6. Make sure you clear from the right-hand side of the guest, always walking clockwise.

  7. Try to upsell while clearing the table.

  8. To help the stewarding, place soiled dishes correctly in the dishwashing area.

  9. Keep constant eye contact, and make sure the guest has not to call for you.

  10. Leave the plates at the designated cleaning area/dishwashing area.

Training Summary questions:

Q1. What is the purpose of this SOP?

Q2. How to prepare for removing soiled plates?

Q3. What are the points to note while approaching the guest table for clearance?

Q4. Maximum of how many soiled plates can be carried at a time?

Q5. Explain the process of clearing soiled plates?

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Authored and managed by Augustine, a hotelier with over 20 years of experience in the industry. He has a 3-year diploma with 'honors' from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute and a Bachelor of Computer Application - BCA Degree.