What is the Russian Service?
Russian Service is a very elaborate service and this Russian service is also known as the Sideboard service. In this service style, large joints, roast poultry, whole fish, and so on, that have elaborate garnish, are neatly arranged on a platter, presented to the host, taken back to the sideboard, carved, portioned, and served to the guests with service spoon and fork.
After service, dishes are kept on a hot plate on the sideboard to keep them warm. Each course is served from the sideboard. Now Russian service is not practiced much in recent times. But this service is widely followed in institutional and industrial catering establishments.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Russian Service
Russian Service Advantages
- High level of guest satisfaction.
- Personalized service.
- Waiters have the scope to exhibit carving, portioning, and service skills.
- Good presentation.
Russian Service Disadvantages
- Calls for highly skilled staff, hence higher labor cost.
- More wait staff is required.
- Low seat turnover, like time taken for service, is more.
Russian Service Table Set Up
1. Russian service consists of a straight line of counters containing a variety of hot and cold dishes displayed in order. The customer starts from one end of the line, picks up a tray, and moves along the length of the counter to the rest tray while selecting the dish and passing along the line.
2. The cashier is seated at the end of the counter to rest the tray while selecting a dish and passing along the line. The cashier who is seated at the end of the counter makes the bill and collects payment. This is not required if the meals are pre-paid.
3. Normally, the service counter is separated from the dining area. Dishes are neatly plated in the kitchen by the kitchen staff and placed at the guest’s cover from the right-hand side.
4. The waiter should be able to carry at least three dished-out full plates to speed up the service. For a group of more than three guests, the waiter and the assistant waiter work as a team to place the plates. Using trays for transporting plates is not recommended.
5. Trays are used to carry dished-out cups and bowls. Cups are placed on the saucers and bowls are on the quarter with the appropriate spoons.
6. Let us assume that a waiter is carrying four bowls of minestrone soup to a table. He/she carries a pile of four quarter plates, a bunch of four soup spoons, and four bowls of minestrone soup on a tray. On reaching the table, standing at the right of the guest, the waiter places the bowl on a quarter plate, positions the soup spoon on the plate, and keeps it at the guest’s cover from the right-hand side in such a way that the spoon is to the right of the guest. He/she moves to the next guest and repeats the same.
7. Russian style of service is always followed in restaurants and hotels located in busy areas where service needs to be very quick. Coffee shops, fast food outlets, casual dining restaurants, and restaurants located in busy areas follow this service style.