what are the different types of food and beverage services

Different Types of Food and Beverage Services in Hotel

Food can include a wide range of styles and cuisine types. These can be classified by country.

Beverages include all alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Alcoholic beverages include wines and all other types of alcoholic drinks such as cocktails, beers and ciders, spirits, and liqueurs.

Foodservice industry there are a number of different industrial sectors and these are categorized according to the type of customer demand being met.

This identification of sectors also provides a framework for those studying the food and beverage service industry to which further studies and experience may be related.

What are the Different Types of Food and Beverage Services

Food and beverage services can be broadly classified into three main groups:

  • Waiter Service
  • Self-Service.
  • Assisted Service.

a) Waiter Service

In this type of F&B service method, food and beverages are served to guests by waiters at the guest’s place. It may be at a table in a restaurant, in a hotel room, on a flight, in a hospital, and so on.

Waiter service is further classified into the following service types:

1. English Service

It is also known as a Silver service. In the English service method, dishes are presented and transferred to the guest’s plate using a service spoon and fork from the left-hand side of the guest while beverages are served from the right-hand side.

It is regarded as a formal service. The waiter brings plates and dishes to the sideboard, places the plate before each guest from his/her right-hand side, moving clockwise.

He/she presents the main dish to the host and serves each guest, starting from the one seated to the right of the host. The server moves counterclockwise while serving food. This kind of service is implemented in upscale restaurants.

Points to remember while English service:

  • Serve food from dish/platter onto guest’s plate using service spoon and fork from the left-hand side.
  • Conduct clearance from the right-hand side.

Advantages of English service

  • Personalized service.
  • Customer satisfaction.
  • Waiters have the scope to exhibit their service skills.
  • No plate wastage.

Limitations of English service

  • Calls for a high level of service skills, hence more labor cost.
  • More staff required.
  • Low sent turnover.
  • Slow service.

2. American Service

In this service style, pre-plated foods are placed to customers from the right-hand side. Now it widely used for banqueting. This service style is also known as Plated service.

Advantages of American service

  • Service skill is not required.
  • Low labor cost.
  • Needs fewer waiters.
  • Quick service.
  • High seat turnover as service is fast.
  • The kitchen staff has scope for demonstrating their plating skills.

Disadvantages of American service

  • No personalized service.
  • Chances of plate wastage.
  • Food may become cold.
  • More of kitchen time and labor.

3. French Service

French service, which is also called family service. In French, this service is found in family pensions and banquets, where the dish is presented to each guest from the left-hand side to help himself/herself.

For a small party of two to three guests, dishes ordered by them are placed on the table with service implements and plates for the guests to help themselves.

This method is widely practiced in ethnic restaurants, especially in Chinese and Indian restaurants. Indian bread and accompanying dishes are kept on the table for guests to help themselves. If assistance is required, the waiter may help the guests in passing and serving the dish.

Advantages of French service

  • Service skills not required.
  • Low labor cost.
  • Quick service.
  • No plate wastage.

Disadvantages of French service

  • Service staff will not be able to demonstrate their service skills.
  • Food may go cold.
  • Guests may spill or burn themselves.
  • Needs more area of the table.
  • Guests may feel neglected.

4. Russian Service

This is a very elaborate service. In this Russian style of service, 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 so on, that have elaborate garnish, are neatly arranged on a platter.

After serving, dishes are kept on a hot plate in the side plate to keep them warm. Each course is served from the side plate. This service is not practiced much at this time.

5. Gueridon Service

Gueridon service is one of the methods of serving food. It is also known as the Trolley service or Cart service. It refers to a mobile service table or trolley, from which a dish may be dressed, prepared, carved, and flamed in the presence of guests near their table.

This type of service is implemented in fine dining restaurants where the “à la cart” menu is offered and the average spending power (ASAP) is higher.

Approches to Gueridon Service

For guéridon service, food orders are very similar, and all the dishes must be presented to the customer’s table before the actual service of the food and especially before any portioning.

Procedure for Gueridon Service

1. Guéridon service is essentially a chef and commis service. There must therefore be complete liaison and teamwork between them and the other members of the team.

2. Always push the guéridon, never pull it. This helps to control and steer the guéridon in the right direction and avoid accidents.

3. The trolley is kept in one position for the service of a complete course and not moved from customer to customer.

4. The commis must always keep the guéridon clear of dirties.

Advantages of Gueridon service

  • Highly personalized service.
  • Good marchendising device.
  • Wait staff can exhibit their culinary, carving, and service skills.
  • High average spending power (high revenue/cover).

Disadvantages of Gueridon service

  • Slow service.
  • Low seat turnover.
  • The chances of accidents are more.
  • More investment in in-service equipment.
  • Cooking in the service area may leave an odor.

6. Tray Service

In this form of f&b service in the hotel, dishes ordered by guests are neatly portioned and arranged on a tray with necessary culinary and taken to their rooms/beds/seats by waiters. Special trays are available to retain the temperature of dishes.

This style is practiced in-room service, hospitals, flights, and institutional catering. Customer’s orders are taken by room service order takers, dishes are arranged on a tray and served quickly in their rooms. Orders can be collected either from the kitchen or floor pantry.

Advantages of Tray service

  • Service skills are not required, hence low labor cost.

Disadvantages of Tray service

  • Tray area may not be adequate to accommodate more dishes unless the number of dishes and portion size is predetermined, as in the case of flight catering.
  • Waiters will not be able to exhibit their service skills.
  • No personalized service.
  • Food may go cold unless insulted trays are used.

Advantages of Counter service

  • Quick service.
  • Service skills not required.
  • Less staff required.
  • Low labor cost.
  • High seat turnover.

Disadvantages of Counter service

  • No personalized service.
  • No scope for talented wait staff to show their skill.

b) Self Service

The main form of Self-service is found in Cafeterias. In this form of service, customers collect a tray from the beginning of the service counter, move along the counter to select their meal, pay, and then collect the required cutlery for their meal, together with ancillary items.

Menus should be prominently displayed at the entrance to the cafeteria or food service area so that customers may decide as far as possible what meal they purchase before arriving at the service points. This saves time and ensures that the customer turnover is as quick as possible.

The menu offered may show a wide range of dishes from simply hot and cold snacks and beverages to full meals.

Cafeterias often have a straight line counter where customers queue in line formation past a service counter and choose their menu requirements in stages before loading them onto a tray and then proceeding to a payment point at the end of the counter. Where customer turnover is particularly high within a very narrow period of time, and when space is limited, then variations on the cafeteria straight line counter type service may operate.

For example:-

  • Free Flow: Selection as in the straight line counter type service, but the customer may move at will to random service points. These customers will then exit the service area via a payment point.
  • Echelon: Series of service counters at angles to the customer flow within a free flow area, thus saving space and time. The advantage of this system is that selecting a full meal does not hold up customers who require just a sandwich and hot drink.
  • Supermarket/Shopping Mall: Island service points within a free flow area.

c) Assisted Service

The main form of assisted service is found in carvery-type operations. The customer is served part of the meal at a table and is required to obtain part through self-service from some form of display or buffet.

Customers are able to obtain part through self-service from some form of display or buffet. Customers are able to help themselves from carved joints and other dishes, usually with the assistance of a carver or server at the buffet. This form of service is also used for breakfast service.

Assisted service is further classified into the following types:

1. Single Point Service

The main forms of single-point service are found in the following-

  • Takeaways: The customer orders and is served from a single point at a counter, hatch, or snack stand, the customers consume off the premises although some takeaway establishments provide dining areas.
  • Vending: Provision of food service and beverage service by means of automatic retailing.
  • Bars: Order, service and payment point, and consumption area in licensed premises.

2. Cafeteria/Counter Service

Within the seating area, an allowance of about 0.5 to 1 m per person is sufficient to take account of table space, gangways, and access to counters.

A tray stand is placed at the beginning of the service counter or at the entrance to the service area so that each customer can collect a tray before proceeding along the counter.

The length of the counter will generally be determined by the size of the menu offered, but should not be too long as this will restrict the speed of service.

Payment points are sited at the end of the counter or at the service area exit so that customers may pay for their meal before they pass to the seating area.

Cutlery stands should be placed after the cashier, together with any ancillary items that may be required, such as napkins and accompaniments. This helps to ensure that the throughput of customers along the service counter remains continuous.

Another advantage of placing the cutlery stands and ancillary items here is that the customer can return to collect these items, should they initially forget to do so, without interrupting the main queue of customers.

3. Room Service

Room service varies from basic tea and coffee making facilities in the room and possibly a minibar, to vending machines on floors or the service of a variety of meals in rooms. The extent of service in hotel guest rooms will depend on the nature of the establishment.

4. Lounge Service

Lounge service may include service of continental breakfast, morning coffee, luncheon snacks, afternoon tea, dinner or late evening snacks, as well as alcoholic beverages.

The Lounge is very often the front window of the establishment, so the standards of service should be high. In a first-class establishment, lounge service staff may operate from their own service pantry. Lounge staff may have access to a dedicated storage area that holds a basic stock of items they may need in case of emergency.