8 Different Types of Food Service Styles in Hotel

There are many types of food service styles in hotels to serve customers in the catering industry.

This may range from full silver service in a fine dining restaurant, where the dishes are served at the table by waiters with service spoons and forks, to a self-service cafeteria where guests collect their own food from the counter.

Different Types of Food Service Styles

Here’s the list of various styles of foodservice in hotel industry:

1. Silver Service Style

Silver service is a method of serving style, 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.

This food service method is also called English service. Here server moves counter-clockwise while serving food. This kind of service is implemented in upscale restaurants.

2. American Service Style

American Service is a simple and informal form of the service style. It is also termed Plated service. In the American style of food service, dishes are neatly plated in the kitchen by the kitchen staff and placed on the guest’s cover from the right-hand side. The waiter should be able to carry at least three dished-out full plates to speed up the service.

3. Buffet Service Style

The buffet is a self-service where food is displayed on tables. The guests take plates stacked at the beginning of the table and proceed along requesting the buffet’s attention to serve them or help themselves. In stand-up buffets, guests are forced to stand and eat.

4. French Service Style

French Service is also known as 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.

5. Russian Service Style

Russian service is a very elaborate service and may also be termed a Sideboard service. In this style large joints, roast poultry, whole fish, and so on.

In this service elaborate garnish is neatly arranged on a platter presented to the host, taken back to the sideboard, carved, portioned, and served to the guests with a service spoon and fork.

6. Gueridon Service Style

This Gueridon service is also named the Trolley service. In this style of service, dishes are prepared, carved, dressed, or flambéed on a trolley in front of the guests and served with a service spoon and fork. It is a very effective tool for merchandising.

7. Tray Service Style

Tray service is a type of food service operation where dishes are ordered by guests and neatly portioned and arranged on a tray with necessary cutleries and taken to their rooms/beds/seats by waiters.

Special trays are available to retain the temperature of the dishes. This style is practiced in-room service, hospitals, flights, and institutional catering.

8. Self Service

This is the simplest form of service method where members of the service staff do not serve guests. Customers help themselves with the dishes they would like to consume.

Self-service is further classified into the following types:

  • Cafeteria service.
  • Counter service.
  • Vending service.

9. Cafeteria Service

There are two types of cafeteria services are available:

a) Traditional Cafeteria Service

This form of service is widely followed in institutional and industrial catering establishments. It 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 as he selects the dishes he wants to have.

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. Normally, the service counter is separated from the dining area.

b) Free Flow Cafeteria Service

In the modern free-flow cafeteria system, counters are segregated according to the type of dishes offered – hot or cold, appetizers, soups, bread, sandwiches, entrées, salads, pasta, and so on.

Customers can move at will to any service point to select dishes and exit through the payment method. In this system, counters are not arranged in a straight line, but in shapes such as Hollow squares, U-shaped, Echelon or Sawtooth, and so on, depending on the number of dishes on offer and the shape and size of the area available.

By all these methods of food serving styles, food and beverages are served to guests in a hotel room, on a flight, in a hospital, and so on.

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Dipayan Mondal
Dipayan Mondal

Hi, I'm Dipayan, the author of this website. I completed my Hotel Management degree from GNIHM, Kolkata. Actually, I am very passionate about Hospitality Industry. And right now I'm working as a successful Hotelier in India.