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 spoon and fork, to a self-service cafeteria where guests collect their own food from the counter.
Different Types of Food Service Styles
These are the different food service styles in hospitality industry:
1. Silver Service Style
In this 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 foodservice method is also called English service.
The server moves counter-clockwise while serving food. This kind of service is implemented in upscale restaurants.
2. American Service Style
This is a simple and informal form of the service style. It is also termed as a plated service. In this style of food service, dishes are neatly plated in the kitchen by the kitchen staff and placed at 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
It 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.
Read more: Different Types of Buffet Service
4. French Service Style
This 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
This is a very elaborate service and may also be termed as a Sideboard service. In this style large joints, roast poultry, whole fish, and so on.
That has 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.
6. Gueridon Service Style
This Gueridon service is also named 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
In this food and beverage service style type, the dishes ordered by guests are neatly portioned and arranged on a tray with necessary cutlery 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 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.
There are two types of cafeteria service in practice:
a) Traditional Cafeteria
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 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
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 square, U, echelon or saw tooth, and so on, depending on the number of dishes on offer and shape and size of 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.