F & B Services - Preparing The Table
Table setup plays an important role in contributing to the appearance of the table.
Principles of Preparing Covers
- Each table cover needs space of 24 to 30 inches wide.
- Crockery and cutlery must be placed 2 inches away from the edge of the table.
- Knives are placed on the right of the dinner plate whereas forks are placed on the left.
- Butter knife is placed on the side plate.
- The cutting edge of the knives must be towards the plate.
- Table napkin must be neatly folded and placed on the side plate.
Setting Table for Formal Dining
This type of table setup is required for formal events like corporate lunch or dinner, or a wedding party. The formal dining contains multiple courses and second helpings are not offered.
This table setup looks as follows −
Setting Table for Casual Dining
This table setup is required for informal events like holiday parties and family gatherings. Casual dining can contain multiple courses and service staff offers or serves second rounds of helping when a guest requests for it. This table setup appears as follows −
Setting a Buffet Table
This set up is required for catering to large groups of people. Buffet table setting can be done in numerous ways depending upon the size and shape of the place, the menu, and the number of guests.
- The food items are placed in a sequence from lightest to heaviest, starters to desserts, or coolest to warmest.
- Cutlery is placed on the guest tables.
- Glasses, cups, and saucers are placed on a separate table to avoid congestion.
- Table decoration pieces are placed such that they do not interfere with the food items.
- Plates are stacked not more than 15 plates per stack.
- Paper napkins are placed between the plates.
The condiments are kept according to the theme of the F&B service. For example, if the establishment is serving Italian food, the staff needs to prepare shakers of dried herbs, salt, and pepper flakes. In European restaurants, they typically keep salt, sugar, and pepper as basic condiments.
When the guests leave the tables, the serving staff needs to check the condiment containers and replenish them if required.
Today, there are large varieties of napkins available in different colors and materials. Paper napkins are used majorly for informal dining whereas for formal dining, linen napkins are preferred.
Napkin can be folded in a number of attractive ways. They can be shaped as a flower, a character, or some object. A well-folded and well-placed napkin on the plate grabs the attention of the guests.
Presentation of a food or beverage is equally important as its recipe as the other senses are stimulated through sight and aroma. A well-prepared dish is complete only when it is presented with beautiful garnish in an appropriate food container or platter. The serving staff must follow the basic guidelines for food presentation −
It must be presented at the required temperature.
It must be presented according to the serving size.
It must be presented in appropriate hollowware of suitable size.
It is also recommended to serve food with the right garnish that adds to the catchiness of the dish. The garnish in contrast color is quite appealing.
The garnish or accompaniment should not overshadow the main food.
The cook needs to be creative at presenting the dish so well that the final result comes out as a treat for not only the taste buds but also for the eyes.
Beverage presentation gains a lot of importance in today’s world. Beverages taste good if they are presented at the temperature at which they are meant to have. Right from selecting the appropriate service glassware, creating various pleasant color schemes of the ingredients, and serving the beverage with creative ideas pays.
For example, the coconut water from a tender coconut can be served in the neatly cut and clean tender coconut itself from which it is taken out. Also, mocktails or cocktails can be presented with straws and slices of fruits in different shapes and colors.