Showing posts from July, 2010


Accompaniments are highly flavoured seasonings of various
kinds offered with certain dishes. The object of offering
accompaniments with certain dishes is to improve the flavor of the
food or to counteract its richness, eg. apple sauce with roast pork.
Many dishes have separate accompaniments and as they are
not always mentioned on the menu, the waiter must know them. He
should always have specific accompaniments ready for service at
the right time. Hot adjuncts come with the dish from the kitchen, but
cold sauces are often to be found at the buffet or sideboard. They
should be served directly with a dish to which they belong. They
should be served from the guest’s left on to the top right of his plate
(not on the rim). While serving from a sauceboat, the boat should be
on an underdish or small plate, carried on the palm of the left hand.
In serving, the sauceboat, lip should point towards the guest’s plate.

The spoon, or ladle, should be passed over the lip. Sauces are not to
be poured from a boat.


A full-course dinner is seldom served today, but the
sequence of courses should be respected even if some are omitted.
The general standard at present is for a four- or five-course meal to
be served for dinner. Theoretically, however, all the courses of a fulldinner
menu must be studied and learnt by heart so that perfect
compilation of menus can be achieved.

Three-Course Dinner Menu:
1. Hors d’oeuvre or soup
2. Main course with vegetables and potatoes or salad
3. Sweet or savory

Four-Course Dinner Menu:
1. Hors d’oeuvre or soup
2. Fish course
3. Main course with vegetables and potatoes or salad
4. Sweet or savory

Five-Course Dinner Menu:
1. Hors d’oeuvre or soup
2. Fish course
3. Main course with vegetables and potatoes or salad
4. Sweet
5. Savory

Six-Course Dinner Menu:

1. Hors d’oeuvre or soup (potage)
2. Fish (poisson)
3. Entrée
4. Main (releve or remove) with (pommes et legumes ou
5. Sweet (entremets)
6. Savory (savoureux ou bonne bouche)

Seven-Course Dinner Menu:
1. Hors d’oeuvres or soup
2. Potage
3. …


1) Hors D'oeuvre

Being of a highly seasoned and piquant in nature, this course
is used to manipulate the appetite for the dishes that are to follow. In
recent years, hors d’oeuvres have gained in popularity, and now
appear even on simple menus in modest eating places. Although the
actual term “hors d’oeuvres” applies to the service of various cold
salads and morsels of anchovy, sardines, olives, prawns, etc., it also
covers whatever items are served before the soup.
Examples of such hors d’oeuvres:
· Melon Melon Frappe
· Oysters Huitres Nature
· Smoked Salmon Saumon Fumee
· Caviar Caviar
· Grapefruit Pamplemousse
· Salami
· Potted Shrimps Petites Pots de Crevettes
· Shrimp, Prawn or Lobster Cocktail
· Fruit Cocktail Coupe Florida
· Souses Herrings Hareng Dieppoise
· Pate of Goose Liver Pate de Foie Gras
There are also quite a number of items that may be served
hot, such as Bouchees, Croquettes, Fritters, etc., and these are
known as ors d’oeuvres chaud.

2) Potage
The French have three separate words for …



1) Cold and warm dishes are listed separately.
2) Appetizers, soups, seafood and main courses are listed in
separate groups.
3) In every group the lighter dishes are listed before the richer
4) Salads should be highlighted.
5) If offered, low-calorie foods should be specially indicated, and
the number of calories should be stated.
6) If foods are prepared with organically grown ingredients, this
fact should be highlighted to the discriminating customer.
7) Every dish should be described clearly and simply, in an
appetizing way, without being too flowery.

8) House specialties and seasonal items should correspond to
the season and should change accordingly. Use a clip-on
menu or special insert to attract attention to them.
9) The dessert selection should be listed on a separate
attractive card. The menu should inform the guests that such
a card is available.
10) The numbering of menu items can save time and confusion,
especially with many of the new computerized cash registers.
Numbering, however, di…


In many cases, especially in restaurants, serving haute
cuisine, the part or table d'hote menu is beautifully handwritten to
emphasize the traditional character of the restaurant. In less fancy
restaurants, a modern variant that is similar but simpler is often
used: the blackboard, on which are written recommendations
concerning the day's specialties.
In general, however, the table d'hote or a part menu, which
changes daily or cyclically, is prepared in-house (on a typewriter or
computer) and duplicated as necessary. A separate menu listing the
daily specials might also be prepared. In many restaurants the table
d'hotel or a part menu and the daily specials contain only a fraction
of what is offered. Often an a la carte menu, from which the guests
can select from an array of dishes that are always available, is also
provided. If an a la carte menu is offered, the other menus are
inserted in or clipped to its folder. The daily menus may also be
placed at every seat, but in most establ…





Table D'hôte
Table d'hôte is a French phrase which literally means "host's
table". It is used to indicate a fixed menu where multi-course meals
with limited choices are charged at a fixed price. Such a menu may
also be called prix fixe ("fixed price"). It usually includes three or five
courses meal available at a fixed price. It is also referred to as a
fixed menu. Because the menu is set, the cutlery on the table may
also already be set for all of the courses, with the first course cutlery
on the outside, working in towards the plate as the courses progress.
In olden days, when the inns or dining establishments
offering a limited choice in the menu was not preferred by the
guests, they started offering an a la carte menu for guests to select
the type of food they wanted to eat.
Fixed menus or table d'hote menus are still used in various
forms such as buffet menus, conference packages and on special
occasions. A table d'hote menu comprises a complete meal at a


In a restaurant, there are two different types of menus which
are differentiated by the manner in which they are served and priced.
A menu may be a la carte or table d'hôte.

A La Carte Menu
An “A La Carte Menu”, is a multiple choice menu, with each
dish priced separately. If a guest wishes to place an order, an a la
carte is offered, from which one can choose the items one wants to
Traditionally, the original menus that offered consumers
choices were prepared on a small chalkboard, a la carte in French;
so foods chosen from a bill of fare are described as à la carte,
"according to the board."
In an a la carte menu all items are cooked to order including
the sauces that are made with wine, cream or mustard. Depending
on the dish chosen by the guest, the cooking time will vary. It is
necessary to inform the guests about the time the preparation might
take. An extensive a la carte menu is impressive but involves a huge
amount of mise-en-place.


In a restaurant, a menu is the list of dishes to be served or
available for a diner to select from. The items that are available for
the diner to choose from are broken down into various categories,
depending on the time of day or the event.
The compilation of a menu is the most important part of a
caterer's work. It is regarded as an art, acquired only through
experience and study. The menu is a link between the guest and the
establishment, hence it should be carefully planned by the
establishment's professionals, namely the executive chef, the food
and beverage manager and the food and beverage controller.
The word menu dates back to 1718, but the custom of
making such a list is much older. In earlier times, the escriteau (bill of
fare) or menu of ceremonial meals was displayed on the wall
loadable with the kitchen staff to follow the order in which the dishes
were to be served. It is said that in olden times, menus were like a
large dictionary with sections covering a variety of dishes. A…


1) The table on which a tablecloth is to be spread, should be
first covered with a baize base cloth, for the following
a. To protect the diner's wrists and elbows from the
table's sharp edges.
b. To keep the tablecloth firmly in place.
c. To protect the surface of the table and prevent the
rattling of crockery and cutlery.
d. To absorb moisture in case liquid spills on the table.
2) Based on the size of the table, appropriate linen should be
used. The central fold of the tablecloth should be in the
middle of the table and all the four edges should just brush
the seats of the chairs. Soiled or torn linen should not be
used. Three types of tablecloths namely cotton, linen and
damask are used. Of these, damask is the best.
3) If a bud vase is used as a central decorative piece, it should
not be very large or tall as that obstructs the view of guests
sitting opposite each other. Heavily scented flowers should
be avoided, as they affect the flavour of the food.
4) Each cover should be well-b…


Table setting refers to the way to set a table with tableware -
such as eating utensils and dishware - for serving and eating. The
arrangement for a single diner is called a place setting. The
arrangement varies across various cultures. The rules for laying a
table are not rigid. They are followed to facilitate dining and making
the table neat. The basic rules for laying the tables are given below:
1) Table Linens: Table linen has to be laid properly. A white
cloth is preferred but not mandatory. The only rule is to make
sure that linen patterns and china patterns don't clash.
2) Chargers: Chargers or dinner plates should be placed on the
table first. Chargers are decorative elements that are placed
underneath plates to add color or texture to the table. Each
plate should be set in the center of the place setting and each
place setting on the table should be set equidistant. The rest
of the components used to set a formal table will be set with
the dinner plate in mind. If a charg…


Mise-en-place, the French term means to “putting in place” is
attributed to the preparation of a work place for ultimate smooth
service. It is widely used in the food and beverage service
department in everyday hotel operations. Before service
commences, the staff should ensure that the station is in total
readiness to receive guests. A station comprises of a given number
of tables which are attended by a given team of waiters. Thus a
restaurant may have several stations, each with a team of waiters. In
a large restaurant, each station may be headed by a Chef-de-rang.
Mise-en-place involves:
· Side stations should be stacked with sufficient covers for
resetting the restaurant after the first sitting is over. Extra
linen, crockery, cutlery, glassware and ashtrays should
be kept handy so that they are readily available for use.
· Cruet sets should be cleaned and filled on a daily basis.
· Sauce bottles should be filled and the necks and tops of
the bottles wiped clean.
· Butter, condiments and accompani…


Mise-en-scene, the French term means to prepare the
environment of the outlet before service in order to make it pleasant,
comfortable, safe and hygeinic. Before each service session, the
restaurant should be made presentable enough to receive t h e
guests. The supervisor or team of waiters should ensure the
following mise-en-scene:
· Carpets are well brushed or hovered.
· All tables and chairs are serviceable.
· Table lights or wall lights have functioning bulbs.
· Menu cards are presentable and attractive.
· Tent carts or other sales material are presentable.
· Doors and windows are thrown open for sometime to air
the restaurant. This should be followed by closing the

windows and doors and setting the air-conditioning or
heating to a comfortable temperature.
· Exchange dirty linen for fresh linen.
· Table cloths and mats are laid on the tables.
· Replace wilted flowers with fresh flowers.


i) Pull out the chairs or the table to enable guests to
move out comfortably.
ii) Wish them warmly and request them to visit again,
saying - Do visit again, sir / madam.
iii) Clear the table immediately and reset for the next
iv) Have the side station cleared and restacked for the
next sitting.


i) When the guests arrive greet them warmly, by wishing
them the time of the day.
ii) Escort the guests to the table and seat them promptly
by pulling the chairs out to ease seating. If need be,
the table should be moved so that very little
inconvenience is caused to guests when they seat
iii) Ensure that children have high chairs and special
attention is paid to the elderly.
iv) Remove extra covers, if any.

v) Serve water and present the menu card, if the captain
is busy.
vi) If the order has to be taken, offer suggestions to the
guests on the choice of food and beverages and
repeat the final order to avoid possible errors.
vii) Do not leave the station unattended, as nothing
annoys a guest more than not being able to find a
waiter, when something is needed.
viii) If the table cloth has to be changed during service, the
table top should not be exposed. Any articles on the
table should be cleared to the side station and not
placed on chairs or on the next table. The soiled cloth
should be brush…


The service staff should check the following before service:
i) The tables and linen are clean.
ii) Tablecloths are evenly spread on the table.
iii) Chairs are dusted and properly arranged.
iv) The table set up is appropriate and pleasing.
v) The silver is polished and the china and crockery are
spotlessly clean and befitting the occasion.
vi) Cruet sets, sugar bowls and flower vases are filled
and placed on the table suitably.
vii) The floor / carpet is clean and dry.
viii) The restaurant and back area are in a state of
readiness before the service session commences.
ix) The side station is fully equipped for service and the
following should be checked:
· Condiments tray is cleaned and refilled.
· Napkins are folded and kept handy for the
particular session.
· Salvers, extra linen, cutlery and service equipment
necessary for the session are stacked up.
· Water jugs and ice buckets are filled and kept
· Coffee pots ready with freshly brewed coffee / tea.
· Sugar cubes, butter and butter plates ready…


Restaurants not only should attract potential customers but
also should strive hard to entice them to become frequent and
regular customers. This can be done in a number of ways, such as
through the type of menu, the glamorous and attractive name of the
place or atmosphere within the food service area.
The customer’s first impressions of a restaurant are the most
important and these are largely determined by the professionalism of
the service staff and their preparations prior to service. These preservice
preparations are known as mise-en-place and are vital in that
they create the right and pleasing environment by the setting and
controlling of temperature, lighting and equipment.

The serving food and beverage to the anxiously waiting
customer needs professional expertise. The service should follow a
sequence and have a plan of action based on the practices of the
professional catering industry. The service staff should be expert
performers of certain tasks before, during and after service. Del…


The spare linen store is the service area where linen
materials are stored in a cupboard. This spare linen stock is held
near the food service area in case of emergency. The linen is
changed when necessary on a basis of ‘one clean for one dirty’. This
is normally the responsibility of a senior member of the food service
staff and is kept locked for control purposes. Generally, 50% of the
total inventory is stocked up in the spare linen room.


The hotplate is the contact point between the kitchen and the
service staff. It is the point at which both areas must cooperate and
communicate effectively so that the customer gets the quick and
efficient service that he expects.
Hot cupboards can be used for either food or plates. Units as
a whole are usually made up of a hot cupboard with sliding doors,
topped by a heated serving surface. The top may also house
containers acting as dry or heated brain-maries. Dry heat keeps the
food hot by electric elements or gas flame. The wet heat method
provides heat via an open tank of water, which itself is heated by
gas-fired burners or by an electric immersion heater.

The hot plate or hot cupboard needs to be stocked with all
the china and crockery needed for service, e.g soup plates, fish
plates, consommé cups, platters, soup cups, tea cups and
The Aboyeur is in charge, and controls the hotplate over the
service period. As an aid to the food service staff the Aboyeur would
control the ‘off…


At the service time especially, the wash-up area is one of the
busiest sections. It must be correctly sited to allow a smooth flow of
work, promoting a fast turnover and efficient service. There are two
methods of washing:
1. The tank method: Using this method, the items are washed in
a sink of hot water containing detergent and then placed into
racks and dipped into another sink. This second sink is known
as sterilising tank; the water temperature is very high, at
approximately 75°C. The items are left in here for few minutes
then lifted out. As the water is so hot, the items especially the
crockery, will air dry, making this a more hygienic method (no
cloths are needed). The crockery can then be stacked and put
away as required.
2. The machine method: In principle, the machine method is no
different from the tank method, except that the whole system is
automated and therefore labour saving.


The silver room holds the stock of silver required for the
service of meals. The various types of silver are kept here on labeled
shelves, with all the service plates of one size stacked together.
Cutlery, flatware, hollowware and other smaller items are usually
stored in drawers lined with baize, as this helps to reduce noise,
slipping and scratching.
In very large establishments, the silver and the plate room
may be two separate units, but in the majority of places they are
combined and in some cases, are a part of wash-up.


The still room is looked after by a still room supervisor, who is
responsible for the staffing, ordering of supplies from the main store
and effective control of these items when issued to various
departments. In most of the restaurants, the stillroom remains open
for long hours. For the efficient running, the staffs normally work on a
straight rotating shift basis, doing an early shift one week and a late
shift the next. The stillroom staffs are also responsible for the
washing up of all their equipments.

Provisions Obtainable from the Stillroom:

The list below gives the provisions that can be obtained from
the stillroom:
· Beverages: coffee, tea, chocolate, horlicks, ovaltine and
other food drinks.
· Fruit juices: apple, orange, pineapple, grapefruit and
other assorted fruit juices.
· Pastries, gateaux and sandwiches
· Rolls, brioche and crossant
· Toast: breakfast toast, melba toast
· Milk, cream and butter
· Toasted scones and teacakes
· Sugar: coffee powder, tea dust, demerara etc.
· Breakfast cereal…


The ancillary department of the restaurant area includes
important units in the make-up of a catering establishement, acting
as the link between kitchen or food preparation units and the
restaurant or food service units. The service areas behind the scener
can also be termed as ‘back-of-house’.
The service areas are stocked with appropriate equipment,
depending on the style of operation. The service areas themselves
are some of the busiest units of a catering establishment, especially
during the service periods. In general, especially in large hotels, five
main service areas can be distinguished:

1) Stillroom
2) Silver or plate room
3) Wash-up
4) Hotplate
5) Spare linen store
A well-structured layout of these areas is most important to
ensure even flow of work by the various members of staff. However,
the layout itself may vary with different catering establishments
according to their own needs.