SS 1 Catering Craft Practices Catering



Food service can be defined as the preparation, delivery and serving of ready to eat foods/meals in catering establishments. It is simply the manner of presenting prepared meals to the diners/guests.



  1. Table Service
  2. Self Service
  3. Specialized Service



Table service is a service where the customer is served at a laid table.


Types of Table Services

Gueridon Service

It is an enhanced form of table service, normally found in establishment with an a la carte menu and higher levels of service.  The term Gueridon means a movable service table or trolley from which food may be served. Gueridon service usually indicates serving foods on to the customers’ plate at the gueridon. It is more costly as:

–           It requires higher level of service skills.

–           The use of more expensive and elaborate equipment.

–           Large service area to allow for the movement of trolleys.

Mis-en place for Gueridon Service

In establishment where gueridon service is carried out, the basic layout is standardized.  This is to ensure that the required standards of service are met and that safety is a prime consideration of all the service staff.


The top and under shelf of the gueridon will be covered with a fold, although this will depend on the nature of the gueridon and its general appearance.


For convenience of working, the cutlery layout should be similar to that of a side board as this saves time and speeds up the service.

If hot plates or food warmers are used, then these are placed on the left hand side on the top of the gueridon.


Underneath may be placed a service plate and service server, side plates and some joint plates on to place dirty cutlery and service gears as the service is being carried out.


There should be some under flats of assorted sizes for the service of vegetable and sauces.  A selection of doilies or dish papers may be useful for the presentation of sauces and other accompaniments.

Check pads will normally be on the waiter’s side board or workstation, together with a surplus of all the gueridon equipment in case of emergency.


Procedures for Gueridon Service

  • Gueridon service is a chef and commis service.
  • Always push the gueridon, never pull it to control and steer the gueridon in the direction and avoid accidents.
  • The gueridon should be kept in one position for the service of a complete course.
  • The spoons and fork are used one in each hand to give more control and makes the service quicker unlike silver service.
  • The dish is first presented to the customer and the name of the dish is stated, and then is returned to the gueridon. For example, your beef jollof rice sir, or madam.
  • Hot serving plates are placed on the side of the trolley, with the dish for the food to be served, placed on to the hotplate.
  • The food dishes are served on to the customer’s plates. This may also include portioning, carving, jointing or filleting if necessary.
  • When transferring foods and liquids from the service flats and dishes to the plate, always run the fork along the underside of the spoon to avoid drips marking the plate.
  • The waiter may then serve the potatoes and vegetable onto the plate while the plates are still on the gueridon. The waiter also serves the sauces onto the plates.  The plates are then placed in front of the customers.
  • Alternatively, where more than two covers are being served from the gueridon, only the main dish of each customer would be served from the gueridon, with potatoes, vegetables, sauces and accompaniments being served to the customers once the main food items have been served on the customer’s plates and put in front of the customer.
  • When the service is finished at one table, wipe down the gueridon and move on to the next table immediately. It will then be ready for the commis coming from the kitchen with a loaded tray.



  1. What is Gueridon?
  2. Explain the meaning of Gueridon Service.


Silver /English Service

This is presentation and service of food by waiting staff, using a spoon and fork onto a customer’s plate from food dish made of silver.  All food is brought to the table in silver dishes. The dishes are presented to the host for approval and the served unto the guests’ plates from the left with silver spoon and fork. This service is not common as it requires more space and more staff and is offered by most of the first class restaurant.


Features of Silver Service

(i)    Food is always served from the left, while drinks are served from the right.

(ii)   Meals are served to the diner from platters.

(iii)  The guest to the host right is served first. (Usually the female guest)

(iv)  Service continues clockwise

(v)   Plates are cleared from the right

(vi)  There is comparatively less wastage since the unused food goes back to the kitchen


Advantages of Silver Service

  1. There is comparatively less wastage since the unused food goes back to the kitchen.
  2. It is an elegant form of service and gives personalized service to the guest.


Disadvantages if silver service

  1. There is a large investment in silver equipment.
  2. One waiter is needed on a table.


American/Plated Service:

This type of service requires that all the beverages as well as food are served from the right side and the clearing is also done from the right side. The meal is pre-plated for each guest from the kitchen. The pre-plated meals are brought to the table for the guests. It is widely used for banqueting.


Advantages of American/plated Service

  1. It does not consume much time i.e. it is fast.
  2. It is an inexpensive service.

Disadvantages of American/plated service

  1. There is lot of wastage of food.
  2. It is not a personalized service.



  1. Differentiate between silver service and plated service.
  2. State two advantages of silver service.


Family Service

The main course is brought to the table in a big dish from where everyone participate in serving the food into individual plates. Other courses like desserts are served in small bowls, for guests to help themselves. Everyone participate in the food service.



  1. What is food service?
  2. State the procedure for gueridon service.
  3. Explain the meaning of silver service.
  4. Explain two advantages of plated service.
  5. Explain what you understand by the term ‘waiting staff’.



  1. Service where customers are served at a laid table is called ____. A. silver service B.  table service C.  self- service D.  cafeteria
  2. ___ is a movable service table or trolley. A. Kiosk B.  Echelon C.  Gueridon       Cafetaria
  3. The following are examples of table service except ____. A. family service B. American Service C.  Gueridon service D. Vending service
  4. In ___ service, all serving materials are made of silver. A. silver B. gold C. diamond D. stainless
  5. The only service where serving of meals and clearing of dishes are done from the right side of the guests is ___ A. family service B.  plated service C. gueridon service D.  silver service



  1. State two procedures in Gueridon Service.
  2. State two disadvantages of silver service


See also






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