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 board’ which tells the waiter immediately any dish is
‘off’. The Aboyeur who controls the hotplate over the service period
will initially receive the food check from the waiter. He checks that it
is legible and that none of the dishes ordered are ‘off’ the menu.