Many customers at the breakfast hour are in a hurry. Many
people you will discover are not in the best of spirits before they
have had their first cup of coffee (or maybe not ever). A positive and
cheerful attitude displayed from the server in combination with
prompt and efficient service might help to normalise the situation.
Below is a guide that might be acceptable in most situations.
1. When a fresh fruit or fruit juice is ordered, it is desirable to
serve it first and then to remove the soiled dishes before
placing the toast and coffee.
2. When customers order a combination of cooked food, toast,
and coffee, they may ask to have the whole order served at
once. Place the fruit dish, set on an underline, in the center of
the cover, the plate of toast at the left of the forks, and the
coffee at the right of the teaspoons.
3. When the breakfast order includes a cereal and a hot dish,
the service procedure may be as follows:
a. Place the fruit course in the center of the cover.
b. Remove the fruit course.
c. Place the breakfast plate of eggs, meat, or other hot
food in the center of the cover. Place the plate of toast
at the left of the forks. Place the coffee service at the
right of the spoons.
d. Remove the breakfast plate and the bread plate.
e. Place the finger bowl, filled one-third full of warm
water. At times the finger bowl is placed after the fruit
course, when fruits which may soil the fingers have
f. Place the sales check, face down, at the right of the
cover or present it on a clean change tray.
Lunch customers can be generally categorized into two
groups: Business people who have a short-lunch period and want
quick service, and shoppers or others who just want leisurely
service. A good server will recognize each group and try to
1. Fill the water glass three-fourths full of iced water.
2. Place chilled butter on cold bread-and-butter plate.
3. Place the appetizer in the center of the cover.
4. Remove the appetizer when guest has finished.
5. Place the soup service in center of cover.
6. Remove the soup entree.
7. Place entree plate in center of cover.
8. Place individual vegetable dishes above the cover.
9. Place hot beverages above and a little to the right of cup
and sauce, with individual creamer above the cup.
10. Place an iced beverage or milk at the right and a little
below the water glass.
11. Remove the main-course dishes.
12. Remove any extra silver not used in the main course.
13. Crumb the table, if necessary.
14. Place dessert silver to right of the cover with fork nearest
the dessert plate, when fork and teaspoon are used.
When several teaspoons are placed, the dessert fork
may be laid on the left side, to “balance the cover”
15. Place the dessert service in center of the cover.
16. Remove dessert dishes and silver.
17. Place the finger-bowl on the underliner in the center of
18. Present the Check face down.
Dinner customers are seldom in a hurry. The server should
be able to give leisurely service without making the guest feel
rushed. Although the guest should be allowed plenty of time to
complete each course, long waits between courses should be
avoided (especially when small children are present.) An efficient
server should observe the guests during the meal in order to serve
the next course promptly, and to comply with any requests made by
guests for special needs. This is a generally accepted guidelines, but
does not apply to all situations.
1. Place appetizer or hors d’oeuvre service from the left in
the center of the cover.
2. Remove the first-course dishes.
3. Place the soup service in the center of the cover.
4. Remove the soup service.
5. When the entree is served on a platter, place it directly
above the cover. Lay the serving silver at the right of the
platter. Place the warm dinner plate in the center of the
6. Place the beverage to the right of the teaspoons.
7. Offer rolls or place them on the center of the table in
reach of all the guests.
8. Remove the main-course dishes when the guest has
9. Crumb the table if necessary.
10. Place silver for dessert course.
11. Place the dessert service in the center of the cover.
12. Offer hot coffee or tea.
13. Serve the check face down.