It is considered much more enjoyable to serve and eat food a pleasantly arranged table. The way in which food is served can vary according to the number of people being served, the space available, the type of food being eaten, and the type of occasion.
Informal occasions: Table settings are more casual and the aim is to allow people to enjoy each other’s company. These table settings are often used for morning/afternoon teas, family meals, casual dinner parties, barbeques and picnics
As you are probably already aware, not all restaurants use tablecloths as part of their table setting. Some restaurants use plastic coverings, others have placemats or just the bare tables. These are determined by the type and theme of the restaurant.
The type of napkin folds to be presented is often determined by the establishment and the style of service. There are many napkin folds from which to choose. Some are very simple, such as the buffet fold.
Others, such as the Opera House or Open Rose, are more elaborate. Elaborate napkin folds are used to provide additional grandeur to a table setting, while simple folds are used more often when time is of the essence to diners and staff.
The simpler the fold the less handling. This can be an important consideration in terms of hygiene. Keep in mind that the napkin is going to be used by guests to wipe their hands or mouths during the meal. Therefore, any non-visible bacteria on napkins during folding will be transferred to the guests
The table setting in any restaurant is determined by the style of cuisine it serves. This means that the type of food served will have a bearing on the type of cutlery used. In a Chinese or Japanese restaurant, for example, chopsticks are also provided as the food is generally cut into bite size pieces before cooking. However, forks are also provided to cater for guests who may not know how to use chopsticks.
Table settings must always be set perfectly as it is at the table that guests relax and have their dining needs fulfilled. A carefully set table will give guests the impression service staff and management appreciate their business
When table d’hote menus are used for banquets or functions, the table d’hote or set menu cover for setting tables is also used. When setting this type of cover, you will need to know the dishes on the menu as the cutlery requirements for each of the courses are included in the cover setting.
Below is a diagram showing the setting for a menu consisting of soup, fish, main course and dessert.
Always put the first course cutlery on the outermost end so that guests can work inwards with their cutlery through the courses. As this type of cover generally takes up room, the dessert cutlery is placed above the main plate setting and centred across the top of the cover.