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Banquet Hall Food Service Terminology…what does it all mean?

You have just attended a venue site visit for your event and the banquet hall has thrown food service terms at you that may not have heard before. So we wanted to give you a brief glossary of what they are and when you could use them:

1. English Service or sometimes referred to as “Host Service” is when the food is brought to the host for inspection and approval prior to being placed on the table and served to guests; this service is most often used for at home dinner parties.

2. French Service is one of the most personal services that can be provided; the food is brought directly to the table and allows the guest to serve themselves. This service is becoming more common as people want to decide how much food they wish to have and reduces the amount of food that is wasted.

3. Silver Service the table is set with hors d’oeuvres, soup, main dish, and a sweet dish in sterling silver; food is plated on hot plates in the kitchen and then brought out to the host for approval and then presented to the guests being served with a silver spoon and fork.

4. American Service this is the service that we are most accustomed to; American service is where the food is pre-plated in the kitchen and then brought out by the waiter and placed in front of each guest.

5. Buffet Service a service where the food is laid out on tables and the guests pick up a plate and serve themselves their meal. There are also sit-down buffet services, plates and cutlery are laid out on the table.

6. Russian Service very much like French Service, but the main difference is that the food is portioned and carved by a waiter on a gueridon trolley in front of your guests.

7. Gueridon Service meal is partially prepared in the kitchen and then completed in front of your guests by the waiter.

Planning an event can be very overwhelming with new terms and services being provided to you, it is always best to ask questions to understand what you are getting. Another tip is on your invitation include the type of service that will be provided so that your guests aren’t surprised.

Until next time happy planning.

Amalia Ward

Talen Events

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