Types of food Service

Lesson 09 : Types of food service

Types of food Service

The ultimate objective to be achieved with whatever food service system is used is that the food be of good quality attractively served and of the correct temperature for customer acceptability and microbial safety. It must be a system economically compatible with the goals and standards of the organization. The appearance of the food when served contributes to the customer’s acceptance and enjoyment of it. Likewise the courtesy and efficiency of those serving the food contribute to the guest’s sense of complete satisfaction with the meal. The continued achievement of this standard is a sure way to a successful food service organization.

The service of food to achieve these objectives should be a major concern of every administrative dietitian and food service manager. There are many types of service, differing widely among institutions but each has common requirements to be met through whichever style is selected. The basic types of service are:-


  1. Self service
    1. Traditional
    2. Cafeteria-Free flour or scramble, food bank orelectronic cafeteria
    3. Machine vended
    4. Buffer and smorgasbord
  2. Tray service
    1. Centralized
    2. Decentralized
  3. Waiter –waitress service
    1. Counter
    2. Table: American,Russian, French, banquet
    3. Drive in
  4. Portable meals
    1. Home delivery
    2. Mobile carts or trucks or premises
The Types of Service Differs widely among Institution
  1. Self service The simplest provisions for food service are those made in a self service unit where the guest hselects his own food and often the silver, water and napkin and carries them to the diningtable. The cafeteria is the best known example of self service,although buffet smorgasbord and vending are also popular.
    1. Traditional : where the employees are stationed behind the counter to serve the guest ,encourage him in his selections and give a friendly word of greeting as he moves along a counter displaying the food choices .the type of service is used in colleges ,cafeteria open to public implant food services and commercial operations. The emphasis is on standardized portions and speedy yet courteous service .
    2. Cafetaria:
      1. Free flour/scramble/hollow square: It is one in which separated counters for hot foods, sandwiches and salad and desserts usually are placed among three sides of a room. Customers can go directly to the section desired without having to wait in line for their food. This is a confusing system for the first timer but it provides speed and flexibility and relives the pressure and those who do not want to hurry. As many as 25 people per minute can be served in this type of food service.
      2. Cook it yourself electronic cafeteria: The customer selects a precooked frozen meal from a freezer display case. The meals are sealed and color coded .he places the meal into a microwave oven that has color coded, automatic timer buttons to match the color on the meal packages. In this way the meal will be heated the correct time for proper serving temperature. Dining areas are provided for the persons. Disposable dishes and eating utensils are used .This type of service is speedy but very impersonal and has somewhat limited use.


  2. Vended food service: This type of service is speedy and makes food available at any time of dsay or night (vending machines used for cigarettes, coffee, cold drinks complete meals are vended from automatic cafeterias’ with some hot food machines that not only serve but actually cook or reheat the meals.
    (schools, hospitals , industrial plants , offices and transportation terminals) food may be pre pared by the institution using them or outside catering may be employed vending machines offer 24 hour service, 7 days a week. Food should be fresh and displayed attractively, cleanness and safety measures are to be adhered to.

  3. Buffet or smorgasbord : Foods are displayed on a large serving table. Guests move around the table to help jthemselves to food of their choice. Selections are more elaborate and numerous than in a cafeteria. Eye a p peal is on all important factor in the foods offered. Foods that standup during the meal hour and proper equipment to keep them hot or cold, as desired, are essential to the success of this type of service.

  4. Tray service: Carrying food on a tray to persons unable to utilize other dining facilities such as infirm or ill persons attractive trays help to tempt their appetites and so help to resatore their health. Attention should be given to details such as color coordination of the tray covers, dishes and other accompany meals used.

    Two types of tray service or delivery

    1. Centralized : trays are set u p in a central serving area in a or adjacent to the kitchen here pro per food items for each patient are placed on to his tray as it moves along on assembly line . Various types of equipments are needed to transport the served trays to the bed patients. Speed is essential to ensure that food is served at the right temperature, good flavor and appearances.
    2. Decentralized: service is used in many hospitals particularly those that are built horizontally instead of vertically (where distance from kitchen to patients room is more. bulk quantities of food taken in heated trucks to various pantries for serving.
  5. Waiter – waitress services g
    1. Counter Service:
      Quite popular as self service. Informal guests sit on stools on a counter table to be served by one or two attendants ‘U’ shaped counter –utilizes s pace to the maximum, less steps to be taken by the service personnel.

    2. Table service: Restaurants, hotels, motels dining rooms, use more formal patterns of service, although both employ service personnel. There is some degree of formality as one dines in this type of commercial establishment. There are 4 major styles of service classified under table service American, French, Russian and banquet service,
      American: g
      1.Ash tray
      2 S Salt
      2 P Pepper
      3. hors-d’oeuvre plate
      3a Advancing courses
      4. Knife
      5. Soup spoon
      6. Tea spoon
      7. Water glass
      8 coffee cup and saucer
      9. Advancing drinks to be served
      10.Butter plate
      11. Dinner fork (Inside one) salad fork

      Waitress or waiter place fresh table covers ,take orders ,bring food from serving pantry and serve. And remove soiled dishes from the table food is portioned and served on to plates.
      Bussers :
      may carry trays of soiled dishes, fill water glasses.
      check that the food taken to the dining table corresponds with the order and also verify the prices on the bill.

      French: Portions of food are brought to the dining room on serving plates and placed on a small heater on hsmall portable table called guerdon. This table is wheeled u p the side the guests table and the chief waiter com plates the preparation. This service –more formal, expensive, slower
      Food is completely prepared and portioned in the kitchen .waiter or waitress brings platters with food to the dining room along with heated dinner plates and places them on tray beside the guests table. dinner plates are placed and waiter takes the food to each guests and serves each a portions speedy service

      Some items such as salad, butter salad dressings may be on the tableh before guests are seated .food may be served from preheated carts from which service personnel serve the food to the guests.

    3. Drive in service: Requires waiters or waitresses (called carhops) to serve persons who drive u p to the restaurant and remain in their cars to be served.

  6. Portable meals: This type of service is that of delivering meals to the residences of aged, chronically ill or vinfirm individuals not requiring hospitalization .This plan sometimes called as “meals –on- wheels” .
    Home delivery: Paid service Mobile service: In some industrial plants where food are distributed to workers at their work place by mobile carts that move throughout the plant
Last modified: Friday, 25 May 2012, 6:08 AM