Courteous readers, I’ve always wondered how it feels to be on the giving end on all hours. So thought I should gather and let you appraise the height of elegance and sophistication of dutiful caterers.
A silver service staff is highly skilled to serve at hustle and bustle restaurants in narrow streets. He brings to you Value-added Dinning experience with fine-dining service skills. The staff moving in the Opera House were proudly remarked as “Ballerina” because of resembling the gentle gestures of ballerina.
- Customer expectations are always the same.
- Enjoy making people happy.
- Learn to name the dish, entrée, desserts and the ingredients if the guests enquire. Some guests are curious what’s in it before ordering.
- No odd comments about ingredients which is not much-liked. It may not encourage the guest to order the dish.
- Wear formal outfit and comfortable shoes and hair–do with neatness.
- Familiarize the wines and drinks in the cellar.
- No showing backs to the guests.
- Remain undistracted and pay attention to details.
- Read the guests and attend before they look for assistance.
- Learn to please the guests without much socializing. (So no personal talks, no flirting, no touching, no asking names just service)
- Never argue with other staff in front of customers.
People who come to fine dining restaurants pay more and expect more. Every diner is special and pampered. Guests may plan for the special moment like the Wedding banquet, Marriage proposal and Birthday milestones in the restaurant so the staff should be willing to give warmth and charm to make it a successful and memorable experience.
- An experienced staff reads the customer and pays attention to details, anticipates their needs.
- He never drops napkins or glasses and absolutely makes no noise.
- He’s happy to stay late nights and again makes it in the chirpy early mornings.
- He delivers and exceeds expectations.
- He knows all the house’s special and knows what goes with what.
Ex: To someone tasting cheese, he asks do you like to pair with Port or do you like to have Bordeaux with beef.
So the knowledge of which wine pairs with what is very important. He is assisting the guest who in one way helps to fetch more for the boss and introducing to different wines in the cellar. Next time, when the same guest arrives, he never forgets to have Port.
- Before everyone arrives, he cleans the whole area and prepares the tables.
- When someone arrives to the table, the staff says “Hello! How are you? Can I bring you Champagne?” and passes on the menu. He then comes with champagne, serves to engage till the order is given & meal is delivered. Always drink comes first.
- Familiarizing with all the flavors of food and pairing with drinks help the guests.
- Carrying the plates:
There is an art of balancing. Plates are held on left hand and served with right hand. 1 plate is held with thumb and little finger framing the inner sides of the plate and the other 3 fingers supporting the bottom of the plate. 2nd plate is held with thumb and little finger touching the outer sides of the plate and the bottom of the plate is well supported by the wrist and palm of the hand.
- Body posture:
- He serves the plate from the left side of the guest and goes clock-wise to the other guests.
- A caring and hospitable staff slightly leans towards the guest and a quick look at their eyes while rendering a service.
- While not serving, standing straight or hands at the back is approved. Leaning to the sides convey a very tired and uninterested staff.
- While clearing the plates, he says “Did you enjoy it?”. Plates are cleared from right side of the guests.
- When handing over the bill, he never forgets to smile and say “Thank you”.
If there are 8 staff members, there would be a maitre d’ hotel, 2 wine stewards/sommeliers, a staff to invite the guests, 4 staff take charge of floor duties (welcome, take orders and clear the tables).
Customers have their dedicated service staff. When a couple has booked a table and arrive there, the staff welcomes them and says
“Hello Tom! How are you? , Hello Nancy! Great to have you here.
Let me take you to your table.”
He guides them, helps the lady with the chair and says “Have a wonderful evening! “ and the other staff attends them.
Sometimes a marriage proposal is secretly discussed with a staff to nurse them in a special way to make it pleasurable and memorable. This is where the silver service staff become capable of event management.
When it comes to serving at wedding banquets with over 75 tables in 4hours, pressure builds up and a team of silver service staff work wonders while enjoy waiting at tables though its tedious.
Learning to withstand pressure with time deadlines take time. The staff withstand emotional labour and entrain consistently with the anticipations of restaurateur. It’s a strenuous job like any other nursing and hospitality professional services but no one can deny the pleasant and urbane atmosphere and the elegance of silver service.
All credits to Michel Roux, Michelin Chef at Le Gavroche in London and silver service staff !!!