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Restaurant Service Basics, 2nd Edition



Restaurant Service Basics, 2nd Edition

Sondra J. Dahmer, Kurt W. Kahl

ISBN: 978-1-119-05627-0 October 2014 208 Pages

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An excellent training tool for both hospitality programs and working restaurant managers, Restaurant Service Basics, 2nd Edition considers the entire dining experience in situations ranging from formal to casual. Step-by-step instructions guide readers through service functions. Different types of service: French, American, English, Russia, Family-style, and Banquet are explained in detail, along with universally important safety, sanitation, and emergency procedures. This Second Edition features end-of-chapter projects that incorporate real-life situations, as well as enhanced coverage of point-of-service and other technology use in restaurants.

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Preface ix

Chapter 1: The Server 1

Objectives 1

Service and Hospitality 2

Advantages of Being a Server 2

Qualifications for the Job 4

Personal Appearance on the Job 6

The Uniform 6

Hygiene and Grooming 8

Your Role in the Restaurant Organization 8

Teamwork with Coworkers and Supervisors 9

Issues Regarding Restaurant Employment 11

Respecting the Diversity of All People 11

Preventing Harassment on the Job 12

Keeping Violence and Drugs out of the Workplace 12

Safety and Preventing Accidents 13

Taking Sanitation Seriously 13

Key Terms 14

Review 14

Projects 14

Case Problem 15

Chapter 2: Types of Establishments, Types of Service, and Table Settings 17

Objectives 17

Types of Establishments 18

Types of Table Service 18

French Service 18

Russian Service 21

English Service 22

American Service 22

Banquet Service 25

Family-Style Service 28

Buffets 28

Salad Bars, Oyster Bars, and Dessert Tables 30

Key Terms 33

Review 33

Projects 34

Case Problem 34

Chapter 3: Before the Guests Arrive 35

Objectives 35

Station Assignments 36

Reservations 36

Dining Room Preparation 38

Preparing the Tables 38

Folding the Napkins 41

Preparing the Sidestand 41

Studying the Menu 46

What Is a Menu? 46

Why Study the Menu? 46

Types of Menus 48

Content of the Menu 48

Methods of Food Preparation 53

Preparation Time 54

Meal Accompaniments 55

Closing the Dining Room 56

Key Terms 58

Review 58

Projects 59

Case Problem 59

Chapter 4: Initiating the Service 61

Objectives 61

Seating Guests 62

Who Seats Guests? 62

Where to Seat Guests 62

How to Seat Guests 63

Controlling Seating 64

Approaching the Guests 65

Taking Orders 65

Technique of Taking Orders 65

Methods of Taking Orders 67

Appropriate Topics of Conversation 70

Answering Questions 70

Making Suggestions and Increasing Sales 71

Timing the Meal 73

Placing Orders in the Kitchen 73

Picking up Orders from the Kitchen 75

Key Terms 76

Review 76

Projects 77

Case Problem 77

Chapter 5: Serving the Meal 79

Objectives 79

Serving Tables and Booths 80

Serving Each Course 80

Serving Beverages 82

Serving at Booths 84

Clearing Dishes from the Table 84

Efficiency When Serving 86

Minimizing Steps 86

Maintaining Food Quality 86

Attending to Guests 86

Giving Special Amenities 86

Handling Unusual Circumstances 87

Your Behavior toward All Guests 87

Handling Guests with Special Needs 87

Handling Complaints 89

The Guest Check and Payment 90

Receiving the Tip 92

Increasing the Tip 95

Reporting Tips 95

Key Terms 97

Review 97

Projects 98

Case Problem 98

Chapter 6: Safety, Sanitation, and Emergency Procedures 99

Objectives 99

Safety: Preventing Accidents 100

Food Safety and Sanitation Responsibilities 103

Emergency Procedures 107

Fire 108

Severe Weather 108

Electrical Blackouts 109

Injury or Serious Illness 109

Key Terms 113

Review 113

Projects 113

Case Problem 114

Chapter 7: Handling Service Using Technology 115

Objectives 115

Computers in Restaurants 116

Components of a POS System 118

Office Computer 118

Server Terminal with Touch Screen Monitor 118

Printer 120

Cash Drawer 120

Magnetic Card Reader 120

Handheld Order Terminal 121

Taking Orders Using a POS System 122

Getting Orders to and from the Bar and Kitchen 124

Completing Each Transaction 124

Closing at the End of the Day 126

Advantages of a POS System 128

Advantages and Disadvantages of Handheld Order Terminals 129

Restaurant Reservations and Table Management 130

Advantages of Restaurant Reservation and Table

Management Software 130

Guest Paging 131

Advantages of Guest Paging 132

Key Terms 134

Review 134

Projects 134

Case Problem 135

Chapter 8: Wine and Bar Service 137

Objectives 137

Significance of Serving Wine, Beer, and Liquor 138

The Concern about Serving Alcohol in Restaurants 139

Wine Service 141

Wine Merchandising 141

Characteristics of Wine 141

Types of Wines 143

Temperature of Wine 143

Wines and Foods that Complement Each Other 145

The Amount of Wine to Order 145

Wine Glasses 145

Wine Lists and Wine Charts 147

Taking the Wine Order 148

Procedure for Opening and Serving Wine 148

Beer Service 154

Types of Beer 154

Types of Beer Glasses 155

Procedure for Serving Beer 156

Liquor Service 156

Types of Liquor 156

Temperature of Drinks 157

Liquor Glassware 157

Popular Cocktails and Mixed Drinks 158

Procedure for Serving Drinks 158

Nonalcoholic Drinks 161

Key Terms 163

Review 163

Projects 164

Case Problem 165

Resource A: Definitions of Key Terms from the Text 167

Resource B: Definitions ofMenu and Service Terms 177

Resource C: Recommended Resources for Further Information 189

Index 191

  • Each chapter includes learning objectives, bolded key terms, and projects
  • Mini cases are incorporated into the end of each chapter and focus on circumstances such as initiating service, a sensitive situation, handling harassment, and dealing with difficult customers
  • Photos have been updated and additional photos added to more illustrate table settings, service styles, etc., and add to the visual appeal
  • An end-of-course assessment is available on the book's instructor and student companion websites.  The answers will be accessible via the password protected portion of the Instructor's page of the web site.
  • Covers current topics such as food allergens, food safety and sanitation, and sexual harassment 
  • New coverage of technology use in restaurants, including POS systems
  • Updated information on upselling from the menu, food allergies, food trends, safety and sanitation guidelines, and alcohol service,
  • Includes a glossary and resource of menu and service terms


  • Practical, concise guide on serving food properly in a restaurant
  • Explains all different types of service: French, American, English, Russia, Family-style, and Banquet
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to greet and seat guests, take orders, and answer questions, serve food and beverages, time service, and handle the check
  •   Covers safety, sanitation, and emergency procedures
  • Includes end of chapter projects that incorporate real life situations, facilitate group discussion, and foster critical thinking
  • Low price, but contains all the necessary features to use as a textbook
  • Enhanced coverage of POS systems and other current technology usage in restaurants