Figure 9-9.-Table set for a formal dinner.
heated dinner plate replaces the service plate for
the main course. The food is brought in on a
platter or in serving dishes. The food is presented
to the guest who is seated to the right of the host.
The service then proceeds counterclockwise
around the table.
Upon completion of the main course, the
dinner plate and used silverware are removed.
The salad plate is then put in its place. To provide
faster service, the salad is usually arranged on
the salad plate before it is brought in.
When all have finished their salads, the salad
plate and silverware are removed. At this point,
the only items remaining from the original
setting are the water and wine glasses. Before the
dessert is served, the crumbs, if any, should be
brushed off the table with a folded napkin and
tray. The dessert course with appropriate
silverware is then placed before the diners.
Coffee is served with the dessert course or
following it. If cups are placed on the table and
coffee offered to those who want it, service is from
It is customary not to smoke at formal
dinners until after the coffee or demitasse has
been served. When allowed, at the proper time
cigarettes and/or cigars are passed and ashtrays
are placed before those persons desiring them.
The serving of beverages was discussed
earlier; however, four general guidelines and
several specific procedures for serving beverages
will now be explained.
Formal Beverage Service
Since the formal style of service is quite
elaborate, different beverages may accompany
each course, and considerable guidance is needed
for this to be done correctly. Guidance should be
obtained from the wardroom supervisor and from
Informal Beverage Service
The first guideline is that beverages are to be
served from the diners right if possible.
Otherwise, check with the wardroom supervisor
about how to serve the beverages in a way that
disturbs the least number of diners.
The second guideline is that the server
should never lift the diners glasses or cups
from the dining table to refill them. Rather, he
or she should pour the beverage into them
while they are on the table. If the cup or glass is
not conveniently placed for service, carefully
move it to a better location. If it cannot be
reached, politely ask the diner to move it.