After all covers are set, check the table once again
to see that all covers are alike and that nothing was
omitted. Be certain that spoons are laid with bowls up
and that the cutting edges of knives are turned toward
the plate. Place the chairs so the front edge of the seats
are just against or under the drop of the tablecloth.
Setting Place Cards
Place cards are usually used for such functions as
formal or informal dinner parties when the persons
attending may not know one another. Place cards are
prepared to eliminate confusion. When used, the place
card is laid flat on the napkin.
Setting Center Items
After setting individual places, you should then set
the dining table center items. The standard center items
discussed earlier in this chapter will always be placed
on the dining table when setting up the table.
SETTING THE SIDEBOARD
The sideboard is normally where the hot and cold
beverage services are set up for the meals. Additionally,
extra tableware is placed on the sideboard.
Setting Up the Hot Beverage Service
The principal hot beverage used aboard ship is
coffee. Hot tea or hot chocolate also may be used if
desired by wardroom members. The hot beverage
service should beset up following placement of the linen
on the sideboard. The following steps explain beverage
1. To set up this service, you should take
coffeepots from the sideboard to the pantry and obtain
enough coffee for the meal. You should have one
coffeepot for each 10 to 12 diners. Place the pots on
the sideboard coffee warmers. Select at least one
coffee pitcher for each dining table and place on the
linen next to the coffee warmers. Coffee servers
should be filled just before serving and should not be
placed on the warmers.
2. To setup hot tea or chocolate, you should put hot
water in a coffeepot and set it on the coffee warmer.
Arrange tea serving pots next to the warmer. The
number of teapots is determined by the wardroom
supervisor or through experience. Tea bags or hot
chocolate packets should be placed next to the serving
Setting Up the Cold Beverage Service
To setup the cold beverage service, you should take
serving pitchers from the sideboard to the pantry to
obtain the cold beverages. Water is always made
available even if another beverage is served. Cold
beverages are prechilled and placed on the table just
before announcing the meal. The pitchers should be
ready on the sideboard for refills.
When fruit juices are included on the breakfast
menu, a galley serving pan insert should be filled with
enough ice to cover half the height of the glasses. It
should then be placed on the sideboard, and the juice
glasses then filled to the bulge with juice, and placed in
the ice to cool.
Setting Up Extra Tableware
The required amount of extra tableware will
normally be determined by the wardroom supervisor.
Extra tableware should be included for occasional
breakage of china during meals and the likelihood of
If a second seating of diners is
required, tableware should be placed on the sideboard
to permit quick resetting of the dining table after the first
seating has finished.
Obtain and neatly place the necessary items on the
covered portion of the sideboard. Dishes and bowls may
be stacked several high. Cups and glasses should not be
stacked, especially during rough seas. Silverware
should be arranged by type and napkins should be
prefolded and stacked near the silverware.
SETTING FOR BUFFET SERVICE
Buffet service was briefly described earlier in this
chapter. However, there are unique sanitary
considerations involved in the setup and operation of
buffet- or cafeteria-style serving lines. Open serving
pans and trays provide ideal sites for growth and spread
of disease-carrying organisms. Following a few simple
rules can reduce the chance of infection.
1. Always keep hot foods at temperatures above
140°F, Discard the food within 4 hours of the beginning
of preparation if these temperatures cannot be
2. Display only limited amounts of food on the
serving line at any one time. This permits the balance
of food to be kept in the pantry for temperature control.
Refill serving pans and trays only as necessary.
3. Finally, use a sneeze shield whenever possible.
The principal tasks involved in setting up the buffet
serving line are presented next.