How To Serve Food

So you’re hosting a dinner party, or maybe you work at a restaurant and you’re a novice. Don’t worry about it. Most people can go through their entire lives without knowing how to serve food properly. There is an art to proper food service that dates back to the pharaohs, but it has reached its peak with the Victorians who had a special method for serving every sort of food along with special containers and servers for each item. Of course, we’re not quite that detailed in our food service customs today. A few pointers will help you on your way to being confident on how to serve food.

Serve Food

First, ask yourself what is my task? Am I serving a twelve-course meal, am I laying out a cold supper buffet or am I simply having the neighbors over for some pot roast? What you’re serving will affect how it is served. Traditional meals that are served in courses usually begin with a soup and/or salad that is served with water and a beverage. Subsequent courses of vegetables, an entrée, and even desserts are served after the dishes. Coffee, liqueurs, wine, and conversation among the guests usually follow dinners like these. The multiple course meal is perhaps the hardest type of meal to serve, since it requires the server be constantly attentive to the table. In these types of meals, it is also important to make sure that you serve the food hot and fresh.

A cold buffet, on the other hand, is a good candidate for the easiest meal. Dishes are selected for this buffet with the idea of being served cold. And the arrangement of the food and the provision of proper serving utensils and clean plates, bowls, etc. are the job of the server. Of course, some buffet dinners offer hot food, but the addition of chafing dishes or electric warmers make this a lot simpler than it used to be.

The pot roast dinner for the neighbors can resemble either the multiple course dinner or the buffet; but most people opt for something in between. Food served at the right temperature, in the right container and with the proper utensils is the backbone of good food service. The rest is simply a combination of good manners and creativity.

Filed Under: Food & Cooking


About the Author: Leona Kesler is a head-chef at a very popular food restaurant in New York. Also she is a blogger who shares her experiences, tips, and other informative details about food and cooking. Her recipes are featured on many magazines.

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