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F&B Service Terminology

Aboyer - Aboyer aids the communication between the kitchen and restaurant. He receives the food order from the service staff and announces the order to the kitchen. Aboyer is responsible for hot plate section of the pantry.

A la carte Menu - A la carte menu is a type of menu, where the food items are priced individually. Literary meaning of a la carte is “from the card”

American service - It is a type of table service. In American menu the food is pre-plated and portioned at the kitchen. This type of service is relatively less formal and seen in coffee shops.

ABC - ABC stands for Ashtray, Budvase and Cruet. ABC is kept at the centre of the table while laying the cover.

Back of the House - Back of the house is the ancillary area of the restaurant, where all the supporting service is carried out. Some of the back of the house sections are pantry, dishwashing, hot plate, still room etc.

Bain Marie - Bain Marie is equipment that holds the Food hot. The equipment contains cylindrical drum, which is heated with water. Bain Marie is usually used in Hot Plate section of the pantry.

Barker - Barker is another term for Aboyer. Barker is the person who communicates between service and kitchen and help to pick up the food in time. Usually the order taken by the waiter is hander over to the Barker.

Bone China - It is a white translucent ceramic material made from kaolin, china clay and bone ash. It is used in restaurant to serve various dishes.

Briefing - Briefing is done prior to the opening of the restaurant. In the briefing the senior most staff gives instructions to the junior staff with regard to availability of dishes, special items of the day, and also some training.

Buffets - Buffet is a type of assisted service, where food and beverage is displayed at counters. Waiter assists at the counters to take the food from the counters or the guest help themselves.

Bus Boy - Bus boy is a person who helps the waiter. The main responsibility of a bus boy is to bring the food from the kitchen and also do the clearance of plates from the table.

Carousel - Carousel is a circular counter that revolves to display the food items. The carousel is fitted in such a way that the one side is always inside the kitchen and other side is in the service area. As the carousel revolves the counter is filled up from the kitchen and guests selects the food as it revolves.

Carte du jour - Carte du jour means “card of the day”. It is used to highlight the special dishes of the day. carte du jour is actually an supporting menu to the main menu.

Chafing dish - It is a hollowware used to keep the food warm usually in buffet service. Chafing dish has a water container, which is the base, food container and place for fuel. Using the fuel the water is heated up and in turn the food is heated up with the hot water.

Cover - Cover is the space on the table allotted for table-wares to the guest to consume his/her meal. The size of the cover is 24 inch * 18 inch.

Cutlery - Cutlery is the term denotes all the cutting implements such as knives. Cutlery can be made of EPNS or stainless steel.

Demi-tasse - Demi-tasse means half cup. It is used to serve coffee except breakfast. Size of demi-tasse is 75 ml.

Dummy waiter/ Demi waiter - Dummy waiter is another term for side board. It is restaurant furniture and used to keep all the serving equipments for a meal session.

Elevenses - Elevenses is a meal served at 11 o’ clock. It includes the food items as biscuits, cake etc. and usually offered to children.

Gueridon trolley - It is a mobile trolley from which the gueridon service is done.

Hostess - Hostess is a member of restaurant brigade. Duty of hostess includes taking restaurant reservation and receiving them at the door.

Indian breakfast - It is a type of breakfast, which includes Indian dishes such as dosha, idly, chapathi etc. served with chutney and vegetable curries. There are two types of Indian breakfasts viz. North Indian and South Indian.

Lounge service - It is a type of specialized service. Lounge service is done at the lounge of a hotel. Items such as morning tea, afternoon tea, and alcoholic beverages are served in the lounge.

Maitre d’hotel - Maitre d’hotel is the Supervisor of the a F&B outlet. He looks after the day to day operations of a food service outlet.

Menu - Menu is a list of food and/or beverage than can be served to a guest at a price. It helps guests to select what they would like to eat and/ or drink. It is a document that controls and directs an outlet’s operation and is considered the prime selling instrument

Mise-en-scene - It means prepare the environment of the outlet before service. Mise-en-scene includes preparing the restaurant welcoming, create ambience with regard to cleanliness, furniture setting and temperature.

Mise-en-place - Mise-en-place means “putting in place” and the term denotes to the preparation of a work place for ultimate smooth service. To ensure that the restaurant is ready for service the waiter makes sure that this station has been efficiently prepared for service.

Napkin - Napkin is restaurant linen. Napkin is used to decorate the table using various folds and also used to keep on the lap of the guest to protect their clothes during service.

Sommelier - Sommelier is the French term for wine waiter. He is responsible for the service of all alcoholic drinks during the service of meals, and is also a sales person. He requires having a thorough knowledge of beverages and wines as food accompaniments.

Trancheur - Trancheur is the French term for carver. His responsibility is to carve the meat joints in front of the guest and serve to them.

Salesmanship - The food and beverage service personnel are technical salespersons, hence they should have a thorough knowledge of the proper presentation and service of all the food and beverage served in the establishment

Tableware - Tableware is a type of restaurant equipments used to keep on the table. Table ware includes flatware, cutlery and hollowware. Table ware is made either EPNS or stainless steel.

Silver Dip - Instantly removes tarnish from silverware, silver plate, cutlery and small silver items. Quickly cleans even difficult to reach places such as between fork tines. Gives silver a brilliant shine. Just dip, rinse and dry.

Polivit - Polivit is the one of the fastest methods of cleaning silverware. For this one needs aluminum foil, baking soda, shallow pan and a clean cloth. The baking soda will “polish” the silverware, removing dirt, stains, and grease. Rinse the silverware thoroughly under warm, running water. Air-dry the silverware on a clean towel. Buff the silverware with a soft, clean cloth.

Burnishing machine - This is a revolving drum like container using for cleaning silver ware, with safety shield attached to it.. The burnishing machines are attached with ball bearing to run that effectively. Soap power is used to clean the silver ware hygienically.

Thermal shock-Thermal shock is the result of glass experiencing a sudden temperature change. Glass holds temperature, and a rapid change in temperature can cause enough stress to result in breakage.

Mechanical shock - Mechanical shock in glassware is the direct result of contact with another object, such as a spoon, a beer tap, another glass, or a piece of china. This kind of contact can cause a minute abrasion, invisible to the eye, but a source of weakness in the glass, making it more susceptible to breakage from impact or thermal shock.

Disposables - Disposables are use and throw products used in the service of food and beverage productsThis is largely due to the increasing demand for fast food items. There are different types of disposable used in the catering business and mostly they are used in outdoor catering, vending machines, fast food outlets & hotels

Special equipments - Special equipments are for specialized services. They are not used in regular services. Specialized equipments are divided into Trolleys and Miscellaneous equipments. Some of the trolleys used in a restaurant are gueridon trolley, bain marie, vending machine, hot plate etc.

EPNS (Electro Plated Nickel Silver) - EPNS is Silverware made of silver plating. Silver plating is a thin layer of silver on top of another metal. It is made by an electrical process, hence the name – Electroplated Nickel Silver - Cutleries and crockery’s of high class establishments are made out of EPNS which includes different types of forks, knifes, pots, plates, salvers etc.

Table d’hôte or a fixed menu - Table d’hôte refers to a menu of limited choice. It usually includes three or five courses available at a fixed price. It is also referred to as a fixed menu. This term is known to caterers by its abbreviation TDH menu. A table d’hôte menu is a complete meal at a predetermined price.

A la carte menu - A la carte menu is a multiple choice menu, with each dish priced separately. If a guest wishes to place an order he selects the item from the menu and pays for the order he made. In an a la carte menu all items are cooked to order and served with accompaniments.

Hors d’oeuvre - Hors d’oeuvre course aimed to stimulate the palate, and consists of small tasty dishes, using a large array of different items such as anchovies, olives, cheese and smoked fish. They are often referred to a starters or appetizers. This course could also include salads.

Entrée - Entree is the first meat in a French Classical menu. It usually comprises a dish made up of steak, cutlets, casseroles or stews. Some example are Steak au poirre, Veal cutlets, and Irish stew.

Dessert - This is the fruit course in the French classical menu and usually presented in a basket (Corbielle de Fruits) and placed on the table, as part of the table décor, and served at the end of the meal. All forms of fresh fruit and nuts may be served in this course.

Table Service - It is a type of service. Table service is the service done at the table, where the guests are seated. In the table service either service personnel or waiter serves the food to the guests or the guests help themselves.

American service - American service is a pre-plated service which means that the food is served onto the guest’s plate in the kitchen itself and brought to the guest. The portion is predetermined by the kitchen and the accompaniments served with the dish balances the entire presentation in terms of nutrition and color. This type of service is common in a coffee shop where service is required to be fast.

English service - English service is often referred to as “Host Service” or “Silver service”. The food is brought on platters by the waiter and is shown to the host for approval. The waiter then portions the food and serves to the guest plate.

French service - It is a very personalized service. Individual portioned food is brought from the kitchen in dishes and slavers which are placed directly on the table. The plates are kept near the dish and the guests help themselves.

Russian service - Table is laid with food for guests and presentation is done elaborately. Guests help themselves. This is an elaborate silver service much on the line of French service. Display and presentation are the major part of this service. Some parts of the service such as carving and portioning etc are done by the waiter.

Gueridon service - This is a service done from the gueridon trolley. The cooking is done at the gueridon trolley place near the guest table and service is done at the guest table. The waiter plays an important role as he is required to fillet, carve, flambé and prepare the food with showmanship.

Self Service - In the self service the service is done by customer themselves. The guests collect the food from the counters and then he/she may sit at the table or stand at high table to have the food.

Counter service - Counter service sometimes called cafeteria service. The guests come in line, collect their food from the counter and seat at the table to have the food. Food may be grouped together such as cold and hot, or main course and desserts etc. In some places the guests also have to clear the empty plates and cutleries after having the food.

Echelon - In echelon service the counters are arranged in such a way that it provides better view of the foods and arranged in angular way.

Carousel - The carousel is a circular counter that revolves to display the food items. The carousel is fitted in such a way that the one side is always inside the kitchen and other side is in the service area. As the carousel revolves the counter is filled up from the kitchen and guests selects the food as it revolves.

Carvery - Cavery is a type of assisted service. This service method includes both table service and self service. Some parts of the service is done by the waiter at the table and some parts of the service is done guests themselves.

Take away - The food order is placed at a counter and the food is collected from the same counter and take the food away from the premises for consumption.

Drive thru - The customer drives the vehicle to the counter and orders and collects the food and leaves the counter.

Vending Machine - The customer inserts the value of the food item displayed in the vending machine and selects the food by pressing a knob. The vending machine dispenses the selected food. The vending machine can dispense hot or cold food.

Food courts - Food courts include series of individual counters where customer may either order and eat, or buy from a number of counters and eat in separate eating area.

Kiosks - Kiosks are outdoor arrangements that provide food and beverages to people in a specific location.

Specialized Service/ In-Situ - In-situ service is the service provided at the place, which is primarily not meant for service. Examples of in-situ services are:

Tray service - In the tray service the food and beverages are brought in a tray and given to guests. Such service is seen in hospitals, guest rooms etc

Room service - In room service, the service of food and beverages are done in the guest room. The food is taken to the guest room in a tray or room service trolley.

Drive-in service - The guests order the food from the vehicle parked at designated areas and service is done at the vehicle. The food is placed on trays that are clipped in the door or steering wheel.

Lounge service - In lounge service the food and beverage is served at the lounge area of a hotel

Mise-En-Scene - Mise-en-scene is the preparation of the environment of the restaurant before starting the service session. Creating a pleasing, safe and hygienic environment is the main task in the Mise-en-scene. For the waiter, the restaurant is the service area. Before each service session, the restaurant should be made presentable enough o accept guests.

Mise-En-Place - Mise-en-place means “putting in place” and the term denotes to the preparation of a work place for ultimate smooth service. To ensure that the restaurant is ready for service the waiter makes sure that this station has been efficiently prepared for service.

Guest Service Cycle

Guest service cycle refers to the activities provided to the guests while in the restaurant. Guest service cycle is the process, which repeats to every guest. Learning guest service cycle is very important, because a good waiter should know what are the activities done in the restaurant during the service.

Social Skill

Social skill is a skill, which enable us to deal with social situations. Social skills have an important part to play in food and beverage service. Because service is about meeting the guest’s psychological needs and making him feel welcome, and social skills are essential part of this process. Social skills can be used for selling of food and beverage products also.

Kot/ Bot Controll System

A variety of control systems are used in the hotel industry. One such important control system is the KOT control. When an order is taken from a guest, it is ordered in triplicate on a Kitchen Order Ticket. One copy goes to the kitchen, against which the chef prepared the dishes ordered for. The second copy goes to the cashier to make the bill. The third copy is the waiter’s copy, against which the food or beverage to be served to the guest is picked up

Specialty Restaurant

Speciality restaurant is a restaurant serves specialized cuisines. Service in a specialty restaurant is both formal and stylish. The prices tend to be high because of higher overheads. The menu may be an a la carte, buffet, or a table d’hote. Waiters should be highly skilled, as specialized services such as preparation of food at tables and flambés, may have to be done.

Coffee shop

Coffee shop is a 24 hours F&B outlet. Usually coffee shop situated near to the lobby of a hotel. Style of service is American that is pre-plated. The menu of coffee shop is varied. Menu comprises of Full-day menu or according to meal session.

Cafeteria Service

This service exists normally in industrial canteens, colleges, hospitals or hotel cafeterias. To facilitate quick service, the menu is fixed and is displayed on large boards. The guest may have to buy coupons in advance, present them to the counter waiter who then services the desired item. Sometimes food is displayed behind the counter and the guess may indicate their choice to the counter attendant. The food is served pre-plated and the cutlery is handed directly to the guest. Guests may then sit at the tables and chairs provided by the establishment.

Fast food Service

There is a predominant American influence in fast food style of catering. The service of food and beverages in a fast food restaurant is at a faster pace, than at an a la carte restaurant as the menu is compiled with a special emphasis on the speed of preparation and service. To make this type of service financially viable, a large turnover of customers is necessary. The investment is rather large, due to the specialized and expensive equipment needed and high labor costs involved.

Room service

Room service is offered to the resident guests. Guests order food and/ or beverages to the kitchen and order is taken by the room service order taker. Once the order is taken then it is passed to the kitchen. Once the order is ready the room service waiter serves the food and/ or beverage at the room. Along with the food, the bill is also presented to guest to be signed or payment.

Banquet Service

Banquet functions are the services provided at a fixed time and at a fixed venue. The banquet service is inevitable in a hotel due to its revenue earning potential. The reason is that banquet can offer service to a large number of guests at a time. Banquet service can be formal or informal.

Bar service

There are normally two kinds of bars in Indian hotels. One is the public bar, and the other is the service or dispense bar. The public bar is located in the public areas, and is used for the service of paying customers, be it in-house guess or non-residents. The dispense bar is used for dispensing drinks to other outlets of the hotel such as coffee shop, room service outlet, banquets and the specialty restaurant. It is generally located in the back area of the hotel and is open round the clock. It should be adequately equipped to meet the demands of all the outlets.

Vending Machine

Vending machines are machines dispensing food and beverages and placed at various places. The main advantages of vending machines are the convenience. But the main disadvantage is the limited choice. Vending machines does not require the help of service staff to operate.

Ancillary Areas and Services

Ancillary areas are the supporting areas of F&B service department. Without the help of the ancillary departments F&B service department cannot work smoothly. In this regard the ancillary departments are very important for F&B service department. Major ancillary departments in a five star hotel are the following.

  1. Pantry

  2. Still room

  3. Silver room

  4. Linen Room

  5. Hot plate

  6. Wash-up area

  7. Kitchen stewarding


Pantry is the area situated between the Kitchen and Restaurant. Pantry consists of the following sections. Hot plate or food pick up area, Place to keep dirty plates and glasses, Place or box to keep soiled linens, Place to keep clean plates and cups, A sink to wash small equipments such as glasses and cups, A dispense Bar

Still Room

It is one of the very important supporting areas in the food and beverage department of the hotel. It provides the food and beverages for the service of meals which are not provided by the kitchen. The still room makes all the hot and cold non-alcoholic beverages needed for the restaurant.

Silver Room

Silver room is the place where all the silver wares are stored and cleaned. Still room holds the complete stock of all the silverware such as flatware, cutlery, hollowware etc. separate storage areas would be allotted to store different types equipments. It is very important area that the silver room should contain space for silver cleaning.

Linen Room

The linen room is important back of the house service area in a hotel. The linen room should stock minimum linen and uniform required to meet the daily demands so as to ensure smooth operations. Linen is changed daily in the restaurant and it is exchanged one on one basis from the linen room.

Hot plate

Hot plate is the food pick up area of the pantry. The service personnel is not allowed to enter the kitchen nor wait till food is being prepared. The waiter is hands over the KOT (Kitchen Order Ticket) to the Aboyer, who is in-charge of hot plate and in-turn aboyer announces the order to the kitchen. Once the order is being prepared kitchen staff keeps the cooked food in the hot plate.

Wash-up area

The wash-up area comprises of wash sinks, dish washing machines, rack to keep cleaned dishes, and tables. All the utensils are washed, cleaned, dried and keep here for further use.

Kitchen stewarding

This department primarily controls the storage and issue of cutlery, crockery, hollowware, chinaware, glassware to the different food and beverage outlets and kitchens. Kitchen stewarding department supplies all cleaned service equipment to waiter. This department is also responsible for washing solid service ware and subsequently furnishing clean items.

Back bar - A range of shelves displaying glassware and bottles.

Banquet - A sit-down meal served on the occasion of a formal or informal event such as a wedding party or a conference.

Binge Drinking - Drinking too much in a single session.

Buffet - A dining system where the guests serve themselves. Popular with a large number of guests and a small number of workforces.

Cocktail - Any mixed drink prepared using alcohol.

Condiments - Spices, sauce or other food preparations used to enhance the flavor or to complement the dish.

Crockery - Plates, dishes, cups, and other similar items, especially ones made of glass, earthenware, or china clay.

Cross-Contamination - It is a process of unintentional transfer microorganisms from one substance or object to another, with harmful effect.

Croutons - Crispy cubes of bread

Cutlery - Knives, forks, and spoons used for eating or serving food.

Deli - A store that sells pre-cooked fine food.

Dram Shop - American term for ‘Alcohol Bar’.

Gueridon Trolley - A trolley used in F&B Services business on which the food can be cooked, finished, or presented to the guest at the table.

High Ball (Long Drink) - Alcoholic beverage mixed with a large volume of soft drink and served in a tall glass with straw.

Mocktail - A non-alcoholic drink prepared using fruit juices or other soft drinks.

Pathogen - It is a biological agent that causes disease to its host.

Platter - A large flat dish or plate for serving food.

Pub - British name for ‘Public House’, an establishment licensed to serve alcoholic drinks.

Shot Ball (Short Drink) - Alcoholic drink consumed in a gulp. It is served in shot glass.

Situ - On site, locally.

Spot Checking - Regular surprise checking conducted to review standardized recipes and food products to maintain quality.

Station - A set of tables allocated to waiters in the F&B Services establishment.

Table Cover - It is the area on the table for plates, glasses, and cutlery for single person.

Tines - Parallel or branching spikes of a fork.

Toque - Cooks cap with multiple folds represents the many different ways a chef knows to prepare a dish.


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1 Comment

Feb 17, 2022

Thank you for sharing this!

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