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Professional Table Service Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0471289265 ISBN-10: 0471289264 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (November 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471289264
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471289265
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 8.6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,209,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Professional Table Service Sylvia Meyer, Edy Schmid, Christel Spühler Translated by Heing Holtmann In a plush dining room, beautifully dressed guests dine on a sumptuous meal. The food is superb; the ambience, elegant; and the prices, surprisingly reasonable. These guests will surely return to enjoy this restaurant again, won’t they? Unfortunately, they will not. After waiting half an hour in the crowded lobby for their reserved table, they were seated without apology or explanation by a clearly harried maiître d’. After another half hour, their waiter quickly and silently passed out menus while on his way to serve another table. One of their table settings lacked forks; another, a napkin. One guest received the wrong appetizer, and when she complained, the waiter argued that she was mistaken. When the main courses arrived, two guests discovered their food was not what they had expected and violated their diets. The red wine was served, already poured, in white-wine glasses. When the waiter began to prepare their dessert tableside, he realized that he had forgotten to bring matches to flambé it, and it was ruined. On his second try, in his annoyance, he tilted the pan too far while flambéing and scorched the tablecloth, barely missing the guest of honor’s arm. After another long wait for the check, which was illegible, the guests were happy to escape. Sound like a nightmare? It was, not only for the guests but for the service staff and the restaurant’s management. But such nightmares occur all too often, and they can be easily avoided. The key to providing quality table service is a knowledgeable, well-trained staff. This handsomely illustrated volume supplies that knowledge, covering everything service personnel need to know, from setting a table to recommending a wine to accepting a credit card. Professional Table Service has been translated directly from the acclaimed German edition, which is the most widely used service manual in the foodservice industry. Now American service people can master the techniques of polished European table service, so long considered the epitome in the industry. Much of what constitutes quality service is accomplished before a guest even crosses the threshold, and the opening chapters of this practical volume emphasize the importance of good preparation. Included are fully illustrated discussions of
  • Handling tools and equipment, including furnishings, plate warmers and gas burners, linens, silverware, glassware, china, and serving dishes
  • Setting up the waiters’ pantry and dining room
  • Organizing work schedules
  • Establishing service stations
  • Understanding a menu’s structure and design
  • Setting tables, including the basic setup, additional utensils, condiments, and decorations
  • Preparing for special meals, including breakfasts and banquets
But preparation behind the scenes, essential as it is, is only the beginning. Once guests arrive, the service staff must convey genuine hospitality. Detailed discussions of the different types of guests, from regular customers to visiting tourists, from children to the disabled, enable service personnel to make every diner feel truly welcome. Creating a good first impression, both in taking reservations and in greeting the guests, is discussed, as are the proper ways to place kitchen orders, handle guest complaints, accept payment, and bid farewell. Anticipating guests’ desires helps to promote sales, and excellent suggestions for encouraging sales without offending guests are provided. Finally, the impressive preparation and service of dishes tableside are examined, including detailed instructions accompanied by step-by-step photos on boning, carving, and flambéing. Because guests must rely on the service staff for their information about what an establishment has to offer, it is imperative that the staff understand and be able to explain what is available. The book closes with an in-depth look at the various beverages, foods, and cooking methods a waitperson may encounter. Included is a comprehensive lexicon, arranged by country, of wines from Europe and the United States that identifies the characteristics of hundreds of wines and suggests foods they should accompany. A glossary of culinary terms enables service personnel to explain the names for every classic preparation, from appetizers to desserts. The glossary of service terms that closes the book defines the essential vocabulary of the profession. Whether a local coffee shop or a gourmet restaurant, the neighborhood pub or a trend-setting resort, every foodservice establishment must offer good service if it is to survive. Nothing — not delicious food, exciting surroundings, reasonable prices, celebrity chefs, or elegant tableware — can compensate for poor service. Professional Table Service provides clear, straightforward techniques for supplying four-star service, a surefire way to guarantee that guests will enjoy their dining experience and return again and again.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By "anonc" on May 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
There's not a whole lot to say about the English edition of the service textbook used by Swiss hotel management schools. Clear writing, decent maps/diagrams, illustrative photographs, and a conservative position are some of the features of this book that covers both dining room and banquet service.
Like the French edition ("Technologie du service"), the page layout design leaves a fair amount of blank space which results in a volume that's much larger than necessary. Still, this is a good reference for the F&B or catering manager to have on his/her bookshelf, to be supplanted with Conrad Tuor's compact "Aide-Memoire du Sommelier" (a.k.a., "Wine and Food Handbook").
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By JColdren on October 31, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The book has wealth of information for those absolutely new to Food and Beverage. Don't look for inside hints or for good restaurant or service systems for the professional, it's just not there. I ordered the book to improve my knowledge of the finer points of service, what I got instead was a rehash of basic techniques that have been better presented elsewhere. Disappointing for the price.
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