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Four Ways to Set the Table for a Dinner Party




Formal Style:


  1. Setting: Salad plate/dinner plate/charger

  2. Serving style: Hospitality staff

  3. Order of service:

    1. Guest takes her seat at the table

    2. In front of her are a salad plate, dinner plate, charger


c. Salad and dinner plate are removed by the hospitality staff and the salad is returned plated and placed on top of the charger



d. After the first course, the salad is removed by the hospitality staff and the main course is returned plated and placed on top of the charger



e. After the main course, the dinner plate is removed by the hospitality staff, along with the charger, and the dessert is served plated


f. Dessert fork and spoon are slid down into the proper position


Semi-Formal Style:



  1. Setting: Salad plate/dinner plate/charger

  2. Serving style: Hospitality staff

  3. Order of service:

    1. Guest takes her seat at the table

    2. In front of her is a pre-plated, ready to eat salad sitting on top of a charger (no dinner plate is present)


c. After the first course, the hostess gets up from the table, removes each salad plate, returns with the main course plated and places it on top of the charger


d. After the main course, the hostess gets up from the table, removes each dinner plate, along with the charger, and returns with dessert plated



e. Hostess slides dessert utensils into their proper place



f. Hostess will also need to keep drinks filled throughout the evening


Family Style:



  1. Setting: Dinner plate/charger with salad plate to the left and bread plate at top left

  2. Serving style: Food is placed in the middle of the table in large bowls and casserole dishes

  3. Order of service:

    1. Guest takes her seat at the table

    2. In front of her is a dinner plate on top of a charger with a salad plate to the left and bread plate above the salad plate

c. Food is passed to the right, and everyone serves themselves on their salad plate, bread plate, and dinner plate

d. Once the meal is complete the hostess removes the salad plate, bread plate, dinner plate, and charger

e. She returns with dessert plated or she places a large dessert in the middle of the table and allows everyone to serve themselves

f. Hostess will also need to keep drinks filled throughout the evening


Buffet:


1.Setting: Charger

2. Serving style: Food is on a buffet table where salad and dinner plates are located


3. Order of service:

a. Guests serve their salad and seat themselves at the table

b.Once the first course is finished, guests go back to the buffet for the main entre

c. While guests are at the buffet the hostess clears the salad plates and refills drinks

d. Repeat same protocol for dessert



Manners are WHAT to do.


Etiquette is HOW to do it.


Protocol is WHEN to do it.


But always remember, in the end, it is only kindness that matters.


Manners and Etiquette go hand in hand but they are not the same.


“Etiquette is a set of rules. Manners are an expression of your inner character.”*

Always treat others as you wish to be treated.

*Encyclopedia.com


Together with you,

Lisa Lou


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