Serving the breakfast

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Madeleine's picture

I read that book 'Service Included' and wow what a difference in service if you're dining at a place like Per Se rather than Olive Garden!

We have open seating, come when you want. VERY often we only get part of the party seated (half of the couple, parents but not kids, 3 of a group of 4, that sort of thing) and wonder what to do. I ask if they are waiting or would they like to start now? If they want to wait I try to get a time out of them when they think the missing link will arrive, especially in the summer when we're packed to the gills and holding tables for an hour is frowned upon.

So, some questions...

  • Do you wait until everyone in a party is seated before you approach the table
  • Do you bring the first course right away and THEN ask when or if they expect the other people
  • If the table is completely seated and you are about to serve the main course (or any hot course) and someone 'disappears' do you hot hold all the food, deliver all the food, deliver to those who are seated and hot hold the rest

I know this sounds weird because we are standing 5' from where they are seated but we do self-serve coffee, tea & juice so guests often have something 'to do' while waiting for me to show up to tell them what's on the menu today. I am not trying to make more work for myself, just to make sure everyone gets a hot meal.


Everyday, for good or ill, we intersect with some else's story and become a part of it.



 You setting/layout is way different to mine. If we have two seatings like last weekend, we do serve everyone at once, unless someone no shows, people jump up all the time, their phone vibrates, they want to make a cup of tea now, they forgot their vitamins in the room, they start sneezing...

Consider juice, for us we serve by the glass. We offer it to each guest once seated. So if one or two are still dawdling those seated won't have to wait.

My main course is served HOT, it is HELD FOR NO MAN. Once it is cooked and ready it is plated and served. If a person jumped up the plate goes in their spot, for when they walk back in.  We don't do short order, so when it is ready it is served.


Gluten free is never free. - Joey Bloggs


Proud Texan's picture

We serve breakfast hot at 8:30,  luke warm at 8:45 and cold at 9:00.    

Kay Nein's picture

 haha - good one.  We're still trying to learn how to stage the food so this is often who it works at our place.  Actually, we have a sign that says breakfast is at 8:30.  We joke about putting "ish" after that =)  Also, think it might be funny to actually put your comment on our sign.  Our guests would be amused!


We have an hour long open seating.  If only part of the same group (family, couple etc) is seated we ask all the above.  We usually serve them their coffee, juice etc and ask if they would like the starter while they wait.  Since we do serve the coffee, it provides us more opportunity to let them say they will go ahead if someone has still not shown. 

We do offer to keep a plate warm if someone excuses themselves before they are finished.

We have space for all guests at the same time so we don't have the issues of people holding a table hostage. 

Generic's picture

We do two services, we call them 8AM and 9AM, but it is denoted as arrivals from 8 to 8:30 and out before 9AM and a second from 9 to 9:30 and out before 10AM. We use one communal table and two or three spaces at the bar. The starter is part of the place setting, so it's already at the table when they get there.

When they arrive we ask if everyone is coming immediately, if they want to wait or if they want to start without. This way it's their choice, not ours. Our coffee, tea and juice is self serve, but the first time they arrive we do a formal "tour" so that they know what is where.

And essentially we clear 5 minutes before the hour. Those who arrive late are rushed, but we have others to serve and the next day, they get there earlier. 


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