Food and Nutrition Nov/Dec.2011  
Questions: 1 2 3 4 5 6 Main
General Comments

Question 5

  • Distinguish between formal and informal meal service.
  • Explain two types of informal meal service
  • List two functions of a waiter/waitress




Many candidates were unable to distinguish correctly between formal and informal meal service.  Though the candidates understood the types of informal meal service but they could not explain the answer correctly as they were unable to express themselves.

The ‘c’ part of the question was well tackled by the candidates.

The candidates were expected to answer the question as follows:


Formal Meal Service

  • is mainly used during formal dinners and luncheons by hotels and restaurants. In this style all the foods are served from the kitchen and require adequate waiter or waitress service.


  • In a formal meal service food is served from the kitchen by a waiter/waitress It is used mainly in hotels and restaurants during formal dinners, luncheons etc.

          Informal Meal Service

  • Informal service does not require the services of waiter. This kind of service is used in the home.

(i)      Plate Service: In this style, the food is put on individual plates in
the kitchen and then served to the guests.  This is mostly used in wedding, naming, funeral and house warming ceremonies. 
          (ii)      Buffet Service: (do it yourself service)
Here quests serve themselves. The food and table appointments are arranged in such a way that is convenient for guests to move round and serve themselves.
(iii)     English Service:
Here all the food is served at the table by the host/hostess or any other family member.
          (iv)     Compromise Service
Here the main dish is served at the table by the host/hostess while other smaller portions are served from the kitchen. A waiter/waitress may be used in serving.

          (v)      Family Service:
Here the main meal is placed on the table and family members serve    themselves.                                                                

  • Functions of a waiter/waitress

          -        Ensure that the dining room is clean and comfortable.
          -        Make sure that the food is served at the correct temperature
          -        Make sure that the table is well arranged.
-        Waiter/waitress should see that service of the meal is orderly, prompt and delightful.
-        The movement of the waiter/waitress should be quick, quiet and    skillful.
-        Attend to any emergency that arises coolly, quickly and quietly.

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