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What exactly are "SWEEP SERVICE" and 'WAVE SERVICE" as styles of food service


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I'm not a fine dining or catering professional so I probably shouldn't  be poking my nose into this forum I wanted to say that it might make your query easier to answer if you sketched out your current understanding of the terms. 

 

From my experience as a guest, I've always thought that hand service was the same as synchronized service where the wait staff, carrying 2 domed plates each, surround a table, simultaneously place a plate in front of everyone then step back and, again simultaneously, remove all the domes.  

I've also seen this as s two-step process, without the domes, where the wait staff circle the table, set the plates in their left hands down, take a step, switch the plate to their other hand and repeat the the process for the other diners. 

 

I assumed wave service was also plated service but the wait staff work through the whole room from one end to the other as efficiently as possible. 

 

Hope you get some real answers, too!

 

 

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There are plenty o  explanations on restaurant orums about plating and service. Compare those to your understanding. As a server I think the mainpoint is that you ollow the direction you are given by manager/captain and do it wth the attitude they expect, and the low that coordinates with your ellow servers. sorry my "letter that somes next in line to e" key died today!

Edited by heidih (log)
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59 minutes ago, JeanneCake said:

I, too, am intrigued by the question so I googled it, and this link came up: 

Table Service Types

 

Hope it helps, at least it's a start

 

Quote

8. Plated (American) Service

In this table service, your guests are seated and pre-plated foods are served by servers from the left. Beverages are served from the right, while used dishes and glasses are removed from the right. It’s a very functional, controllable and efficient format. Just make sure the food items are not plated too far in advance of serving, as they may lose culinary quality.

 

I'm puzzled as to what is American about this. It's pretty much universal in formal and semi-formal restaurants in Europe and beyond.

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

"No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot"
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47 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

I'm puzzled as to what is American about this. It's pretty much universal in formal and semi-formal restaurants in Europe and beyond.

 

It may just be a weird American way of differentiating that style from what some of us crazy Americans refer to as "French Service" where the waiters bring platters of food to the table and use serving utensils to place the food on the diners plates.  Usually each waiter has one platter and they move around the table until everyone has been served each dish.   There's also "Butler Service" where the servers present the platters, with utensils, to each diner in turn and the diner uses the utensils to transfer their serving from the platter to their own plates.  

 

My experience with these types of service has always been in banquet situations, although occasionally in restaurants with set menus. 

 

Edited to add that I suspect there is a lack of consistency in the use of these terms, both across countries and even within countries. 

 

 

Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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20 minutes ago, JeanneCake said:

Just guessing

 

Yes, the article leaves me having to guess a lot. I don't know what's English about No. 7 either, for example. I don't recall any restaurant in England serving food on lazy Susans in this manner outside of Chinese restaurants.

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

"No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot"
Mark Twain

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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These terms don't refer to restaurant service, they refer to banquet service. In another life, I was "attached" to a hotel catering operation, and I recall these terms being used as shorthand when figuring out what sort of temporary help would be needed to handle a specific catered function. The terms "American" and "English" aren't accurate, nor, I suspect, intended to be, any more than "wave service" has to do with water or greetings. But they're useful if you're trying to describe a certain service style to a group of people who are familiar with the language. Ah, jargon.

 

21 hours ago, liuzhou said:

 

Yes, the article leaves me having to guess a lot. I don't know what's English about No. 7 either, for example. I don't recall any restaurant in England serving food on lazy Susans in this manner outside of Chinese restaurants.

 

The only time I experienced this type of service was at an in-house (as in they had their own food service operation) function at a company in Sweden.

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once upon a time fore-gone . . .  most definitely not "banquet" scenario . . .

Emeril's "Delmonico" eatery, since sold, , ,

party of five . . . we experienced the all at once-main-course-delivery&lid lift.

 

impressive, certainly a 'high end' service thing.  didn't make the food better -

did make the "experience" better tho.

 

if only the second floor dinning area was not so loud none of our party could communicate without yelling . . .

(sigh)

 

 

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39 minutes ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

 Guess I'm a junk yard dog, but I have always found this service extraordinarily precious.     Too much emphasis on service, which IMHO should not draw attention.

 

Of course, the type of service needs to suit the occasion and the cuisine, but with large tables for 8-12 people, I find it can actually be a lot less intrusive to have courses served to everyone at the table simultaneously so everyone can begin to eat or resume conversation than having everything come to a halt for several minutes while plates are served in a more casual style of service. 

 

Also, I don't believe for a moment that you are a junk yard dog but I can say that my cats are quite accustomed to synchronized service and become quite confused when the plates aren't set on their mat at the same time! 

 

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  • 2 months later...
On 9/16/2023 at 8:29 PM, blue_dolphin said:

I'm not a fine dining or catering professional so I probably shouldn't  be poking my nose into this forum I wanted to say that it might make your query easier to answer if you sketched out your current understanding of the terms. 

 

From my experience as a guest, I've always thought that hand service was the same as synchronized service where the wait staff, carrying 2 domed plates each, surround a table, simultaneously place a plate in front of everyone then step back and, again simultaneously, remove all the domes.  

I've also seen this as s two-step process, without the domes, where the wait staff circle the table, set the plates in their left hands down, take a step, switch the plate to their other hand and repeat the the process for the other diners. 

 

I assumed wave service was also plated service but the wait staff work through the whole room from one end to the other as efficiently as possible. 

 

Hope you get some real answers, too!

 

 

I have been extremely impressed on the odd occasions that I have attended formal dinners, with service as you describe as “synchronised?  I have never properly understood quite how staff serving a couple of hundred guests can manage it so beautifully. 

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