10 Types of Food Service Explained

When it comes to running a restaurant, understanding the different types of food service is essential. From waiter service to self-service, there are many different ways to serve food and drinks to customers. Knowing the benefits and challenges of each type of service can help you decide which one is best for your restaurant. The most common type of service is waiter service, where each waiter takes care of a table or group of tables with 10-12 guests.

The dishes are usually communal and shared. Self-service is another popular option, where diners order and pay for their orders at the counter, but food is served to them when it's ready. Another type of service is called squat service. In this form of service, waiters take care of everything from taking orders to serving food and payment.

A fourth type of service is called Gueridon service, where partially cooked food from the kitchen is taken to the Gueridon cart for full cooking. The waiter brings the food on plates, shows it to the host for approval, and then places the plates on the tables. The fifth type of service is called automatons. This was a very successful type of restaurant in big cities such as New York in the first half of the 20th century (the forties, fifties and sixties).

Customers would take a tray, deposit coins in the machine offered by their choice, raised a small window and took out the food inside. The sixth type of service is called fast-food. This type of restaurant typically serves preheated or pre-cooked ingredients. The seventh type of service is called cook-to-order.

In this type of restaurant, diners prepare a bowl of raw ingredients from a buffet line, hand the bowl to the cook, and watch the food sauté on a large griddle. The eighth type of service is called room service. Through this method, food and beverages are served to guests in a hotel room, on a flight, in a hospital, etc. The ninth type of service is called food trucks, carts or stalls.

These unique modern businesses typically specialize in a single type of food. The tenth type of service is called dog-friendly restaurants. Although this trend has been changing recently, more and more food service operations allow dogs to enter their outdoor spaces. With all these different types of services available, finding the right one for your restaurant can create a more pleasant experience for your diners. For example, fine dining establishments are almost always formal and expensive, while fast and casual restaurants tend to be more affordable options with relaxed environments. No matter what type of restaurant you run, understanding these 10 different types of services can help you decide which one to use for your business.

Knowing their benefits and individual challenges can help you create an enjoyable experience for your customers.

Claire Ence
Claire Ence

Avid coffee geek. Lifelong rock climbing maven. Hardcore foodie & travel junkie!