Every respective restaurant wants to give the best dining service in the world. I have combined all the points to create perfect fine dining service which I have learned in my 10 years of service in the USA, Switzerland, India and Iceland combined. I have observed the best waiters in the world which helped me to write this article. Big thanks to all the people who taught me to be a great waiter.

The sequence of Fine Dining Service/Meal for 3 Course Meal  (2 OR MAX 4)

Fine Dining Service
Check our 20 Steps for fine dining service in the restaurant.

1. Meet, greet and seat-help with chairs and napkins, light candle if needed.

(Right side-CW-Protocol) Wish Good morning/Good afternoon/Good evening to the guest and take them to the table. Never wish Good night to the guest. Take the napkins and put it on the lap. You need to be careful here as some women don’t like napkin put by someone.  In some restaurants, the hostess is there which brings the guest to the table. Light candle if you are serving food at night.

2. Pick up the menus and give it to the customers, explain the menu.

(Right side-CW-Protocol) Bring the menus to the table and explain to the guest if you are serving fish of the day/soup of the day or anything special. You can also try to upsell here if kitchen wants certain items to go out. Try to clear small doubts here if guests are allergic to something here.

3. Get the bread, butter and water-pour ladies first.

(Right side-CW-Protocol) Bring the bread, butter and water to the table. Make sure you don’t bring too much bread as you want the guest to eat food. Best is to ask your senior colleague or restaurant manager if you are new in the restaurant. In some places, you can keep the bread in the middle of the table. Pour water to the kids and ladies first and men later.

4. Take food and drinks order-remember the table#, covers, name, date, time,(host # if needed) and circle ladies-put the order in the POS system 

Take the order from the table. If a couple with kids ask them politely if they wish the kids food first and bring theirs when it’s ready. Some of the headings mentioned above are for elite restaurants. Most of the restaurant you need to write on the order pad covers(number of people), date and current time, food what they ordered and make sure you circle the ladies as you don’t want to ask people what they are having. Go to the bar and let the bar know what drinks you need in the restaurant. You can also check our youtube video how to write on the menu card pad. 

5. Table maintenance.

Here the table maintenance means to remove the wine glasses from people who are not having it. You can also ask the guest if they are having beer with the staters if they wish to have wine with their main course. Leaving empty wine glasses on the table can be dangerous with small kids. Also, some guest touches the rim which makes your job double. Bring the steak knife,soup spoon or any required cutlery if needed for the table.

6. Bring the drinks to the table.

Bring the drinks to the table and serve them. If they are having wine make sure you have everything prepared for it. White wine, Sparkling wine and Red wine have a different method of serving.

7. Get the appetizer and serve.

(2 PAX Alone or 4 PAX with your colleague) (Right side-CW-Protocol) Wish them to Enjoy your meal. Bring the appetizer to the table and serve kids and ladies food first(protocol) from the right-hand side and clockwise and later man/men on the table. In the case of four guests, you can ask your colleague to bring food to the table.

8.Table maintenance.

We call this 2 bite/2 minute rule. Go to the guest and ask them ’’How does everything taste today/tonight?’’ Please don’t ask here ‘’Is everything good’’? Or ‘’is it yummy’’ as you are putting doubt in the guest head. You can also refill the guest water glasses at the same time.

9. Clear the appetizer.

(Right side-CW-No protocol) Clear the appetizer plate right side, clockwise and without any protocol on the table. You can also tell the kitchen ‘’FIRE THE MAIN COURSE’’ means guests are done with the food.

10. Get main course plates(2 plates alone or 4 plates with your friend) using service cloth and serve.

(right side-CW-protocol), Wish them to Enjoy their meal. Get the main course on the table and make sure you serve the kids and ladies first from the right-hand side, clockwise and man/men later. Wish them Enjoy your meal.

11. Table maintenance.

Again follow 2 bite/2 minute rule. Go to the guest and ask them ’’How does everything taste today/tonight?’’ You can also ask the guest for drinks refill here and remove empty glasses. Please don’t remove the wine glasses if they are having wine bottle here unless it’s finished.

12. Clear the main courses.

(right side-CW-No protocol) Clear the main plates with cutleries of the table from the right side, clockwise and without any protocol.

13. Get an appetizer plate, clear side plates, with the butter plate and bread basket

(Left side-CCW-No protocol) Bring the appetizer plate, clear the butter plates and bread basket from the left side, counterclockwise and without any protocol.

14. Get a dessert plate, crumb, and place down the dessert cutleries and remove salt & pepper shakers.

(Left side-CCW-No protocol)Get the dessert plate and remove the bread crumbs from the table. Place down the dessert cutlery and remove the salt and pepper.

15. Give the menus to the customers, explain the dessert. Bring the menus for dessert. 

16. Take order for dessert and tea/coffee/cognac -remember the table #,covers, name, date, time, host# and circle ladies-put the order in the POS system

Not compulsory for customers to take a dessert. Take orders for coffee/tea/cognac also at the same time. This is exactly like the order we did in the beginning.

17. Get the dessert plates(2 or ask your colleague to assist you) and serve.

(right side-CW-protocol), wish enjoy your meal. Bring drinks also. In most of the places, you can bring all the dessert alone but some chefs like to go out of the box. You might need your colleague to assist you with the dessert. You can also bring the tea/coffee/cognac or any drink they ordered. 

18. Clear desserts

(right side-CW-no protocol) You don’t ask for the dessert regarding the taste. Remove the dessert plate from the right side, clockwise and without protocol.

19. Farewell procedure

Bring the bill to the guest. Most of the time, we give the bill to the man or the host but sometimes people are splitting it. Always say ‘’ THANK YOU’’ when you are giving the bill. Let the guest go before starting to clean their table.

20. Clear up procedure

It depends on your restaurant here. Scenario

1: leave the flower vase and candle on the table. We don’t set up again. Scenario 2: Start setting it up again and bring the cutleries, glasses, napkin, salt, pepper, etc for the table.

About Author

Abhi Chauhan

The Restaurant Academy Professor. My studies in hospitality and experience of working in locations such as the USA, Switzerland, India and Iceland has equipped me with extensive knowledge concerning the restaurant industry and provision of the very best customer service. I have over 12 years of experience in the restaurant industry.

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