How to Set a Restaurant Table?
Correct table setting is one of the responsibilities that come with owning a restaurant. You and your waiters will be setting many (many!) tables throughout the day, every day.
But do you know how to set a restaurant table correctly? It could be a:
- Breakfast table setting
- Casual table setting
- Formal table setting
- Buffet table setting
- Pizzeria table setting, etc.
When you set your restaurant table, there are details you need to pay close attention to. For example, knife and fork placement, dining etiquette, use of perfect food and beverage linen, and the overall presentation of your restaurant table.
Remember, a correctly and beautifully set table makes your customers feel extra special. They will enjoy their meal more in an exquisitely beautiful setting.
Let’s now take a closer look at how to set each of the tables we mentioned.
Ready. Set. Let’s learn place settings!
Breakfast Table Setting
Australian scientists say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And it’s no surprise, right? Growing up your mum most likely insisted that you shouldn’t skip your breakfast.
And for good reasons;
- Breakfast breaks your overnight fast
- Breakfast kick starts your metabolism
- Breakfast refuels your glycogen (energy) stores
- Breakfast provides you with the energy to keep you going throughout the day
And if you believe the early rising bakers, Australians love breakfast. So you better learn how to set the perfect breakfast table.
The breakfast table setting can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. It all depends on your preferences. But, here are the basics:
- Set a plate and a bowl on top of the charger plate for cereals and meals like eggs and toast.
- Lay out your silverware including butter knife, small spoon, and fork on the right-hand side of the table.
- Place the required drinkware according to your menu; glasses for water and juice drinks. And mugs for coffee, hot chocolate or tea. You may also need a pitcher.
- Set a table napkin at each place setting. You can either place the table napkin on top of the plate or on the left side of the plate or underneath the fork.
And one more thing:
As you prepare and serve your breakfast, make good use of freshly laundered tea towels. Your tea towels should be absorbent, lint-free, and durable.
Here are some tea towels that tick all these boxes. Check them out.
Casual Table Setting
Sometimes your restaurant guests may prefer a casual setting for their lunch or dinner. To achieve an informal feel that your guest will enjoy, do the following:
- Set creative centrepieces
- Come up with a casual and inviting theme
- Use food and beverage linen that match your theme
- Serve interactive foods
- Fine china and silverware is not necessary (preserve that for formal table setting)
Here’s a table showing the correct informal place setting
- Only set out the glassware, tableware, and flatware that will be used according to your menu.
For example: if you will serve only red wine, don’t include the white wine glass in your place setting. Not serving soup? Leave out the soup bowl and spoon.
- Place salt and pepper shakers within easy reach. Preferably at the centre of the table.
- Use the choicest table linen. That means lint-free, stainless clean, and perfectly ironed. Take a look at these suggested table cloths and replicate:
Formal Table Setting
Remember all the fine china and silverware that you couldn’t use at the informal lunch or dinner? Well, this is the right time to bring out your finest.
All silverware, drinkware, flatware, and linen you use should be of the highest quality. That means;
- Stain and wrinkle-free linen
- Spotless sparkling glasses
- Polished forks and spoons
- The finest plates and bowls
- Gorgeous centrepieces
This elegant event will also most likely have you prepare more than three meal courses.
As you set the formal table, pay attention to details and symmetry of your serveware.
With that in mind, let’s see where each serveware goes. And while at it, pay attention to details and symmetry.
To really impress your guests, you can come up with novel ways of folding your table napkins. For example, in this video, you will learn the following napkin folding techniques:
- Bishop’s hat
- Napkin ring
And there’s more…
Buffet Table Setting
You can skip the formal and informal table setting options when you want your guests to serve themselves. That way, each of your customers can serve the right amount of food according to their preference. This helps prevent food wastage.
Let’s now take a closer look at the steps you need to follow to set a great buffet table.
1. Place the Buffet Table at an Ideal Location
Location, location, location. Remember how you had to choose the most ideal location when setting up your establishment?
The same concept applies when doing a buffet table setting. So…
- Have the buffet table easily accessible by everyone and with a good flow
- The buffet table’s start point and end point should be obvious to all
- Create alternate destinations within the room so that people can drift towards them and leave space for others to serve
You will find these buffet table setting cloths useful
2. Arrange Everything in the Right Order
Setting a buffet table requires prior planning. You don’t just place everything haphazardly on the table. Instead, there’s a logical order;
- Have multiple stacks of plates at the first serving point, i.e., where the line starts.
- Place spoons, knives, forks, cups and the like at the end of the table. Better still, place them on the specific tables where your customers will be sitting.
- Arrange the foods strategically. Place plentiful or cheaper foods towards the first serving point and the scarce expensive foods towards the end of the table. Also, set cold foods first and warm foods towards the end.
- Add labels on all the food at the buffet table. It makes it easier for people to find what they like and move through the buffet more efficiently.
3. Create Several Access Points
With various access points, your customers can easily access everything they need without any hassle - just the way it should be.
Here are some clever ideas:
- Put small plates and the appetiser set up at the beginning and end of the table.
- Put plenty of cups and plates within immediate reach.
- Stagger two, three or more packs of table napkins throughout the table.
- Make the napkins easy to grab by arranging them so their corners are separated.
4. Remember the Final Touches
It’s the little things that add up to an amazing buffet table. Here are some pointers:
- Leave ample space for your guests to rest their food and drinks
- Place a litter bin or two where they can be easily accessible
- Add accents to make your buffet table more memorable; floral arrangements, patterned fruits, etc.
Pizzeria Table Setting
Pizza is simply irresistible and loved by so many people across Australia.
Did you know that there are more than 4,000 Australian businesses in the pizza industry?
According to Hospitality Magazine, Australia, in 2016 pizza and takeaway restaurants in Australia reported industry revenue of $3.7 billion. And $269.7 million in profits - revenue that’s expected to grow.
But to get a slice of the pizza profits, you need to impress your customers with the correct table setting. So, here’s what you will need:
- A plate
- A fork
- A spoon
- A glass
- A table napkin
Next, set your pizza table using these pointers:
- Place the fork and napkin on the left side of the plate
- Place the spoon and knife on the right side of the plate
- Place the glass on the right upper corner of the plate above the fork
You now have a pizzeria table. As simple as that!
But before we wrap up, we’ll give you the best pizza marketing ideas to help you stay ahead of your competition and sell some more pizza.
- Take professional photos of your pizza and use them on your promotions, social media, website, menu, and fliers, etc.
- Offer pizza by the slice for walk-in customers who don’t want to purchase a whole box of pizza. Promote your offer with a sign outside your pizza shop.
- Engage your customers on their devices; text messaging, mobile apps, push notification, mobile-friendly website, etc.
- Support local fundraisers and offer sponsorships.
- Make good quality pizza consistently and offer top-notch customer service to encourage repeat visits.
Let’s Wrap Up
By now, you already know the correct table setting for your breakfast table, casual table, formal table, buffet table, and pizzeria table.
Over to you to impress your customers with impeccable restaurant table settings.
And for all your high-quality but affordable food and beverage linen, check out Australian Linen Supply.
Photo courtesy from pexels.com by Life Of Pix