Basic principles of table setting in a restaurant: preparation, requirements and design

Service in a restaurant must correspond to its image. This primarily concerns how guests are met and the hall is decorated. Each item is of great importance and affects the reputation of the establishment. Correct table setting in a restaurant should be carried out according to the basic generally accepted rules.

Principles of Classical Serving

Many people think that serving the table means placing the cutlery correctly. However, when decorating a banquet table, it is necessary to perform a number of actions and take into account many other nuances:

  • Correct placement of chairs.They are placed so that the distance between them is 50-80 cm. If necessary, they can move to the right or to the left. Each guest of the restaurant is allocated an equal seat at the table.
  • Do not overload the table.Appliances that are used during the meal are laid out on the table. Too many items create inconvenience for a person during a feast.
  • Features of the feast.When decorating the table, the number of guests, the seasonality and time of the meal, as well as the occasion of the meal are taken into account. Only after all this is determined, you can proceed to further actions.

Taking into account the above principles, we will consider in more detail the rules of table setting in restaurants and cafes, and also find out what kind of cutlery can be found in what order to lay them out.


When the table top is covered with a clean and well-ironed tablecloth, you can start arranging the cutlery. Here it is worth considering the basic recommendations and rules for table setting for the waiter. Cutlery has a specific function and has an assigned place on the table. They cannot be taken by hand.

Knives and forks

Table and snack forks are placed between the patty and snack plate. The prong is up. On the right side of the appetizer plate are table and snack knives for meat and other dishes. In this case, the blades should be directed towards the plate.When sorting, keep in mind that cutlery should not be hidden under the edge of the plate or be too far away.

Visitors to fish dishes additionally need a fork and a fish knife. They are stacked between snack bars and cutlery.


Spoons are presented in the minimum quantity on the table. They are often used for liquid meals and desserts.The soup spoon is placed on the right side of the plate, between the table and snack knives. As for the device for dessert, it lies on top in front of the dish. If the menu does not provide for serving dessert, then there will be no need for devices.

A teaspoon belongs to a separate group - it is laid out only together with the hot drink.

In the video:how to use cutlery correctly.

Spatulas, tongs, etc.

There is a separate group of auxiliary devices that are used to lay out dishes on plates.Especially often such species can be found at banquets and receptions.

Additional devices include:

  • shovel for whale and granular eggs;
  • a spatula for hot and cold fish dishes;
  • baking tongs;
  • Scooper for cake and pastry;
  • ice cream spoon;
  • salad spoon;
  • a coffee spoon;
  • butter knife and more.


Hanging hooks are no less important attributes of the table.Of course, they have no direct relation to the meal. However, the hooks are installed on furniture, allowing you to hang bags or other accessories from them.

Glasses: what for what

A specific glass is used for each drink. The main thing here is to arrange the wine glasses correctly. In a classic setting, they are set to the right of the plate in a line. There is no need to put all glasses in parallel. They change with the plates when the next course is served. The only glass that is always on the table throughout the meal is a glass for water.

Beautiful wine glasses are placed in the order in which drinks are served with meals. The farthest glass is used first.

As for the glassware set, it consists of the following wine glasses:

  • one glass for plain water;
  • champagne glass above the rest;
  • separate glasses for different wines;
  • vodka glasses;
  • glasses for cognac and liqueur.

Each wine glass has unique characteristics, so you can reveal the smell and taste of a particular drink. These features must be taken into account when sorting the table.

Preliminary preparation

Preparing the table for customer service begins with the placement of chairs. Here it is worth adhering to the previously mentioned rule, according to which the distance between the seats should be at least 50 cm.If you are planning a romantic dinner for two, then a small table is chosen, and the chairs are placed opposite each other.

In the next step, the table top is covered with a tablecloth. This is considered the first stage of table setting. The classic version is a snow-white canvas made of dense high-quality fabric. Satin is often used to make tablecloths.You can also use canvases of other shades, the main thing is that they are combined with the decoration of the hall.

When choosing a tablecloth, experts recommend focusing on light colors such as cream or soft blue.

The tablecloth must be clean and well ironed. It is a common background for serving. If the canvas is thin and slippery, then flannel should be placed under it. This will save the situation. Also, such material drowns out the sound of wine glasses and appliances on furniture.

Important! Plastic and oilcloth tablecloths should not be used in a presentable restaurant. This is especially true for the organization of festive banquets.

At the stage of preliminary preparation, special attention should be paid to the length of the tablecloth - it should not hang more than 30 cm from the level of the table top.The corners of the curtain must cover the legs. When the tablecloth is laid, they begin to display cutlery and wine glasses in accordance with the menu.

Requirements for table setting and cutlery

Table setting is a real art in which many factors must be taken into account. The furnishings on the table must meet certain requirements. And the main thing to consider here is when the feast is held:

  • Breakfast.Only fresh bread is served on the table; for this, a wicker basket or a special plate covered with a napkin is used. Oil is supplied exclusively in an oiler. If sausage or cheese is used for sandwiches, then they are cut into thin slices. As for the preserves and marmalades, they are served in the socket. Display a plate and cup for tea or coffee, and a glass for juice or other drink.

  • Lunch and dinner.In both cases, serving is carried out with the help of canteens, snack bars and pie plates. A fork is placed on the left, and a knife on the right. Glasses are placed over the knife. Also, the set of instruments and wine glasses can be changed and supplemented depending on the ordered menu. This is especially true for dinner. Do not forget about the spice jars.

  • Tea table.For serving, take special tea sets. In this case, there is a dessert plate, a spoon, a fork and a saucer with a cup. The table is decorated with an interesting tablecloth or flowers.

Of course, the serving should fully correspond to the ordered menu. In this case, the rule of the sequence of serving dishes is preserved. Do not forget about napkins - they are a must for table setting in a restaurant.

Festive table setting

Table setting in a restaurant for a banquet has some peculiarities. First of all, this concerns the use of decorative elements. Flowers are the best solution here. They should have a slight pleasant smell. The vase is set so that the petals do not fall into the dish. It often acts as the center of the table.

Textiles are also widely used to decorate the table. This applies not only to tablecloths and napkins, but also covers, skirts and napers on chairs and tables.When choosing products, it is worth considering the location and format of the event. The main thing is that all the elements of serving and decorating the meal are optimally combined with each other and make up a folded concept.

Classic serving rules (1 video)

Examples of beautiful serving (54 photos)