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Definition In French the word guéridon means a round table. Any dish prepared or
finished in front of the guests in a table of trolley and served from there is
termed as guéridon service. The word guéridon includes any finishing of a
dish made by the waiter either in form of cutting out a fruit or mixing a
salad or cooking a dish.

The scope of The work on a guéridon can be made from

a well decorated trolley equipped with gas cylinder and burner,
cooking utensils, with expensive built in cooking equipments, and
silver fittings with provision for water supply, storage space for various
cooking ingredients and dinner plates,


a simple small table or the sideboard itself from where the waiter will

Various items like hors d’oeuvres, salads, bakery items, sweet dishes and
fresh fruits can be served from the guéridon. The service also covers cook-
finish of dishes and sometimes flambé. Flambé is the term that is attributed
to those dishes involving guéridon service where it involves lighting liquor
in a pan at the guéridon along with the prepared food. The lighting liquor
should have a necessary alcoholic content and may comprise of spirits,
liqueur, fortified wines, still wines, sparkling wines, beer, cider, or may be
just a liquor like syrup which do not have the potency to burn itself. Apart
from acting as a flambéing agent which adds to the ambience of fine
dinning and allure potential clients to buy such services, the effect of adding
liquor can vary, viz.- it may impart flavour, add colour, act as a sweetener,
adjust the consistency of the food, balance the flavour, and also remove the
excess fats and oils from the prepared food items.

The History The history of guéridon service started with the form of what is termed
today as “Russian Service”. The waiter would come with a whole roasted
bird or any other dish, heavily decorated by the kitchen, in a salver holding
it on his left hand and a round table with folded legs under his right armpit.
He would come up to the table that had ordered the dish and standing in
front of them holding the table top of the round table that he carried, he
would give a strong jerk so that the legs open and this would be placed in
front of the guest’s table and let the whole roasted dish rest on it from where
he would carve, plate and serve.

This was further taken ahead when guests encouraged cook-finish their
orders dishes in front of them.
Incidentally, this cook- finish of dishes in the restaurant by the waiter in
front of the guest created another milestone with the accidental invention of
a style of guéridon service which is termed as flambé.

It was in 1895 in a Café called Café de Paris in Monte Carlo, where Prince
Edward of Wales was a regular patron. One day he accompanied one of his
very close friends a lady called Suzette. Suzette was paramount of beauty.
Henri Charpentier who was just a boy of 15 was deployed to serve them.
One of the dishes involved in finishing a crepe with sauces and liqueurs in

Types of Services- Study Notes 1 DDG


front of the guests. Charpentier was so moved by the beauty of Suzette that
he neglected the dish that was getting cooked with liqueurs. Eventually it
caught fire. Prince was very much entertained by the performance and
probably that was the first flambé dish prepared. Here one may also note
that this incident also marks the birth of a classical sweet dish – “Crepe

The Advantages of a) It acts as a sales aid by which the turnover of a restaurant can be
Guéridon Service upgraded.
b) It has a snowball effect. Since the entire service is created on
visualisation, therefore, a customer can be allured to choose such dish
by seeing another table getting served by this form of service.
c) The guests can be pampered by its style of service because such
establishments would emphasise more on quality than quantity.
d) It is a more personalised form of service and therefore the customer
receives a more individual attention.
e) A more varied choice of the menu can be offered to the customer.
f) The food can be freshly prepared.
g) The dishes can be made according to the choice of the guest and
therefore in case of cook-finish of dishes and flambéing the dishes can
be cooked to order or customised to guests’ need.
h) When the dishes are prepared by trained waiters, their showmanship
can be entertaining for the guests.
i) The service is more leisurely, giving the guest a better meal experience.
j) An establishment can promote itself to a higher standard by the style of
service. Furthermore, it has a impact of grading the outlet by a
The Disadvantages a) It is a costly operation as a high cost is involved in purchase of
of Guéridon Service equipments at the initial stage. Therefore in order to substantiate the
& its remedies high cost the dishes are to be priced at the higher level.
b) If the dishes are priced at a higher level the purchasing power of such
dishes among the diners is to be surveyed.
c) Since it demands a skilled service the availability of such skilled
workforce is to be ensured. This can be overcome by having strong
recruitment machinery- in-house or be it outsourced.
d) The demand for skilled service also calls for a higher pay structure.
This can be again overcome by pricing the menu accordingly
depending on the purchasing power of the available clientele.

Guéridon The equipments vary according to the type of dishes served. The
Equipments & mise considerations for selections of equipments are:
en place

It should ensure:
• It has warranty.
• It is safe and convenient to use.
• Has most uses.
• It is easy to repair and replace.

Types of Services- Study Notes 2 DDG


Mise-en-pace and equipments for various services broadly are:

When the service involves carving:

i) Carving Trolley
ii) Carving Knife & Fork
iii) Carving board.
iv) Hot plate
v) Chafing Dish
vi) Spirit lamp
vii) Clean Plates
viii) Serviettes and service cloths.

When the service involves dressing of salads/ preparing fruits:

i) Salad bowls/ fruit bowls displaying freshly cut vegetables /fruits
ii) Salad plates of various designs
iii) Frost free chiller
iv) Wooden bowls
v) Wooden spoons –
vi) Sharp pointed knives
vii) Designing equipments – scrapers, scoops etc.
viii) Sauce boats for various dressings on underlines with sauce ladles
ix) Glass jars for keeping vegetables required to be kept in water like
lettuce leaves

When the service involves flambéing:

i) Proprietary sauces
ii) Liqueurs, wines & spirits
iii) Cooking oil
iv) Pepper mill
v) Vinegar
vi) Fresh, clean serviettes
vii) Service spoons & forks
viii) French and English Mustard
ix) Chopping board
x) Matches & ashtrays
xi) Hot plate
xii) Flambé Pans- specially designed silver plated copper pans
xiii) Carving knife and fork
xiv) Butter
xv) Salt & pepper
xvi) Sugar- grain & cube
xvii) Burners or spirit lamp
xviii) Spirit container / Calor gas bottles

The mise-en-place at the guéridon should be done carefully so that there is

less wastage of time, avoid embarrassment, minimize confusuons.

The attributes of the Ability to communicate with the guest:

staff performing The waiter should be converse with the guest in clear and concise manner.
guéridon service.

Types of Services- Study Notes 3 DDG


Display of certain mannerism while pouring, mixing or tossing the

ingredients would entertain the guests and this would speak about the
showmanship. But it should be always be borne in mind that such
mannerisms should be appropriate with the performance of preparation and
should no way overpower the latter.

Power to Sell
The waiter is a salesman. A waiter working on the guéridon must have a
greater power of salesmanship by suggesting his guests which dish to try
with the best choices of various sauces, etc.

Anticipating Guests’ need

A waiter performing guéridon service must be able to gauge guests’ likes
and dislikes and accordingly suggest the dishes.

Maintenance of Personal hygiene:

In guéridon service the waiter comes in close contact with the guest and as
a direct food handler he /she must be cautious about his finger nails,
general cleanliness, body odour, etc.

Follow hygienic working practices:

In order to avoid transfer of bacterial infections, the waiter should cough
and sneeze away from the guest, use clean napkins and serviettes, cover
any wounds and cuts, replace and discard dropped food or clean cutlery.
The trolley or the table from where the service is done should be
impeccably clean and spotless.

The Method of i) Set the guéridon with appropriate mise-en-place for the service of
Service: preparation to be performed in full view of the guest. It is essential that
the mise-en-place is complete before the service begins as a waiter
should not leave the trolley during service.
ii) Place clean hot dinning plates on the guéridon.
iii) Present the semi prepared food from the kitchen or the raw food that is
to be worked upon from the guéridon to the guests and then place them
on the guéridon.
iv) The waiter then works with service spoon on his right and fork on the
left as per the direction of cooking the food.
v) Then with a fresh service spoon at the bottom and fork on the top the
food is lifted from the pan and placed on the guests’ plate as in silver
vi) The plated food is served to the guests as in pre-plated service from the
right side of each guest.
vii) The sauces may be served either on the plate at the guéridon or may be
silver served at the table.

In case of flambé the following additional techniques are to be followed in

order to get the best results.
a) After lighting the cooking lamp the waiter will pour the required
quantity of liqueur/spirit into the pan.
b) Cover the lamp flame completely with the pan and allow the liquid to
be warmed. Keep the spirit/liqueur bottle well away from the flame.
c) The back of the pan is then lifted up so that it faces the waiter, tilting it
away from him, until the liquor just comes in contact with the flame
and ignites.

Types of Services- Study Notes 4 DDG


d) As soon as the liquor is alight the waiter has to lift the pan slightly and
move it gently in a circular motion so that the flames move around the

The other procedures remain the same as in guéridon service.

Considerations of a) The food to be cook-finished or the food on which the waiter would
selection of food perform guéridon service is normally presented to the guest. Therefore,
items at guéridon it must be fresh, without any discolouration.
b) If products like apples and potatoes tend to discolor when comes in
contact with air care must be taken it does not.
c) To retain freshness and crispiness for salads and fruits they should be
chilled before being used.
d) It should not impart any foul odour that would create a nuisance
among guests.
e) It should be simple to prepare and take minimum time to prepare.
f) The taste should not deteriorate even when prepared in short time span.
g) Selection of cooking medium must ensure it does not produce any
odour, smoke and fumes.
h) Any preparations that gives of fumes and smoke must be avoided.

Precautions Related to service

a) The standard of hygiene must be maintained at the highest level as the

preparation takes place in front of the guest.
b) The quality of dish should be at par with the quality of service
c) Freshness of the food items must be ensured at all stages.
d) Any food giving off unpleasant or objectionable odour must be
e) Care must be taken that while preparing the food does not give any
unpleasant fumes and smoke.
f) When lighting the lamp of the carving trolley care must be taken that
there is hot water at the base container.
g) The trolley should be wiped down after each use.
h) Food should never be handled with bare hands.

Related to operational hazards :-

Maintenance of equipments:
The castor wheels must be greased regularly so that they do not produce
any screeching noise. Again it should not be so greased that drippings keep
falling on the floor and carpets.

The spirit lamps or gas burners must be cleaned regularly. Their

connections checked and loose fittings discarded.

The fuel must be kept at its ambient level as suggested by the


The trolley must be pushed and never pulled so that the waiter can see the

Types of Services- Study Notes 5 DDG


The staff requiring to work at the guéridon must undergo training and
several rehearsals before undertaking any performance in public.

Working environment:
There should be adequate space between tables. There floor should be
smooth so that trolley can smooth freely. Spirit should never be left near
heated trolleys or naked flame.

Movement of Staff:
There should be no running inside the restaurant. Staff should pass each
other on the left and should on no account bend or stoop suddenly.
Entrance and exit into the outlet must be done by correct service door and
the foot should be used to open the door.

Human Factor:
Staff should avoid consuming alcohol in their duty hours as it would
impede judgment and be prone to accidents specially while flambéing.
They should be given enough breaks to avoid tiredness and fatigue.

Types of Services- Study Notes 6 DDG