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À la carte and table d'hôte table settings

à la carte:

Place settings are called covers (French = couverts). The cover includes the place for each guest, and their crockery, tableware, glassware, cutlery and napkin. There are two basic covers in restaurants and which is chosen depends on whether the customer is choosing from an à la carte or table d'hôte menu. An à la carte menu offers a wide choice of individual dishes. A table d'hôte menu is a fixed price menu, with a set meal offering a number of courses. With an à la carte cover the cutlery, flatware and crockery for each course are laid just before each course is served. The traditional cover laid prior to the start of the meal is that suitable for hors d'oeuvre (the first course in a classic menu sequence).

Laying an à la carte cover:

1. Put the side plate down to mark the cover position.

2. Lay the fish knife and fork.

3. Place the wine glass above the tip of the knife.

4. Place the water glass slightly to the right and behind the wine glass.

5. Move the side plate to the left.

6. Place side knife on side plate (1/3 to the right of the plate).

7. Place the napkin.

Table d'hôte:

Table d'hôte cover requires the cutlery and flatware for the whole meal to be laid out before the first course is served. Place the side plate down to mark the cover position and then build the cover around this plate. With table d'hôte, surplus tableware is removed after the customer has placed their order. This is called the change cover. The reasons for this are: cutlery that is not required will only clutter the table, removing the cutlery can act as a memory prompt as to what the customers have ordered and it portrays a professional image to the customer. The cutlery is laid in the order the guest eats the courses- from the outside in.

Try to answer these questions yourself:

1. With which cover is the cutlery, flatware and crockery for each course laid just before each course is served?

2. With which cover is surplus tableware removed after the customer has placed their order?

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