AJAR.id – Hello Ajarian! Once meals have been completed it is now time to clear the table. Used and unwanted items should be removed from tables throughout the meal. It is never acceptable to allow used or unwanted items to build up on the table and clear the table only at the end of the meal.
Before clearing any plates away, ask the customer if they have finished to ensure the plate can actually be cleared away. A simple question such as “May I take your plate, madam?” or “Have you finished, sir?” is all that is required.
After learning the Steps to Clear a Table, these are some tips you can consider when clearing a table:
- Clearing must be done at the appropriate time (see above for guidelines) and with minimal disruption to the customers. Clearing should be ‘part of the process’ and not an interruption to it
- Clear away all unwanted or unused cutlery when removing matching course plates. If a guest has not used their main course knife for instance, it must be cleared when the main course plate is cleared
- Clear away the side plate and the side knife when clearing away the main meal plate. This is cleared from the guest’s left-hand side so as not to reach across in front of the guest
- Clear away anything that is unwanted or unused on the table at that stage
- Clear away any condiments associated with the course that is being cleared. The salt and pepper shakers, butter dish and bread basket should be cleared when the main course items are being cleared. You may however, elect to clear away breadboards or baskets as soon as bread has been consumed. Check house practice and adhere to that
- Clear away unused or dirty glassware as and when no longer required. Don’t let them build up
- Clear away all items in accordance with the establishment’s standards and policies. This may include directions regarding whether a tray should be used to carry these items to the waiter’s stations, or whether a clothed service plate is to be used, and whether or not items should be cleared to the waiter’s station or directly to the kitchen or bar.
Removing items progressively throughout the meal provides expected customer service, and maintains a clear ‘work surface’ to allow food and beverages to be more easily placed on the table.
Read also: How to Maintain Maximum Eating Quality, Appearance and Freshness of Bakery Products
Nurturing You to Grow®
Written by: Alan Hickman, Nick Hyland
Subject Matter: Provide f&b services