Friday, March 2, 2007

Serve From the Right Or Left?

When I would train the service staff I would always train them to serve drinks from the right and meals from the left. I recently did some training at a private club where the manager disagreed with this approach. In my opinion this is the correct serving practise. When you serve to the left hand side of the customer you are not interfering or passing over the beverage glass.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Strongly Disagree with serving from left.This form of service is part of a silver service when you actualy transfering food to someone elses plate and because you want to avoid crossing guests space you serve from left.Applies to bread service as well as serving gravy or sauce from gooseneck.
There is a lot of publications describing the details of table service look for european books as they are more to the details and the rules of service
Maitre d`

rizwan said...

yes me too strongly dis agreed with service. any of table service if plated must serve from right and beverage too from right.

Andrew MacNeill said...

Serving from the left actually makes great sense when the majority of people are right-handed. Their glasses will be to their right as will their active arm. As a result, you will not be crossing against them.

Just because it's an older way to serving doesn't mean the new way is better.

Judgement should be used - I'm left-handed so my glass is usually to the left but when at a table with a lot of people, serving from the left makes it easier for both the server and the guest.

Anonymous said...

Serving from the left doesn't make it easier for the server. As soon as the server has more than one plate in his/ her hand, it gets difficult. Serving from the left means that you close your space to the guest, you are building a barrier with your arm between you and the guest plus your elbow will be somewhere in the guests face, which is not very funny.
Service from the right allows to have more space between you and the guest, you have more room to act and your body language opens up to the guest...

etiquettewithelizabeth.com said...

Proper etiquette is that the food is served from the LEFT and plates are removed from the right. You can always consult Latitia Baldridge who is the foresmost authority in etiquette.

RobB said...

Serving from the left is correct ONLY when dishing out food from a platter. If the food is pre-plated as it usually is these days, it should be served from the right.

Finsterhoffer said...

Use your other hand!

Bassam said...

Totally disagree, food and beverages should be served in right hand from right. the server's hand should never cross the face of the guest.

Anonymous said...

Weel now I'm totally confused. I was taught in the 70s to serve the plated food from the left. Clear from the right. Now some think its serve from the right, some think its the left. Which is it? The servers hand doesn't cross the face of the guest if you serve from the left with your left hand.

Anonymous said...

Exactly...serve from the left with left hand, remove from right with right hand

Michael Robinson said...

I think that serving with the right hand over the guests right shoulder is best. If I serve with my right hand from the guests left, my forearm crosses the guests face. Serving with an open arm,never crossing the guests face is best, the path of least intrusion. Never break a close conversation just so you can approach the guest from the right side. It is about tje guests experience at tje end of the day

Anonymous said...

serve from the left? serve from the that right? we are creatures that like to make good sense of things! when writing books or literature on the subject writers need to say why!!!

in my opinion, as glasses are usually set on the right-hand side of the table you should serve drinks to the right with your right hand. and as the glasses usually stay to the right during service, (most people are right-handed) when serving food in big cumber sum plates, to avoid knocking over the guest's drinks on them, you should serve from the left with your left hand. clearing should be done at your discretion as to avoid knocking over drinks that guests are not finished with or disturbing the guest's conversations.

Sal Maffettone said...

The tried & true axiom here is leave left, remove right! Serve from the left with your left hand so you do not cross patrons body, remove from right with right hand for same reason. Beverage service is always from the right, you may take glassware in hand to pour or pour directly into glass...wine service is always poured directly into glass while on table.