Restaurant Equipment


The equipment used in restaurants plays an important role in attracting customers. The restaurant operating equipment includes service equipment, furniture, fixtures and linen all of which equally reflects the standard and style of the restaurant. The atmosphere of a restaurant is largely affected by the kind of equipment used and how well they are maintained.


“Crockery” is the term used for all the plates, bowls, cups, saucers and dishes used to serve and eat food. These items are usually made of china or porcelain.

Following are the types of crockery used in the restaurant

  1. Plates: dinner, side, fish, cake
  2. Bowls: soup, dessert, Cups: coffee, tea, espresso
  3. Serving items: teapots, coffee pots, platters, serving bowls.
  4. Consommé bowl, Soup tureen, Ramekin Soup bowl , Coupe
  5. Main course plate, Entree plate, Entree plate Raviere, Demitasse Cup and saucer
  6. Coffee Cup
  7. Plunger, Teapot, Hot Water Pot, Coffee pot, Milk jug, Sugar bowl

Cleaning crockery safely is very important as these items represent a significant investment on the part of the restaurant. Sometimes the food and beverage server has to help with cleaning and storing these items.

  • So, careful and hygienic dishwashing practices are important because;
  • You have to protect your guests against any risk of illness,
  • Protect the reputation of the establishment,
  • Dirty service ware creates a very poor impression of the establishment and it’s standards.


Cutlery is the silverware that guest use to eat with. Servers may also use cutlery to serve food items to guest in silver service or on a buffet. Cutlery consists of various types of knives, forks, spoons, and serving utensils. Different types are shown on the next page.

Following are the types of cutlery used in a restaurant:

  1. Spoons
  2. Service/table
  3. Dessert
  4. Soup
  5. Tea
  6. Parfait
  7. Grapefruit
  8. Oyster
  9. Knives
  10. Carving
  11. Bread
  12. Main course
  13. Side
  14. Steak
  15. Butter
  16. Cheese Cutlery
Polishing, handling and storing of cutlery

Dirty or unpolished cutlery creates a poor impression of a restaurant and its hygiene and service standards.

Here are some steps and methods to clean and polish cutlery:

  • Use a clean metal container half full with boiling water. Add a few drops of white vinegar or lemon juice to the water.
  • Hold cutlery by the handle, submerge into the water solution for at least 10 seconds, then remove and polish vigorously with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth.
  • If water stains have not been removed, repeat the above process.
  • When polishing is complete, take care not to contaminate polished cutlery by touching and leaving fingerprints on it.
  • Sort various sizes into appropriate clean cutlery containers, or use a clean tray. If there is no cutlery drawer, cover with a clean cloth or wrap in cling wrap to keep cutlery clean and sterile.

Restaurant Linen

Linen is one of the most costly and essential materials used in the restaurant. Mostly, cotton is used in the restaurant for all-purpose because of its absorbent quality. Restaurant linen consists mainly of tablecloths, overlays, napkins and other more specialized items such as place/table mats, table runners, buffet skirts and so on.

Types and purpose of linen:


Come in various sizes and shapes for different sized and shaped tables. They may also be in different colours or patterns, depending on the restaurant. Many restaurants have white tablecloths with a coloured overlay or runner over it.


These are placed over the tablecloth to protect it. They are smaller than tablecloths and therefore are easier and cheaper to wash. Overlays are usually in a different colour to the table cloth.


These are usually white and folded in the style of the restaurant


Placemats are used in some establishments instead of tablecloths. They are made of material or plastic – which is used in some family-style restaurants and can easily be wiped clean.

Table runners

These are placed over the table cloth for decoration.

Buffet skirts

These are placed around the front of buffet tables and go all the way down to the floor. They can be bought in different lengths for different sized tables. Introduction


The Menu is a price list of food & beverage items available in Food & beverage outlets. This is one of the most important parts of modern catering operations. A menu has to be well designed as it acts as a selling tool. It helps the guest to select what they like to eat and drink. Depending on the establishment and the occasion, the menu may be plain or artistic in its presentation.

Why a restaurant require
  1. Menu acts as a bridge between the establishment and the customer.
  2. It provides all necessary information regarding dishes available, their price range and other rules and regulations set by the restaurant.
  3. Menu provides clarity on price for each individual item and helps to develop accurate billing.
  4. Due to accent problem, the server or guest may not pronounce some dishes names correctly and may create confusion. But a well-written menu lessens this type of human error.
  5. Menu differentiates the type of dishes in different categories, making easier for a guest to select his/her choice from the listed categories.
  6. It helps to identify cutlery, glassware and other tools needed to do the cover.
  7. It can help you to identify the service skills you need for the selected item, time, presentation and any other support you may require during service delivery.

Types of Menu

A restaurant may have several menus, or there may be just a single type of menu, depending on type of restaurant and the types of food and services offered. It is important that you know which menu is applicable where and why.

Following are various types of menus used in the food and beverage sector:

  1. A la carte

A la carte means a multiple choice menu in which each item is listed down in a specific sequence with an individual price. It is a choice menu which offers wide varieties of different dishes as per guest wishes and is available almost all hotels and restaurants.

Simple Structure

  • Starters
  • Main Courses (entrée)
  • Desserts

Complex Structure

Hot Starters

Cold Starters


Fish and Shellfish Dishes

Meat, Poultry and Game Dishes

Chef’s Specials


  1. Table d’hôtel

In short, the meaning of table d’hôtel is “table of the host”. It refers to a menu of limited choice, which is planned in advance for specific functions. In this type of menus, each dish is not individually priced but the complete meal is sold to the guest for a fixed price. Some of the hotels/restaurants offer fix menu for breakfast/lunch/dinner which is generally used in banquet function and ceremonies as a buffet menu. This menu is commonly used on special occasions like Christmas, New Year and Banquette.

  • Starters

Salad of roasted vegetables with feta cheese Or Cream of tomato soup with a hint of orange

  • Main Courses

Fillet of Sea Bass with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and herb mayonnaise Or Cutlets of Spring Lamb with Rosemary Gravy

  • Desserts

Chocolate mousse Or Vanilla ice cream with fresh berries * * * Tea or Coffee



Components of Menu

Menu should have compiled on the basis of the following components:

  1. Supplying to menu: Seasonal supplies of vegetables and non-vegetarian items. Local availability of supplies.
  2. Balance of menu: Light to heavy, then heavy to light Vary the sequences of preparation of each course. Change the seasoning, flavouring and presentation. Ensure that garnishes are in harmony with the main dishes.
  3. Food Value of menu: Use commodities and methods of cooking which will preserve the natural nutritive properties of the raw materials.
  4. Colour and presentation: Choose colors carefully and present them in a visually Appealing manner, avoid cluster and focus on clarity and easy reading.
  5. Languages: The menu should be written either all in English or all in any regional language and be easily understood by the customer. Ensure proper spelling, correct terms, the correct sequence with courses and, where appropriate.

The French Classic Menu Sequence

The dishes with some similarities are grouped in a group termed as a ‘Course’ of the menu. E.g. all dishes made from fish are grouped and termed as ‘Poisson’ course. The number of courses on a menu, and dishes within each course, depends on the size and the class of establishment. In an establishment where full food preparation and service brigades are in full operation, a full menu may be offered

Following is the list of courses of a French classic menu :

  • Hors d’oeuvre – (Appetizer)
  • Potage – Soup
  • Oeufs – Eggs
  • Farinaceous/ Farineaux – Rice and Pasta
  • Poisson – Fish
  • Entrée – First Meat Dish
  • Sorbet – Flavoured Ice
  • Releve – Main Meat Dish
  • Roast – Roast of Games Birds
  • Legumes – Vegetables
  • Salade – Salads
  • Buffet Froid – Cold Buffet
  • Entremets – Sweets
  • Savoureux – Savoury
  • Fromage – Cheese
  • Dessert – Desserts
  • Beverages – Tea/coffee

Hors D’oeuvre (Appetizer)

Hors-d’oeuvre is of a spicy nature in order to stimulate the appetite. The term is accepted as meaning a variety of pickled or well-seasoned foodstuffs. The main purpose of having this is to create an appetite for next courses. The dishes served before soups are also termed as Hors-d’oeuvres. Hors-d’oeuvres are either served from a rotating trolley or a tray, a smaller amount of each variety being placed on the tray to make-up a portion. The examples are: Potato salad, Fish mayonnaise, Egg mayonnaise, Russian salad, Shellfish cocktail- prawns or shrimps on a bed of shredded lettuce and coated with tomato-flavored mayonnaise.

Potage (Soup)

Soup may also act as an appetizer for the courses to come. Generally, in a menu two soups are usually provided, one being clear soup (consommé’) and the other a thick soup (crème, veloute, puree). Special forms of soup may also be served, bisque, bortch, petite marmites etc. Although there is a choice of clear or thick, as only one will be served. The clear soup is always placed first on the menu. The examples are: Consommé julienne-clear soup garnished with strips of root vegetables. Consommé celestine-clear soup garnished with strips of Savoury pancakes.

Oeuf (Egg dishes)

Examples of egg dishes are: Omelette espagnole-flat Omelette with onions, peppers and tomato, Omelette fines herbs- Savoury Omelette

Farinaceous/Farineaux (Pasta and Rice Dishes)

Examples of farinaceous dishes are Spaghetti Napolitano- spaghetti in a tomato and garlic flavoured sauce. Spaghetti bolognese- spaghetti blended with minced lean beef in a rich brown sauce.

Poisson (Fish)

The method of cooking and type of fish used may vary. Some examples are: Sole meuniere-sole shallow fried in butter, Sole Colbert-sole flour, egg and breadcrumbed (pane) and deep-fried; the fillets are rolled back of the backbone in preparations. Fillet de plie frite: fillet of plaice deep-fried and accompanied by a mayonnaise-based sauce flavoured with capers, gherkins and parsley. Entrée (First meat dish) Entrée are generally small, well-garnished dishes, which comes from the kitchen ready for service. They are always accompanied by a very rich gravy or sauce.

When a releve follows the entrée then potatoes and vegetables are not served with the latter; if, however, a releve does not follow the entrée then potatoes and vegetables would be served with the entrée. An entrée is the first meat course on the French classic menu. Examples of entrée are: Poulet sauté chasseur- sauté chicken in a rich brown sauce flavoured with tomato and mushroom. Supreme de volaille a la king- breast and wing of chicken cooked under a cover in an oven. Chateaubriand- double fillet steak grilled. Chop de porc grille-pork chop grilled.

Sorbets (Flavoured ice)

Because of the length of the French classic menu, this course is considered to be the ‘rest’ between courses, where the dinners may obtain second wind. The sorbet, therefore, must be able to counteract the richness of dishes already served and stimulate the appetite for those to come. The sorbet is a cube of water ice plus Italian meringue, flavoured with a champagne glass, which should then be served on an underplate with the teaspoon. Generally, in a gala dinner or state dinner, meal cigarettes or Russian cigars and sometimes the first speech are given.

Releve (Main meat dish)

Releves are normally larger than entrees and take the form of butchers’ joints, which have to be carved. These joints are either boilled or roasted. A sauce or roast gravy and potatoes and green vegetables are always served with this course. The main dish may consist of any of the following items: saddle of mutton, baron of beef, boned sirloin, braised ham. Examples are Contrefilet de boeuf roti a l’anglaise: boned and roasted sirloin of beef. Cuissot de porc roti, puree de pomme: roast leg of pork with apple sauce. Carre d’agneau roti: roast best end of lamb.

Rotis (Roast)

Roast always consists of roast game or poultry, chicken, turkey, duck, pheasant, quail. Each dish is accompanied by its own particular sauce and gravy, with a green salad served separately on a crescent-shaped dish. The latter is placed at the top left-hand corner of the cover.

Legumes (Vegetables)

At this stage of the meal, the balance of the courses is gradually returning from heavy to light. We now have a vegetable dish served only with its accompanying sauce. Such vegetables are asparagus, artichokes, and corn-on-the-cob, with hollandaise sauce or beurre fondue offered separately. In a classic function, these legumes may be served on their own as a separate vegetable course. Examples are Puree de Pommes-creamed potatoes. Pommes persille-boiled potatoes coated with melted butter and sprinkled with chopped parsley. Pommes au four-baked jacket potato. Champignons grille-grilled mushrooms

Salade (Salads)

Example of salads is Salade Francaise: lettuce, tomato, egg and vinaigrette dressing. Salade vert: lettuce, watercress, cucumber, and green pepper.

Buffet Froid (Cold Buffet)

Examples are Poulet roti: roast chicken. Canton roti: roast duck. Cote de boeuf roti: the roast side of beef (ribs).

Entremets (Sweet)

The sweet may be hot or cold. The examples are Crepe Suzette: pancakes in a rich fresh orange juice and Grand Marnier- flavoured sauce and flamed with brandy. Glaces: vanilla, fraise, chocolate – vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate ice creams.

Savoureux (Savouries)

Savouries may take the form of Savoury items served hot or toast or as a Savoury soufflé. The examples are Welsh rarebit: cheese sauce flavoured with ale on toast and grilled. Canapé Diane: chicken livers rolled in bacon and grilled, placed on warm toast. Champignons sur croute: mushrooms on toast.

Formage (Cheese)

All types of cheese may be offered together with the appropriate accompaniments. The ideal cheese board should combine hard, semi-hard, soft or cream, blue and fresh cheese. See the example in the table below:

Type of cheese Place of origin Cheddar hard England Red Cheshire hard Holland Brie soft France Caerphilly semi-hard Wales Gruyere hard Switzerland Ricotta fresh Italy Gouda hard Holland

Desserts (Dessert)

All forms of fruit and nuts may be served accompanied by castor sugar and salt.

Beverages (Drinks)

All type of coffees and teas are served in this course. And this is the end of the meal. After this, men generally proceed to smoke room and ladies proceed to recreation room (in a classic dinner gathering).
Read Also:  Breakfast Meals