Monday, May 27, 2019

Etiquette and New “French Service”

“On June 23, 2017, a representative group of the interior service trades proposed a new definition of ‘French-style’ service, which has since been signed by several hundred restaurant professionals.”

The Charter of French Service

Representatives of Table Service Professionals, Room Managers, Hotel Owners, Rank Managers, Service Employees, Hotel Training Institution Teachers, Academics, Head Chefs, Hospitality Consultants, and other members of the hospitality industry, gathered June 23, 2017 at the University of Bordeaux Montaigne, anxious to redefine the concept of Service so that it best meets the expectations of French and foreign customers having lunch or dinner in restaurants, declare:

Article 1: The term French Service means a set of postures, attitudes and gestures particular to the profession of the profession of the room service. French Service:

  • Is the act of welcoming a customer with courtesy, attention, kindness, kindness and generosity. 
  • Accompany the guest in his dining experience with a French elegance composed of politeness and gracious gestures without ever being obsequious, mannered, displaced or ostentatious. The gestures are borrowed from the history of the profession but also from the arts of theater, dance, live performance, applied to our sector of activity. 
  • Focuses on the recognition of the client, its needs expressed and not expressed, all its expectations according to its specificities. 
  • Valorises the personality and the intrinsic qualities of each member of the restaurant team in contact with the guest, its adaptability, the specificity of each and recognizes the female approach in the art of the room service. Enhances regional and traditional specialties, as well as French and overseas products with special gestures and adapted speech. 
  • Highlights the producers in particular of French products and quality, with respect for the order of nature, animals and the balance of biodiversity.
  • Promotes the restaurant, the chef, his kitchen and the brigade, especially to local, French and international customers. 
  • Sublime the kitchen of the chef by arousing emotion and adapting to the needs, expressed or not, of each customer. 
  • Accompanies culinary innovations through an adaptation to the room service and its staging, and thus participates in their added values. 
  • Inscribes in their time the history of the techniques of our profession, such as cold preparations, cutouts and flambings in the dining room, performed in front of the guest, with a search for symbiosis between kitchen and room. 
  • Highlights the arts of the table, associates the table and its staging with the scenography of a place and the kitchen of a chef.
  • It consists of a set of gestures designed to optimize, facilitate, relieve, enhance the work of the kitchen with the client for the sake of fluidity. 
  • Promotes bread, cheese, condiments, water and wine as products accompanying the meal “à la française”. 
  • Respects and encourages tastings between a wine and other drinks, implements different service techniques for wines and other beverages according to a French school service. 

Article 2: The expression Grand Service à la Française designates a set of postures and techniques, attitudes and gestures specific to the profession of catering trades according to a ‘school’ specific to our nation.

Grand Service à la Française:
Corresponds to an aestheticism of the table according to a French taste, ie by a symmetry from the center:
· The linen placed according to an art of French folding, the plate in the center,
· The forks on the left, placed traditionally pointed against the tablecloth,
· The knives on the right, the edge of the knife turned towards the plate,
· The bread plate on the left, the butter knife on the right side of the bread plate,
· The glasses on the right side, placed, for the lowest, close to the point of the knife, for the highest, close to the center of the table, and in the order of the service of the wines,
· Accessories or service complements will be placed on the right as well as the note.

Corresponds to the service of a table according to four methods that each take the term ‘Grand Service à la Française’:

1) A service at the plate bell, carried out with elegance and scenography, especially at banquets, private executive tables, special events. This service may be associated with a service to the set or a particular scenography.
2) A flat service by which the service professional uses pliers and stands to the left of each plate placed in front of the guest, for the right-handed room employees, the opposite for the left-handers (‘English service’). Namely the terminology formerly used, evolves as well).
3) A service by which the service employee presents a dish to the customer from the left (for customers identified as right-handed), as well as a service clip for the latter to serve himself (terminology corresponding to
the expression ‘French service’ from the nineteenth century until the beginning of the twenty-first century).
4) A service from a trolley, or pedestal table, which allows cutting or blazing in front of the customer and to perform animations by codified techniques representing the notion of sharing, or freely interpreted from an older tradition.

Highlights French artisans, porcelain makers, goldsmiths, glassmakers, crystal makers, designers and other professionals working in the world of tableware and service.

In private or institutional catering with official international representation, it responds to the protocol code, especially reception, precedence, placement in space and at the table, but also to the particularities of service, the order of dishes and at the appropriate discretion.

Promotes floral decoration according to a French school of floral composition and by highlighting in particular the elements of plant order of the national territory, and according to the seasonality.

As such, it must remain the guarantor of the culinary and service traditions recognized throughout the world and enhance the notion of ‘gastronomic meal of the French’ highlighted by its inscription in 2010 to the Cultural Heritage of Humanity. – Fabrice Jobard, May 23, 2019 as published on Overblog

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

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