Why Customers Still Love Silver Service
Along with this trend has come a style of service that is decidedly laid-back. With many of us being either busy or increasingly impatient these days, some restaurants now ask customers to order and pay at the bar, speeding up the process for everyone.
Although there is of course a time and a place for this way of dining, sometimes – and particularly on special occasions – nothing can beat that special quality that traditional silver service provides. From the crisp white tablecloths and napkins, to the extra care and attention from your waiters; it really does make for a memorable dining experience.
Traditionally, silver service – referred to as ‘service à l'anglaise’ by the French – means that waiters serve diners from a serving dish, from the person’s left hand side. Meanwhile, any drinks or plated dishes should be served from the right hand side.
Another key feature of this style of service is that the guest sat to the right hand side of the host is served first, with service continuing in a counter-clockwise fashion.
Silver service also includes extra touches that can make all the difference, such as a ‘Crumb Down’, where the waiter will remove all the crumbs from the table after the main course. Usually, a folded napkin is used to brush the crumbs onto a plate held at the edge of the table.
One of the things that most customers enjoy about dining at silver service restaurants is the table setting itself. Along with cotton tablecloths and napkins, place settings are laid in a very precise manner and feature everything from fish knives to sweet forks, to individual butter dishes.
What’s more, staff must be impeccably dressed – usually in black and white uniform – and even receive guidance on appropriate words and phrases to use when serving. All in all, it’s guaranteed to make you feel special!
Obviously this isn’t something that all restaurants will be able to – or indeed, want to – emulate. But there are still a few authentic silver service restaurants around, and we’re pleased that there’s still a place for this truly high-end service.