Teach students to differentiate between different table service styles and what makes good and bad table service.
By Dr. Jennifer Denlinger, CCC, CHEP
Teaching table setting service can be a detailed lesson or simple activity. That is the great flexibility of this activity. However, if you teach and illustrate the full service from the different continents, you might require a few trips to the thrift store to acquire all the pieces.
In the full lesson, students will be able to list the different styles of service, identify aspects of good and bad service, distinguish between front and back of the house roles, learn table placements and demonstrate table setting techniques.
I start with a PowerPoint about table services and the reasons behind the different settings. It is at this point instructors’ teaching options are boundless. You can teach some or all of the table setting styles including:
Here is an activity my classes have enjoyed: collectively deciding which table setting to use for campus functions. We set and decided on two table functions: a dinner function and another setup for everything else. We also create a buffet service so everyone can see that setup as well.
If you are a secondary teacher and do not want to have the alcohol glasses, you can omit the glass and print out pictures to be posted on index cards to take their places.
- Pictures of service pieces
- Pictures of table settings
- Labeled picture for test or extra credit exam question
- Table setting PowerPoint
- Activity guideline
- “Pieces needed” sheet
Chef Jennifer M. Denlinger, PhD., CCC, CHEP, is the Culinary Management Program Department Chair at the Poinciana Campus of Valencia College. She is also the vice president of ACF’s Central Florida Chapter. Additionally, Chef Denlinger earned the 2020 Innovation Award, sponsored by CAFÉ and the Idaho Potato Commission, for a creative escape room based on safe food handling procedures.