Principles, functions and procedures of buffet restaurants (Part 2)

Rules for the provision of service in buffet restaurants

Rules for the provision of service in buffet restaurants

The keywords of a buffet are variety, quality and presentation. Their true success or rejection by customers depends on them, so to succeed in this aspect it is necessary to take into account:

  1. That the food is simple, natural and well prepared.
  2. Revalue regional and dietetic cuisine.
  3. Serve food in the best temperature conditions.
  4. Attach great importance to the presentation and decoration of the food within simplicity.
  5. Give abundant information to the client about the food that is offered.
  6. Invest in decoration and setting of the premises.

From all the above, the need to print to this offer "imagination" and "spectacularity" is concluded, achieving its integrability to the structure of the restaurant in such a way that the customer is satisfied with the buffet as if he had eaten in a restaurant classic and not in a self service.

Buffet location

Regardless of the buffet modalities that are applied according to the conditions of each place (frontal, on islands or equipped) the following conditions must be combined:

  1. Visibility
  2. Ease of access to the interior area of ​​the service (kitchen, servibar, etc.)
  3. Equidistance in relation to the tables in the room
  4. Ease of customer access

Hours of service

En cada restaurant service hours are established in coordination with tourism representatives, taking into account the food requirements of tourists and the policy of the establishment, taking into account the possibilities of the room and the number of tourists; should range between two hours for breakfast and three for lunch and dinner.

Assembling the tables

The tables will be assembled according to their capacity.

The breakfast tables will be set up with:

  1. Tablecloths and covers) (according to the category of the establishment and characteristics of the tables)
  2. Ashtray (in the smoking area)
  3. Salt shaker
  4. Pepper shaker (in 4 and 5 stars, pepper mill in sideboards)
  5. Roast fork and knife
  6. Spoons (they can be mounted on the table, or be in the buffet line)
  7. Cloth napkins
  8. Cups for water
  9. The mini doses of sugar can be placed on the table like the sugar bowls if there is enough supply. Otherwise, some sugar bowls or a container with mini doses, preferably, will be placed on the buffet line.
  10. Hot drinks can be served at the table, which will give distinction and level to the service provided (provided it is done very efficiently). In this case, the cup of coffee with milk and the spoon must be included in the assembly.

The tables for lunches and dinners will be set up with:

  1. Tablecloths and tablecloths (in 4 and 5 stars these must be of optimum quality)
  2. Ashtray (in the smoking area)
  3. Salt shaker
  4. Pepper shaker (in 4 and 5 star pepper mill in dressers)
  5. Fork and knife for roasts (4 and 5 stars will also mount forks and knives for starters)
  6. Cloth napkins
  7. Cups for water
  8. The glasses or glasses for beers, wines, etc. They will preferably be located at the time of service
  9. Companies that spoons For consommé or soup or spoons for desserts they will be put in pouches in the area corresponding to the buffet line.

Assembly and dispatch of the buffet

The Hall Brigade

  • Will perform the daily or mechanical task of the room that includes the following aspects:
    • It will be done during non-service hours or when there are no customers
    • The sanitation of walls, ceilings, floors, furniture, ornaments and lamps carried out by the cleaning department of common areas is included. For its realization the natural ventilation of the room is used in order to eliminate strange odors.
    • Alignment of tables and chairs.
    • Review of cleaning tables, chairs and sideboards.
    • Polishing of cutlery, supplies and work utensils.
    • Shining of the glassware.
    • Cleaning of salt shakers, pepper shakers, sugar bowls, oil and vinegar convoy.
    • Assembly of sideboards with all the necessary supplies.
    • Decoration of the living room with natural flowers and plants.
  • He will do the mise en place of the buffet, he will place all the necessary supplies in sufficient quantities for the service, what is not enough will be replaced in a timely manner by the person designated for this task.
  • It will be placed with the kitchen brigade in the assembly and disassembly of the buffet products.
  • It will place the identification of the main dishes, infusions, liquids, as well as when special offers are made in several languages.
  • She will be responsible for decorating the buffet in coordination with the decorating level I and II kitchen brigade.
  • They will help customers in serving, carving, portioning and selecting different foods, as well as supporting customers who do not know or have limitations to serve the buffet.
  • Periodically change the service utensils on the buffet furniture and replace them.

The Cooking Brigade

  1. She will be responsible for the assembly, replacement, dispatch and disassembly of the food on the buffet table, with the cooperation of the saloon brigade when required.
  2. It will place in the buffet the necessary containers for each of the products that make up the offer, depending on the characteristics of the dishes and their potential demand.
  3. He will collaborate with the salon brigade in the decoration of the buffet, supplying them with the best products to make still lifes, centerpieces, kitchen utensils, etc.
  4. It will take care of the appearance of the containers, removing those that are becoming empty or those whose visual appearance deteriorates.
  5. It will maintain the cleanliness and decoration of the table, collecting food spills that occur during service.
  6. She will be responsible for the decoration and presentation of the dishes, especially level II decoration, as well as the maintenance of the optimal temperature of the different dishes.

Sales of extras at the buffet

The buffet offers great possibilities for the sale of extras.

To carry out these sales it is necessary to achieve the introduction of the products, by means of a permanent adaptation of the assortment to the needs and tastes of the client, trying to satisfy them with an attractive offer and by means of the appropriate presentation of these products.

Stages of sale

We can divide the sale into four clearly defined stages:

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Give customer confidence
  1. The personal appearance of the seller is essential.
  2. Friendly reception: Welcoming with smiles, greetings and accommodating with kindness, being kind from the beginning and maintaining the atmosphere of kindness will facilitate the sales dialogue.
Propose and suggest the product
  1. Know the products to be sold very well: Product name, price, composition, presentation, preparation time, origin, form of service, accompaniment with drinks.
  2. That they are star products: Products in high demand and that at the same time leave a high margin of greed.
  3. Have psychology: To adapt the establishment's sales program to the particular needs of each client.
Make the sale
  1. The sale is formalized at the time of taking the order that must be done clearly.
  2. Make customers feel cared for and important.
Ensure the sale of what is offered and demanded
  1. It is necessary to ensure the correct execution of the orders demanded by the client.

Guide to tempt the customer

  1. Start with an explanation that your customer is pleased with.
  2. Make direct suggestions.
  3. make such interesting suggestions that they will whet your customer's appetite even more.
  4. Make it so that sincerity is appreciated in your words.
  5. Make reference to its good taste and aroma.
  6. Ask questions and then make any additional suggestions.
  7. There are clients who do not know much about restaurants and they readily submit to suggestions.
  8. You have to try to sell something else to customers who know how to order.
  9. Know well the credit cards that are accepted. Customers who can use credit cards generally spend more.
  10. Know very well the food and drinks to sell, characteristics, prices, etc.

When to sell?

  1. After the reception: Eg: aperitif or refreshing drinks with an attractive or impressive presentation, they must provide immediate service.
  2. After the aperitif: Eg: Special and quality products, demanded by tourists such as lobster, butterfly, shrimp on the skewer, cannelloni, etc.
  3. Drinks during meals: Eg: Wines according to the chosen menu. Have them on display and also beers, soft drinks and waters.
  4. At the end of meals: Ex .: Special cheeses, special desserts (flambé, ice cream, etc.) aged rum, cognac, digestive creams, cigars, etc.

All these sales will be promoted with samples of the products very well presented in such a way that they attract and impact customers, that is, create an ideal environment for the sale. These products must be clearly marked, including the price to avoid confusion for customers.

To carry out the signage or display, it must be taken into account that the customer is likely to quickly pass their visit on it, so we only have a few seconds to provoke interest. That is why it must include only the essential words, the challenge will be an attractive sample of the products.

Displays should be carefully and critically checked and observed with a view to correcting errors. The site where they are going to be located must be well analyzed so that they correspond with the objectives set and that they convey the desired message, that is, that they are really effective, for this it is necessary to know the merchandising in restoration, which focuses on promotion of its services, especially in the gastronomic offer. The promotion is carried out with physical supports that will be used at the point of sale. Through the exhibition it is stimulated, in addition to the sale of illusion caprice.

Sell = Expose
Expose = Sell
Hide = Do not dispatch


Containers and supplies other than those used in the show will also be used where possible to distinguish these special offers.

Technical functions of the salon staff

Head of Hall

  1. He will guide and supervise the assembly of the tables and sideboards, ornamentation, appearance and supply of the buffet supplies, cleaning and shining of crockery, glassware and cutlery, the personal presence and the behavior and professionalism of the brigade.
  2. Designates, guides and supervises the performance of the daily task, designating what responsibility each of the components of the brigade will have in it.
  3. He will check the mounting of the tables, sideboards, the buffet furniture, to detect possible absences or errors that have not been detected until that moment.
  4. He will hold the opening meeting where he will guide on the composition of the menu, products used in the different preparations, sauces, cooking terms, garnishes, etc. Guidance on the sales policy of the optional offers at the buffet. He carefully supervises the correct use of the uniform and the personal hygiene of each of his subordinates before the opening of the room. Informs and guides about the results of the Salon checkup
  5. Designate staff responsible for restocking supplies, changing dirty utensils, and cleaning up spills.
  6. He will be attentive to any incident in the service and will guarantee a quick solution with the required professionalism.
  7. It will ensure the proper use and conservation of the tools and equipment of the Show.
  8. It will ensure the quality and hygiene of food as a counterpart of the kitchen.
  9. He will replace the Captain in case of absence or at a necessary time.
  10. He will inform the Chef de Cuisine of the moment in which the collection and disassembly of the buffet will begin.
  11. He will respond solicitously, courteously and quickly to any customer call or need.
  12. He will perform the tasks stated for the Captain in places where this position does not exist.

Responsible for the attention at the door (Hostess)

This responsibility should not be underestimated in the least. The person chosen must be very communicative and easy to relate to clients, including command of languages.

  1. They will give a courteous reception at the entrance of the room, showing hospitality, greeting and carrying out the established control procedures and informing about the service system if the case requires it. All this will be done as soon as possible since the buffet service must be very agile from the very reception of the client.
  2. He will respond solicitously, courteously and quickly to any customer call or need.
  3. He actively participates in the organization of the entire service until the moment it begins, joining his specific task of caring for the door.
  4. The farewell as well as the welcome is very important. This moment should be used to find out if our service has been to the customer's liking. Have a sense of humor and smile at customers; pronounce their names if we know them when we say goodbye. Never forget to say thank you with a smile.
  5. It will be avoided by all means that this position is occupied by the Head of Room since the latter must watch over, supervise and act so that the service in the room is efficient.
  6. From your communication with customers, you will keep a strict control of incidents, trying to find immediate solutions and with a view to their later Insights.

Captain of the Gastronomic Service

  1. He will be attentive to the service provided and will help customers who do not know or have limitations to use the buffet.
  2. Guide, control and supervising the work of the clerks, ensuring that the service is dynamic and friendly.
  3. In addition to supervising the work of the brigade, he will actively participate in all planned tasks and during joint service with the brigade.
  4. Supervises the rapid collection of dirty supplies, spills, etc., requiring that dirty supplies go as directly as possible to the sink, avoiding accumulation in sideboards or collection carts. It will ensure that the indiscriminate movement of the trolleys is avoided in the rooms where they exist.
  5. He will politely dismiss all customers and ask some if the service provided was to their liking, taking control of possible incidents for their Insights and quick solution.
  6. He will respond solicitously, courteously and quickly to any customer call or need.

Dependent on the Gastronomic Service

  1. Actively participates in the daily task, assembly and decoration of the buffet.
  2. Make the "mise en place" of the sideboard, tables and buffet.
  3. You will quickly and directly take orders from the bar; as well as the optional offers, juices, infusions and other liquids at lunches and dinners.
  4. The beers, waters and soft drinks will be served directly at the table (after cleaning in the bar), leaving the client to use it to the extent of their desire, and the service must always begin.
  5. The sales service will be carried out according to the established ritual. In facilities of 3 stars or lower category, the red wine can be placed on the table and the white, rosé and sparkling wines in a bucket with ice to the right of the host, so that they can be served according to their wishes.
  6. When serving the orders or taking out the service, it will be done in the most convenient, fast place and that does not bother the customer.
  7. It will remove the supplies from the table as they have been used and take them as directly as possible to the sink, avoiding accumulation in the sideboards or collection carts.
  8. In the facilities where there is a cart for the collection of supplies, you must make proper use of it, placing it in the most convenient place and always avoiding its movement between the tables in the room.
  9. Will perform the tasks listed for the backpack in places where this position does not exist.
  10. He keeps the bottled sauces on the sideboard, to offer them to the customer who requests it. In 4 and 5 star hotels these sauces can be placed on the buffet line.
  11. Remove dirty supplies; It cleans and remounts the tables quickly, preventing tables with used or unassembled supplies from accumulating at your station.
  12. He will respond solicitously, courteously and quickly to any customer call or need.


  1. It will stock the sideboards with clean supplies.
  2. It will shine and dry the cutlery and glassware necessary in the development of the service.
  3. It will take dirty supplies straight to the sink.
  4. It will quantify the used lingerie, grouping them separately for replacement.
  5. It will keep sideboards and pantry clean, orderly, and stocked.
  6. Assists the clerk in any necessary task during the service.
  7. It will attend to the call or need of the clients.

Decalogue of the good service professional

  1. Let's make sure that we have given the client everything they asked for.
  2. Let's make you feel comfortable and at ease.
  3. Let's not forget to ask you if everything has seemed good to you.
  4. Let's be communicative, let's recommend a special event related to the installation.
  5. Let's have a good mood.
  6. Let's say "please" when we give you the bill.
  7. Let's say thank you when we get paid.
  8. Let's smile.
  9. Let's greet: "Good morning,"
  10. Let us kindly say goodbye: "See you soon", "we are waiting for you again,"

Technical functions of the kitchen staff


  1. Together with the Maître and the J 'de Abastelaciones, they will prepare the menu cycles according to the average maximum stay of the tourists, with a varied offer and according to the structure set out in this Manual.
  2. He will make daily in coordination with the Maître and J 'de Supplies the necessary adjustments to the next day's menu according to the existing supplies.
  3. It will prepare periodic menu cycles taking into account the times of the year, seasonality of the products and the search for and introduction of new dishes from the existing supplies at all times.
  4. It will guarantee that in each area a correct “mise en place” is made in good time and according to the planned menu.
  5. He will supervise that the preparation, preparation and presentation of the dishes is carried out correctly and as planned.
  6. He will be updated and will apply current trends in gastronomy in his work and will permanently adapt to the needs and requirements of customers based on surveys and direct conversation with them.
  7. He will verify that the decorations are different for each plate, trying to achieve an adequate distribution of the themes, shapes and decorative products and avoiding repetition in the selected decorations.
  8. He will supervise the assembly, replacement, dispatch and disassembly of the food in the buffet.
  9. During your outings to the show, you should talk to customers to get their opinions on the offer.
  10. Supervises the personal presence of his subordinates and especially those who perform functions in the room.
  11. Designate the chefs who will attend the buffet, serving or carving main dishes, carving and serving cheeses, cakes, etc. In addition to preparing or finishing a dish in view of the client. Eg: brew coffee in a rustic way, make fried eggs, skewers, omelettes, etc.
  12. The Chef de Cuisine will prepare a production plan for each menu based on a percentage distribution per dish, based on the study that must be carried out of the actual consumption.
  13. Each day it will make the adjustment of the rations to be made of each preparation according to the number of tourists to consume.
  14. He will check that the products for the replacement of the buffet are kept in the temperature conditions required for each case.
  15. It will carry out the redistribution of the returns according to the case and guaranteeing the correct conservation of the usable ones.
  16. You will have the possibility of incorporating or totally or partially substituting a dish in the menu, taking advantage of the returns and / or products that were not used when ready for use.
  17. For a better use of resources, especially fresh ones (fruits, juices and vegetables), it is permissible to make substitutions during service hours with respect to those programmed in the daily menu.
  18. When a preparation runs out because the demand is higher than the forecasts; If the elaboration is complex, it can be replaced by another preparation of the same kind that is easier to elaborate.

Cooking Masters and Chefs

  1. They will prepare the dishes according to the corresponding menu cycle and will not make changes without consulting the Head Chef or staff who are responsible for the kitchen at that time.
  2. They will carry out a correct “Mise en place” with enough time and according to the planned menu.
  3. They will carry out a preparation, preparation and presentation of the dishes as foreseen by the Chef de Cuisine and at the same time they will be creative in the application of current trends in gastronomy and will permanently adapt to the needs and requirements of customers.
  4. They will make different decorations for each plate.
  5. They will maintain a proper personal presence.
  6. They will keep the products in the required hygienic and temperature conditions.


In the lounge restaurant There must be a person in charge of the attention, replacement and service of the buffet table, called Buffetier, which may be more than one depending on the place and amount of work and in the absence of it, a sufficiently trained and professional kitchen employee will be appointed to assume this task, preferably with a language command, to help in communication with the tourist who makes use of this service.

  1. You will be responsible for setting up the equipment and auxiliary means to start the service, as well as cleaning it once it is finished. Eg: Bain-marie, toasters, liquid dispensers, etc.
  2. You will place the utensils to serve the food on the buffet.
  3. You will place the containers for the assembly of the products in each area of ​​the kitchen as planned.
  4. He is responsible for leaving and leaving the buffet products, checking them according to current procedures and at the end of the service deliver the return to the Kitchen J 'for its control and redistribution.
  5. During the service, the fountains will be replaced when they become empty or those whose visual appearance deteriorates.
  6. He will maintain the cleanliness and decoration of the table, periodically changing the service utensils when they become dirty, as well as cleaning the spills that occur during the service on the buffet furniture.

Please note:
As you can see, there are some technical functions of the salon and kitchen staff that overlap, this means that the responsibility for the buffet is shared depending on the specific conditions of each place: qualification of staff, number of staff in each of the brigades, etc.
Daily knowledge of the Chef de Cuisine

The Kitchen Chef as the main and basic link of the buffet table, there are multiple knowledge that he must possess in order to carry out the different tasks to be completed and that we consider appropriate to emphasize and expose in greater detail and which are listed below.

  1. First of all, you have to be aware of the number of diners you need to consider when making the meal. You must first make use of the “Daily report of the food plans” sent by the Reception area, as well as the additional influx that the facility has according to the registered statistics. Here is considered, day of the week, holiday date, installation promotion, etc.
  2. He has to intervene in the preparation of the menu together with the rest of the personnel in charge of this task, as well as determine the Chef's suggestion.
  3. Request to the Supply department, according to what is established and with the necessary time, the list of products that are going to be used in the preparation of the menu. In this case, the reserve of products that may be in stock in the sub-warehouse and conservation refrigerators will be taken into account.
  4. At the time of participating in the preparation of the menu, you must have as knowledge the different types that exist: cyclical, seasonal, specialized, international and the one used for the buffet table.
  5. Other tasks that the Chef has to keep in mind at all times is to make, obtain and consult, like the rest of the chefs, their standard rules to verify the quantities of each ingredient and the way to prepare each dish, through of the Technology Letters, especially for when doubts arise at the time of making it. The model established for this task is the Plate Technology Charter.

This model collects the quantity of ingredients that the plate must carry, noting its gross and net norm for each product, as well as the norm to be served. In turn, the cost of the avocado in its entirety and the sale price must be reflected in it.

The Kitchen Chef is the person in charge of daily checking the attendance of the staff under his charge in the kitchen and organizing it to offer the service in optimal conditions. To perform this task, you must observe the following procedure.

Procedures for Control of Kitchen Personnel

  1. Open the kitchen and check that the areas are in order.
  2. If found at the opening of the kitchen, some equipment with damage, immediately report it to the maintenance area through the model established for this purpose.
  3. Roll over to your staff.
  4. Check the personal presence of subordinates before assigning their task to fulfill.
  5. Check the cleanliness, hygiene and orderliness of the kitchen before starting work.
  6. Tell the staff what services to work on, as well as the quantities of dishes to be made.
  7. Ask the Supply area for the products you need to be used in the preparation of the dishes.
  8. Verify the quality of the products that came from the warehouse and those that you have in the kitchen and that are going to be used during this work day.

The preparation of the area is the most important function (to achieve its proper functioning), since it depends on it that there are no delays during the provision of the service.

This area has to guarantee that the dishes that appear in the Menu or those stipulated in the buffet table are ready at the time of opening (coup de fen) of the restaurant, regardless of the close relationship that must exist between the sales area and the kitchen.

Below, we offer the procedures used in the kitchen area for the provision of buffet table service.

Procedures to be followed by the Chef before opening

  1. Check the daily report of the meal plans, as well as the sales record to use for this day in order to calculate the number of diners expected to attend the restaurant and prepare the amount of food applying the Royaltor method or the Rank method.
  2. Check with the Maître d 'or another person responsible for this purpose about the type of menu that makes up the buffet that day
  3. Make the request for products to the warehouse area through the established models to guarantee the elaboration of the menu to be offered.
  4. Checks and establishes control of the supply of products sent by the warehouse to the kitchen.
  5. He explains to the cooks the type of menu to be prepared for the buffet service.
  6. Supervises the work carried out by the kitchen staff regarding the preparation, preparation and presentation of food.
I am a dreamer and in my dreams I believe that a better world is possible, that no one knows more than anyone, we all learn from everyone. I love gastronomy, numbers, teaching and sharing all the little I know, because by sharing I also learn. "Let's all go together from foundation to success"