light equipments and their sizes for restaurants
Dining room furniture is available in many shapes, sizes, material, colour, texture, and design. All of these must be taken into account while selecting them, so that the furniture blends with decor of the food service areas. Furniture occupies most of the service area, so these should be arranged carefully for maximum space utilization. The common items of furniture found in food service are tables, chairs, and sideboards.
While deciding on the number of tables required for should consider the following:
1. Size and shape of the area available after earmarking space for wash, cash counter, waiting area and so on
2. Space for gangways and sideboards
3. Table sizes and their seating capacities
Restaurant tables are generally divided into two sections: table tops and table bases.
They come in an assortment of sizes and shapes, of different materials such as wood, mica, glass, stone, and so on. The standard table top shapes are rectangular, square, and round. Wooden tops are used in upscale restaurant as they look elegant and rich. Formica or laminated table tops that mimic the finest wood grains are also available at a more affordable cost. These table tops are then matched to a table base.
They are the holding posts of the tables and come in a variety of designs that are selected to best match the theme and design of the dining area. Round table bases give a roomier feel underneath while bi-point restaurant table bases provide a sturdier footing for the table top. Selected table tops are firmly fixed to the bases chosen. Figure 3.1 shows table bases of different styles.
Service units, such as fast food outlets which have high seat turnover and very informal service, use table tops of granite, mica, marble, or glass. Table tops in such units are not covered with cloth, but might have place mats.
Wooden table tops, especially in fine dining restaurants, are permanently covered with thick woolen cloth or felt which is termed as 'baize'.
1. Deaden the noise of cutlery and crockery while placing them on the table
2. Protect table top from heat from the dish
3. Give grip to the tablecloth and to prevent it from slipping
4. Protect the wrist of the customer while dining, Baize should never he exposed to the guests.
For a comfortable dining the standard height of the table is 30'.
The size of the cover is 24x15'. keeping this size in mind, table capacities are calculated.
The length of the cover is 24' which is calculated as given below
Diameter of side plate 6'
Diameter of full plate 10'
Space for placing cutlery 8'
The width of the cover is 15'mwhich is calculated below:
Width of full plate 10'
Space from the edge of the table to the handle of the cutlery 1/2'
Space for water goblet 4 1/2'
The sizes given above are the minimum required. However, the style of service implemented in the food service area also dictates the size of tables. for example in a n Indian restaurant service, diners need more room on the table to place Indian bread basket, gravies, salad, pickles, and so on. In this case, length of the table may be increased by six inches.
Restaurant use tables of different shapes and capacities to maximize seating capacity. The number of tables of two, four and six covers to be used, depends on the arrival pattern of the guest and location. In general more tables of four covers and a few two and six cover table are used.
When choosing seating for the restaurant, there is an option of wood frame or metal frame chairs. Wood frame chairs offer a distinct style and bring out a sense of tradition and class to the establishment. Wooden chairs are a favorite among steak houses, family style, and fine dining restaurants. The natural colours and grains in the wood add a classy and elegant accent to the theme. Wooden restaurant chairs are also available in a wide variety of backrest styles, patterns, and shapes-
Metal chairs will typically project a more modern and sleek look than the wooden chairs. Metal restaurant chairs are painted and come in a wide variety of seat cover and backrest cover options. Metal chairs are an ideal choice for those desiring a modern look and for those who put emphasis on the colour base of their dining decor. There are also a variety of padding cover materials such as leather and vinyl to exhibit the quality of the chair.
Moulded polyvinyl chloride (PVC) chairs are used in cafeterias and low budget eateries.
Chairs are available with arms and without arms. The kind of chairs to be procured depends on the target clients and profile of the restaurant. For long conferences, seminars, and presentations, it is advisable to provide chairs with arms in the banquet halls. Leather padding furniture is more comfortable. Stackable chairs and collapsible tables are preferred in banquets for sasy storage.
Furniture chosen for food service should be comfortable, easy to maintain, sturdy, and durable, tandard size of chairs:
Height of the chair (from floor to the seat): 18"
From floor to the top of the chair: 39"
Depth of the chair: 18"
High chairs and booster seats
High chairs and booster seats are a necessity in most food service establishments and restaurants for children. High chairs are available in wood or plastic and come in a variety of finishes and colours. Booster seat can be a valuable alternative to high chair seating, Booster seats come in a wide range of colours. Certain manufacturers raise the sides of booster seats for added safety. If high chairs or booster seats are not available, a good amount of seat cushions according to the site of chairs can be held in stock for children. This cushion can be placed on the chair, secured, and the child can be seated for comfortable dining.
Food service personnel will not be able to extend quick service and work efficiently without sideboards. It holds all the necessary cutlery, crockery, hollow ware, menu cards, check pads, accompanying sauces, and so on, that are required during service. It is also termed as a dummy waiter. It is equipped with drawers, compartments, and shelves.
The number of sideboards required for a service area depends on the
• Total number of covers
• Space available
• style of service
• quantity of equipment to be held
• Number of wait staff to share the sideboard
It should be conveniently positioned so that it can be easily accessed by the service staff during service. One sideboard may be assigned to 6-8 tables or to every 30 covers. For example, restaurant has 120 covers, it may have 4 sideboards.
Sideboards may be incorporated with a hot plate to keep the food warm during the course of service. The warmer should be turned on approximately 10 minutes before service so that the warmer would be ready for use during the service. If turned on too early, the warmer would be heated up unnecessarily. The sideboard top may be made of wood or stone and the rest made with wood. Proprietary sauces, straw holders, toothpick stand, water jugs, menu cards, wine list and so on, are placed on the top.
It has drawers with compartments to store the necessary cutlery. These compartments are lined with baize to prevent noise and scratch marks.
The following items are kept in the sideboard:
• Side knives • Glassware (wine glasses and water glasses)
• Soup spoons • Napkins, tray cloth, waiter's cloth
• Fish knives and forks • Sugar bowls with tongs, cup and saucers
• Dessert spoons and forks • Cruets
• Large knives and forks • Ashtrays
• Service spoons and forks • Paper napkins
• Tea spoons and coffee spoons • Candle stand
• Underliner • Trays
However, crockery, and linen required during service are stored in the lower shelves. It is better to keep the shelves closed for a better appearance.
Items from the sideboard used during service should be replaced at the end of the shift or at the beginning of the shift by the waiters.
It is a high desk positioned at the entrance of specialty and fine dining restaurants, used by the hostess or the reception head waiter to receive guests and guide them to their tables. A telephone and a reservation book are placed on the desk. The keys of sideboards, linen cupboards, and so on, are placed in the drawers of this desk and are collected as and when required.
The hostess attends calls from prospective clients, takes details on table reservations, and makes an entry in the reservation boot When the guests arrive at the restaurant, they are received by the hostess who checks if they have reservations and takes them to the table assigned. Restaurants that do not follow reservation system may not have this desk. Restaurants such as fast food outlets, cafeterias, and so on, where seat turnover is very high and customers walk in without reservations, would not have such desk.
The term 'linen' in food service area covers tablecloths, napkins, tray cloths, slip cloths, buffet cloths, waiters cloths, and tea cloths. Extensive use of linen involves higher laundry and replacement costs, which results in more overheads (this should not be a constraint for not using linen in exclusive restaurant that cater to upscale market). Therefore, the fabric chosen should be long lasting, with non-fading colours -and must withstand frequent laundering and stain removal process.
All tables with wooden top are covered with tablecloths to enhance the appearance of the dining area. Plain tables can quickly be transformed into a formal dining seating with the use of tablecloths. Tablecloths are generally used in fine dining restaurants. The colour of the tablecloth must go well with the colour scheme of the interior. Hotels with many restaurants may use different coloured tablecloths for each of their outlets for easier identification and control of linen movement. The size of the cloth depends on the size of the tables to be covered.
Considering the minimum fall of 9" from the edge of the table, one can easily calculate the size of tablecloth required. For example, to cover a table of 2'6" square table, one needs a cloth of minimum size of 48" x 48". It is calculated as follows:
Width of the table 2'6" which is = 30"
Add: fall of tablecloth on two sides: 2" x 9" =18"
Gives a ready reference for tablecloth sizes (minimum size).
The quantity of tablecloths required for service depends on
1. The number of tables
2. The time taken for washing
3. The frequency of changing of tablecloth
Some establishments may change the cloth everyday and some for lunch and dinner. most establishments cover the soiled tablecloth with slip cloth during service.
Assume a restaurant has 15 tables, changes cloth after every meal, and takes two days for washing. Then the tablecloth requirement will be 15 x 2 x 3 = 90 cloths. The frequency of changing tablecloths depends on the profile of the restaurant.
(Nate: Popular restaurants and fast food outlets do not use tablecloths. Instead, place mats are used on which the necessary settings are done. Place mats can act as a good selling aids if specialties are printed on them or can engage the guests while waiting for their orders by printing puzzles, zodiac signs, sudoku, and so on, on them.)
These are for guests" use, normally kept folded at each cover and unfolded and spread on laps of guests by service staff or by guests themselves depending on the situation . They are also called as serviettes.
Napkins are available in many attractive colours. The colours chosen should be in contrast to the tablecloth and should blend with the overall colour scheme. Each restaurant uses napkins of different colour for proper control. As napkins are laundered frequently, the fabric chosen should be able to withstand frequent washing and should be long lasting.
There are two standard sizes of napkin:
• 18" x 18" for lunch • 20" x 20" for dinner
Though there are two sizes, most of the establishments use napkins of any one size. Napkin should be neatly folded by the wait staff and kept on tables either in glasses, on side plates, or in the centre of the cover which enhances the appearance of the table set up.
Crockery includes all items of earthenware or chinaware such as plates, cups and saucers, pots, vases, and so. The following are the type of chinaware available in the market:
It is made of 25 per cent ball clay, 25 per cent kaolin or clay, 15% china stone, and 35 per cent flint.
The advantage of earthenware is that it is cheaper, but it is easily chipped or cracked and much heavier than bone china.
It is made of 25 per cent china clay, 25 per cent china stone, and 50 per cent calcium phosphate.
It is strong and translucent. It looks beautiful and is very expensive. Nowadays, manufacturer has introduced crockery which has qualities of bone china, but is less- expensive. Such are available under a variety of trade names such as Vitrock, Steelite, and so on. they are stronger than earthenware and less expensive compared to bone china.
It is made of 50 per cent china clay, 25% quartz, and 25% feldspar (aluminosilicate mineral).
It is vitreous and translucent with a grey or blue tinge. it is used in oven to tableware dishes.
It is hard and vitreous crockery, fired at a high temperature. It is heavy and available in bright colours, suitable for restaurants where bright colour crockery is repaired.
Selection of crockery
The crockery chosen should be attractive and must blend with the decor of the service area. From the most expensive bone china to the cheapest earthenware is available in the market to suit the pocket of various food service operators. If a hotel has many restaurants, each outlet may have crockery of different colours and patterns to suit their decor, provided there is a guarantee for variability of the same designs for replacement in the future.
While selecting the chinaware, the following points should be considered:
1. Plates should have complete and even glaze
2. Pattern or design should be under glaze so that it is protected and does not wear out with repeated washing
3. Suitable for multiple purposes, for example, using bowls for soups and breakfast cereals. half plate for appetizer, fish, vegetables, savoury, and sweet
4. Stackable up to 30 plates or saucers in one pile
5. Suitable for machine washing
6. Plates should have rolled edge to resist chipping
7. Light weight
8. Suitable for microwave application
9. Resistant to high temperatures of 85 degree celsius
It is advisable to go for simple design or plain crockery as it does not get outdated and replacing will be quick without any problem or huge investment.
Printing designs on crockery
There are two methods of printing design/logo on crockery: under glaze and on glaze.
In this method, a logo or design is printed on the crockery after one firing and they are glazed and fired for second time. The pattern is completely under the cover of glaze and will not wear out..
Food and beverage service outlets use variety of glasses for different types of drinks which call for in delicate and fragile equipment. The style, quality, and sparkle of glassware selected portray the profile of the restaurant. Glasses are named by the drinks served in them. Though glasses for different drinks, it is better to go for limited types of glasses that may be suitable for all kinds of drinks. This not only saves the investment but also reduces storage area and makes replacement easier in case of breakage.
There are basically two types of glassware: plain and cut glass. Plain glassware is preferred over cut glass as one can appreciate colour and brilliance of the contents of the clear glassware.
Glasses have any or all of the following parts
• Base or foot
It is basically a bowl without stem or foot. Its sides may be straight, widened, or curved. Examples: Rock glass, old-fashioned, highball, Collins, juice glass, and so on.
In this type, the bowl sits directly on a base or foot without the stem. Bowl and base may come in a variety of shapes. Examples: brandy balloon, beer goblet.
It refers to glasses that have all three parts- bowl, base, and stem connects the bowl with te base or foot. examples: red wine glass, white wine glass, etc
Consider the following points while purchasing glasses:
• Should be free from air bubbles
• Should have a smooth, transparent, and even finish
• Should be relatively heavy and durable
• Should be resistant to impact and thermal shock
• Should be easy to replace
• Should not be cracked or chipped
The term tableware refers to all pieces of flatware, cutlery, and hollowware.
Flatware in catering parlance means all forms of spoons and forks while cutlery denotes all types of knives and other cutting implements used in the dining area. However, cutlery is the common term used frequently in the hotel industry to refer to spoons, forks, and knives used for eating. The term flatware is seldom used during operations.
Cutlery is available in various designs in silver, plated silver and stainless steel material. The type of metal needed for a service operation depends on the profile of the restaurant and the capital available. Silver and plated silver are expensive, suitable for high-class dining operations that cater to elite customers but maintaining this type of cutlery is very expensive and consumes more labour for polishing. Burnishing machine, polivit, and plate powder methods are used for retaining the shine and to remove stains.
Stainless steel cutlery is available in many grades of quality and finish. The two best qualities are those marked 18/8 which means a composition of 18 percent chromium and 8 per cent nickel, and 12/12 which is 12 per cent chromium and 12 per cent nickel. It is available in matt or shiny finish.
Whatever metal and design chosen, the cutlery should be comfortable for customers to use and easy to clean. While deciding on the pattern, it is always better to keep to any one pattern for all pieces of cutlery and a cover should not have cutlery of different designs. It is always advisable to go for plain cutlery as its replacement and cleaning is easier.