gueridon service


Introduction: The definition of the term guéridon is a movable service or trolley from which food can be carved, filtered, flambéed or prepared and served. It is, in other words, a movable side board which  has sufficient equipment for the immediate operation in hand; however  it should also carry essential equipment in case of emergency for eg crockery, cutlery service gears . The guéridon service itself come in various form  i.e. calor gas trolley, specially made for the purpose, a plain trolley or even a small table.

The origin of guéridon service itself is hard to trace. It includes carving  salad preparation, pre   preparation of fresh fruit and so on. This form of service the cost of the dishes being priced individually and the average cost of the meal being therefore higher than a table d’hote meal. Another reason for higher cost with an a’la carte type of meal is that it demands  a skilled personnel who is trained and specailised ,hence making the cost of service expensive due to the equipment, skilled  labour and space  required service to be carried out.

Flambé dishes first become popular in the Edwardian Era i.e. the first claimed flambé dish was crêpes Suzette which was  invented by Henri Charpentier working as a commis at the café de paris is Monte Carlo (1894).in honour of the Prince of Wales girlfriend  named Suzette.

Miss-en-place for Guéridon 

Where necessary, the top and under shelf of the guéridon should be covered with a folded table cloth. This, of course depends on the nature of guéridon itself and its general appearance for convenience of working the cutlery and flatware layout be similar to that of the side board. This saves time and speed up the service from right to left.
Service spoon and forks
Sweet spoon and forks
Soup, tea and Coffee spoons
Fish knife and fork, special equipment including a soup and sauce ladle
Joint and side knife
The hot plates or table heaters are generally placed on the left hand side on the top of the guéridon. This heater may be gas, electricity or methylated spirit. If it is a heater the coffee saucer  should be placed under the burners, Also on the top there should be a carving board ,knife for carving and filtering .A selection of basic accompaniments such as oil and vinegar, Worcester sauce, English and French mustard and castor sugar should be available .

Underneath will be stacked with  service plates and platters , side plate and some joint plates, for dirty tableware there should be a bin for collection. When an operation is being carried out, there should be some silver, cutlery and  doilies is useful for a presentation of sauces and other accompaniments.


Flare lamps:
These are an essential item of equipment for guéridon service and are used in re-heating, cooking and flambéing dishes. The maintenance of the flare lamps is very important and should be carried out very carefully, ensuring each part is fitted together correctly, that it is fitted to the correct level with methylated spirit and than the wick is of sufficient length to give adequate heat where in use.
The flare lamp should be cleaned regularly with the aid of plate powder. Regular timing of the wick is essential to avoid methylated spirit fumes baking out and spoiling the aroma of the food. The lamps are usually 20-25 cm high with a grid of diameter 15-20 cm. In a purpose built the same working height all along the trolley tap. This I much safe fro the waiter as he/she works since there is less chance of accidents. The lamps here are generally color gas.
Chafing dish on suzette pans:
The true chafing dish in rarely seen now days. This was deeper, had a led and was made to fit into A’s own individual heating unit. The shallower pans which are used today are called Suzette pans. They resemble frying pans in shape and size and have a diameter of 23-30 cm with or without a lip. The lip is usually found on the left hand side. The pans are generally made of silver plated copper as this gives an even distribution of heat.
Hot plates:
The hot plates main function is to keep food hot before it is served to the guest. They are always positioned on the side board and the guéridon they come in a vast range of sizes and may be heated by gas, electricity or methylated spirits and there are even infra red ones available. The majority of hotplates in present day use are heated by methylated spirit and therefore, as with the flare lamps care should be taken in cleaning filing and trimming the wicks in both hotplates and flare lamps should be long enough and adequate for the service.
Guéridon (Calor gas):
A guéridon may use a gas lamp connected to a calor gas cylinder. The service top is flat the upper casing. This makes it much safe when working dishes or carrying out any form of flambé work at the table. The top of the trolley is stainless steel which allows for easy cleaning other facilities are the control switch for the gas lamp, the drawer for the surplus equipment, the cutting board for use when cooking dishes at the table the bracket on the lower tray used for holding bottles of spirit and liqueurs and the identification on top of the trolley for holding accompaniments.
Care and maintenance of equipment:
These are many reasons why all equipment should be maintained on a regular basis. Primarily, it is because of Hygiene and presentation in front of the client and legal suspects of the food Hygiene Regulation, 1970; the Food Act 1984; the Food safety Act 1990, and the Food and Drug act.
Work performance: Efficiency of performance is lost and possibly as a result loss of custom and therefore revenue.
Work safety: The legal aspects of the health and safety at work 1974 would apply here as well as applicable insurance acts.
To ensure the above takes place a daily inspection and cleaning rota as schedule. This work should then be carried out by the food service/personnel during the normal mis-en-place period and under the supervision of a senior member at the team of brigade. 


Gas lamps:
Check that all moving arts move freely. 
Ensure both the jet and burner and free from soot and dirt. 
Clean by appropriate method – silvo or geddards plate powder – but remember do not even immerse in water. 
Gas bottles: 
Ensure at all times there is no heated equipment or naked flames near the lamp. 
Follows at all times there is no heated equipment or naked flames near the lamp. 
Checks all taps are in the off position. 
During storage all gas bottle should be kept cool. 
Spirit lamps:
Check the amount of methylated spirit. 
See that the air hole is free. 
Trim the wick and check it for length. 
Clean of any excessive dirt and spent matches. 
Ensure all moving parts move freely. 
Clean by the appropriate method – but remember do not immerse in water. 
Any decoration of equipment should be checked carefully and if necessary cleaned with a toothbrush. 


Certain qualities and attributes are expected are expected of a waiter in carrying out this forms of service. It is as well to bear the following in mind at this stage.
Taking the order:
It has to be remember first and foremost that you are a sales person. You must sell the dishes, which will involve you in work at the table. Suggest to the customs, item on the menu, this focusing attention in dishes. You may wish to sell. Use the carving trolley and sweet trolley as visual selling lid.
Your must always have a good knowledge of the menu so as to give good discipline to the guest of the dishes available. Recognition of the host is an important factor.
•Stand to left of the host, each guest should have one yourself for reference purposes.
• Do not positioning yourself too close to guest as this may cause embarrassment?
•Size up your host and guest according to age’s dues and nature of the party. This should then give you some indication as to the type of dishes on may suggest.
•Take all order through the host. Try to ascertain the length of time available for the meal as this could determine the type of dishes sold. Warm customer of waiting times.
•Take note as to whether the party is all male, female or female.
•Always take the order as score as possible.
Points to be kept in mind while doing guéridon service:
•Guéridon service is job of chef who also responsible for doing the service.
•Always push the guéridon trolley but don’t pull it helps the avoid accident.
•The guéridon should be kept in one position for the service for the complete course.
•The trolley should never be kept near the service door as it is may be obstruction to the waiter.
•When more covers are being served only the main dirt should be served from the guéridon potatoes, sauces, vegetables should be served in normal manner.
•Service spoon and fork are not used as in the silver service but held with spoon in one hand and fork in the other.
•The filling or carving should not be done on silver dish but on the carving board or hot joint plate.
•Dirty plates should always be cleared from the guéridon trolley.

Basic accompaniments
•Oil & vinegar
•worscestire sauce
•English & French mustard
•Caster sugar


Carving is the joint skill task only pot rated by continuous practice following are the point kept in mind while carving:
  Sharp knife is used to carve a joint because a blunt knife may damage certain important issue. Meat is carved across the grain with the exception of saddle of mutton which are sometime cut at right angel to the ribs. The carving fork must be holding the joint firmly as multiple pierced damages the mind.
Equipment is used in carving:
          a. Carving knife should be 10-12 inch long and 2.5 cm wide.
          b. For poultry on game since long knife is used.
          c. For ham long, thick, flexible carving knife is used.
Method for carving:
Carving of all hot food must be performed quickly so that no heat is allowed to escape.
a) Beef and ham: Their slices are cut.
b) Lamb, mutton, pork, and veal tongue is carved double thickness of beef and ham.
c) Boiled beef and pressed meat is most thickening than roast.
d) Saddle of lamb: Carved in long thick slices.
e) Shoulder of lamb: It is cut from top to bottom and again from bottom to top because the cut has an occurred bone formation which heat meat, tucked between the bones.
f) Cold ham: Carved bones from to bottom in thin slices.
g) Whole chicken: Carved in six portions.
h) Duckling: Carved in six portions, two leg, two wing and 2 breast.
i) Turkey: Four cuts, guest is supposed to by ordered breast and supreme.
j) Salmon: Fillet and then sliced into 4/1 inch slices.
Carving trolley function:
     1. Function of carving trolley is to act an aid selling.
     2. The chefs should act as salesman and suggest right joint to right guest.
     3. The carving is visual treat hence great care should be taken while doing it.
     4. Carving trolley is heated by 2 methyl ethylated gas.
     5. Container in which the carving board rest contain hot water.
     6. There are two each for keeping hot plates.
     7. Last one to keep carving equipment.
Presentation of Trolley:
Where in use the carving trolley must be presented in between the customer and chef which ensures that the customer can see every operation performed and appreciate skill performed. It should be position in such a way that the lid is drawn from trolley towards the waiter and safety wall is positioned on the side away from the waiter.
Following mis-en-place should be placed on the caving trolley.
Carving board
Carving knife and fork
Sauce ladles
Service gears
Joint plate for dirties
Flat ware
Spare serviette and serviette cloth
Method of serving a dish at the table:
First present the dish to the customer then return to the guéridon. Place on the side of the trolley with the food for service standing on the hot plate. The food for service is then carved as filtered if necessary and is placed on the plate of the guest. Unlike silver service, when the spoon and form are used together in one hand, guéridon service requires that the spoon and fork are used one in each hand.
The vegetables and potatoes are then placed on to the plate by the waiter while the plates are still on the guéridon. The sauces are placed on to the plates by the waiter and plate is then placed in front of the guest.
It should be noted that, when there are more than two person at one table, the main dish is served as describe, but the vegetable and potato dishes are as for normal silver service and will kept hot in readiness for service on the hot plates on the waiter side board. During this operation it will be the commis or dibarrasreurs’s function to keep the guéridon clear of dirty dishes and equipment.
Safety points:
Never place the lamp or the hot plate outside the four trolley legs.
Never move the trolley near to drapes.
Note : The main course does not need to be placed on the hotplate if the service in quick only the potatoes and vegetables for a short period.
Serve with a spoon in one hand and the fork in another hand.
Sequence of Service:
Presentation of all dishes for all courses is very important both before the actual service commence and in placing the meal upon the plate, especially when filtering and carving.
Hors d’oeuvres or substitutes: These are served in the normal way except for specialty dishes such as pâte de foegras, which may have to be cut into slices.
Soup: Always served from the guéridon whether in individual soup tureens or in larger soup tureens requiring a ladle. All accompaniments passed.
Fish: Filleted where necessary and served from guéridon.
Meat: Carved where necessary and served from the guéridon.
Potatoes and vegetables: Served as previously mentioned together with sauce and accompaniment.
Sweet: Served from the guéridon in a flambé type dish or from the cold sweet trolley. All accompaniments passed.
Savoury: Served from guéridon.  
Coffee: Normal silver service unless speciality coffees are required.

Types of trolleys

There are many types of trolleys used in the restaurants practicing gueridon service. The design, equipment required, and layout of the trolley depends on its function. The design of a flambe' trolley is different from liqueur trolley. A wide range of trolleys is available with different quality of structural material and design to suit the need and pocket of the proprietor. The various types of trolleys are
• Hors d'oeuvre varies trolley • Carving trolley • Cheese trolley
• Salad trolley • Flambe trolley • Liqueur trolley, etc.
• Food preparation trolley • Sweet trolley

Hors d'oeuvre Varies Trolley
It displays 10 to 12 varieties of appetizers. The containers holding appetizers are placed over ice. The trolley is designed in such a way that it has provision for holding ice and containers. It has adequate cold half plates, necessary service gear to transfer the hors d'oeuvre selected by the guest on the cold half plate, and the appropriate accompanying sauces. The plated food is served to the guest from his/her right-hand side.
hors d' oeuvre trolley

Salad Trolley
It has half plates and bowls, underplates, containers with prepared ingredients, salad dressings, and seasonings that are required to prepare the salads. Salad dressings may either be prepared on the  trolley in the presence of guests or in the kitchen. Most restaurants make the dressings in the kitchen and the dressing of salads is carried out on the trolley in the restaurant.

Food Preparation, Carving, and Flambe Trolleys
 These have a gas burner or flare lamp which is fixed on the trolley to the level of the top surface. Carving trolley has carving board which is placed over chafing dish during carving to retain the heat of the meat. A trolley may have single or double burner. Double burner trolley is necessary when the pastry finished food is to be held hot during the preparation. One burner is used for keeping the food hot while the other is used for cooking.
Flambé trolley

Cheese Trolley
It has a variety of cheeses, cheese board, and cheese knife for cutting the cheese, and appropriate accompaniments for cheese. Surface of the trolley is normally in marble and has translucent dome to cover the top. Cheese selected by the guest is portioned and plated on the gueridon trolley, and then served to the guest from his/her right.
Cheese trolley

Liqueur Trolley
It has assorted glasses, measure, ice bucket, spirit and liqueur bottles, carafes, etc. It may also have cigars, cigar cutter, and a lighter.
A restaurant normally has two to three types of trolleys, mainly preparation, flambeing, liqueur trolleys.
Liqueur trolley

Food preparation techniques

It is the process of combining main ingredients with the appropriate salad dressings, sauces, cream, liqueur in a mixing bowl or plate. The sauces or dressings may be prepared in the kitchen and brought to the trolley or made in the presence of the guests. Generally sauces, such as mayonnaise and hollandaise are prepared in the kitchen and their derivatives, such as tartare (mayonnaise), mousseline (hollandaise), etc. are made on the trolley.
If the salad dressing is made on the trolley, it should be made first. Some hotels take the guests preference for dressing of their salads and make accordingly. The finished dressing is then added to the main ingredients and tossed.
Prepared sea foods are tossed with mayonnaise, if served cold or hollandaise, if .served warm, other variations of sauce are also possible according to the hotel's recipe. Cut fruits are tossed with custard sauce, sweetened and flavoured cream, liqueur or both.

Ingredients used for dressings
The ingredients required must be brought in clean containers.
• Olive oil/salad oil • Pepper (powder)
• White vinegar         • Mustard (powder, paste)
• Salt                         • Sugar (optional)
• Other ingredients, such as chopped herbs, grated cheese, gherkins, capers, Worcestershire sauce, etc. are also used in the preparation of dressings depending on the variations on offer
The proportion of oil to vinegar to be used depends on what type of dressing is prepared Following is the proportion of oil to vinegar for various salad dressings.
• French salad dressing: 3:1 • Vinaigrette salad dressing: 2:1
• English salad dressing: 1:2 • American salad dressing: 1:1

Sauté is the ideal type of cooking on the gueridon. In sauté preparations, dishes are cooked in small amount of hot oil for a very short period of time. Sirloin, tournedos, minute steaks, lamb chops, escalope, noisettes, chicken breast, fillet of fish, vegetables, etc. are ideal for sautéing at the table side. During sautéing, the flavour and fumes that emanate may be enjoyable for the guests for whom it is being made, but for others it may not be.
The meat for cooking by the table side should be trimmed, fat removed, and shaped in the kitchen and sent to the restaurant for cooking. For all dishes prepared on the gueridon, kitchen staff must extend good support to the service staff and provide prepared ingredients. Following points should be considered while sautéing on the gueridon.
Use appropriate cooking medium, which is normally a mixture of butter and oil or only butter. Oil prevents butter from browning too quickly
Sear the ingredients quickly at high temperature to obtain colour and to retain the juice of the meat by sealing its surface
Cooking time for the preparation should be observed
Deglaze the pan with the addition of liqueur or brandy and flambé (optional)
Reduce the sauce and coat over the portioned dish

Flambéing is setting alight the liquor added to the dish either during or at the end of the preparation. The liquor added mostly is brandy or liqueurs. This glamorous work is done mainly to entertain the guests at the table and to impart the flavour of the liquor to the food. Though the flambé" work is simple and can be done by anyone who can strike matches, the element of risk involved is very high.
Following are the commonly used spirits and liqueurs used for flambding.
Spirits Liqueurs
•Rum • Curacao         • Kirsch         • Kahlua
•Brandy         • Cointreau • Calvados • Tia Maria
• Grand Marnier • Chartreuse • Aurum
Flambéing is very simple as it does not require elaborate ingredients and cooking, the dishes to be flambéed are already prepared in the kitchen and are only heated on the trolley in a flambé pan. The only ingredient required to flambé the dish is liquor. 
The most important point one should keep in mind while flambéing is that all ingredients for the flambé dish should be heated and liquor should be warmed in the pan before igniting it. During flambéing, if any one of the ingredients in the preparation is cold, the flame will be weak and die out soon. In such cases, the dish will not look attractive.
There are two ways of flambéing dish which depend on the method of preparation and presentation.
•Add liquor, already set alight to the dish which is held hot just before serving
•Add liquor to dish during the preparation at a predetermined stage. The dish is heated and set alight by gently tilting the pan. The pan with flame should be lifted slightly and moved carefully in circular motion so as to make the flame move around the pan making it look attractive
Flambéing can be used with all kinds of dishes to make it attractive during the preparation. Sweet dishes are often flambéed. Following is the procedure for flambéing.
•Light the cooking lamp
•Pour the required quantity of chosen liquor into the pan. Place the bottle of liquor well away from the flame
•Heat liquor on the pan and make sure all the ingredients are heated up
•Tilt the pan until the liquor just comes in contact with the flame and ignites
•As soon as the liquor is a light, lift the pan slightly and move it gently in a circular motion so that the flames move around the pan
•When igniting the liquor, do not bend your head and shoulders over the pan as the flames can
Catch you unexpectedly (Note: Make sure you are doing this at a safe distance from the guests’ table and the flaming liquor does not spill over the table of trolley.)

Advantages and Limitation of Gueridon Service

Gueridon service has its own advantages and limitations are as follows:
Highly personalized service. The wait staff prepares or carves the dish and serves the guest
High level of customer satisfaction. The dishes are prepared, carved, or flambéed in the guest's presence
Good merchandising device. Guest will be tempted to order for dishes that are served from the trolley.
Wail staff can exhibit their culinary, carving, and service skills The wait staff has an opportunity to impress the guests by demonstrating its cooking, flambéing, carving, and skills to them. It also gives them good job satisfaction from the trolley
High average spending power (high revenue/cover). The revenue generated will be more as the dishes served from the trolley are always expensive

Slow service: the time taken to extend the service from the trolley is more
Low seat turnover: number of times a seat is sold during the operation hours will be low as the service takes more time
Expensive style of service: as it requires more service area and highly skilled staff
Chances of accidents are more
Cooking in the service area may leave odour.


• (For 2 portions)
• 04 Pancakes
• 50gm Butter
• Juice and zest of two oranges
• 50gm Caster sugar
• ½ measure cointreau (or any orange liqueur)
• 1 measure brandy
Crepe suzette

• Place butter and sugar into pan allow to caramelize.
• Add juice and stir into good sauce with liqueur.
• Add the pancakes and fold into quarters turning frequently.
• Add zest of orange and finally the brandy.
• Tilt the pan and flame it.
• Turn each pancake in the flame and serve.
(For two portions)
• 2 Omelettes - to be prepared in the kitchen.
• 50gm Butter
• 50gm caster sugar
• 1 measure rum
• Melt butter and add caster sugar , let it caramelize to form a sauce. Put the omelette in the pan sprinkle caster sugar on it.
• Add the rum and flame it by tilting the pan.
• Serve with the flame.

• 50gm Butter
• 50gm caster sugar
• 1 measure rum 
• Melt butter and add caster sugar , let it caramelize to form a sauce. Put the Banana in the pan sprinkle caster sugar on it.
• Add the rum and flame it by tilting the pan.
• Serve with the flame.
(For 1 portion)
• Fillet steak flattened
• Finely chopped onion
• Red wine
• Worcestershire sauce
• Teaspoon hot mustard
• ½ cup cream
• Cognac
• Season steak.
• Place nob of butter in pan and fry steak briskly, turning over once.
• Remove to plate.
• Add onion to pan and cook gently.
• Add dash of sauce and mustard.(French and English mustard)
• Return meat to pan and flame with brandy.
• It should be well seasoned with ample amount of freshly ground black pepper.
• Same as steak diane.
• It should be well seasoned with ample amount of freshly ground black pepper.


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