catering style services in nyc NYE

Style of catering services

Becoming familiar with the various different style of catering services used, can be helpful to you when you need to choose the service style best suited for your event. Knowing what level of service to expect from each style will be helpful when working on your catering/service budget and selecting the best style for your event.

Table of content


  1. Passed or Traypass
  2. Buffet
  3. English Style Service
  4. French Style Service
  5. Family Style Service
  6. Russian Style Service
  7. American Style Service
Style of catering services

1. Passed or Traypass

This is a very popular and classic service, where the waitstaff walk around the venue/space holding a tray of food items or beverages and offer them to guests. This is very popular for cocktail hours and is an elegant service style, that will give your event an upscale look and feel.


2. Buffet

With buffet style, food is displayed in Chafing Dishes on long tables. Guests move along the buffet line and select what they would like to eat and go back to their seat. Typically your guests will serve themselves, however you can also have food servers for your guests and restock the food pan. Servers will also typically provide beverage and water service tableside, but this is not mandatory. You can add an elegant touch to any buffet by having additional servers carry guests’ plates to their tables for them.

Server English style

3. French Style

This style of catering services has the waitstaff present the food dish to your guest on the left side, and the waiter with the proper cutlery, serves the guest the food they would like. This service is upscale and is also faster than English style. This type of service requires great dexterity and experience on the part of the party staffCarefully serving from a bowl or tray and spreading the same quantity of food onto guests dishes, is not an easy task. The waiter performs the service with trays where the food is deposited. The benefit to this option is there is little food waste.

server service french style

4. English Style

With English style service, it is the guest who serves themself. A food dish is shown to the left of the guest and the guest then chooses the amount to bring to their dish. A spoon and trench fork should be provided separate should be provided for guests to use in the form of a tweezer.

Guests individual cutlery should never be used to serve common “container” foods. The benefit to this service is it eliminates food waste and is very classy. However, you should keep in mind: It takes a large number of waiters to perform this type of service and with guests serving themselves, it is usually a slower and longer service.

Family style service

5. Family Syle

Family-style dining—sometimes referred to as “large-format dining”—is when food is served on large platters meant for sharing, rather than as individual plates. Diners serve themselves from the food platters, just like you might at home in your dining room. 

russian style service

6. Russian Syle

This type of services consist basically of bringing a cart to the customer’s table with the piece prepared from kitchen. 

As a rule the piece is perfectly decorated and showy for the customer. Once we meet in front of the customer the person in charge proceeds to cut the pieces. It is usually combined with English service. 

It is a very showy service for the diner. Since it requires some elegance on the part of the waiter when preparing the piece to distribute it on the dishes. 

catering American style

7. Plated meal or American Style

It is the most agile and simple service of all services. The ready-made dishes come straight to the diner’s table. This service is done to the right of the diner.  Guests are seated and the food is served the left. Beverages are served from the right. Used dishes and glasses are removed from the right.

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