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Silver Service Staff Training Workshops

Updated: Apr 2, 2020

As the leading provider of Professional Training Solutions, we have developed “hands on” Silver Service Training Workshops for the hospitality sector.

Orla McAuliffe CEO, has said “ The simple fact of the matter is that you could have the most wonderful restaurant ever, but the entire organisation will still live or die based on the level of service being provided. In addition to the food itself, the service staff is still perhaps the single most important element of any restaurant’s success. This is why our Silver Service Training Workshops are essential. They go well beyond the standard of training that allows you to be a waiter, but instead gives you the skills and experience necessary to be a waiter worth remembering, and this is what will have your patrons coming back for more”.

Training at the workshops are provided by PTC founder Orla McAuliffe, herself a Certified Social Etiquette Consultant along with Denis Kelly, who has over 40 years experience in high class catering, including Maitre D at Kings Inns, Dublin Castle and Farmleigh House.

Denis Kelly says “Many people don’t realise just how important the quality of service provided is to the overall restaurant experience. Yes, the food is a major component – but staff well versed in the best service styles with the tips and skills to match is an integral part of the greater whole”.

McAuliffe says It’s not good enough for a waiter simply to take an order and bring the food to the table. They should be knowledgeable about what they’re serving, know their menu inside out, and work as a team player with the kitchen. They need to be able to sell - with confidence - the full dining experience the restaurant has to offer.

An example of the topics that are covered in our Workshops are:

  1. Customer Relations

  2. Greeting Guests

  3. Plate Service

  4. Napkin Folding

  5. Sales Techniques

  6. Silver Service

  7. Table Setting

  8. Taking Orders and more.

The Silver Service training Workshops are conducted on site , to allow you to have your team trained together.

Denis Kelly says “Working in a practical environment and alongside an experienced trainer will allow you to practice the skills and ask specific questions about the etiquette revolving around different forms of service”.

“It takes a very special kind of person to work in front-of-house. A good waiter has to be so many things all at once; efficient and speedy, but also precise; attentive, but not overbearing; presentable, with excellent personal hygiene and posture; and, of greatest importance, you have to be able to communicate well. Being able to listen properly is a key communication skill. There’s nothing more frustrating for a diner than having to repeat their



History of Silver Service Etiquette:

Silver Service has been around for hundreds of years, but unless you have eaten at high end restaurants, stayed in the best hotels or worked in wealthy homes, you may not have experienced silver service dining. Silver Service originates from the 17th and 18th century in upper class Britain, and it has been admired, and has set the bar for dining across the globe.

It is a method of food service that is performed from the left side. The guest to the host or principal is served first, as they are typically the most prominent guest of the principlal. Service continues clockwise. Plates and glasses are cleared from the right.

With silver service you stand behing the guest to their left side, holding the supporting silverware with your left hand and serving the food with your right hand. This technique requires a great deal of practice and dexterity.

Traditionally the main course at a formal dinner is roast beef, fowl or game. This will often be served on a platter, and is traditionally presented to the host for them to inspect. They will indicate if they are happy for service to commence. In a hotel or restaurant, these are not presented to the host as the maitre’d will do the inspection before food service begins.

Some topics we cover include:

  1. How to deal with glasswear on the table for the duration of the meal

  2. Serving vegetables

  3. Deserts and chocolates or glaceed fruits

  4. The art of clearing the table before pudding is served

  5. Crumbing the table.

Some Silver Service Training Tips:

  1. Make eye contact if culturally appropriate.

  2. Smile.

  3. Always be well presented.

  4. Offer help with coats.

  5. Be patient and allow guests to enter and sit down

  6. Be discreet and professional and don’t get over excited by a celebrity

  7. If a guest offers you their hand to shake, you should always do so. If you are wearing gloves you should remove it and shake their hand. As a general rule, never offer your hand first.

  8. Pay attention, if you see a guest needs additional help, always offer to assist.

  9. Let the service flow. Make your greetings natural and respectful, and don’t force interactions.

  10. Read non verbal signals. If a guest is angry, upset or nervous, try and ensure they are relaxed by offering a professional service.

  11. When guests leave, smile and thank them and help them with their coats and outerwear.

  12. Offer to escort guests to their waiting vehicle if appropriate

  13. If there has been a problem, take a record of it and follow the establishments protocol.

Many restaurants are looking for staff that can effortlessly flow between casual and formal dining areas and beyond, always offering the level of service that builds repeat customers. The Etiquette School of Ireland’s Silver Service Workshops are designed with this simple goal in mind.

When you complete the course, you will be awarded with a certificate that will outline exactly what you have learnt which will be invaluable for gaining employment in the future.

The ESI Silver Service Training workshops will cost 250 euro per person, with special rates available for groups of five or more.

For more information and to book your place visit:

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