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Laying a cover

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Mindmap.pngConcept Map

Conceptmap laying a cover.jpeg


This OER enables you to  :

  • describe what is ‘Table d’hote cover’
  • set the required cover for “Table d’hote Service”


Courteous and personalized service is essential aspect of service staff of star hotel. Setting up cover for servicing by following standardized norms, will not only help staff to concentrate on guest satisfaction but also giving on guest a feel of royal treatment. It is therefore essential for service staff to master the art of setting up cover as per the need of the service. Table d’hôte cover is used for a table d'hôte service, It is a menu where set number of courses are served with limited choice within each course or amongst courses and charges are fixed. Since the menu is fixed the quantity of food to be cooked can be predetermined and kept ready. This type of menu is offered mainly in banquets, restaurants where buffet lunch and dinner are offered, guest houses, flight kitchen, industrial and institutional catering. Example: Thali meal served in Indian Restaurants.

Characteristics of ‘Table d’ hôte service’

 This is a set menu offering a complete meal of fixed number of courses at a fixed price.
 The cover setup for this service is very simple. Usually the setup is made for the set service.
 “Table d’hôte” menus usually represent good value for money and work out slightly cheaper than ordering the same dishes from the “à la carte menu” because a set menu is often more efficient, less time consuming, less labour involved.

One of the important activities of service staff is setting of cover prior to the arrival of the guests and after taking the food order. The cover with inappropriate cutlery required or may end up using a wrong cutlery. This may result in bad experience for the guest and affect the business.

Laying table D’hôte COVER”


Process of laying a cover for a Table d’hôte service Table d’ hôte cover consists of: “mise en place”

 Soup spoon

Soup spoon.jpeg

 Fish knife

Fish knife.jpeg

 Fish fork Fish fork.jpeg

 All purpose/Dinner knife

All purpose dinner knife.jpeg

 All purpose /Dinner fork All purpose dinner fork.jpeg

 Dessert spoon Dissert spoon.jpeg

 Dessert fork Dissert fork.jpeg

 Side plate Side plate.jpeg

 side knife (Bread & Butter Knife) Side knife.jpeg

 Water goblet/ Wine glass , (usually a glass is used as the customer is more likely to order a cold beverage with the set menu);  Table accompaniments including Centre pieces e.g. Cruets, tent cards, bud vase or candlestick.  Napkin


A Guide to positioning the tableware for a Table d’hôte service:

 Centre the place setting using the seating as a guide (the centre position can be marked with a main plate or napkin).
 Side plates to the left side of fish fork
 Side knife on the right side of side plate, parallel to AP fork and knife on left hand side
 Soup spoon to the right of the cover and 1 cm from the edge of the table
 The fish knife on right and fork on left placed 1 cm from the edge of the table
 All purpose knife to the right and all purpose fork on left 1cm from the edge of the table,
 Glass placed directly above the AP knife.
 Dessert fork and spoon to be placed on the top of cover parallel to the plate with fork pointing towards right and spoon pointing towards the left
 Napkin folds to be place in the centre of the cover.

Tabel d hote service.jpeg

Things to remember while laying Table d’hote cover:

 Cutting edge of all knives to be facing towards the left edge of table
 All cutlery and crockery to be placed 1cm from the edge of the table
 Placement of table accompaniment changes from property to property usually placed on top of the cover.


Follow the following link and complete the activity: ",_Food,_Leisure_Services,_Tourism/Hospitality_Operations/HospitalityCatering_alacarte_tabledhote__tablesettings/home/index.htm" width="800" height="500" "


Setting up cover is an essential activities that are to be carried out before the start of the service .the success and speed of service depend on how well the service staff organises the service area. The cover setup for Table d’hote is very simple as it is done for the fixed courses. The service staff with good knowledge of “mise en place” and “Table d’hote” can give good and satisfying meal experience by the guests.

Inkpot.png Assignments

Visit a restaurant and request the managing staff to examine your skill of laying a cover for “Table d’hote service” and get feedback from the staff.