What Does Butler Service Mean?

butler service

Published on February 19, 2023

Table management and table service come in a variety of styles, each with its own distinct characteristics and level of formality. A restaurant’s setting, concept, and expectations of the guests will have an influence on the type of service they provide. What does Butler Service mean? Among the most common types are:

Formal Service VS Informal Service

Distinguished by a high level of attention to detail, formal table settings, and specially trained staff, is common in fine dining establishments. The waitstaff presents and serves each course, making the traditional service unhurried and exquisite. The traditional Butler will have a more formal approach and will provide a more personalised, luxury service.

Informal service, however, is more common in casual dining establishments as these places work at a much faster pace. Informal table settings will allow most people to be able to serve themselves and create a more laid-back and easygoing atmosphere.

Buffet Service

A table or counter where consumers can help themselves to a variety of food options distinguishes buffet service as a self-service option. Large gatherings like banquets and breakfast buffets commonly offer this kind of service.

buffet service meal family food Family Style Service

Family style service consists of placing large platters of food on the table for everyone to help themselves. Extremely  similar to French service where they would serve all dishes at once to the table. However, it is customary in French style serving to place plates on a sideboard or cart if the dining table is too small to fit everything.

Russian Service

Russian Service is a traditional service style in which the waitstaff brings dishes to the table, carves them, and serves each guest individually. Guests can enjoy hotter food and usually spend less time at the table.

American Service

American service is the most commonly used style in modern restaurants and casual dining settings. In order for them to focus on portion control and food quality, food is prepared in the kitchen for customers as customers place their orders.

Butler Service

A modification of silver service.  In Butler service the guest helps themselves from a serving plate held by the waiter or Butler.  Traditionally this type of service was used on a Sunday when the household staff were off, and the Butler helped out at dinner. This is a more informal type of service than silver service. The platter would be held by the butler and guest would hold the spoon and fork and help themselves to the food. The butler would make there way around the table to each guest with the last person to be served being the host. 

Interested in Training to be a Butler?

Are you interested in learning more about butler service? Polo & Tweed can help with your training needs. We offer training in all aspects of butler service, including table management, service techniques, and guest management. Get in touch today and we would love to help expand your knowledge!


  1. Aubrey Walker says:

    Hi Interested to Learn How to be come a good butler!

    • mm Alexandra Parker Larkin says:

      Hi Aubrey, One of our team has sent you an email with some details about the training that we offer.

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