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Waiter Training South Africa

By Adriaan Coetzer

Waiter Training | The Butler Academy | Silver Service > The Butlers way




  • Never serve just one dish, especially when it’s something exotic – for example, seafood gumbo – without enough other side dishes to cover.  Otherwise, if a guest is allergic to or dislikes a key ingredient in your dinner – shellfish – you will have no backup.
  •  Whatever the main course, serve lots of different vegetables – three or four varieties.  Not only do vegetables add necessary colour, but if you get an unexpected extra guest, you can reduce the size of entrée and still fill the plate.
  • Many vegetables can be prepared in advance of use.  The day you buy cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, green beans and other “hard” vegetables, wash, pare and cut them into bite-sized pieces.  Then cover them with a little water in airtight containers, and refrigerate for up to a week.  Fresh vegetables will always be available, regardless of how last-minute the meal may be.
  • For impromptu barbeques, chicken thighs and drumsticks can be defrosted very quickly.  Also, hamburger meat can be made into patties and frozen.  Separate these with wax paper and wrap in freezer paper, not foil – the latter has a tendency to stick when you’re in a hurry.
  • A supply of ice cream, topped with frozen berries quickly thawed in the microwave, will always yield an easy, pretty dessert.  Also, don’t overlook your liquor cabinet.  Liqueurs such as Kahlua, Crème de Cassis, Crème de Menthe, Grand Marnier, Amaretto, Frangelica, or any cream liqueur such as Bailey’s Irish Cream make elegant toppings for ice cream.  Serving ice cream in footed glass bowls or large wine glasses with a single mint sprig adds extra flourish.
  • A dish containing avocados is never a good choice for last-minute entertaining (unless they’re in season and you have a tree in your garden!).  Avocados are ripe when they’re just soft, and for general recipe use should be purchased at least a week in advance.
  • Make and freeze homemade soups, particularly when seasonal vegetables are most abundant.  Heated and served with hot rolls or a loaf of fresh bread, it is one of the cosiest meals possible on short notice.
  • If you boil a chicken, reduce the liquid and freeze it.  Chicken stock is the best base for soups, and homemade is still far superior to canned.
  • Your freezer should always have frozen peas and corn.  They are quick to cook and are great for adding colour to any dish.
  • Have at least four types of pasta on hand in the pantry.  Most cook in less than fifteen minutes.  The addition of sautéed fresh vegetables, some cream and Parmesan cheese results in Pasta Primavera, an excellent vegetarian alternative to omelettes.
  • Frozen shrimp (30-40 count) and scallops, often available in 1 ½ pound bags in discount food warehouses, are invaluable.  They can be defrosted in minutes and added to pasta, sautéed with garlic, butter and wine and served with rice, or boiled briefly and served on ice with cocktail sauce – a perennially popular hors d’oeuvre.
  • For picture-perfect vegetables, even when the meal is delayed, parboil the vegetables until just tender, and then plunge them immediately into ice and cold running water.  (This arrests the cooking process and also fixes the colour.)  After a few minutes in the cold bath, drain the vegetables and set aside.  A few minutes prior to serving, finish cooking them by dropping them back into hot water, or by quickly sautéing them in butter for a couple of minutes.  (Carrots finished this way are glistening.)
  • Try to prepare as much of a meal as possible in advance.  If it is ready to go, you can delay or move a meal up if necessary.  Choose recipes that can be made in advance, and simply finished off at the last minute.  Pre-prepare salads, pates, soups.  Even soufflés can be prepared to the stage of needing only the addition of the whipped egg whites.
  • Buy food in season, in good supply.  Never buy cheap provisions; quality will always win out.  (I made the mistake of buying frozen fruit cocktail in bulk once.  It was limp, tasteless, and without colour, and not one finished it.)

Silver Service / Table Service

Providing silver service in a restaurant calls for staff to be very organised and efficient in all work practices. You must have a work plan in order to work efficiently and ensure customer satisfaction at all times. All staff members must know all procedures and organisational requirements. You must be aware and have a good knowledge of all service procedures and be comfortable carrying them out.

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13 Responses

  1. Recent Report written after acting as mystery Guests at a Restaurant in Cape Town Area. Restaurant name not mentioned due to privacy.

    The following areas require urgent attention:

    • Introduction to “Restaurant”
    – Welcome and Seating; and
    – Effective selling of items on menu.
    • Table Service
    – Effective service;
    – Efficient wine presentation;
    – Adequate menu/product knowledge; and
    – To create a good impression, trays are required to clear the table
    • Etiquette and Protocol
    – Waiters’ demeanor;
    – There was no smiling
    – The waiters looked tired, stressed and upset
    – Poor hygiene
    – Service etiquette

    It has to be noted that proper service standards need to be implement. We witnessed guests leaving as a result of no attention afforded them by neither a waiter, nor the hostess. Also, another table complained about the mussels and the hostess was ill equipped to handle the situation. There was no apology or rectification, only justification, which is not acceptable.

    • The Meal
    – The calamari noodle left much to be desired – the mussels were dry, the little sauce there was, was sour;
    – The chicken liver was not well presented; plating will have to be addressed;
    – Half of the Eisbein was pure fat, not crispy and it appeared uncooked;
    – The rib role lacked the herb flavor and the vegetables were garden and not root vegetables;
    – The lamb shank cannot be recommended as it had the same flavor as the rib role; and on top of that, it was tough and dry;
    – The mashed potato was not pleasing to the eye and it tasted course; and
    – Tomato sauce was brought to our table for no reason.

    “Restaurant Owner”, overall I have noted many areas to be addressed. My big concern at this point is that the staff may not comply with the training. The overall attitude of the staff is poor and we had to listen to many conversations taking place on the floor by them discussing the clients at the tables. Another discussion by two female employees, who justified almost everything, focused on staff problems and finding waiters on Gumtree. Another waiter forgot a number of the orders and we were appalled when an ashtray was emptied in an espresso cup.

    Even though we had a number of complaints, we were never introduced to the manager and to top it all, our bill was incorrect.

    I can certainly assist in creating a pleasurable experience at “Restaurant”, but will require 4 days in order to provide adequate training.

    Kind Regards
    Waiter Training in association with SABA

  2. Steve Dewey says:

    looking for on site training of waiters in an old age home.

  3. mark says:

    I’m intrested in full trainig course so tht I cn fulfil my dream of being a best waitre ever.How and where mst I start from?I’m situated in Cape town and my nmbr is 0738787743

  4. Linda says:

    I would like to do a full waitressing ad bartending course were can u direct me to go am in limpompo but willing to move to Jhb to learn.

  5. Cecilia Chemaly says:

    Waiter training for cafe / deli in Northern JHB

  6. Zama says:

    Hi,i would like to do a full training course(Waiter),where can I do it here in Cape Town,,?

  7. Derrick: says:

    i am looking for a place i can train to be a fluent waiter . i am situated in Jhb , westrand

  8. Reagan says:

    Hi!I would like to do a full training course (Waite). Where can I do it? I am situated in jbg braamfonteen

  9. ethelly says:

    I would like to do a full training course(waitress).where can I do it I am in springs(Joburg)

  10. ethelly says:

    I need to train a full course waitress.I am in jbg where can I get help

  11. Ruvarashe says:

    I would like to do waiter training I’m in cape town were can I do it?

  12. mariah sibiya says:

    Hi I need full training for waitress,im in krugersdorp, need help

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