The Customer Process


The customer receiving the food and beverage product is required to undertake, or observe, certain requirements: this is the customer process.

In food and beverage operations there are five basic processes.

These are:

Table service - The customer is served at a laid table.  This type of service, which includes for instance silver service or plated service, is found in restaurants, cafés and in banqueting.

Self-service - The customer is required to help him or herself from a buffet or counter.  This type of service is found in cafeterias.

Assisted service - The customer is served part of the meal at a table and is required to obtain part of the meal through self-service from a display or buffet.  This type of service is found in 'carvery' type operations and is often used for meals such as breakfast in hotels.

Single point service - The customer orders, pays and receives the food and beverages, for instance, at a counter.  This type of service is found in a bar in licensed premises, in a fast food operation, or at a vending machine.

Specialised service (or service in-situ) - In this form of service the food and drink is taken to where the customer is.  This includes tray service in hospitals and aircraft, trolley service, home delivery, lounge and room service.


In the first four customer processes, the customer comes to where the food and beverage service is offered and the service is then provided in areas designed primarily for the purpose.  However in the fifth customer process the service is provided in another location and where the area is not designed primarily for food and beverage service.

All modern food and beverage methods can be grouped under these five customer processes.

A detailed explanation of each of the five customer processes can be accessed from the previous page.



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