Lay the table: Setting the table right

Qualified personnel are rare in many industries, and all the more sought-after for it. Especially in the catering industry, there are many career changers. All of a sudden, a wide variety of questions arise, especially when it comes to setting the table properly. Because a perfectly set table impresses not only with beautiful dishes, glasses and cutlery, but also the correct arrangement and the use of accessories can show appreciation to the guests. How to set a table properly and in what order, you can see in our brief guide.

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The perfectly set table begins with the table shape

A square table offers the opportunity to spotlight certain people on the short sides. Whereas a round table shape encourages conversations and sharing. Ensure that all sides are as accessible as possible. This makes it easier for service staff to both set and serve at the occupied table. To ensure that guests also have enough space, the width of the place setting should also be kept in mind. Ideally, this should be 60-80 cm wide, measured from the center of the plate to the center of the plate.

Set tablecloths correctly

If you want to set your table properly with a tablecloth, table runner or placemats, match the material and color to your interior. Half-linen or damask look high-quality and fit on a festive table or in a luxurious location. Cotton or coarse linen are suitable for a rustic or casual interior. The tableware used should also be considered when choosing the color and texture of the table linen. For the correct setting of the tablecloth, the rule of thumb is that it should overhang 25-30 cm on each side.

Setting dishes correctly: Where to put the plates?

A classically set table is juxtaposed with modern mix & match concepts: This offers plenty of room for design freedom. Discreet basic elements can be complemented by extravagant showpieces and turn a laid table into a surprising tablescape. Those who look beyond the plate will also use their soup plate as a deep plate for main courses in the future.

Setting the table correctly with place settings 

In general, the correct setting of a table begins with the place plate. It serves purely as a "placeholder" from which you do not eat. The place plate has a diameter of at least 30 cm and is placed about 1 cm from the edge of the table. The food plate that is placed on top of it should be at least 2 cm smaller than the place plate. This is followed by plates or bowls for appetizers or soups.

Set the table properly with bread and salad plate.  

The bread or salad plate is placed on the left side of the place setting. If both are used, the salad plate is placed above the cutlery and the bread plate next to the cutlery.

Bowls and bowls on the perfectly set table 

There is no concrete rule for multifunctional bowls and dishes. They can be used in many ways as snack and tapas bowls, salad bowls or bread bowls.

Cutlery setting made easy

If the cutlery is to be set properly, start from the inside out. The knives are placed on the right side of the plate with the cutting edge facing inward, and the forks on the left, each parallel to the other. Cutlery for the main course is placed immediately next to the plate. This is followed by cutlery for the fish course, soup and appetizer or the 1st course.  

The butter knife is placed on the right edge of the bread plate with the edge to the left.  

For dessert, a fork and spoon are placed on the plate. The dessert cutlery is correct when it is placed above the plate. The spoon points with the handle to the right and the fork vice versa with the handle to the left.

Set glasses in the correct order

When setting glasses, there is an order to follow: The guide glass is the glass for the main course. It is placed about 1 cm above the table knife. The glass for the appetizer course is placed on the right underneath and the water glass on the left above it. After the glasses are set, a diagonal line is created visually.

Final check for the perfectly set table

A last final look should not be missing: Are all the chairs pushed in, are opposite place settings lined up? Does each place setting have enough space and are they a thumb's width away from the edge of the table? Then nothing stands in the way of a successful out-of-home experience!

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