Have you ever wondered what silent service is in fine dining? Silent Service is a part of good etiquette when dining in formal restaurants. Silent service takes place to avoid having to converse with a waiter or waitress.
Silent service is a service offered in few restaurants, mainly upscale restaurants only. With silent service, people can enjoy having a meal served to them without the bother of a talkative waiter or waitress interrupting them. This service tends to be important to wealthy people who want to go out and dine and not be bothered. Restaurants offering this service have various signals for different things. Some signals are standard among restaurants and some vary depending on the restaurant. Silent service is a relatively new concept and many etiquette institutions offer full line training for companies wishing to learn the proper way of providing silent service.
Silent service does not mean that the meal is completely silent. What this does mean is that there is very little room for conversation and many standard procedures that take place during a meal have a signal the customer uses to let the waiter know that he or she is ready for something else. Signals are used to let waiters know when the customer is ready to order drinks and their meals, signals are used for drink refills, and to announce when a customer is finished with their plate.
One common silent service signal is a customer places their napkin on their chair indicating they have not left, but just had to leave the table for a short while. When a customer is through with their meal, a common signal is for them to place their napkin to the left of their plate and place all utensils on their plate at the "4 o'clock" position. This type of service is interesting taking a part of. Mainly the only times words are used during silent service is when a customer must ask for something specific they cannot point to on the menu.