Plate service, also called American service, is a name for a type of service where food is prepared and pre-portioned in the kitchen of a restaurant. The food is then served to patrons on plates by a waiter.
Waiters serve food to the people at the table starting at the left. The beverages are served from the right. Cvent asserts that this is the most economical and efficient type of restaurant service. However, the food should not be plated too early because it can become cold and discolored before it reaches the patrons. In contrast, family or English-style service involves a large platter of food that is placed in the center of the table, and everyone at the table takes a portion of food from the center dish.