Catering and the eight styles of service.






Service Styles

The Chef and the staff present the menu in eleven different service styles - catering styles of service to our gusets.

Over the decade and a half as caterers in the Philadelphia areathat we have spent serving our clients, we have developed these eleven serving styles for an evening occasion.

The nature of our client's needs and wishes will guide us to suggest what styles might be most appropriate to their menu and ithe staff's presentation of it.

There is a best way to do everything for each of our clients. Our job is to help find that way with you and for your guests.











Butlered and Stationary

The absolute norm for most cocktail parties. Butlered and also Stations - this allows much more food to be presented and eaten. Usually, we would do this as an "open house" or to accommodate large numbers of guests all arriving at the same time.

"Russian Service"

Where we present trays to each guest abnd the guest serves him or herself from the attractively displayed tray. A unique and exceptionally traditional form of service that presents a formal, "at home" and un-"catered" feeling.

Served Plated to Each Guest

In the traditional manner - here we offer the standard style of service that you would receive from almost any caterer and any hotel. The chefs in the kitchen arrange each plate and it is carried out to your guests and they are served in sequence around each table. Chefs love this style as they get to determine how each plate will look.


"Table d'Hôte"

With many items on the table for the guests to share and pass amongst themselves. This is style of service that bespeaks warmth and generosity, encourages chat amongst your guests and offers almost a mini-buffet of choices at each table. Makes for the most exuberance and conversation.

"French Service"

Here, our waiters serve from a tray to your guest's plate, with another waiter following along behind to sauce the selections. A highly skilled formal presentation that is the norm for truly formal banquets and fine dining experiences.

Small Plate "Tapas" Tastings

Here we offer your guests a variety of the "Table d'Hôte" service but we use many small plates and small bowls and platters of many foods and "courses" to taste, pass, and nibble.

Traditional Buffet

Depending on the number of our guests and their expectations , we plan one or several buffets. The look of the buffets, their visual style, will range from a single line of varied tables that give you the impression of stepping on board the QE2 to pools of free-stnding buffet displays.
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And, then, there are service styles within the concept of a "buffet"...

-- we can serve the first course ( less movement of your guests and something in fron of them right after the meal starts)

-- we can butler out dessert - say, at a wedding where everyone is up and moving and has no place that they are really "sitting" - anymore.

Stations Buffet

Here, we set up a variety of small stations with plates at each for the guests to wander to and from at will. This style of service has the option of giving your guest ultimate freedom to pick and choose from the menu items that you have chosen for them.

We would usually suggest to you that the seating be arranged casually, allowing for standup mixing and mingling with the use of small 7 inch plates with small forks, seldom expecting knives to be used at all.

An alternative is to use large plates, full flatware service and treat the buffet as a full dinner buffet.

We would usually design this with you to have many free-standing tables, frequently round, around which and through which your guests can mingle and chat - without feeling that they are standing a "line" - or, having to stand in any "line".

A Standard Cocktail Party with Drinks and Hors d'Oeuvres.

Your standard, straight up, cocktail party can be given a few twists by butlering - passing - wine and mineral water right by the front door, by having our staff deal with coats.

Butlered Menu

An exceptionally gracious way to serve a cocktail party is by passing all the menu items. Just some simple nuts, olives, etc placed on tables.

Open House

With this service style, all of the menu is available pretty much all the time as we would be expecting your guests to come and go throughout the party. Usually this menu would be designed as providing the makings of a substantial informal meal. We would usually set this up as a stations buffet with passed hors d'oeuvres and pick up passed sweets.

Stations Buffet with Grill

With one or more grills, the chefs can actually make parts of the menus before your guests’ eyes. The menu items are enhanced by the exuberance of the chefs in action at the grills. The flavors of the menu are in the air.

All Seasons Catering by Shackamaxon - off-premise gourmet catering | in your home, any of 86 sites for parties and weddings | your office | any tent anywhwere


Shackamaxon Catering: our clients are our guides
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