food: types. etiquettes and more






Foods may be defined as the edible parts of plants and animals to satisfy their physiological, psychological, emotional and social needs. Food have three basic categories on the basis of the nutrients they supply for energy giving, body building, maintenance and protective need of the body.


1.Natural foods

2.Processed foods

       A]Traditionally processed products

       B]Convenience foods

       C]Restructured foods

       D]Substitute foods

       E]Ready to eat foods

1.Natural foods:

            These foods are available in their natural forms. Some examples are fresh fruits and vegetables, freshly cut meats, fish, nuts, pulses and legumes.

2.Processed foods :

            These foods are those which have undergone some type of treatment on a small or large scale before they are used as basic ingredients of a meal or consumed as such. Examples are bread, semolina, etc. 


Types of processed food

A] Traditionally processed product:

      These refer to foods as they were naturally preserved without any additions, using solar energy. Example papad, dry fruits, etc.

B] Convenience foods:

         As the term indicates the foods that are conveniently available when needed and quick to used. Example the foods most commonly used by caterers are spices, sauces, cereal products, etc.

C] Restructured foods:

      These food products are partially or completely disassembled from the natural food and then reformed into the same or different forms. Example restructured meats like chicken kebab, sausages , etc.

D] Substitute foods:

      These group of foods include the high protein foods or meat substitute prepared from soya and other plant proteins in extruded or textured Weaning foods, soups, etc. 

E] Ready to eat foods:

       This group of foods are ready packed foods which required only microwaving . Earlier this group of foods were restricted to snack foods, which now have reach the stage of traditional foods. Example poha, pulao, palak paneer, etc.


Quality  is the degree of excellence that can be offered to or accepted by the customer. 

             Some factors which indicates quality assessment of foods are: quantitative, sensory and nutritional factors.

1. Quantitative

A] Number: Controlling number is just a matter of counting correctly and with proper supervision in any easy task.

                        It can be done manually or mechanically for example cans per carton, one small cake per person or 100 doughnuts from 1kg of dough prepare by a doughnut machine of that capacity.

B] Weight or volume: Standards for weight and volume of different ingredients and dishes can be establish by the used of scale, slicing machine, measuring equipments, scoops, and ladles design to hold a measure weight or volume of food. Example 1 scoop of ice cream may be exactly 25/30 g by weight.

C] Shape: The shape of foods can be control by the used of moulds, trays and tin or by using grading machine which provide sized and shape in term of accepted portion. Example dough cuttles,cake tin, jelly moulds.

2. Sensory quality

A] Appearance/colour: It is common experience that if food does not look good when served it will be rejected even if taste good. So the most important feature of food acceptability is its appearance which is largely contributed by the colour and texture of foods.

B] Texture: It is the overall assessment of the feeling by mouth and hand or sense of touch by hand and mouth. Mouth feel include lips, tongue, teeth and ears.

C] Flavour: It is the combination of taste , smell/aroma and feeling of food in the mouth.

D] Taste: After the odour is accepted the next sensory test of quality is the taste that is the reaction of taste buds to the food determining whether it is sweet ,salty , sour or bitter. 

3. Nutritional Quality

The nutritional quality desired for different services would vary according to the needs of particular customers but general guidelines can be established to provide standards which the caterer can follow and they are 

   A] Portion sized: It is important to determined standard portions for most dishes and further control them by weighing or measuring accurately to provide nutritional quality. 

B] Seasonal foods:  The second criteria for maintaining nutritional quality is the use of seasonal foods in meal preparation. This is because in season foods are best in their nutritive content.

C] Wholesome ingredients:  This criteria refers to the quality of ingredients use in food production and without doubt different varieties, sizes and maturity levels have different nutritive values.

D] Storage, preparation and cooking methods:

           The storage, preparations and cooking methods used, greatly enhance, retain or loss of the nutritional quality of the food. This is because different nutrients vary in their physical and chemical properties.

E] Holding and service methods: The losses of nutrients are proportional to the time of holding and the temperature at which the foods is held. The nutritional quality of foods is also affected by the methods chosen for service.

The grouping of foods are an excellent aid in planning meals in which nutritional consideration are of primary importance.

         One food taken from each food group at every meal would ensure balance in the plans. Also foods differ in their qualities from season to season and according to varieties. 

          Hence, whatever the type of food or form and ingredients are used, it is important to maintain the quality of food offered to the customer. 

Food purchasing

Food purchasing process is an essential part of every food service operation.

Purchasing good food materials is the basis for preparing and serving meals that are acceptable to the customer. 

Principles of Purchasing

9 basic principles of purchasing have been enumerated as a guide to making decisions.

Continuity of supply

Minimum investment in stocks

Security of stocks

Maintenance of quality

Procurement at low cost 

Avoidance of duplication and waste

Maintenance of competitive position

Image with supplier

Harmonic environment 

Food buyers

Buyers are the people who determine what products get to store shelves and outlines.

    A food buyer is responsible for planning and selecting a range of fresh products to self in retail outlines. 

Role of Food buyers in Food production

Food buyers are responsible for purchasing.

Food buyers negotiate.

Food buyers works on multiple projects simultaneously.

Food buyers need to handle stress. 

It analyze people and situations.

They have these skills- Organized, Interpersonal skills, Communication skills. 

Principle of Buying

To know thoroughly the different types of food.

Use substitutes when available.

Take advantage of free services offered by specific types of food when preparation time is limited.

Make a survey of prices of different food items from different stores. 

Shopping on cash basis is good when the need to limit expenses and avoid impulse buying is necessary.

Make a complete market list of things to buy.

Scheduled the time and the day for markets/ shopping.

Be alert with malpractices in the market.

Accepting food brands that are marked by standardizing agencies approving their quality such as ISI, FPO, or AGMARK in India. 

Purchasing Activity

Purchasing food for an establishment is not a single activity involving exchange of money for food in a market, but a series of activities from knowing what to buy and for what end use, to actually getting the food for purchasing preparation and service. 

Some of the purchasing activities are given below-

Co-ordination with user departments to identify purchase needs.

Identification of potential suppliers.

The conduct of market studies for important materials.

Discussions with sales representatives.

Negotiation with potential supplies

Analysis of proposals 

Selection of suppliers.

Issuance of purchase orders.

Administration of contracts and resolution of related problems.

Maintenance of a variety of purchasing records.

Buying food from the markets

Buying guidelines:-

Buy by weight

Buy by count or size

Buy by brands or trade names

Buy foods in season 

Wise buying of food:-

A. Purchasing meat

Consider desirable characteristics of each type of meat.

Check whether the meat is freshly butchered  or frozen.

Choose cuts of meat suitable to the preparation desired.

Look for the stamp of the Bureau of Animal Industry.

Buy exact quantity to be used. 

B. Purchasing poultry

Age is an important consideration. Full grown poultry has a better flavour.

Consider the condition of the bird when it was slaughtered.

Select the type best suited for the recipe. 

C. Purchasing sea food

Fish and other sea food should be fresh.

Fresh fish has bright and full eyes, gills are bright red and clean, flesh is firm and scales are intact. 

D. Purchasing fruits and vegetables

Vegetables should be fresh. Green vegetables should be green and crispy.

Check that they are clean, free from damaging cuts and are not oversized.

Choose fruits in season. Vegetables should have no sign of wilting and are free from dirt.

E. Purchasing readymade foods

Pay attention to ready-to eat food samples.

Cold foods should be cold and hot foods should be hot.

Make sure food handlers have a barrier between their hands and the food during handling.

F. Purchasing milk

Check that the milk is pasteurized.

Check that the milk is cold stored and well packaged. 


Most fresh foods must be stored in the refrigerator to delay their deterioration and decomposition. The most basic rule must be always followed ;keep foods 4º c or colder ,the safe temperature for refrigerated storage . 


Receiving is the point at which food service operation inspects and takes legal ownership and physical possession of items ordered. 


1. According to NSW (NEW SOUTH WALES) authority 2011; only receive potentially hazardous the food that have been transported under temperature  controlled.

2. Once food is receive it must be placed under refrigerated storage keep them hot and display them immediately with the time recorded.Also check food temperature,which must be either below 5ºc or above 60 ºc.


Food storage is the process in which both cooked and raw materials are stored in appropriate conditions for future use without any entry or multiplication of microorganism. 


1) TEMPERATURE :Temperature to be maintained in a particular store will depend on the type of food . In general most bacteria are inactivated at freezing point Oº c and below. 

2) HUMIDITY:The humidity in a room and thereby moisture content of the air around stored food affects the rate of growth of various organism. 

3) 3.INFESTATION : The presence of infestation in or around a store can contaminate food in storage and make it unfit for human consumption . 

4) 4. PREPARATION:  In this stage ,contamination can take place easily from one food to another, so every type of food require special attention. 


              Foods can be classified into three groups depending on how long they can be kept without any treatment. 

PERISHABLE :Foods  can be kept at room temperature for only few hours or 1 or 2 days before spolling .For examples- milk and milk products ,meat,fish, poultry ,fruits ,leafy vegetables and cooked food.Storage of perishable foods should be done by keeping following points in mind.

Flesh foods like meat ,chicken and fish need to be kept frozen at  - 60 c in a deep freeze for long term storage. 

Eggs are best kept in a cool place or in a basket in a airy room refrigerator .Never wash before storing . 

Milk in boiled form can be kept at room temperature for 6 to12 hours during winters .Inside a refrigerator milk can last 3 to 4 days or oven more in closed container.

  All other vegetables keep well in a cool place with relatively high humidity in a basket covered with a damp cloth.

Vegetables must be kept in plastic bags to prevent drying by evaporation , if stored in a refrigerator. 

SEMI-PERISHABLE :Foods can be stored for a couple of weeks or even a month or two without any detectable signs of spolage. Temperature and humidity of the environment again affects the shelf stability of such foods. Following points should while storing semi-perishable foods. 

1. Processed cereal products develop an off-flavour or are infested by insects very easily if not taken care.

2. Fruits like apples ,oranges and semi ripe mangoes do last for a few weeks and should be put a basket lined and covered with paper to prevent from drying up. 

NON-PERISHABLE  :Foods will keep for months or years without spoiling unless handled and stored carelessly(canned, dried ,pickles etc.)Following points should be followed while storing non-perishable foods. 

1. Foods should be carefully cleaned i.e free from husk and other foreign matter etc,and dried thoroughly in the sun /drier before storage.

2.  A dry ,cool and dark area should be chosen for storage of non-perishable foods. 

Food storage allows food to be eaten for some time(typically weeks to months)after harvest rather than solely immediately. It is both a traditional domestic skill and in the form of food logistics. 


A menu is virtually a list of dishes planned for the production in a catering operation and may include full meals , snacks or beverages


Introduces the establishment to the customer

Authorises production of meals in the kitchen

Helps to prepare order lists for food and ingredients and set up purchase procedures

Determines the type of equipment , staff skills and the type of supervision required

Helps to organise spaces and work in stores , kitchens and service areas 

Determines the style of service to set up

Forms the basis for the calculation of food and labour costs , overhead expenses and desired profits

Reflects the type of customer the establishment wishes to attract

Satisfies the needs of a customers for nutrition , hunger , as well as social and psychological needs

Introduces interesting food combinations to customers , and through specialty foods imparts knowledge of the food eaten in different states , countries and cultures

Provide a means of developing good eating habits in people


Menus are of different types being selective , set , single use , occasional , routine or static. They are-

1. A la carte menu

2. Table d ` hote 

3. Combination menu

4. Occasional menu 

5. Single use menu

6. Du jour 

7. Cyclic menu


A la carte is a French term which signifies a choice menu and generally offers a large variety to choose from .


Table d ` hote means table of the host i.e a set menu in which a number of dishes are planned by the host.


A combination menu , often referred as combo menu , is a type of meal that typically includes food items and beverage


As the name suggests this menu is planned specially for certain specific occasions like marriages , receptions , birthday etc


These are specially planned for customer according to their special requirements.

Such menus are single use individualized menus.


This is a French term meaning menu of the day .


In the case of hostels , hospitals and other institutions , menu are planned in advance.



Five basic steps of menu construction are-

1. Select the main dish

2. Add side dishes and cereals

3. Match starter and salad

4. Add desert and beverage to balance the menu

5. Fill in the accompaniments to complete the menu 




Menus can perform its rightful functions only if the customer can see and read it clearly on or before entering a food service establishment. 

Menus can be displayed in many ways: 




Enhances and flatters a menu.

Attracts the eyes of customers.

Reflects a management that cares about every detail.

Suggests that the ambience within the establishment would be carefully planned and attractively set out.


SHOWCASING:   Showcasing requires the same kind of skill as advertising . Today with fast food outlets and home deliveries increasing rapidly, the commonest way of communication has become the print media. 




Background colour of menu.

Material of the case.

The style.

The ability to stay clean.

Easy to maintain.

Easy to open for menu changes.

Replaceable fixtures. 


Prices should be displayed to prospective customers.

Up to thirty items must be displayed.

Legislation against unfair practice-

   * Essential Commodities Act.

   * Weights and Measures Act.

   * MRTP Act.

   * Consumer Protection Act.


The service of food is an art which can make or break the reputation of a catering establishment . It represents the manner , as well as atmosphere , in which food is presented to the customer. Well prepared food , conforming to high standards of quality can be rejected if the service is slow , slipshod , and the server unkempt in appearance , impolite or careless . Also customers can refrain from visiting food service if the environment does not provide the emotional satisfaction expected by them . Apart from food quality , therefore good service is vital to success of a catering establishment . To the customer , good service represents clean serving and dining areas , properly selected serving equipment , neatly dressed and well behaved serving staff who can welcome with smile.


This method of service take care of every detail set out to make the atmosphere formal . Starting from the decorations to furniture selections , it’s arrangement in the space , uniforms of servers , order of meal served , presentation of both meals and staff are in a well communicated atmosphere . Some formal styles of service include banquet service and room service.

1. Banquet service

This is the sophisticated style of waiter service and is usually carried out when the head of state of government are being entertained . It is therefore extremely formal and calls for perfect etiquette at the table . The tables are generally a clothes and each cover is set out with matching napkins and other table appointments . Use of fancy table appointments like menu card holders , name cards , flowers are used for each cover . The cutters used are usually silvers . Such services are seen at Rashtrapati Bhawan.


Service styles in restaurant vary slightly from one place to another. Their objective issue provide and atmosphere for leisure dining to the customer. Waiter service style have been described differently in catering literature as English , French , American , Russian or compromise styles of service .  


The term has come from the fact that food is served in the room where the guest is staying . Usually applied to the public lodging , it is essentially a waiter service in which the order placed on the room and waiter brings the same to the room , on a tray or trolley and served to the customer . 


This method of service include both waiter service and self service .

They are :

1) Fast food restaurant

It is also known as quick service restaurant within the industry , is a specific type of restaurant that serves fast food cuisine and has minimal table service .  

2) Cafeteria

A cafeteria , sometimes called a canteen is a type of food service located in which there is little or no waiting staff table service , whether a restaurant or within an institution such as a large office building or a school ; a school dining location is also referred to as a dining hall or a lunch room . 

3) Travel service (railways , airlines) 


 Takes two main forms – 

In transit and on station catering service . Catering in railway station can be seen as licensed vending , fast food and beverages service , cafeterias and take away points . The in transit services are offered through the restaurant per service of the train . These days customers are served at their seats as in room services but with minimum equipment , dishes especially in express or fast passenger train . 



        Similar to railway service , airline service also provide services through self and waiter service at the air terminals or airports suplimented by vending machines and license . 


  The styles are set in a more casual environment . Refined counters where customers choose what they want and help themselves partly or wholly , or they make serve by a waiter on the table . 

  Every informal service have a little personal touch and an assurance of freshly prepared quality food .   


Dhaba is a roadside restaurant in the Indian sub continent . They are on highways , generally serve local cuisine , and also serve as truck stops .They are most commonly found next to petrol stations and are open twenty- four hours a day .  


Counter service assistants serve food to customers from a counter or  bar rather than providing table service . 

Snack bars , canteens cafe’s , fast food outlets and self service restaurants are usually counter service establishments .


Vending services prides itself on providing it’s customers with convenient snacks , beverages and sundry products for more personalized schedules , of the diverse taste and needs of todays consumers .

  Food service is one of the largest parts in hospitality industry . A food service management has many options for food production and service .

  The common definintion is “ The practice or business of manufacturing , transportation and service or dispensing prepared foods such as at a restaurant . “  

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