It’s such a huge component of our job as Stewardesses. I clearly remember my first service, at breakfast it took me an hour to juice oranges (should have taken 15 minutes), at lunch I forgot the name of the fish as we had to announce it all in Spanish & then as the grand finale after dinner service, I broke two glasses. It was a bit of disaster, & yet, my Chief Stew was still so patient with me continuing to train and guide me until I was able to do solo service & lead service with confidence.
On the flip side of things, as a Chief Stew this is probably my favourite topic to teach to my girls. I always make sure to tell them that every yacht will be different, because service is so specific to the Owners preferences. There is so much more to teach than just serving a plate, opening a bottle of wine or even filleting a fish. Every piece of cutlery has a purpose and I need to make sure the girls are comfortable with every item we have onboard.
Curious as to what you should purchase when going through your onboard Service items? Ella & Emma, the ladies behind Centerpiece have put together a super easy to follow printable.
Click HERE to download it!
PSA: You’ll probably see this table setting a lot on my instagram over the next few weeks. It was one of my top 3 favourite settings from the summer & I’m completely obsessed with this gold vase from Centerpiece!
Curious as to how I train my girls on service? Here are my top 5 tips for setting up onboard service training.
Start with a full walk through of every service related item onboard. Pull out every drawer, open every cupboard, explain the item & purpose. If you have specific sets for different meals, ask them as your are walking around, where would I find the lunch set while serving fish? Keep it interactive instead of just sharing knowledge, which ensures you find out how much your girls know.
Menu’s. Explain to the girls where they can find the menus on the interior laptop server, what paper is used & print a recent menu. Though they may never do the menu themselves, it’s always good to have the entire service team aware of every detail onboard. Ahead of time discuss the menu with the chef and have the stews go to the Galley to go over the entire menu in detail.
Go through the current wine inventory and how it’s updated. Following that, showcase how the Wine Menu is presented to the Owner and it’s location on the table and/or wine station. Discuss the Owners usual wine choice and where the specific bottles are located. After going through the wine fridges with them, ask each girl for a specific wine, let them go and collect it from the wine fridge & organize all of the required wine accessories on the pantry counter, as if they are going to serve it. Some stewardesses learn by talking, some by doing and this way you are covering both bases. It’s also super important the girls learn how to correctly pour the wine, with the cork still in, have them practise the art of pouring. I’ve served a lot of magnums before & this definitely takes practise to learn to hold it correctly!
Do a mock setting. Print a menu & have the girls set for that specific menu. Make sure to add oysters or sushi to ensure there is extra cutlery needed. The idea here is to give the girls enough confidence to pull & set each meal with guests onboard. (I usually add langoustines because that requires lobster picks and crackers in addition to finger bowls.) Once the setting is done, go through the menu and ask the stewardess to explain what they pulled for each food item.
Interior Team meal! Have all of the girls sit in the Skylounge and give them a specific job role – one will be the principal Owner who will sit at the head of the table. Have the stewardess present the menu to the principal & ensure they are happy with it, just as they would do with the real Owner onboard. Following that, ask the girls to take a seat at the table, giving each one of them a note card with a specific task. One will drop their napkin, one will drink their water really quickly & need continuous top ups, one will ask about a specific dish that is being served. I stand with the service stewardess and coach her on the situation as it arises and explain the best way to respond. This is also a great lesson for the girls that have yet to learn service as they see it from the guest point of view.
I hope this helps as a guiding hand while training the team on service!
Have some service tips you would love to share? Share them on my latest Instagram post!