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  • Writer's pictureYPI CREW

Did you know that a Service is the most popular department to work in for Stews? Whether it's to be in a position that rotates within Service, Housekeeping and Laundry, or a purely Service based role, on average over 90% of you want to be in Service.

But what makes a good Service Stew? What additional Skills should you expect to master to make you stand out? What are the 5 most common styles of Service you will find onboard?

Firstly -The most important thing! ALWAYS listen to your Chief Stew or Head of Service. Each yacht will have a bespoke style of Service based on the owners' preference, which your Head of Department will know from their experience of working with them. It is your job to ensure the owners' preferences are met and they are happy, even if it means breaking a few rules on Service styles!

A top tip from me - Don't be tempted to fall for the 'one-page CV' myth and just write 'Service' on your CV to save space. This will see you missing out on many positions you may have been perfect for!

When a Service position comes in, there are many skill requirements for the role. This is why it is so important that on your CV, you include what types of Service you are familiar and experienced with, and what extra skills you have. List these in your Skills section, so straight away the Chief Stew can see what you can do.

Think of it as going to a restaurant and just seeing 'Food' on the door, but no further details – would you stay there, or look at the place next door with its menu showcasing all the things they can do?

What additional skills are requested?

There are commonly requested extra skill requirements within the Service position. Learning and mastering these first will really make you stand out to the Chief Stew. Not only will this reduce her time training you, it also means you bring value with you to the team! One of the biggest difficulties onboard is finding the time to train Stews, so come prepared! If you are missing out on Service positions due to not having the experience already, these extra skills could be the solution.

  • Cocktails or Mixology

  • Wine Knowledge (WSET 1 or 2)

  • Napkin folding

  • Barista skills

  • Table settings and decoration

  • Flower arranging

What are the 5 most commonly used Service Styles onboard?

Today I had a catch up with Kim Woodey, to pick her brains about the 5 most common Service styles onboard and what they involve. Kim is fully GUEST Accredited and one of the most respected Interior Trainers in the industry.

1. Plated Service

Also known as 'American Service'. The chef will prepare the food on to the plate in the galley. Your role as Service Stew will be to take these to the table and generally serve the food from the right-hand side, placing the plate in front of the guest.

Within Plated Service, there is also 'Synchronised Service'. This will involve serving the guests in a 'synchronised manner', for example all plates are placed down on the table at the same time. This requires being able to silently communicate with your lead Service to check for a slight nod, so you know when the time is right to put the plate down.

2. Silver Service

Also known as 'English Service'. As a recruiter, this is also one of the most commonly misused terms I see. It is often confused with what should be 'high end' or 'Formal dining', as Silver Service is actually a serving style. In Silver Service, the Chef prepares the food in the galley onto platters or bowls. Stews will take the platters to the guests and serve them generally from the left, using a spoon and fork. Some yachts can use tongs, but it is important to learn how to use the spoon and fork. Kim assures me that once this is mastered, it's actually easier than the tongs. The platters are then taken to the food station at the side, and not left on the table.

3. Russian Service

Russian Service is similar to Silver Service in that the food is prepared onto the platters, and served to the guest generally on the left using the spoon and fork (or tongs). However once everything is served, the platters are placed in the middle of the table.

4. Family Style Service

The Chef will prepare the platters and bowls and the stew will place these in these in the middle of the table, so that guests can help themselves. This shouldn't be confused with buffet Service, where the platters are placed on the side station for the guests.

5. Butler Service

Also known as 'French Service'. This isn't as commonly used as the other Service styles. The Chef will prepare the food onto a platter As the Stew, you will take the platter to the table and present this to the guest from the left-hand side. The guest will use the spoon and fork (or tongs) to serve themselves onto their plate.

Are you looking for a Stew job onboard a yacht?

Be sure to contact our Interior Recruiter, Louise Overend, by logging into your YPI CREW profile and clicking the 'Check in' option.

If you are not yet registered with YPI CREW you can register by clicking HERE.

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