How To Set A Table For Breakfast – Just Like A Restaurant

How do you set a table for breakfast? To set a breakfast table in the American formal manner, put knives to the left side of the plate and forks to the right. Spoons are placed on the leftmost side followed by a teacup/coffee. Juice glasses are in the upper right over spoons and knives. The napkin is on the left side of the forks.

Sometimes, you’re just looking for having fun, bringing class to the venue, if you like. What more appropriate way of doing this than with a delicious breakfast that has a stunning table design?

Easy, right? Perhaps you’re in a bit of confusion Don’t worry! Today, we’ll finally provide an understanding of all table settings!

In this post, we’ll look at various ways to set up, the types of breakfasts that could be served as well as the equipment you require and the best way to set the table for each one of these situations.

American and Other Styles of Service

Today, we’ll be complying with the regulations to provide American service. This kind of service is mainly utilized (sometimes only) by people in America and isn’t copied by other countries around the world.

Each region has specific rules and regulations in regards to the menu, dining as well as decor and how food is served.

For instance, the regulations that the American industry of service follows aren’t similar to those that Europe adheres to. Russia has its own set of rules and the same goes for France. There are also different forms within each one of the regions!

There’s no correct or wrong choice in regards to the one you’ll follow, as everyone has their own personal preferences.

We do, however, prefer the American style of service due to a number of reasons.

American service follows a few of the guidelines for Continental (English/British) eating The American service follows some of the rules of Continental (English/British) dining where knives are placed out according to the order in which the food is served. The major difference between them is the order in which they serve the meals.

In American dinner, you can choose two ways of setting the table: simple as well as formal. The primary difference is the number of items laid out.

The is a breakfast option for those who want to eat a quick meal with just only one course, or maybe some cereal. formal is designed for more elaborate breakfasts that include several courses.

Different Types of Breakfast

We’ve already mentioned that American breakfast is available in two primary kinds of breakfasts: classic (or formal) and fast (basic or casual). Buffet-style dining is another alternative that we’ll discuss in the future. The majority of breakfasts are served with food served on plates.

Breakfast in the traditional sense is a less formal type of eating that typically comprises food items such as eggs, ‘bread’ (like pancakes, waffles toast, crepes, toast, or biscuits) cereals, preserved meats and jellies, or jams.

In some regions, food items such as donuts and bagels, sandwiches, and breakfast burritos can be frequent. But, regardless of the kind of food served, it’s typically served with a plating.

The speedy breakfast includes an even faster-paced breakfast, with very little time to eat and sit down to enjoy breakfast.

Even though the food is served, however, it is highly likely for the dining table to be fixed. Most likely, a simple table will be set.

Buffet-style is something completely different. When serving food this way the table is typically prepared with cutting boards and crockery for each of the dishes offered, which is difficult given just a small space at the table.

What Do You Do To Set A Table?

After we’ve discussed the fundamental breakfast options we’ll look at the things required to put together a table correctly.

There are a variety of items you need to consider when you prepare the table. The list below is not a complete list for the majority of situations.

The items you put in the dish will depend on the food you serve. For example, if you serve fish, you’ll require an ice fork. If you’re making toast and butter for your guests, then you’ll require a butter knife. You can find more information on the different scenarios that are common for further assistance!


A table can be the main component of a table setting. You may laugh, but take a moment to think about it. Have you ever sat at a table laden with beverages and food and there was no room to bend your elbows?

Be sure that the table you’re using can accommodate the number of people sitting. We prefer to set the table right in front of the chair and then measure a 24–30-inch space for setting.

It is also possible to use the middle of the plate as an initial point of departure and take measurements from 12-15 inches for either side. This gives enough room for everyone to be seated with all of the cutlery, crockery, and glassware on top of them.

The more elaborate meals (amount of dishes) the more equipment needs to be set up, and the bigger the space should be.

If you’re looking to add something more look into attractive placemats to match your table settings. Make sure that your placemats are suitable for the size and shape of your table and shape. A round, as well as a circular table, will typically have different placemats than a rectilinear one.


Crockery comes with everything from side plates to cereal bowls, and plates.

Based on the type of food that is being served depending on the meal being served, depending on the food being served, the primary breakfast platter is set in the first place and smaller bowls and plates set on top over it.


Cutlery is arranged in a particular way.

Forks are always on the left side, while knives are always on the right. This is a rule that has been set in stone regardless of the type of knife or fork being employed. Spoons are placed the furthest away from the right sides of knives.

A second important thing to remember is to take into consideration how many dishes or courses will be served.

The cutlery needed to serve your starter course must be put on the outside of the plate. For instance, your starter fork (smaller fork) is located on the right-hand side of the fork that is used as the main one (both placed on the side that is left of the dish).

However, there’s more to cutlery than meets the eyes! We’ll talk more in-depth about each one to be completely clean:


It is recommended that the cutting edges of knives must be directed towards the back of the dish. There are generally two knives that can be set on a table for breakfast.

It is the starting knife(usually an incredibly small butter knife) located on the right side of the plate of the main knife (remember that both are located on the right part of the platter).

The starter knife is placed on the table when bread is served that needs to be buttered or another kind of appetizer.

The primary knife (usually a regular knife, which can be cut or otherwise) is used to prepare the main course.


As we’ve previously discussed that forks are placed on the left. A starting fork is smaller than the main, yet has the same form and form. The fork used to start can be used to serve small food items or appetizers.

Fish will likely be being served for breakfast. In the event that it happens, the fish fork is required to be put on the table – a smaller one for a fish-based course if it is a starter meal or an appetizer, and a standard-sized one when the fish is served as a main meal.


Two spoons of different types can be used.

The second one is used to serve items such as cereals and soups. The larger spoon is located just to the right side of all knives.

The second spoon is one that is a cup (or coffee spoon) set on the outside right, above that larger one. The spoon can be only set up when tea or coffee is served.

Dish spoons (and forks) can be placed on forks or spoons may be placed on the top of the platter. They must be laid out on top of each other with their handles facing in opposite directions.


Glasses are put on the glasses and are always placed on the right-hand side, just above the spoons and knives. Breakfast is the time to likely serve juice or tea (or tea).

If only one glass is served the glass will be placed over the knives.

In reality, if both are utilized, the juice glass is placed above the knives while the teacup or coffee is placed close to the spoons and knives (to their left).

The same applies to cocktail glasses, champagne glasses, and wine glasses.

Cups and coffee mugs are typically set in a saucer however, it’s appropriate to set them up in a dish without.


Napkins could be made of paper (single-use) or cloth. Cloth napkins are more attractive.

Whatever you decide to use them for You can fold them in any form or size you’d like. They’re then placed in the middle of the forks.

Napkins are a must for any table and are also a great element of decor.

How To Configure The Table

After reading this massive amount of information, you may be confused about how to set tables! We will go over a few scenarios, so you will be able to understand what we mean.

To clarify the exact position of things to help explain the exact location of things, we’ll be using the concept of the clock face (that’s analog and not digital! ).

Imagine it in this manner: When you are sitting in the middle of the table, you place the plate on the table. The plate is the central point in the clock. Above the plate is noon The right side is 03:00, and directly below that is directly below is 06:00, and directly towards the left, 09:00.

A Note Concerning Service

Before we get started we’ll be aware of the process of service. While American-style dining involves plates for food but the plates are placed before meals are served.

Once the food is ready for serving when the meal is served, the dishes on the table are taken off and the plate is laid down.

Basic Breakfast Table Setting Scenario

The items that are served: Main food breakfast cereal, juice, and coffee

The plate is placed before the chair. It is set in the middle of the plate.

A fork with the main handle is set on the plate at 9:00 (left) while the main knife is set at 03:00 (right) with the cutting edge facing the plate. 1 spoon (or the cereal spoon) is placed on the right side of the blade (at 3:00). A smaller spoon is placed on the right side of the spoon.

A juice glass should be set around 01:00/02:00, right above the knife and the spoon. The coffee mug is put in a saucer around 03:00 located on the right of the spoon.

The napkin should be placed at 9:00, on the left side of the fork.

Formal Table Setting Scenario 1: Appetizer, Main Dish, Juice

The main plate is placed before the chair. The smaller plates for food are placed within the main plate.

A fork with the main handle is set in the 09:00 hour (left) while the main knife is located in the 03:00 (right) with the cutting edge facing the plate. The two utensils are positioned near the plate.

On the outsides of every primary utensil, the food tools are set. The fork used to serve appetizers is placed on the left side of your main fork (at 09:00) and the appetizer knife is placed on the right side of that knife (at 03:00).).

The glass of juice is set between 01:00 and 02:00 just over the spoon and knife.

The napkin is put at 09:00, to the left side of the fork.

Formal Scenario 2: Appetizer, Main Dish, Juice, Coffee

This setting is identical to the previous setting, but with a coffee, option added.

For the coffee set to be included to include the coffee set, place the glass of juice at the time of 01:00 or 02:00. It should be right over the knives. Set a teaspoon to the right side of your starter knife, at 3:00. After that, you can place the coffee mug on the left of the spoon.

Formal Scenario 3: Appetizer, Main Dish, Coffee

The table set-up is exactly the same as the one shown above, with its only difference being the glassware set.

Instead of putting the juice glass in the time slot of 01:00/02:00, the coffee mug gets set there instead. The teaspoon is placed on the right side in front of the starting knife until 03:00.

Formal Scenario 4: Appetizer, Cereal, Main Dish, Juice, Champagne, Coffee

There will be many things to eat and you should make room for each guest.

The main dish is set before the chair. The smaller plate for appetizers is placed inside the main plate and is followed by the bowl of cereal.

The main fork is set around 09:00 (left) while the main knife is set around 03:00 (right) with the cutting edge facing the plate. The two utensils are positioned close to the plate.

The exterior of every main utensil, dish are set up. The fork used to serve appetizers is placed to the left of the fork that is used as the primary one (at 09:00) The knives for appetizers are placed to the right side of that knife (at 03:00) with the blade facing towards the inside.

The cereal spoon will be placed on the right side of the starter knife at 03:00. Then comes the cup for coffee.

A juice glass should be set between 01:00 and 02:00, directly over the spoons and knives. Champagne glasses are set in the upper right corner at the time 04:00 in the glass(meaning it is located on the right-hand side of the glass). The position of these glasses may vary based on the type of the drink.

The coffee mug and saucers are set on the left side of the spoons around 03:00 (of the dish). The napkin is put at 09:00 on the left side of the forks.

Formal Scenario 5: Appetizer, Cereal, Main Dish, Juice, Champagne, Coffee, Cake/Dessert/Pastries

The table setting is the one shown above, however, it includes the cake fork and spoon.

They are set around noon just above the plates. They are positioned in a parallel line, with handles facing the opposite direction. You could even include plates for dessert in the stack of plates.

Buffet Style Breakfast Scenario 1: All Items On Table

In this kind of service fashion, the table should be large enough to accommodate all food dishes that are served.

Due to the possible excessive variety of options, an ideal solution is to provide the starter plate, the main plate as well as a cereal bowl.

It is recommended to include the main knife, tong, starter knife, and fork as well as a teaspoon (cereal spoon) and teaspoon.

The closest scenario we could recommend is scenario 4… This includes all food options that are served.

It is also possible to replace the fork and knife that came with the starter set with a different set of primary Utensils (knife as well as a fork).

Buffet Style Breakfast Scenario 2: Items That Are Served In Other Places

In buffet breakfasts, tables remain placed in the same way described above. However, the glassware may not be present.

There is only one glass of water that will be placed in the dining room at 01:01.

The crockery, such as cereal bowls, starter plates, and, sometimes, some main plates are positioned on the table at the serving station.

Extra Tips and Tips and

We’ve got a few additional suggestions in case you have additional questions, or just want to make sure that you are eating the most delicious breakfast you can get:

  • In terms of decorating your table (not any setting-related items), You can decide to use a tablecloth or an area mat, but you shouldn’t utilize both.
  • The table could be decorated with an attractive centerpiece, which could include fresh flowers, candles, or a table setting. They can be themed to match the event.
  • To ensure that your tables for every guest are identical make sure you use the same measurements. The plates should be set two inches away from the edge of the table. It is recommended that the bases (ends) of every cutlery piece should be placed exactly two inches from the edge of the table. This will ensure accuracy and makes the table appear more symmetrical and attractive.
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Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.

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