The Blue Plate Meal Service

The Blue-plate or Apartment Style Meal Service  

A meal service wherein the food is served from the side rather than from the table. Characterized by the ³blue-plate´, a plate that is divided into sections.

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The Blue-plate or Apartment Style Meal Service 

In contemporary American culture, ³Blueplate Special´ refers to relatively cheap budget meals consisting of one serving of meat and three servings of vegetables.

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The Blue-plate or Apartment Style Meal Service  

Its origins may be traced to the early decades of the 1900¶s (some sources indicate it started during the late 1800¶s), the term ³blue plate´ coming from actual blue plates that were used in serving the meals. Comparable to the ³cafeteria´ setting.

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Advantages of Blue Plate 

Convenient Economical/ Does not occupy too much space uick Ideal for small dining tables Practical for serving food in children¶s parties, when diners are too young or small to get their own food, or do not know their appetite. Also used for entertaining large groups for a sitdown service.

Disadvantages of Blue Plate  


Often, since the meal is pre-made, the diner is forced to choose between ³combos´. Also, the serving sizes are often fixed. The ³no substitution´ rule is sometimes enforced. Designed for a relatively small number of people.

How is Blue Plate Performed? 

Example: Children¶s party

This is a birthday party!

Kitchen Counter 

Just imagine that the plates are divided into portions

How is Blue Plate Performed?



After the food is cooked, each dish is placed on a specific portion of the blue plate. Platters are not used. Instead, each portion of the plate is filled with a specific dish directly from the kitchen. The plates may be served before or after the diners are seated, either by a waiter or gotten by the diners themselves.

How is Blue Plate Performed?

After the diners are finished, each diner may bring his/her own plate, flatware and beverageware to the kitchen. In other cases, waiters do the clearing.

The Blue Plate Table Setting
Individual covers are set with the flatware, The dinner plates are not immediately placed at the table Decorations may be placed at set on the table. table Also, serving flatware is not the center of the beverageware and napkins.

Significance of the Blue Plate Style  

The Blue Plate style emerged to cater to the needs of those strapped for time. Since the food served in the Blue Plate is pre-made and µpackaged¶ in a single plate, it is very convenient for the time-constrained individual. Most Blue Plate meals are less expensive than regular meals.

Significance of the Blue Plate Style 

Blue Plate is considered the precursor of modern fast-food meals. With the Blue Plate almost ready-to-eat and conveniently presented, fast food chains have borrowed taken many of the factors that made Blue Plate popular.

Other Meal Services  

The Blue Plate style is similar to the cafeteria or karinderia setting. Some karinderias offer complete meals, with meat, vegetables, rice and soup presented in a single plate. The Tray Service is very similar; the main difference is that a tray is used instead of the plate.


Leocadio, Corazon,1986, Essentials in Meal Management, U.P. College of Home Economics, Diliman 1.html

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