Table d’hôte menu, meaning, characteristics, advantage and disadvantage

Table d’hôte menu is a fixed menu with a limited number of courses for a set price, where the customers have to pay the whole amount of the set price for the offered course. it is also called a pre-fixed menu. A limited choice may be given for each course,

Table d’hôte is a french term meaning “table of the host”, the term began in France’inns where guests eat at the common table called “guest’s table”

Here the host is the chef, or the restaurant is offering specific dishes.

The key characteristics of Table d’hôte menu

  • Set number of courses
  • Limited choice within each course or amongst courses
  • Set price for all courses
  • Food prepared beforehand and available at a set time
  • This type of menu is offered mainly in banquets, restaurants where buffet lunch and dinner are offered.
  • A set price is charged for the menu irrespective of the amount consumed.
  • Coffee is always included in the menu, but not considered as one of the courses.

Advantages and disadvantages of Table d’hôte menu


  • Does not require too much of a kitchen area.
  • Needs limited kitchen and service equipment.
  • Mise en place work to be carried out is less
  • Does not require much labor as the number of dishes to be prepared is limited.
  • Does not require much food storage area.
  • It is comparatively easier to contain the food cost.


  • Customers do not have extensive choice to choose from the dishes
  • Customers have to pay a fixed amount whether or not they consume all the courses or receive dishes of their liking.
  • The menu does not address the needs of children, the aged, and the convalescents in commercial restaurants and caters only to the general market of varying age groups and palates.

Comparison of  A la carte and Table d’hôte menu

SL Feature Table d’hôte A la carte
1. Menu choice Limited choice of dishes Extensive choice of dishes
2. Price Set price for all the dishes Each dish is priced separately and the bill will be according to the order
3. Preparation Dishes are prepared beforehand and kept ready for service Prepared as and when orders are placed
4. Equipment Less equipment is required for Table d’hôte service More equipment is required for A la carte service
5. Guests’ satisfaction Guest satisfaction is low here as they have fewer options to choose Very high since the guest can choose what he/she wants to have
6. The efficiency of staff performance Better Poor during peak hours
7. Requirement of guests Does not cater to the requirements of all the guests in commercial operations Addresses the needs of guests of all age groups
8. Mise en place work Less More

Examples of 5 courses of Table d’hôte menu with pictures

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