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English Table Service traditionally meant giving each diner an empty plate, and placing every dish on the table, sweet and savoury at the same time, for the diners to help themselves. Where the service is so large that the table simply can't accommodate it, there would be 'removes' where the set of dishes was replaced, so that a grand banquet might be described as having so-many 'removes'.
This old method is described in most cookery books of the period, such as Family Guide 1747 (p229), and with a great deal of detail at the end of Moxon 1764. As late as 1844 'Punch' could joke that "Three removes are better than a dessert". It is only rarely used now, but partly survives in the English practice of delivering vegetables in a separate dish from meats, for the diners to help themselves and is still customarily followed to some extent at the Christmas Feast.
Table layout for a service with one remove
From: Moxon 1764
Traditional French Service has each course brought from the kitchen one at a time, and placed in platters on the table for the diners to help themselves, or be served by the waiter.
Both these have now been largely replaced by Russian Service, where the food is portioned and carved either in the kitchen or in the restaurant, and then delivered, one ready-made course at a time, to the diner.
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