How Can I Work in Banquet Operations?

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in banquet operations. Read on to learn more about career options along with education requirements and salary and job outlook information. Schools offering Hotel & Restaurant Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Careers Are Available in Banquet Operations?

Careers in banquet operations include food service management, as well as waitering/waitressing. As a food service manager, you would be responsible for seeing all operations within a provider of banquet services, such as a restaurant or a catering company. As a waiter or waitress, you would serve food and beverages at the banquet. You would also be involved in setup and cleanup for the event. The following chart gives you an overview of what you need to know about entering this field.

Food Service ManagerWaiter or Waitress
Degree Required Associate's degree No formal education required
Key Responsibilities Manage inventory; oversee employee schedules, duties, and performance; supervise food preparation and presentationTake orders; serve customers; take payments; clean tables
Training Required Industry-related experience On-the-job training
Job Outlook (2014-2024)* 5% 3%
Average Salary (2015)* $53,640 $23,020

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Is Banquet Operations?

A banquet is a type of meal served at special events, celebrations or ceremonies. Some hotels, event facilities, cruise ships and even large restaurants operate banquet rooms where large parties can gather. Banquets often require several types of people to plan, manage and work the event, including organizers, coordinators, cooks, servers and cleaning crews. If you're interested in working in banquet operations, you'll need to first determine what position you could qualify for based on your experience and education.

What Would My Job Duties Be?

If you work as a banquet operations manager, your primary concern is to ensure that customers have a pleasant dining experience. You'll oversee and manage a team of cleaning, kitchen and waitstaff. You'll instruct employees on how to maintain a strong quality of service that meets the expectations of the company and banquet customers. You'll be responsible for making sure that equipment and place settings are clean and properly arranged before food is served. As a banquet operations manager, you'll usually need to address the specific needs of individual customers, such as dietary restrictions and menu planning.

Working as a banquet server or assistant manager, you'll follow the instructions of the banquet operations manager. As a server, you might set out plates, take drink orders, fill water glasses and bring meals to guests. In some cases, you'll need to oversee buffet tables, ensuring adequate food supplies. As an assistant banquet operations manager, you'll work alongside a manager, taking orders and coordinating specific details.

What Education or Training Might I Need?

To become a banquet operations manager, you might be required to have some form of postsecondary education in addition to professional experience in the food service industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an associate's degree program in food service management provides adequate training for a manager position (www.bls.gov). You'll learn food preparation and safety, hospitality, menu planning and cost control, as well as gain a solid background in organizational management and accounting. Some programs also offer courses or electives specific to banquet operations.

You won't generally need any type of formal education in order to work as a food server, according to the BLS. Many establishments that offer banquet services provide you with on-the-job training in regular table or banquet service, though you might need some restaurant experience in the food service industry. Some community colleges and vocational schools offer certificate and career programs that teach you customer service, food handling and banquet operations. These programs usually provide you with practical experience through internships, work co-ops and on-campus labs.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you are interested in a food industry career, you could also consider becoming a cook. Cooks may be involved in the preparation of a wide range of foods, including meat, fish and vegetables, and they can work in diverse setting such as restaurants, school cafeterias and even private homes. No formal education is required. Alternatively, if you want to get a management job, you could consider becoming a lodging manager, where you would be responsible for overseeing the operations of a hotel, motel or other hospitality establishment. Lodging managers need to have at least a high school diploma.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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