Banquet managers direct and oversee events at banquet facilities, which might be located in restaurants, hotels or resorts, convention halls, country clubs or similar sites. Generally, banquet managers plan events with clients, handle employee training, oversee employee hiring and firing processes, maintain inventory and comply with food safety regulations and laws.
The field of banquet management is a fast-paced one, but these managers get to flex their leadership skills by overseeing a variety of workers.
A banquet manager’s job begins after the event sale is made, the contract is signed and continues after the last guest has left. Banquet managers work with banquet sales directors and chefs to ensure that all of the terms of a contract are met and that guests receive the highest quality in food service and overall experience.
Banquet Manager Duties
Being a successful banquet manager requires understanding how to manage a variety of processes while working with different business teams, including customers, sales staff, facility owners and kitchen staff. Banquet managers are responsible for making sure events planned by sales managers happen successfully, taking care of room arrangements, staffing, entertainment logistics and customer service. Many banquet managers start as busboys or servers, working their way up to banquet management by demonstrating an ability to understand the processes involved with catered events and an ability to work well with all of a facility’s staff.
Once the banquet manager is familiar with the event logistics, he will review the execution of event. This includes when cocktails will be served, guests are seated, dinner is served and cleared and the hours the bar will be open. He will ensure the facility has everything needed to fulfill the contract, taking an inventory of tables, chairs, tablecloths, glasses, centerpieces, candles, utensils, linens, heat lamps and all non-kitchen items the function will require. The executive chef is responsible for some of the items the banquet staff will use, such as food racks and heating boxes. If the facility does not have a bar manager, the banquet manager handles all beer, wine, liquor and soft drink logistics.
The banquet manager determines the staffing levels of events, including servers, busboys and bartenders. The manager will assign individual in-house staff and book any contract labor required. The banquet manager and sales director often work on staff budgets to ensure the facility meets its profit goals. A banquet manager helps hire, train, manage, discipline and terminate staff.
After the sales director meets with the chef, the banquet manager and chef work together to fulfill the contract. The chef usually tells the banquet manager how he plans to serve the meal, with the manager making suggestions concerning meal delivery. Banquets usually require servers to help with simple meal prep as part of a pre-service assembly-line process called “plating.”
After a banquet, the banquet manager will make notes about any items the facility needs to repair or replaced to ensure proper inventory. He will have a meeting or conversation with the sales director and/or chef to discuss any problems or suggestions for future events.
You may be more likely to become a banquet manager with hands-on experience than a degree in event and food service, depending on your career goals. An academic background can give you the tools to start a banquet company one day, but for many banquet manager positions, knowing how to walk the walk and having done so successfully can be the deciding factor in landing a job.
Start your Event Career at Swiss Hotel Management School. Students can choose from a broad range of programmes in Hotel Operations, Events, Resort and Spa Management or Food & Beverage and Restaurant Management.