Recently we took a look at the banquet manager job description in the hotel and hospitality industry. We’ve even talked about hotel staff and the food and beverage director. In this post, it’s time to answer a related hotel food and beverage question: what is a banquet server?
A banquet server is like any other wait staff or restaurant server in a hotel, except they work specifically in the banquet department. Banquet servers work to serve food and beverages during banquets and maintain the banquet space with operational efficiency for current and future banquet customers.
In this blog post, we’ll walk through some standard banquet server responsibilities and some key points from banquet server resumes. Whether you’re looking to hire banquet servers or find work as a banquet server, read on.
Banquet Server Responsibilities
Banquet server responsibilities cover everything from serving banquet guests to maintaining the banquet space to assisting guests outside of serving needs. These five responsibilities give a well-rounded view of what a banquet server can expect during a work day or shift of banquet preparation and banquet events.
5. Maintaining Composure
Maintaining composure is an important responsibility and skill in any customer or guest-facing role. It’s especially important when it comes to food service, because things get hectic quickly with a full course meal and requests being made.
Maintaining composure throughout the potential chaos makes the entire experience more relaxing for the guests. According to Zippia, 83% of banquet servers prefer to work in the private sector, where a more professional, composed nature leads to job security and satisfaction where their employer.
4. Assisting with Setup and Cleanup
A banquet space is different from a bar or restaurant in the fact that it changes in design and layout for different clients. In helping with setup and cleanup, banquet servers assist in the banquet space in terms of layout and unique design elements.
This can mean setting up flower arrangements, helping lay out the food display area, or helping with the arrangement of the tables. From a business perspective, spreading this work among the serving staff removes the need to hire more help for these preparations. With well-paid, satisfied servers covering the banquet space, the business will save costs on their banquet services.
3. Maintaining Cleanliness
The cleanliness of a place food is served is paramount. Banquet servers are responsible for maintaining cleanliness with themselves, in terms of keeping a spare apron or shirt on hand in case of spills. They are also responsible for cleaning quick spills and messes at tables and in the banquet hall with cleaning supplies kept readily available.
2. Anticipating and Exceeding Expectations
While each banquet guest is different, they will all have certain expectations of the service they receive at a banquet. This includes things like anticipated drink refills and the right amount of time between courses. Learning about liquor cost and crafting tasty drinks that maintain a budget for the hotel can help anticipate the needs of the business. Through observation and practice, a banquet server can fulfill this responsibility to the guests and their employer.
1. Directing Banquet Guests
In addition to serving guests, banquet servers are also responsible for helping guests within the banquet space. This means directing guests to the restroom and showing them to coat check to explaining where to find coffee or tea refreshments. Ultimately, banquet servers are responsible for serving guests in every applicable sense.
Banquet Server Resume
A banquet server resume may be similar in many ways to a restaurant or bar server resume. The main differences come in relation to the hospitality industry.
This is because a banquet event management plan is an extension of the experience of the hosting hotel. The following five qualities cover a range of skills that will be helpful for a banquet server:
“Key Takeaway: Ultimately, banquet servers are responsible for serving guests in every applicable sense. This all-inclusive role requirement is evident in the multifaceted skills of a banquet server.”
5. Catering Experience
Catering experience, especially as a serving in the catering industry, will translate directly into skills as a banquet server. Since catering is included in the hospitality industry, this experience gives a banquet server some of the most well-rounded background they’ll need.
4. Food Handler Certification
A food handler certification, which is state specific, is especially important for a banquet server’s resume. This certification gives them the legal ability to handle food with food safety in mind. Additionally, it shows that they have the experience of learning about food handling through the process of obtaining the certification.
3. Liquor Certifications
Liquor certifications, whether they are an alcohol server certification or certification to be in a space where liquor is served, are helpful for a banquet server. Although not every banquet will be offering or selling alcohol beverages, many of them will. The legal ability of servers to work with alcohol makes their jobs–and their managers’ jobs–much easier.
2. Customer Service Experience
Customer service experience is closely tied to the hospitality industry. The two industries essentially work towards the same goal of satisfying customers. Banquet servers will be well served by experience with customer service. A good deal of working with banquet guests will equate to customer service work.
1. High Attention to Detail
A high attention to detail is a useful skill for any job. For banquet servers, attention to detail helps with noticing the needs of guests, serving in a timely manner, and keeping the banquet hall maintained. Overall, attention to detail helps in ensuring the banquet experience is exactly as it should be.
Frequently Asked Questions About Banquet Servers
When researching the questions about banquet servers, we found a great deal of curiosity about the difference between a banquet server and non-banquet servers. We also found many general questions about the job of the banquet server.
A lot of our answers to these frequently asked questions will be useful for folks who are looking to work as banquet servers. However, these are also important for hotel management who are hiring and supervising banquet servers. These questions and answers shed light on the working situations around banquet servers.
What Is the Difference Between a Server and a Banquet Server?
The main difference between a server and a banquet server is the location of their work. Many of the skills of a banquet server are equally applicable to any other server in a restaurant, café, or bar business. The employment specifications are different since a banquet server is employed by a hotel, but the jobs are very similar.
Do Banquet Servers Get Tips?
Banquet servers do often get tips. Tipping in the banquet setting can be different from the history of tipping and tipping practices in standard restaurants. Banquet servers won’t receive tips directly from the guests of the banquet.
Tips are given to the banquet manager or department director by the host or main client of the banquet. Those tips are then distributed among the staff.
Is Banquet Server a Good Job?
Being a banquet server is ultimately a good job. It is well paid for a serving job, with the average US pay coming in at $14 an hour, and it has the comfort of working within a hotel as part of a bigger system. If you’re looking to work in the service industry, or wondering what server jobs are available, being a banquet server is a good option.
How Long are Banquet Server Shifts?
A banquet server job is typically a standard 40-hour-per-week job, which generally evens out to 8-hour shifts. This may differ depending on the hotel and the specific banquet needs. For the most part, however, the 40-hour-per-week standard will remain, even if the eight hours per day aren’t quite as uniform.
Banquet Server: Be Our Banquet Guest
A banquet server could come from a serving line of work, from customer service experience, or any hospitality-related work. If a banquet server is keen on improving the banquet experience and they have good experience, they’ll be a key asset to the team.
Come back to the BinWise blog for more information on hotels and the hospitality industry. Visit our sister site, the BlueCart blog, for information on DTC business operations, order processing and invoicing, and the food distribution process.