Banquet and Conference Training

You are here:
< Back

Banquet and Conference Training
Banquets and conferences cover a wide range of catering including: • Any catering service that includes permanent catering wares (linens, chafers, coffee air pots, etc.) • One day meetings and multiple day meetings that includes multiple services like: o Morning coffee/breakfast o Mid-morning break service o Lunch service o Afternoon breaks o Evening receptions • Events that require all day service (water stations, coffee stations, etc.) • Events that require attendant service at any time
___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________

Types of catering we do:
Drop Off ___________________________________________________________________
Permanent ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________
Banquet____________________________________________________________________

Banquet Client-Service Philosophy:
1. Serve menu items attractively, correctly, and on time ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

2. Provide all necessary accommodations to the client with a smile. We serve at the pleasure of our clients! ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

3. Serve safe food ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

4. Know the menu! ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

Set the right food…In the right order!
Usually: Plates → Salad → Starch → Vegetable → Protein → Roll → Dessert → Utensils
___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________
Tips for making food look good: • STIR: Foods like soups or beans to be sure chunks are distributed throughout, and not settled on the bottom. • FLUFF: Foods like rice and pasta so they don’t look flat or pre-packaged. • GARNISH: Foods with fresh herbs (like parsley), cheese, or green onion to add a pop of color and flavor. • ARRANGE: individual foods like cookies and rolls so a cross section of varieties can be seen and selected. • FILL: platters, bowls and other containers just right… about ¾ full. Too much food and it’s overflowing, too little food and it doesn’t have the appearance of enough
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
Keeping foods safe: • Be aware of time and temperature with potentially hazardous foods. o Store cold foods in a cold Cambro, cooler, or with ice blankets. o Keep cold food out of the sun o Do not keep cold food out of the safe temperature range for more than four hours (above 41 degrees) o Wear fresh gloves, and avoid your hands being above your shoulders

o Store hot foods in a hot Cambro or hot box o Do not keep hot food out of the safe temperature range for more than four hours (below 135 degrees) o Hot food cannot be kept in chafers more than four hours

• Be cautious placing potential hazardous foods back in the home kitchen rotation once they have been out of refrigeration. (Yogurts, fruit trays, etc.)
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

• Banquet center sinks and counter tops are not sanitary. Clean and sanitize before using table tops, counters, and sinks. DO NOT USE SPONGES OR CLOTH TOWELS UNLESS WE BRING THEM. • Do not store food on the floor. • Keep display food wrapped until 15 minutes prior to service time

ARRANGING BUFFETS
Counter tops: Provided by clients typically for routine permanent caterings
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
Single Sided tables: Be sure tables bases are locked. Table usually places against a wall.
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
Double sided tables: Be sure tables are locked. Place tables (usually centered) in room.
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
Use base linens, risers, and overlays appropriately. We want the food shown off at a variety of heights, and colored and textured backgrounds.
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
General guidelines: • Display the food we want featured at higher levels (not salad dressings for example) • When rotating in new food, REPLACE the containers with refreshed food instead of removing and refilling. • Replace food in teams of two, or in a team of one with a cart • Clean tables continuously. The last guest should have the same experience as the first guest.
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

BANQUETS FROM THE BEGINNING
The successful execution of banquets is critical for the success of the business. Often, banquets are high dollar volume events hosted by contacts that have taken years to develop and are centers of influence in our industry. A wrong misstep from us, and we can lose hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue. We have to be ‘on point’ every step of the way…
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
PREP, LOAD UP, AND DELIVERY.
Prep should be organized, and thoughtful. All items pulled should be easily identifiable, and accessible. Be careful to no overload rack trays. Prep is often done in the day(s) prior to delivery. Use all necessary checklist! Don’t ‘wing’ it!
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
Load up should be organized, unrushed, and thoughtful. Racks and carts should be arranged and tied down in the order that they need to be removed, with linens on the very back of the truck. The loading, and tie down of all items and food should be completed 15 minutes before driveaway.
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
Directions, carpooling instructions, and a pre-driveaway meeting held when all of the staff arrives at the shop on delivery day. The 15 minutes prior to driveaway should be unrushed, with no agenda planned.
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

OFF-LOAD AND STAGING
Once arrived at the location, the Banquet Captain should lead the crew to inspect the staging, kitchen, and setup areas BEFORE ANYTHING IS UNLOADED.
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
When the banquet captain gives the OK, the truck(s) can be off-loaded, and staged in the staging area. Keep the kitchen and staging organized. Only off load what can be staged in an organized manner.
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

Work in teams as needed, only break away from the team if needed AND let the team know what you are doing!
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
SET-UP
Setup order: • Place tables and double check that the legs are LOCKED! _________________________ • Double check that the table placement is correct. _______________________________ • Place base linens, and overlays (watch for stains!). ______________________________ • Place plates, display items and risers per layout plan _____________________________ • Fill Chafers (avoid restroom water), light candles (if not too early) __________________ • Place food _______________________________________________________________ • Place finishing decorations if needed _________________________________________ • Place serving utensils (always last) ___________________________________________ • Banquet Captain gives last look, opens buffet lines for service _____________________
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
BUFFET MAINTANENCE
Buffet maintenance should be done with little interference to guests, and tasks should be done before needing attention. Buffet maintenance includes: • Continuous cleaning of drips and spills • Continuous cleaning of utensil handles • Refilling empty items o Refill/replace food when between 15-20% left o Old food can rotate to the top, rotate to the next container, or throw out if needed o Avoid removing food containers, replace them with a new container o Replacing food in chafers requires at least two people (preferably three), or one person and a clean cart • Avoid creating a crisis in the kitchen. Let the kitchen crew know well in advance what is needed next. Servers are the eyes and ears of the kitchen • Remove empty food displays that cannot be refilled and adjust the catering display so that it stays balanced.
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

As a catering company, we are On-Stage during meal service, and that meal service is the sole reason we are there. We have to look and behave our very best. If we don’t make our client look good, we will not be invited back. Some expectations: • Displays should look their very best. • Servers should be visible when needed, but not the center of attention. Work calmly and with purpose • Avoid showing stress. Avoid running • Arm length rule. A banquet servers voice should never be heard further than one armlength distance. • Cell phones are not to be used for any function in any public, kitchen, staging, prep, or loading areas for any reason unless there is a public safety emergency and 911 is being called. Earphones/buds are not permitted. • Aprons should be clean and new, catering shirts ironed, pants clean and without tears, hair kept up, and hands well cleaned and manicured. • New gloves worn whenever handling food that can be viewed by guests • Walk around groups, not through them. Be approachable, and intuitive to the situation. • Smile and enjoy the service. We are there to serve at our guests’ pleasure! • Assume we are always being watched, even in the kitchen, staging, and loading areas
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
CLEAN UP, LOAD UP, AND DRIVEAWAY
Clean up is usually led by the kitchen staff. They are responsible for sorting dirty and clean dishes, donated food, and food to be thrown out, staging and wrapping racks to be loaded back onto the truck.
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
As a general rule, leave banquet and kitchen spaces cleaner than when we arrive (often venue staff recommends caterers based on the cleanliness and organization of caterers who use the space)
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

Breaking down banquet lines: • Work in teams with carts o Work quickly o Work cleanly o Minimize being a distraction if guests are still present • If there are multiple service lines, break down on line at a time o Once one item is removed from a banquet line, remove the plates, and serving utensils so that guests cannot use the line • Communicate with the kitchen staff so they know what is coming back. Work at a pace the kitchen can manage • Leave all base linens on tables until very last, unless we are removing the tables as well • The removal, flame out, and disposal of chafer candles is the sole responsibility of the banquet captain
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
Be safe loading the truck. The crew is tired. Watch out for one another.
______________________________________________________________________________
The banquet captain and kitchen leader are responsible for doing a final walk through to be sure all equipment and items are loaded on the truck, banquet, kitchen, and staging areas clean, and to thank the host.
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
BACK AT THE HOME KITCHEN
Unload items safely, only at a rate that can be cleaned, sorted, and put away. Try to avoid jamming any one area up with too many items and causing a bottleneck.
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

Wash and sanitize dishes well, so they are safe to use. Throw out unsafe food. When a banquet is completed properly: • Food that can be saved or re-used should be labeled, wrapped, and stored in the proper areas • The kitchen should be usable by the next crew working • Racks, carts, trays, and other equipment should be put in their proper storage space • Trash cans emptied, and new liners installed
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

PERSONAL, PERSONEL, AND STAFFING PHILOSOPHY AND APPROACH
A strong banquet team always defines the success of a single banquet or conference. The work can be stressful, is demanding and detail oriented. The work ethic, comradery, and professionalism with which the catering staff is critical
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
The traits of successful banquet teams include: • Each individual team member’s inherit desire to work hard • Each individual team member’s inherit desire to serve others • Everyone’s understanding of the event, and their specific primary and support roles • Each individual team member’s ability to set personal life issues aside during the work day • The ability to communicate thoroughly, and frequently • Team members’ ability to depend on one another • Each team member’s understanding at each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and accommodating them
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

Teams are often made up of a variety of experiences:
Those who are experienced (often the Banquet Captain) ________________________________
Those who are specialists (often kitchen lead) ________________________________________
Those who are new (who need to be properly taught) __________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
It is rare that a banquet team is made up of all experienced leaders
______________________________________________________________________________
33/33/33 Rule
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
Tips, rules, and expectations: • Always be early. Never be late • Keep well kept. Clean uniform. Pleasant poise • Work in an always-timely manner, and avoid always-rushed scenarios • Do not use a cell phone at anytime working unless you are contacting the person for the office that booked the event or 911, or you are on a time-defined break and away from banquet, kitchen, or staging areas. • Work hard… exceptionally hard… despite how you feel others are working • Be forgiving. This is hard, often stressful work • Communicate with coworkers constantly • Always be moving, even during slow times. Idleness stops progress • Kitchen staff… stay organized and ahead • Banquet staff… be intuitive • Only eat in a designated area for meal consumption. Don’t eat from the buffet line. • Keep a damp, clean towel on your person always • Genuinely care… for the client, for the company, for your co-workers, and for yourself • The assigned PIC is 100% in charge all the time… and the burden is heavy
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

Being the assigned Banquet Captain carries a responsibility. The Banquet Captain is responsible for the successful execution of the banquet/conference from proper prep and loading to return back to the shop including: • The primary contact between the client and the banquet crew • Is responsible for all timelines being met • Is responsible for building comradery, and setting expectations, and communication • Is responsible for the quality of the banquet setups, and organization of the kitchen and staging areas • The communication liaison between the banquet crew and the company contact • Arranging car pooling and ride sharing if needed
______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________

WE ARE A TEAM!
WE WORK TOGETHER… ALWAYS!

Copyright © 2020 Tasty Time Enterprises