Function cateringFunction catering refers to service of special functions for specific groups for people at an assigned time, the food, beverages, and other facilities offered being predetermined. Function catering may vary in its size and importance depending on the type of function and the number of people expected for it. it includes anything from a simple snack service to a estate banquet and from a small birthday party to a grand trade exhibition. The functions may be organized either within the premises of the hotel or outside, according to the host's wish.
The term 'banquet' means formal meal with toast and short speeches.
However, in the hotel industry, it refers to all kinds of function catering.
Banquet department, one of the departments under the umbrella of food and beverage department, is responsible for organizing function catering under the direction and control of banquet manager. The function is organized within the banquet hall, the size of which varies from hotel to hotel. Some hotels may have more than one hall of different sizes to hold the function of different group sizes or one large hall, the size of which can be adjusted with temporary partitions to accommodate parties of various sizes. In a smaller establishment, the functions are organized by the hotel manager or restaurant manager in the separate area set aside for this purpose. There are also stand-alone convention centers, trade centers, marriage halls, etc. which can be hired out and the services of catering professionals may be availed to conduct the function.
Banquet department of the hotel is one of the major revenue-producing departments. It concentrates on selling all the hotel facilities to the potential guests. Earlier, the banquet business in the hotel was seasonal but today it is round the year business producing more revenues with substantial profit percentage.
The largest banquet
•Hosted by Emile Loubet the famous mayor’s banquet. 25th September 1900 22,295 mayors attended the function, entertained at Tuileres garden in Paris waiters covered a distance of 7 km on bicycle.
Staff Duties And ResponsibilityBanquet Manager :
(a) Banquet Manager is responsible for approving all the booking after fixing up the rates.
(b) He is in charge in deciding upon discounts and additional services.
(c) He supervises function in terms of secting arrangement buffet arrangement and there is PR as well.
(d) He is also responsible to maintain a checklist before letting out function hall to the guest.
(e) He should be a person with list of detail because for certain special occasions he has to make suggestion and create the ambience.
(f) He is also responsible, to co-ordinate with the House-keeping, Maintenance, Accounts, Front Office and Kitchen.
(g) He along with the chef are responsible for checking the quality of the food and make change in the menu for dishes which do not sell.
(h) He is also responsible for regroupment and training of staff.
Banquet Sales executive
(a) He/she is responsible in getting all the business for the hotel.
(b) He/she follows upon arrangements fixed up of menu writing of function prospectus. Making the contact showing the guest the hall and also maketing for the hotel.
(c) He/she is also the guidance of a manager co-ordinates in Front office, Kitchen, maintenance and account fro the necessary requirement.
(d) He/she is responsible for maintaining out going and incoming mails, banquet dairy, FP Board to read comments and suggestion book and all the files.
Maitre d’hotel :
a) He is responsible for operation as he decides upon the buffet arrangement seating arrangement, car arrangement, lighting, sound and any other, extra arrangement to be hired.
b) He co-ordinates with the Kitchen stewarding and the House keeping fro cutlery, crockery, glassware and linen respectively.
c) He is incharge of Hiring casual and distribute their wages.
d) He is responsible for bill settlement.
e) He approves the food before serving the guest
f) He should have a thorough knowledge of room specification, food and wine combination, decoration.
Max, capacity and Menu knowledge.
Dispense Bar Staff :
If they are member of the permanent banqueting staff, they are responsible for the allocation of bar stock for various function, setting up of bar, the organization of the bar staff, control of bar staff during service.
Type of functionBusiness organizations, clubs, family, and friends organize functions for various occasions. Due to non-availability of place to hold the function and time to pay attention to the detail, most of them depend on a third party to organize the function according to their needs. This is where the banquet department of a hotel comes to their rescue by conducting the function.
1. Formal function
In this type of function, certain procedures, such as seating the host, chief guest, guest of honour, and the invitees, serving the food and beverages are decided by the host. This should be strictly followed during the function. Formal functions always include speeches at a specified time winch at the end of the meal just before the service of coffee. Dress code for the invitees may be insisted upon. Controlled behavior of the guests prevails in the formal function catering.
2. Informal Function
In an informal function, no formalities and procedures are followed on seating, serving, and the dress codes. The service is indiscriminate of sex and rank. These functions normally include entertainment. One can witness casual behavior of the guests in the informal functions. More of normal functions are organized in the present days. For example, birthday parties, cocktail parties, wedding anniversaries, club members meets, alumni meets, etc.
Functions can be further grouped into the following types according to their purpose.
(both formal and informal banquets are discussed separately)