Do you know as much about what goes into the food as you do about serving? Can you manage menu planning and food presentation? Do you understand how purchasing supplies and equipment affects a food-service organization’s bottom line? If you’re a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to the restaurant business, a banquet manager position might what your career appetite.
Hundreds of thousands of people work handling the day-to-day banquet business for hotels, catering firms and restaurants, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and restaurants are increasingly trying to find ways to bolster revenue through banquet sales, according to the National Restaurant Association.
Faith Jannetta of the Technology Center of Dupage, a program in Addison, Illinois, teaches high school juniors and seniors about the restaurant industry. Jannetta says her students don’t move right into a high-level position such as banquet manager upon graduation. That takes training and moving up through the ranks, she says. Many of her pupils go on to culinary degree programs prior to working in the industry. The combination of a degree and real-world experience is essential for management-level employment, according to many companies searching for the perfect banquet manager.
Institutional food-service companies and restaurant chains recruit management candidates with degrees from two- and four-year colleges with hospitality management programs, which include internships and on-the-job training to graduate, according to the BLS.
Grace Under Pressure
Candidates are expected to manage gracefully in high-profile, high-pressure positions. After all, clients expect their functions to go off without a hitch. Many banquet managers report directly to the owner or food and beverage director.Working with other departments such as housekeeping, food and beverage management and catering, banquet managers are expected to collaborate to make an event successful and increase sales. For example, the catering sales department at the Chicago Downtown Marriott funnels important information, like menu additions or head-count changes, to its banquet business leader.
Beyond experience with dining room responsibilities and coordinating events, companies are looking for candidates who can manage budgets, and sell and promote events, such as member dinners in the case of a country club. They also want someone who can communicate effectively.A manager’s role is crucial in any business. In food service, handling large events and gatherings is increasingly important for operators. With that pressure, it’s no wonder that companies looking to fill banquet manager positions expect detail-oriented leaders who can keep their cool and the event running smoothly even in fast-paced, pressure-cooker situations.
Considering the job’s demands, it helps any banquet manager to have a staff that will stand behind him. Follow these tips:
-Help your staff members find their goals within the organization and ensure their commitment to these goals.
-Keep demonstrating to your staff how their jobs and the banquet department contribute to the overall corporate goals.
-Be a strong leader by projecting optimism and confidence.
-Build commitment by supporting success.
-As a manager, you must be comfortable knowing you have a measure of control over another person’s life. If you are a fair leader, your staff will accept it.