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Banquet Server Duties and Responsibilities
Specific job duties for banquet servers vary based on their employer. However, there are several core tasks common to all banquet servers, such as:
Interact with Guests Banquet servers greet guests as they arrive. Providing strong customer service, they check on guests and ensure customer satisfaction. They listen to comments or complaints and respond accordingly.
Set up Banquet Area Placing tables and chairs, putting up decorations, and preparing serving stations, banquet servers ensure the event is properly set up for guests. They anticipate guests' needs as they arrange the event area.
Serve Food and Beverages During the event, banquet servers serve food and beverages, taking orders and offering dishes to guests, making sure that there is enough food for everyone.
Bus Dishes Banquet servers collect used dishes and utensils from tables and return them to the dishwashing area. They make sure that all dishes and utensils are clean before use.
Maintain Cleanliness In addition to maintaining cleanliness and sanitation in serving food, banquet servers ensure the area is clean and tidy. They clean up messes and spills during the event, wiping surfaces to keep the area presentable.
Banquet Server Skills and QualificationsBeing a banquet server requires a high level of professionalism. Banquet servers are personable, offering great customer service to their guests. Employers usually look for candidates who have one to two years of experience working in server positions. In addition, employers look for the following skills and qualifications:
- Communication skills - to engage with guests and to work collaboratively with team members and managers
- Physical dexterity - Banquet servers work on their feet for the majority of their shift, lifting and carrying heavy trays, bending, pulling, stooping, or pushing
- Knowledge of food equipment - banquet servers occasionally operate machinery, such as mixers, food processors, food cutters, blenders, coffee machines, and meat slicers.
- Multitasking skills - working in a fast-paced environment, banquet servers are comfortable switching between tasks and working quickly to attend to different needs while maintaining poise
- Professionalism - maintaining a high level of professionalism, banquet servers have an eye for presentation, making sure the tables are set and all uniforms are clean and presentable
Banquet Server Education and TrainingAlthough there are no educational requirements to be a banquet server, many employers prefer at least a high school education or GED. Banquet servers receive on-the-job-training to learn the specific processes and procedures of their company. Some employers may have handbooks and guides for procedures. Depending on state laws, employers might also require a food handler’s certificate.
Banquet Server Salary and OutlookThe average annual salary for banquet servers, categorized by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as "food and beverage serving and related workers," is $19,000, or $9 an hour. The lowest ten percent of banquet servers earn less than $8 an hour, while the highest-paid ten percent make over $12 an hour. In addition to hourly wages, banquet servers also receive tips. Employment for food server jobs is expected to grow 14 percent in the next 10 years. This growth is faster than the national average for all occupations. As people continue dining out, there will be a larger demand for workers, such as servers, in the food industry.
Are you interested in becoming a banquet server? If you would like to learn more about this job, here are some helpful resources to get you started:
Tips for Banquet Servers - This article contains helpful information on what it's like to work as a banquet server. These tips include: keeping tables clean, focusing on presentation, and preparing for heavy lifting.
The Restaurant Managers' and Waiters' Guide Book - Written by James Caldwell, this book contains advice for keeping customers happy. Providing great customer service is the top priority for banquet servers. This book offers practical tips for navigating tricky customer service situations, making customers satisfied, and staying upbeat while on the job.
The Food Service Blog - This blog contains a wealth of advice from industry experts in food service. Topics covered range from marketing and business plans to customer needs and menu development.
Remarkable Service - This book, written by the Culinary Institute of America, is a comprehensive guide to restaurant service techniques and principles. It contains real-world scenarios to help servers practice their customer service skills and navigate a variety of situations that food service professionals face.
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