If you aspire to work in the food services industry, but prefer a job that is more elite in nature, perhaps a career as a banquet manager is right for you. Like a food services manager or restaurant manager, you would be dealing with a culinary environment. But a banquet manager’s environment tends to be more elaborate or elite, due to the nature of their job.
The requirements of a banquet manager are that someone be skilled in the culinary arts and have a good background in food services, as well as a strong desire and ability to help others and give them a pleasing experience.
They often serve at famous or prestigious events so it is imperative that the service be "near perfect." Also, since a banquet manager usually serves in some of the more elite restaurants, hotels, or other environments, it is very important that they have a great deal of grace and style as well.
Some banquet managers obtain jobs in Washington, D.C., serving some of the most prominent dignitaries of our time, including well-known politicians, or the President of the United States!
The typical education path for a banquet manager would include a degree in food services or one of the hospitality fields, as well as the culinary arts. They should get a degree or certificate from an accredited school in one or all of these areas to give themselves the best edge.
To become a banquet manager, follow these steps to obtain a career in this interesting field:
1) Get a degree in food services. The best background you could obtain to prepare for a career as a banquet manager is an emphasis in the service of food to lots of people in different contexts. Start with a degree in food services and take some courses in a hospitality field, which will help you prepare in dealing with various types of people.
2) Gain experience in food preparation. Work in different positions in a restaurant which will give you the best background needed for a career as a banquet manager. The best types of jobs that will prepare you would be working as a master chef, kitchen manager, or work in a catering business.
3) Network with people in the banquet service business. Talk to people who work in the banquet business by networking via social media or through people you already know. The more you connect to people in the business, the more likely it is that you will be presented with opportunities.
4) Build a portfolio or list of places you have worked and list the places you have catered for, if any. Being a banquet manager means you are in charge of a great number of place sittings, tables, food, and staff. This requires a great deal of organization on your part, as well as stamina and energy. As you gain experience, keep a list of places you have served to show potential employers.
5) Put in applications with large events. Find out where there are going to be large gatherings of people that need food service and offer to help serve them. This will get your name out as a food services expert and may later lead to opportunities where you can serve in the capacity of banquet manager later on.
6) Serve at weddings and special events. One of the environments in which banquet manager skills are needed is at a large wedding. There is the cake to consider, large amounts of punch to be served, and many other details to consider. If you know someone getting married in the near future, offer to cater their wedding or serve as the wedding planner. This will look good in a portfolio as you aspire to become a banquet manager.
A banquet manager is a master at organization and planning. They must often juggle many tasks at one time, and often work under stressful and time-based situations. But, if you want a more elite environment in which to utilize your food service skills, and think you have what it takes, life as a banquet manager can be a thrilling career. If you are ambitious and determined, you may arrange a dinner for a famous politician or the wedding of a movie star! Best of luck to you in your career!