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Banquet Server Job Duties

In celebration of a graduation, wedding or company achievement, banquets often mark the occasion. Each banquet requires a customized setup and food service requirements. Some feature a formal, multicourse meal, while others treat guests to a buffet-style meal. Whether the event is formal or casual, banquet servers ensure that guests receive flawless service.

Event Setup

Before guests arrive, banquet servers organize the room and set the tables. Servers prepare tables with clean, ironed linens and centerpieces. They fold napkins in the chosen design and place one at each setting. Finally, banquet servers arrange each place setting with the right dishes, silverware, and wine and water glasses, ensuring that all items are clean and free from water spots and chips.

During the Banquet

Once guests arrive, servers help them find their seats and fill drink orders. Throughout the event, servers must keep water glasses full and fill special drink requests. When guests finish eating, banquet servers clear the tables of empty plates and dirty silverware.

During the Meal

When it is time to serve the meal, servers take entrees to the table and serve each plate to the correct guest in the correct order. In some cases, servers might serve in a specific direction around the table. At other occasions, they might be asked to serve women or special guests first. The banquet manager typically briefs servers on specific expectations for each banquet. Servers must be knowledgeable about each dish to answer questions from guests. If the banquet serves a buffet-style meal, banquet servers must monitor the buffet and refill trays as needed.

After the Event

When guests are gone, banquet servers clean up. This includes clearing dishes and stripping linens from the tables. In some cases, they might be asked to break down chairs and tables. In addition, banquet managers might ask servers to complete side work, such as filling salt and pepper shakers, wiping down serving trays or polishing silver.

Banquet Server Expectations

Banquet servers must be well-groomed and wear a clean and ironed uniform. Although the specific uniform might vary, in most cases, servers wear a white button-up shirt, black pants and shoes, and an apron. In addition to maintaining a professional appearance, servers must be friendly and courteous throughout the event. Attendees may approach the server with questions, requests or complaints, and the server must handle such interactions knowledgeably and professionally. In addition, banquet servers must communicate with kitchen staff and the banquet manager to ensure that the event runs smoothly, and that requests and complaints are handled well.



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