Because it saves them time from training new hires, most employers typically hire banquet servers who already have previous experience in the food service industry. But even if you are entirely a newbie, you can get ahead of the game and secure a job. All you need is the ability to learn the ins and outs of being a banquet server. To start, here is a list of the things you need to do to become a banquet server.
- Know the duties. As a banquet server, you are responsible for many things. Before the banquet, you need to set up the table and make sure everything is ready for the event. When the banquet finally begins, which is the most stressful and busiest part of the work, you serve meals to guests, pour water and wine into their goblets, replace utensils, and refill condiments and bread baskets, among other things. You also provide assistance to guests like getting their coats for them and leading them to the restroom. When the banquet ends, you have to clear the tables by removing the table cloths and decorations. Unlike the wait staff, banquet servers attend different tables at any one time and rely on team effort for the successful completion of the job.
- Learn how to set up a table. Table setting is one of the critical aspects of banquet serving, and you have to master it as a potential banquet server. You have to know where to position the plate, forks, spoons, knife, water glass, wine goblet, and table napkin. Keep in mind, though, that table setting usually varies according to the meal type. To know more about the different ways to set up a table, consider browsing books and magazines. You can also try to research online.
- Master serving etiquette. It is important to know when to collect finished plates, when to serve new meals, what to do when the water accidentally spills, and how to politely refuse giving liquor to a minor guest. Knowing the etiquette will keep you from infuriating a guest and save you from reprimands from your boss.
- Practice good hygiene. Because you are in the food service industry, you are expected to be well-groomed and clean-looking. Press your uniform, style your hair appropriately, trim your nails, wear a nice perfume, gargle mouthwash, and wash your hands often.
- Develop endurance. Although banquets typically last for not more than five hours, you will be physically drained out after the event. Remember that banquet serving is foremost a physical job. You have to go here and there, carry large trays around, spend the entire time mostly standing and walking, and rush to meet the guests’ demands. So remember to be physically prepared for the job. Also, learn to stretch your patience. Most times you will have to deal with crabby, problematic, and drunk guests.
It is also important to display a sunny attitude when banquet serving. You are not supposed to show the guests you are dead-tired. So smile a lot. Be respectful when talking to them. Lead and assist the elders. And be well-mannered when dealing with bratty kids.