The catering profession as we know in the twenty-first century has a long and intriguing history, the beginnings of which are found in the ancient civilizations. The Egyptian nobility filled their tombs with foodstuffs and cookware to supply them in the next world, simultaneously covering the walls with murals designed to record food preparation styles and table settings.
From the records and art of the Greeks and Romans come depictions of banqueting scenes filled with food presentations, table customs, decorative arts, and recipes detailing a range of foodstuffs startling in its variety.
Recently, food and beverage segment represent a huge and vital part of the hospitality and tourism industry. Along with lodging, banquets play important role in contributing revenue. Food and beverage sales such as banquets become an important source of revenue and contribute almost equally to room hotel revenues as room sales.
As the business grows rapidly, many details go into managing banquet. Service, therefore, can comprise anything from grand function and conference to the booking of a folk-dance group that will entertain guests. In this assignment, all information regarding banquet will be discussed further:
- What is Banquet?
- How many types of banquet are there? What are the terms/names for each type of the banquet?
- Define each term/name for each type of banquet.
- Explain in detail all types of banquet available.
- Advantages and disadvantages of the types of banquet available.
- Example/Sample of each types of banquet.
A function or banquet is an organized event in the broadest sense, at which all guests eat the same meal at the same time. A banquet is also defined as a food and beverage service at a specific time and place, to a given number of people, to an agreed menu and price. Common types of functions include private family functions; business or corporate functions; and community, group, and association functions.
Banqueting is a business of selling space to hold functions. Banquets require large halls with attached kitchens to provide quantity foods and a banquet brigade who are skilled in the art of handling large group of people. Banquets halls are found in medium to large hotels, where banquets business is part of an overall revenue strategy.
The term banquet service applies to the service of large groups – all of whom should be served at the same time. This involves serving in a similar way to table service with the waiting staff watching for the head waiter to give the go-ahead to proceed with the service or clearing of each course. Banquets service is usually offered in hotels, resorts, country clubs, casinos, and restaurants.
In hotels, banquets are typically offered in a separate (function) room rather than in an a la carte dining room but restaurants do not typically have separate banquet facilities (although some do). Instead, they may specify an area of an a la carte dining room or, perhaps, have a separate small room to use for groups ordering from an a la carte menu or attending a sponsored banquet event. Generally, the banquet services are of two types- sit-down and buffet with formal, semi-formal and informal styles of service.
In formal styles, all degrees of formalities and protocols are maintained and therefore elaborate arrangements are required to be made. This should be strictly followed during the function. The service requires more planning, detailed preparation, and elaborate tableware than any of the other styles. Ensuring every detail set out is essential to make the atmosphere as formal, spic and span and welcoming as possible. Starting from the décor to furniture selection, its arrangement in the space, uniforms of servers, order of meals served, presentation of both meals and staff in a well communicated yet silent atmosphere.
Semi-formal style is slightly different when a part of the function is formal whereas the rest can be informal in its own sense. The function is conducted on formal lines followed by a get together dinner or lunch which is informal. This style is used more often than formal. The preparation and service of this style are not as elaborate as the formal style and require less time, facilities and personnel. The individual place settings are almost similar to those used for the informal style. Few centre items are used other than salt and pepper shakers, sugar bowls, and creamers. The method of serving meal items are distinguishes semi-formal from informal styles.
As for informal style of service, there is no set plan of seating to be followed. Apart from this, no formality is expected from the guest side in terms of maintaining the protocols. The style is set in a more casual environment, in a room or hall with fixed counters where guests choose what they want and help themselves partly or wholly, or they may be served by a waiter on table arrangements. Every arrangement provides on aura informality, a little personal touch, and an assurance of freshly prepared quality food. The functions normally include entertainment.