Banquet Catering: Management & Trends

Instructor: Amber Dixon

Amber works with graduate students enrolled in a virtual program and has a Master's of Social Work degree.

This lesson will discuss banquet catering trends focused on meeting customer needs. It will also discuss management styles in the field of banquet catering.

Personalizing Banquet Catering

Formal sit down banquets are developing into events that are now engaging and specific to the individuals attending the event. An event may be a corporation holding an annual celebration for employees to reveal new goals and celebrate past successes achieved during the year. Many corporations are now hosting personalized and creative events that redesign what many of us think of when hearing about banquet catering. Banquet catering may involve appetizers or small plates, buffet-style meals or food on carts throughout the space for guests to enjoy as they wish.

Banquet Catering Trends

Events planners are commonly incorporating interactive environments to enhance guest engagement. This can be done by creating on-site food preparation at stations throughout the venue. This is a way to personalize food to the customer by providing cook-to-order options. Cook-to-order is food prepared when an individual places their order or modifies a meal to fit their taste. Another trend is having guests interact with the final touches of an entrée or side dish by assembling it themselves.

Let's look at an example. Carol and Dan were checking into a hotel when they were informed about the happy hour in the lobby offering do-it-yourself drinks. The hotel supplied already measured liquids and contents for guests to mix their own drinks to create one-of-a-kind combinations. That evening Carol and Dan enjoyed meeting other guests while creating specialty concoctions.

Later in the year, Carol and Dan returned to the same property for a family vacation over a holiday weekend. They participated in the nightly family-friendly dinner activities. The hotel offered a luau celebration the first evening, with a well-planned catering menu inspired by Hawaiian traditions. The final night of their stay they participated in a campfire-themed meal with each family member receiving supplies for cooking over an open fire. This allowed even their youngest family member to be involved. Their kids enjoyed the S'mores dessert the most. The evening dinner activities were a great fit for Carol and Dan's family and it was memorable for all.

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