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Banquet Operations Career Options and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to have a career in banquet operations. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and prospects to find out if this is the career for you.

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Banquet operations involves the work of a variety of food preparers and managers. This article takes a closer look at such jobs as banquet servers, supervisors and operations managers. While none of these jobs require postsecondary education, it may be beneficial for some.

Essential Information

Careers in banquet operations focus on events that are held for groups, which involve the serving and preparation of food. These operations careers include interaction with a crew of people tasked with providing a smooth event. Education requirements vary per employer and experience plays a large role in the process of gaining employment.

Required Education High school diploma or GED
Other Requirements Certificate or associate's degree in banquets and catering helpful
Projected Job Growth 5% from 2014-2024 for food service managers*
Median Salary (2015) $48,690 annually for food service managers*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Banquet Operations Career Options

Banquet Server

Individuals who do the job of banquet server will deliver or dish up the prepared food to groups. They also can be involved in cleaning up, then taking down tables and equipment after an event finishes. These are the most entry-level positions available that can still lead to other opportunities in banquet operations. Servers gain valuable industry experience, which can set the foundation for moving into other banquet positions.

Banquet Captain or Supervisor

Banquet captains or supervisors must set up tables and chairs as well as coordinate, schedule and supervise the staff for banquets. They assist in preparing the banquet location for the event and help oversee staff while the banquet is taking place. These positions may report to the banquet manager. Generally, 1-3 years of experience is necessary to gain these positions.

Banquet Operations Manager

The duties of a manager of banquet operations can include leading a staff, working with group sales and setting up the menu and venue for banquet events. These positions generally require anywhere from 2-5 years of previous banquet experience.

Director of Banquet Operations

A director often oversees the entire planning and management of events for employers such as event companies or hotel chains. The director is responsible for everything from inventory, sales and staffing to party planning, product quality and event auditing. Most director-level positions require applicants to have a few years of supervisory-level experience or higher.

Other culinary arts positions - such as chefs and food preparers - can also lead to banquet operations career opportunities, depending on experience and education.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that food preparation workers were projected to see a 6% increase in job opportunities from 2014 to 2024, while the career outlook for food service managers was expected to increase just 5% over the same time. As of May 2015, food preparation workers had median incomes of $20,180, and individuals working within the larger category of food preparation workers and serving related occupations, such as cooks and servers, made median wages of $19,580. During the same time, food service managers earned a median salary of $48,690, per the bureau.

Banquet Operations Education Requirements

Many careers in banquet operations do not require any education beyond high school. Still, there are a number of education options that those looking to enter banquet operations careers can consider in order to learn about the industry.

There are also education options that can potentially open up opportunities for those looking to quickly advance their career in banquet operations. Formal training can also prove to be an advantage in qualifying for a broader range of positions. Therefore, those looking to enter banquet operations careers may want to consider earning one of the following credentials:

Certificate of Culinary Arts in Banquets and Catering

These 1-year certificate programs provide students with the chance to learn in a food court and restaurant environment. Completed coursework can often be applied towards an associate's degree program as well. Common courses include:

  • Management techniques
  • Culinary arts
  • Banquets and catering

Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Management

These are 2-year degree programs geared towards those entering banquet operations careers, among other possibilities. Common courses include:

  • Food preparation
  • Supervisory management
  • Industry marketing

Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Administration

A 4-year degree program can include internship opportunities that provide hands-on learning in a restaurant or banquet environment. Common courses include:

  • Banquet operations
  • Food and beverage management
  • Special events
  • Marketing and revenue

Jobs related to banquet operations, such as banquet servers, supervisors and managers, can expect a growth in the number of available positions comparable to the national average. For management positions especially, having postsecondary education, such as a bachelor's degree in hospitality, can help graduates secure more desirable positions. However, a high school diploma or GED will meet minimum education requirements for many banquet operations jobs.

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