Catering and Banquet Operations: Coursework Overview

Essential Information

Catering and banquet operations courses are available through certificate, associate's degree and bachelor's degree programs in culinary or hospitality management, tourism or culinary arts. Most programs require coursework in communications, hospitality law and marketing. Along with classroom work, internships in the food service industry are generally required so that students can practice the planning and implementing of a catering function.

Here are some major concepts covered in catering and banquet operations courses:

  • Customer service basics
  • History of the hospitality industry
  • Menu planning
  • Recipe scaling
  • Food safety

List of Courses

Hospitality Management Course

This course introduces history and trends in the hospitality industry. Topics such as customer service, organizational structures and cultural styles are explained, and career opportunities within the hospitality industry might be reviewed. Advanced courses might cover resort management, front office operations and facilities management.

Culinary Arts Course

This class teaches food preparation skills and techniques. Students learn to prepare soups and sauces, entrées and desserts in large commercial kitchen settings. Kitchen tools and design, menu development and management of service and culinary personnel are introduced and practiced. Dining room and banquet operations, service standards and sales promotion also might be covered.

Catering and Garde Manger Course

Garde manger courses cover the preparation and presentation of foods, generally for catering and banquet events. Preparation of aspics, terrines, hors d'oeuvres and mousses is taught and practiced. Students learn about buffet timing and layout, table arrangement, menu planning and use of non-edible food displays, such as ice sculptures. Management aspects including staffing, licensing and equipment needs, as well as pricing and marketing, also might be covered.

Food and Beverage Sales and Service Course

This course examines various aspects of food and beverage service operations. Specific catering and banquet operations topics include pricing strategies, menu design, public food preferences and scaling of recipes. This course also covers dining room management, wine types and service, wait service techniques and cost control.

Food Service and Sanitation Course

This required course covers fundamentals of safe and sanitary food service. Federal, state and local requirements are explained, along with proper procedures for food purchase, storage, preparation and re-heating. This course could prepare students to take licensing exams or fulfill licensing requirements.

Accounting Course

Basic concepts of accounting, including bookkeeping, the accounting cycle and the production of financial reports, are covered in this course. Use and analysis of accounting reports are explored as they relate to service businesses. Students are taught to use accounting data to make informed decisions and keep track of costs associated with doing business.

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