How to Become a Banquet Manager: Education and Career Roadmap

Aug 09, 2018

Learn how to become a banquet manager. Explore the job description and the education requirements, and find out how to start a career in food service management.

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  • 0:03 Banquet Managers
  • 0:43 Career Skills & Info
  • 1:15 Step 1: Education & Training
  • 3:01 Step 2: Experience
  • 3:26 Step 3: Certification

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Banquet Managers

Banquet managers direct and oversee events in restaurants, hotels or resorts, convention halls, country clubs, or similar sites. Generally, banquet managers plan events with clients, oversee employee hiring and training processes, maintain inventory, and comply with food safety regulations and laws.

The field is a fast-paced one, but banquet managers get to flex their leadership skills by overseeing a variety of workers. They may need to work irregular hours, including weekends and nights. These professionals need great people skills, particularly when dealing with dissatisfied customers.

Career Skills & Info

Banquet managers need excellent customer service, communication, leadership and management skills, along with critical-thinking and reasoning abilities. They should also be able to meet deadlines and multitask. A familiarity with accounting, analytical, database, inventory management, and point-of-sale software, as well as cash registers and laser printers, is also important. As of October 2016, the median annual salary for a banquet manager was $43,800.

Degree Level No degree required, but a certificate or associate or bachelor's degree could advance opportunities
Degree Field Hospitality management, food service management or related field
Certification Certification is available, but not required
Experience 2-3 years of experience in the field; some training programs include practical hands-on coursework, allowing potential managers to gain experience prior to entering the field
Key Skills Excellent customer service and communication skills; leadership and management skills; critical-thinking and reasoning abilities; ability to meet deadlines and multitask; familiarity with accounting, analytical, database, inventory management and point-of-sale software, as well as cash registers, laser printers and PDAs; ability to work unconventional hours
Salary $43,800 per year (Median salary from October 2016 for banquet managers)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*Net OnLine, job postings

Step 1: Education & Training

Aspiring banquet managers can earn a bachelor's degree in food service management or hospitality management. Other training programs result in an associate degree or certificate. These types of programs can be found at community and technical colleges.

A 2-year or 4-year degree program usually combines general education with core courses in hospitality and food service management, while certificate programs focus solely on core courses. Many programs include the opportunity to complete cooperative learning experiences or internships. Some programs are structured to award or qualify students for various industry certifications. Courses generally cover business and technical topics in the hospitality field, such as marketing, research, revenues, expenses, financial analysis and law. Electives can include topics in resort development and operations, convention services, human resources management and ethics.

Success Tips:

  • Develop excellent people skills. A banquet manager deals with a variety of people, including customers and workers. He or she often has to address sensitive topics, like customer satisfaction and employee performance. Taking courses in human resources, communications or public speaking can improve customer service and employee relations skills, potentially making a candidate more attractive to potential employers.
  • Develop familiarity with commonly used programs and systems. Hospitality and food service management positions require the use of computer systems and software programs. Growing comfortable with technology typically used in the field might be a good way to gain an advantage in the job market.

Step 2: Experience

Employers seeking banquet managers might require an applicant to have around 2-3 years of related work experience. In addition, an individual seeking voluntary certification needs to have around 2-3 years of industry experience as a supervisor or manager. In general, possessing more work experience is beneficial to an aspiring banquet manager's employment prospects.

Step 3: Certification

Earning voluntary certification can distinguish a candidate in the job market and sometimes lead to promotion opportunities. The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation is a nonprofit organization offering voluntary certifications for food service workers, including food service managers. The certification process entails meeting minimum education and/or work experience requirements, which can qualify an individual to sit for the certification exam.

Let's review. A certificate or a degree in food service management or hospitality management, along with a voluntary certification, may help you qualify for a job as a banquet manager, after which you may earn a median annual salary of $43,800.

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