What is Formal Banquet and Informal Banquet with Examples

The term “Banquet” refers to the service of special functions for specific groups of people at an assigned time, with the food and beverages and other facilities offered being predetermined.

The word Banquet is taken from the French word “Baunc” which means Bench. According to Indian connotation, it is “Dawat or Wazwan“.

Here are a few types of banquet providers, such as Caterers, Hotels, and Banquet halls.

There are many ways to dine outside the home like Restaurants, Cafeterias, Fast food chains, Concession stands at ballparks, and even Gas station food stops.

What is a Formal Banquet?

In a formal banquet, there are certain producers, such as seating the host, chief guest, guest of honor, and the invitees, and serving the food and beverages that are decided by the host. Here in this banquet, the normally four-course menu is offered which includes appetizer or soup, fish, main course, and sweets.

A formal banquet always includes speeches at a specified time which is mostly at the end of the meal. Controlled behavior of the guests prevails in the formal function catering.

Functions hosted by the head of the country or state, military, and formal wedding breakfasts are some examples of formal functions.

Following is the service procedure of the continental menu implemented during the formal banquet:

Aperitifs are served to the guests at the pre-function area and the invitees take a look at the seating plan pasted at the entrance of the hall.

The service of drinks lasts for half an hour and then the toastmaster strikes the gravel and announces in a clear voice, “Ladies and gentlemen, the dinner is served“.

The guests go into the dining hall and wait till the host and other guests at the top table take their seats. Bread and butter are placed before the arrival of the guests.

  • The supervisor signals and the waiters line up at the hot plate as previously briefed to the staff and take the food in a line.
  • The top table waiters serve the food first, and the other waiters serve at their stations once the service at the top table commenced.
  • Service staff leaves the room in a line after each course is served.
  • The other waiter holding a pile of clean half plates places the plate with the help of the cloth from the right-hand side for the fish course.
  • Collect the fish and serve from the left-hand side. Take the dish back after serving.
  • Collect the main course, potatoes, and vegetables.
  • One serves the main course, followed by the second with potatoes, and the third with the accompanying vegetables. Serve the accompanying sauce.
  • Clear the soiled plate as discussed along with the side plate.
  • Clear the soiled plate.
  • Serve the wine to all the guests for toast.
  • Toastmaster announces the chair’s permission to smoke.
  • Coffee is served from the right-hand side.

As soon as the top table’s plates are removed, the plates of other guests seated at the other tables should also be removed.

The waiters should not commence the service or clearance without the signal of the supervisor. Before giving the signal for clearance, the supervisor ensures all have consumed the meal.

What is an Informal Banquet

An Informal banquet is a place where all the informal functions are organized, such as Birthday Parties, Cocktail parties, Wedding anniversaries, Club member meets, Alumni meets, and so on.

In this banquet service, no formalities, and procedures are followed regarding seating, serving, and the dress code. These banquet functions normally consist of entertainment. One can witness the casual behavior of guests in informal functions.

The types or examples of Informal banquet functions are:

1. Social Function

The purpose is to meet people, make new friends, entertain oneself, and build relationships. Such as Cocktail parties, Wedding anniversaries, Birthday parties, Wedding receptions, Dining and Dance parties, etc.

2. Conferences

The purpose of this type of function is to share knowledge and expertise and to discuss matters of concern. Such as Political conferences, Trade union conferences, International and National conferences, etc.

3. Public Relations

These are organized by the business houses in order to make the consumers aware of their presence and to establish relationships with them.


Banqueting is the term used to describe the service of special functions in an establishment, which is separated from the normal dining or service area found in the various restaurants in the hotels.

Functions take place within banquet rooms and are under the supervision and responsibilities of the F&B department and its head, the overall responsibility though has the Banquet Manager or Assistant Manager. The Banquet manager has administrative control of all functions.

Banquets can be very profitable. Successful banquets have an impact on the property’s community relations and can influence the number of rooms it sells to corporate accounts.

Beverage service can have a significant impact on the department’s profit. Production forecasting and planning are relatively easy in serving a pre-established number of guests.

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Dipayan Mondal
Dipayan Mondal

Dipayan is the author of this blog. He completed his hotel management degree from GNIHM, Kolkata. And he is very passionate about the hospitality industry. And right now, he is working as a successful hotelier in India.