The term Banquet means a formal meal with toast and short speeches. However, in the hotel industry, it refers to all kinds of function catering.
The banquet department, one of the departments under the umbrella of the food and beverage department, is responsible for organizing function catering under the direction and control of the banquet manager.
Different Types of Banquet Setup
Following are the types of banquet table setups commonly used in function catering:
1. Banquet Round Table Setup
In this table plan, only round tables of various sizes are used. It is best suited for meal functions where the guests are required to sit and dine unlike in the standing buffet. Hotels use round tables of different sizes to accommodate the guests.
The smaller the round table used, the more the space required, as every addition of a table calls for more area for gangways. To avoid losing many areas in the gangway, it is better to go for round tables of larger dimensions.
These are the dimensions of round tables and their seating capacities that are commonly used:
- 60″ dia accommodates 6 to 8 guests
- 66″ dia accommodates 8 to 10 guests
- 72″ dia accommodates 10 to 12 guests
- Most banquet halls use tables of 72″
This plan is also suitable for discussions, brainstorming sessions, team building sessions, or for any sessions that call for close interaction with the members.
For effective utilization of space, we need to calculate the number of round tables that can be accommodated in a given area.
Let us assume that a potential client wants to host a dinner for 500 people on round table arrangements. We need to find out if the request of the client can be met or not by calculating the area required to accommodate 500 people.
2. Crescent Round Table Setup
In this type of plan, the guests are seated at one side of the round table to observe the preparation. The guests will be occupying half of the circumstance of the table which obviously means that this type of plan will be requiring double the area of round table arrangement.
The benchmark is 26 sq. ft. per person. To accommodate 500 people, the minimum area required is 13,000 sq. ft.
3. Round Table Classroom Style Setup
The seating arrangement in this style is similar to the classroom with tables to write and chairs. This type of plan is recommended for the workshop, seminars, lectures, etc. in which the participants are required to take hints or study the handouts.
Table of 6’or 8′ long and 18″ or 30″ wide is generally used. The chairs used maybe with armrest or without armrest. The benchmark calculation for this style of arrangement is 14 to 16 sq. ft. per person if 18″ wide tables are used and 16 to 18 sq. ft. 30″ wide tables are used.
4. Conference or Boardroom Style Setup
It is the plan with a rectangle table and chairs around. It is an effective banquet table setup style for small groups for discussion and presentation.
In this plan, guests sit around a rectangular table and observe the presentation and interact. The ideal plan for the board of directors meet, managers meet, etc. where top management is involved.
It suffers from some drawbacks. If the group is larger, this style of table plan may keep the participants too far apart for effective interaction or communication. The front would have to turn their chairs to see the screen or watch the speaker. The area allowance per person is 21 to 23 sq. ft.
5. Theatre or Auditorium Style Setup
Only chairs are used in this style of banquet setup. Chairs are arranged in rows, such as in theatre leaving adequate legroom between the rows of chairs. Most people can be accommodated in this plan. It is allowance per person is 8 to 9 sq. ft.
6. U-Shape/ Open-Ended Table Setup
This table plan is made by joining the tables to make a ‘U’ shape and the chairs are placed along the outer side of the table. It is suitable for intense meetings that require interaction. The presentation source is at the front of the U-shape or opened end.
The limitation in this style is that the participants can be spread too far for effective interaction in a large U-shaped plan. The area allowance for the ‘U’ shaped plan per person is 30 to 32 sq. ft.
7. Herringbone/ Fishbone Banquet Setup
This style is similar to classroom style with the tables and chairs arranged at a slight angle. The chairs may be placed on either one side or both sides of the tables.
This type of table arrangement is ideal for making better use of space in small rooms. The area allowance per person in this type of plan is difficult to ascertain because the angles of the setups vary. The area allowance, however, is less than the straight setups.
8. Star or Starfish Style Setup
In this banquet setup style, a table of irregular triangles, hexagon, oval, or any shaped table where one will not be able to identify the presenter is used.
This style is suitable for diplomatic, counseling, or sensitive discussions and brainstorming sessions, games, etc. where no one is treated as the head. It is difficult to calculate area allowance because this set-up is shaped oddly.
9. Hollow Square Conference Setup
This style is similar to the conference-style set-up but with a hollow interior. The table is arranged in the same way for board meetings. The limitations are similar to the conference-style setting. The area allowance per person is 21 to 23 sq. ft.
Banquet Buffet Setup
The hotel always offers different kinds of buffets. Each hotel/outlet category has a number of buffet setups to choose from according to the budget and selection of dishes.
Buffet must be set up according to the pre-established layouts. Efficient for both guest service and replenishment. Adequate lighting, with colors if required. Layout and decoration are attractive to the customer. Sufficient quantity of alternative heating fuel. And sufficient power points for connecting all the required electrical appliances.
The buffet should be 15 minutes before the starting time indicates on the BEO. If there is less than one-quarter of an inch of water in the liners of hot chafing dishes, use a pitcher of water to refill the liners.
Replace lid on serving dishes when guests are not in the buffet line. Restock dishes when there are fewer than ten dishes in a stack. Make sure each container has an appropriate serving utensil. Return serving utensils to the correct containers. Replace utensils that fall on the floor with clean utensils from the kitchen.
Banquet Bedroom Setup
In your home, the bedroom is without a doubt the most important. Even though it’s an area many of your guests may never actually see, it still deserves a great deal of attention.
It’s where reflect on the day, and even spend time reading a book, so it only makes sense for it to feature the right color palette and furnishings. It is the arrangement of the banquet set up in a hotel with the top table and the round tables.
The top table is meant for the host, chief guest, guest of honor, and other VIPs and the tables are for the other invitees. The length of the tabletop is calculated according to the number of people accommodated at the tabletop.
The round tables are not attached to the top table and there should be a gangway between the top table and the row of round tables for the waiters to go around and serve. All round tables must be positioned within the length of the top table.