Get Ready for Banquet Season: A Guide for Restaurant and Event Space Operators

As the holiday season approaches, restaurants and event spaces experience a surge in bookings for parties, corporate gatherings, and festive celebrations. With the increased demand comes an opportunity to shine and make a lasting impression on guests. Here’s a guide put together by us at Cayard’s Foodservice Equipment & Supplies to help you prepare for the holiday banquet season, ensuring your venue is at its best.  As always, if you have any questions, please reach out – we would love to help ensure your Banquet Season is a success.

Assess Your Space and Capacity

Before diving into the details, review the physical space of your establishment:

Seating Arrangements: Do you have enough tables and chairs? Consider flexible seating that can be rearranged for both smaller intimate groups and larger parties.

Decor: Update decorations to give your space a festive touch. This can include lighting, centerpieces, wall hangings, and more. Ensure that the décor is consistent with the holiday theme, yet subtle enough not to overpower the ambiance.

Upgrade Your Kitchen Equipment

The kitchen is the backbone of any dining establishment. Ensure it’s ready for the rush:

Ovens and Ranges: Check if your ovens can handle the increase in volume. Consider investing in commercial-grade equipment if necessary.

Refrigeration: Stock up on fresh produce, meats, and other perishables. Ensure you have enough refrigeration and freezer space.

Cookware and Utensils: Stock up on additional pots, pans, and utensils to accommodate simultaneous meal preparations.

Holding Equipment: Banquets mean serving up many all at the same time.  Be sure you are prepared with enough holding capacity to serve your largest parties at once.

Fine-tune Your Menu

While your regular menu might be a hit, the holiday season calls for special items:

Festive Dishes: Introduce holiday-themed dishes and drinks. Research traditional dishes from various cultures to offer a diverse menu.

Tasting Sessions: Host tasting sessions for your staff so they can confidently describe and recommend dishes to guests.

Boost Your Beverage Service

Whether it’s champagne toasts or warm winter cocktails, beverages play a crucial role:

Glassware: Ensure you have a variety of glassware suitable for different beverages, from wine glasses to cocktail tumblers.

 Bar Equipment: Stock up on cocktail shakers, stirrers, and other bar equipment. If you’re expecting a significant crowd, consider setting up multiple beverage stations.

Invest in Presentation Supplies

The presentation makes a world of difference:

Plates and Serving Trays: Invest in elegant plates and serving trays. Consider buffet-style service for large groups, requiring heated chafing dishes.

Table Linens: Refresh your tablecloths, napkins, and other linens. They should be crisp, clean, and in line with your venue’s theme.

Plan for Entertainment

Some events might require additional entertainment:

Sound System: Ensure your audio equipment is in top shape. This includes microphones, speakers, and mixing consoles.

Live Entertainment: If you plan to host live bands or DJs, make sure you have a designated space and the necessary equipment.

Train Your Staff

Your team should be well-prepared for the holiday rush:

Refresher Training: Organize sessions to remind staff about best practices and customer service.

Hire Temporary Staff: Depending on your bookings, consider hiring temporary staff to help during peak times.

Manage Bookings Efficiently

Organized bookings lead to smoother operations:

Booking System: If you don’t have one, invest in a digital booking system. This will help keep track of reservations and ensure no double-bookings.

Deposits: For larger events, consider taking a deposit upfront to secure the reservation.

Preparing for the holiday banquet season is a mix of proactive planning, investment in equipment and supplies, and impeccable service. We here at Cayard’s Foodservice Equipment & Supplies are help in any way we can, so please stop by, give us a call or shoot us an email anytime.  Ensure that every aspect of your venue, from the kitchen to the dining area, is geared up for success. Remember, the holiday season is not just about increasing sales; it’s about creating memorable experiences that will bring guests back throughout the year.