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Taking over Banquets in a Hotel

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone,

 

I've been a Sous Chef now for three years, mainly focusing on the restaurant side of things. I do have banquet experience as a commis then Chef de Partie years ago, before I was CDP of the line for a couple years. The Exec Chef asked if I would take over Banquets, of course I said yes, but I'm looking for experienced Banquet Chefs (from hotels or resorts side of the industry) that would give me a bit of advice, guidance, etc, anything at all that you have all learned throughout the years to help me improve that area of the kitchen. I would really appreciate it!

 

Thank you in advance,

 

KG

Newfoundland, Canada

post #2 of 13

Count everything twice. :)

post #3 of 13

Go make good friends with your Stewart. Take special care of them, good meals, etc. If you are in a big house, it sucks to have everything a go and the dishes, dirty, cold, hot boxes not on etc. Just me.

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #4 of 13

From a kitchen standpoint I would offer that keeping the producion amounts as close to the guarantee ass possible with 1 1/2 % over just in case.

post #5 of 13

Read the BEOs very carefully.  Then read them again. Then have someone else read them and see if you both read the same thing.  Sit down with your F&B or whoever books for banquets and make sure you're on the same page.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
 

Read the BEOs very carefully.  Then read them again. Then have someone else read them and see if you both read the same thing.  Sit down with your F&B or whoever books for banquets and make sure you're on the same page.

.....And if they don't know what a BEO is..........run like hell.....

post #7 of 13
Make them sign changes to the BEO!

I concur count everything twice.

I routinely ask people to count me 400 pieces of broccoli ( 2 per is in my usual side cali mix lol) etc and they invariably take shortcuts, you WILL run out if you don't count it. Or you'll have a lot of cream o broc soup. I hate both.

Learn how to pull food. Turkey takes long to thaw lol. I hate worse than broccoli soup is protein thawing on a counter.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefboyOG View Post

Make them sign changes to the BEO!

I concur count everything twice.

I routinely ask people to count me 400 pieces of broccoli ( 2 per is in my usual side cali mix lol) etc and they invariably take shortcuts, you WILL run out if you don't count it. Or you'll have a lot of cream o broc soup. I hate both.

Learn how to pull food. Turkey takes long to thaw lol. I hate worse than broccoli soup is protein thawing on a counter.

Ahhhhhh memories.....Mine was red bliss potatoes for 400 people....poor souls did not want to count out 800 red potatoes plus 2% over.

Serving time comes and Chef is not happy........really 20 orders off?????

post #9 of 13

Ahhhh memories.

My Sous ( on loan to me for the week) radios to tell me we're ready to roll, belts going, plates, garnishes ready,my crew ready, FROZEN dessert  for the masses. I walk into the plate up room and I'm face to face with my Sous, tears in her eyes. She tells me she was directing and organizing the stewarts and they just WALKED OUT !  LEFT !  WTF !

 I asked what she had said to them? She screams NOTHING ! I WAS JUST GETTING THEM READY TO PLATE!. I asked, in Spanish? She says yes, and I just chuckled.

I radioed the Exec. Stewart, bargined with him for the stewarts to return. The 99% Portugese crew " who really disliked to be spoken to in Spanish, much less a woman" returned promptly.

Cost me a hundred bucks. Memories!

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by panini View Post
 

Ahhhh memories.

My Sous ( on loan to me for the week) radios to tell me we're ready to roll, belts going, plates, garnishes ready,my crew ready, FROZEN dessert  for the masses. I walk into the plate up room and I'm face to face with my Sous, tears in her eyes. She tells me she was directing and organizing the stewarts and they just WALKED OUT !  LEFT !  WTF !

 I asked what she had said to them? She screams NOTHING ! I WAS JUST GETTING THEM READY TO PLATE!. I asked, in Spanish? She says yes, and I just chuckled.

I radioed the Exec. Stewart, bargined with him for the stewarts to return. The 99% Portugese crew " who really disliked to be spoken to in Spanish, much less a woman" returned promptly.

Cost me a hundred bucks. Memories!

 

 

Love it..........

Working with Spanish people is a tutorial in anthropology, isn't it.

Very hard working people with strong family ties and are offended easily by stupid Americans.

post #11 of 13

One thing I did was write the prep lists.  I wrote them and rewrote them and pinned them to each BEO and crossed off every item as it was done and checked them with the BEO a lot.  

 

Every kitchen will have its own system but mine was every BEO on each speed rack, labeled, etc.

 

Keep a master list of events pinned up.

 

You can assign banquet cooks or you could use a prep cook system.

post #12 of 13

I had a memorable experience once related to not reading the BEO.  I'll gloss over the incriminating details to preserve my anonymity in case the offender reads these forums.;)  At any rate this fellow (I'll call him Cletus) and I had been sent to a hotel property in the company that was in freefall after losing all the management staff over the course of a long weekend.  We took over a place with no exec, no sous and no banquet chef.  It was Cletus' turn to do banquets while I took care of the line/restaurant.  Well, when Cletus read the BEO he completely missed that there to be three entrees on the buffet, not two.  The deal was for eighty hungry high schoolers on the way to some camp or something.  Or maybe it was a sports deal.  At any rate he wound up having to do that entree from frozen for 80 pissed off kids and they stood in line waiting.  For my own part I did at least laugh at him.

 

Good call on having someone sign off on changes to the BEO.  You also have to be a hardass about not allowing shit to get changed at the last minute- because a mofo will try it!  Be sure you have the count and don't trust them or rely on the customer.  They will pull a fast one and have more people above the guaranteed amount.  The standard overage is usually around 1.5% but it should be spelled out.  Customers will bitch if they have too many people and run out of food.  Banquets will destroy your faith in your fellow man, if indeed you still have any.:lol:

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuan View Post
 

One thing I did was write the prep lists.  I wrote them and rewrote them and pinned them to each BEO and crossed off every item as it was done and checked them with the BEO a lot.  

 

Every kitchen will have its own system but mine was every BEO on each speed rack, labeled, etc.

 

Keep a master list of events pinned up.

 

You can assign banquet cooks or you could use a prep cook system.

 

Like you kuan, I created quantity list of all the soups, sauces, proteins, starches and veggies.

The list had three columns the item, the amount, and a space for the person who prepped it to sign their initials

 

It's called "CYA" for a reason.

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