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What does a Banquet Captain do?

By Licia Morrow
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A banquet captain operates in a supervisory role over service and wait staff for large dinner parties. A captain may work in a restaurant or club and may even possibly find a position in an extensive private household. A banquet captain will be responsible for overseeing all banquet operations, including servers, food delivery, alcohol service and consumption, and general maintenance and upkeep of the banquet area. A banquet captain is expected to maintain high standards in food service, including extensive culinary knowledge and hospitality skills.

When an establishment entertains large groups, a banquet captain manages the wait staff through scheduling, training, and troubleshooting. He ensures that wait staff are following standard operating procedures, including food service and clean-up. He will often make the staff schedule and will oversee the stocking and cleaning of the dining area. He may stand in for a server in the case of truancy and might often assist in the banquet set up, the final preparation of plates, the collaboration between wait staff and kitchen, and the service of beverages.

He may be in charge of coordinating reservations and acting as an event coordinator. This might include preparing invoicing, and tracking expenditures, profits, and inventory. He may also be responsible for maintaining customer contacts and reviewing accounts.

The job duties relating to this occupation can vary greatly depending upon the size and scope of the dining establishment and whether or not it provides catering service. In the case of catering, a banquet captain may also be in charge of supervising off-site events. This may include regular banquet supervisory duties, as well as those involving the transporting of food, supplies, and equipment. He will oversee the presentation and preparation of tables, chairs and linens. Overseeing place settings, food service tables and equipment is also part of the job.

This type of hospitality worker will be aware of safety regulations and cleanliness standards for his business, as well as any requirements of government agencies that develop and enforce food industry policies. He generally oversees side work, or a dining service employee's cleaning and stocking duties. He will likely control, or have input on, the hiring and firing of service employees, and he may prepare wait staff schedules and submit paperwork relevant to payroll functions.

A banquet captain spends most of his work time supervising the work of others. It is necessary to have a team of employees work to facilitate a larger party, and it is the captain's job to make sure that all the other team members are managing their responsibilities. He may also find himself playing several roles in the interest of customer service, including server, host, manager, and kitchen assistant. The banquet captain will also act as a model of refinement and professionalism, as he is so often in a customer service role.

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