Standard Operational Procedures for F&B Catering/Banquet

 Standard Operational Procedures for F&B Catering/Banquet

HOTEL Standard operating procedure | SOP | Standard Operational Procedures for F&B Catering/Banquet


The following correspondence shall be used for banquet administration :

1. Introduction letter 

This letter shall be sent after the first contact, usually by the Sales Department. It shall introduce the hotel and the facilities available, and can be complemented by a hotel brochure. 

2. Accompanying letter 

This letter shall be a standard letter which will always accompany any printed material given or sent to a potential customer

3. Standard general quotation 

This letter shall be sent to any new or potential customer upon request or whenever there is interest from the customer in receiving detailed information on the banquet facilities. Along with the accompanying letter, this information package will consist of a banquet folder with a banquet brochure detailing all the different services which the Banquet Department offers.

A standard general quotation shall never be sent by fax. The size and price of these kinds of quotations is important, so the distribution of it should be justified.

4. Specific general quotation 

This letter shall be sent to potential customers who have approached the hotel for detailed information on a specific topic concerning the banquet facilities, e.g. : meetings, weddings, luncheons, etc. These customers shall receive a banquet folder with a banquet brochure and the relevant inserts of their topics of interest, as well as an accompanying letter.

For specific general quotation requests sent by fax, only the accompanying letter and the relevant inserts will be sent to the customer by mail.

5. Specific quotation 

This letter shall be sent to customers who have contacted the hotel with a precise request and details, such as the kind of function, the date, the number of persons, the available budget, etc. This correspondence will be sent mainly by fax or mail. In the event the quotation is hand delivered, it will be presented in a banquet folder. The construction of these quotations should be standardised and cover all details of the function.

This quotation shall be used to send the final confirmation to the guest and will be used as a contract after signed approval / agreement from the customer is received.

6. Confirmation letter 

Normally, the confirmation letter shall hold the same updated information as the specific quotation previously sent to the guest. The structure of the confirmation shall be standardised in order to cover all aspects of the function and will be used as the final contract. To confirm a function, the customer has either to sign this document and send it back, or to draft her/his own confirmation letter which holds identical information. Except in the case of last minute bookings or repeat business, the confirmation letter shall always be preceded by a quotation.

7. Thank you letter 

After each function, a thank you letter shall be sent to the organiser. For convention files, this letter will be sent by the Sales Department.

Files of past functions can only be closed or disactivated when the thank you letter has been sent. Different standard thank you letters will be made (to avoid repetition).

For any functions problem occurring, a tailor made thank you letter must be made.

Correspondence rules 

1. All mail must be answered within 48 hours 
2. All mail sent to customers must be printed. Hand-written letters are not allowed 
3. Spelling mistakes are frowned upon as giving an unprofessional impression, therefore all letters must be spell-checked by the computer before being printed 


The following rules will apply for banquet sales appointments :

Have a meeting place in mind and be sure it looks attractive and ready. 

If the guest made an appointment, her/his arrival shall be anticipated and the welcome prepared. If no appointment was made, she/he should be welcomed and, if necessary, directed to a convenient waiting area before she/he is assisted. 

If the meeting takes place in an office, clean up and prepare the area, the desk and the conference table. Never welcome people in a messy environment. If the conference table is occupied, the meeting can take place in the Lobby Lounge, if available. 

Secretaries shall check the number of clients in the Reception Area ; make sure there are sufficient chairs for everyone at the meeting. Avoid looking unprepared, as this gives an unprofessional impression.
A secretary shall systematically bring a glass of cold water from the Executive Office Pantry to each waiting person.

Coffee, tea and other soft drinks can only be ordered from Room Service for potential guests. For all other meetings, with business contacts, colleagues, friends or relatives coffee and tea can be obtained from the Executive Office Pantry. All entertainment checks must be signed according to the instructions issued by the Finance & Administration Division.

Escort the client back to the Reception Area, make sure her/his parking ticket is stamped and indicate the direction to their cars or the hotel exit. A very courteous farewell must be their last impression. 


In order to ensure good communication within the Department, the following documents will be distributed :  

1. Monthly events forecast 
2. Weekly events forecast 
3. Daily event list 
4. Function sheet 
5. Revised function sheet 

A list of the persons/departments to receive each document will be added to the current manual and updated whenever necessary.

1.Monthly forecast

The monthly forecast shall contain all the bookings for the coming month, from the 1st to the last day of the month inclusive (either tentative or confirmed). It should be distributed before the 25th of the previous month. The monthly forecast must contain the following information for each event booking :

1. Date of the event 
2. Name of the organising company (for private functions : name of the person) 
3. Type of event 
4. Number of persons expected to attend 
5. Start and finish times 
6. Name of the function room(s) to be used 
7. Expected revenue 
8. Whether the event has been confirmed or is still tentative 

2.Weekly forecast

The weekly forecast shall contain all the bookings for the coming week, from Monday to Sunday. It should be distributed by the Thursday morning of the previous week.

This forecast shall serve as the guideline for the banquet coordination meeting (held on Thursday afternoons) and for all related planning functions : staffing, set-up, F & B ordering, preparation of food, service, etc.

The weekly forecast must contain the following information for all bookings :

1. Date of the event 
2. Name of the organising company (for private functions : name of the person) 
3. Type of event 
4. Number of persons expected to attend 
5. Start and finish times 
6. Name of the function room(s) to be used 
7. Expected revenue
8. Whether the event has been confirmed or is still tentative 

3.Daily event list 

1. The daily event list shall be released and distributed on the previous evening and contain updated information on each function. The daily event list shall contain the same information as the weekly forecast with updates on any aspect of the function, such as the number of persons expected to attend the event, times, etc.

2. For billing purposes, the daily event list shall be the latest guideline. The daily event list shall also mention the text which must be displayed on the sign boards and highlight any other services required from the Front Office staff (e.g., parking reservation, security, flags, hotel rooms, etc...).

4.Function sheet  

A function sheet shall contain full/complete information on all features concerning each function occurring on that day. All function sheets for the coming week will be distributed with the weekly forecast (Thursdays morning) and will be discussed during the banquet coordination meeting (Thursdays afternoon).

5.Revised function sheet 

1. Where the content of a function sheet has changed (due to changes from the guest), the function sheet shall be reprinted and redistributed 
2. The first revision of a function sheet shall be printed on green paper, with the second and all subsequent revisions where applicable printed on red paper 
3. Small changes (<10%) in the number of expected attendants or the timing do not need a revised function sheet. The daily event list will provide all updated information to each department 


The following reports shall be compiled :

1. Banquet booking report 
2. Lost booking / cancellation report 

1.Banquet booking report

This report shall be compiled at the end of each month and shall give an indication of the new banquet bookings for the next 12 months as well as the year-to-date booking situation per month and a year-on-year comparison per month.

2.Lost booking / cancellation report

This report shall contain all the bookings which have been cancelled. Each lost booking shall mention the reason of the cancellation (e.g., too expensive, too far, banquet room wrong size, etc.), the name of the hotel finally chosen, if known, and the reason for that choice.


The following meetings shall be organised within the Banquet Department : 

1. Banquet coordination meeting 

This meeting will be held on a weekly basis, usually each Thursday afternoon. During the meeting, all functions for the next week shall be discussed and details clarified wherever necessary. The following persons shall attend this meeting :

1. Food and Beverage Manager 
2. Catering Manager 
. Assistant Banquet Manager 
4. Chief Steward 
5. Executive Sous Chef 
6. Beverage Manager 
7. Group Sales Coordinator

2. Monthly departmental meeting 

This meeting will be called by the Catering Manager to discuss all departmental subjects. All the banquet staff shall attend this meeting.

3. Daily briefing 

A briefing session will be organised daily to finalise the details relating to all functions for the next day. This meeting must be attended by :

1. Catering Manager 
2. Catering Coordinator 
. Assistant Banquet Manager 
4. Banquet Chef 
5. Banquet Technician Supervisor 
6. Chief Steward 

4. Sales meeting

The Catering Manager and DFB will attend the weekly sales meeting, which will be held every Saturday morning.


A selection of cocktail & reception packages shall be permanently available. Each priced at a different level, they will fit the needs of the different market segments targeted.

The different packages shall vary mainly in terms of the food selection offered.

Tailor-made packages can be offered at any time, after consulting with the Executive Chef if any special food is requested.

Welcome cocktails, after-meeting cocktails or other special cocktail arrangements are available on request. The DELPHI system, if available, allows a tailor-made cocktail and its related potential cost to be established.

The following guidelines must be implemented :

The set-up of the different food display tables must be original, efficient and attractive to the eye and well balanced throughout the room.

A limited number of different set-ups shall be used as standard set-up. On the Banquet Event Order (BEO), the kind of set-up shall be mentioned and discussed during the weekly banquet meeting if any change is needed.

The bar counters, if inside the room, must be set strategically to ensure easy access for both guests and customers. The bar counter must be set up in an efficient and attractive way, e.g., do not cover the whole surface with glasses.

Sufficient working space, and space for guests to dispose of their glasses must not be overlooked.


The hotel offers different kinds of buffets. Each hotel/outlet category has a number of buffet set-ups to choose from according to the budget and selection of dishes.

Buffets must be rigorously set up according to the pre-established layouts. Any buffet set-up must fulfil the following requirements :

1. Efficient for both guest service and replenishment 
2. Layout and decoration attractive for the customer 
3. Adequate lighting, with colours if required 
4. Sufficient power points for connecting all the required electrical appliances, or sufficient quantity of alternative heating fuel, e.g., gas, and adequate corresponding safety features 

The buffet service shall be similar to that applied in the restaurant procedure.

The buffet shall be ready 15 minutes before the starting time indicated on the BEO.


Although the service sequences for the Banquet Department are basically the same as those for other F&B outlets, they have to be adapted, prepared and, if needed, rehearsed in order to cope with larger numbers of guests.

When the organiser arrives at the hotel, she/he must be welcomed by the staff member who booked the event. This person will introduce the guest to the Assistant Banquet Manager in charge of the function and, together with the guest, the function sheet shall be checked to make sure that everything is according to her/his order.

The function room where the event will take place must clearly indicate the name of the function as well as the status in order to indicate whether the function is in progress or not.

Every staff member, especially all casual staff, must be informed about the selected service sequence during the briefing session before the function starts.

During the banquet meeting and daily banquet briefing, all the steps of the service sequence must be clarified to everybody. The layout of the function room(s), the assigned service area(s), bar counter(s) and/or buffet(s) must be organised before each function.

All required equipment must be prepared and cleaned to ensure a smooth set-up and service.


Before each function, the staff member in charge of the function shall brief all her/his staff on the way the function will take place, allocate tasks accordingly and fix time schedules

For larger functions, especially when casual staff are involved, a table plan and a job allocation plan must be issued in order to make sure that each staff member knows her/his duties and where to perform them. If needed, a rehearsal shall be organised.

The other subjects covered during the briefings include :

1. Employee personal hygiene : no body or smoking odour, clean hair and fingernails 
2. Uniforms : correct, complete and impeccable.
3. Food service : menu, way of serving, operating equipment 
4. Standards of service : mention the do and don’t of banquet service 
5. VIP guests present and special requests

A good briefing will avoid many service problems during the function.


Although the banquet signage shall clearly indicate where the function is taking place, all guests shall be welcomed by a hostess in the local manner and be shown the exact location of the event.

Furthermore, if the function is expected to have a high attendance, the hostess shall count, through a ticketing system, the number of guests arriving. 

If the guest arriving is the organiser, the staff member in charge of the function must be called immediately to welcome her/him. The staff member shall introduce the Assistant Banquet Manager to the guest for further assistance during the function.

Together, they shall check all the items on the function sheet, including any changes. If a new time schedule is requested by the guest, the kitchen must be informed at once and standby schedules have to be adopted.


In order to cover all the topics of the function, the staff member in charge must complete a checklist half an hour before the function starts.

The checklist shall be seen as a tool for the Manager/Supervisor to ensure that all the mise en place is ready and no items are missing.

The check list for each function must be added to the bill for further reference if any problems are encountered at a later stage.


The same basic rules for serving beverages apply as for other F&B outlets, but because of the larger numbers of guests, service needs to be quick and efficient.

Soft drinks will not be pre-poured in glasses more than 5 minutes before being served. Draught beers will only be poured as required (no carafe).

Glasses for soft drinks will not be filled more than half with ice cubes.

For cocktails / receptions, the following guidelines must be followed :

1. From the moment guests start arriving, a minimum of 2 waiters will be stationed at the entrance to the room with a selection of drinks on a tray 
2. No drinks will be placed on any service station in the function room (i.e., no self service) 
3. Each waitress/waiter will have on her/his tray a set of cocktail napkins which are nicely presented 
4. Elegant, simple tray decoration is recommended to enhance the attractiveness.

For dinner, the following guidelines must be followed : 

1. No pre-poured drinks will be placed on the service stations. Guest will be served directly by the bar 2. Carafes of ice water are allowed on the service station 
3. If wine is served, white wine must be kept in a wine cooler. Only one bottle per service station is allowed. 


The front-of-house is a reflection of what happens in the back-of-house. It reflects the team’s ability to work in a clean and organised way, and with discipline. Where the b-o-h are neglected, operations personnel will find it more difficult to provide an efficient service for guests.

The b-o-h shall be impeccable at all times. Equipment must be stored in the appropriate area and the furniture taken care of properly. The cleanliness of this area is of vital importance to maintain hygiene standards.

For each large function, one person will be in charge of organising the b-o-h. Her/his responsibilities include the following :

1. She/he will make sure that all waiters, bartenders, stewards and cooks respect the b-o-h rules ensuring that the area remains an efficient working area 
2. She/he will ensure that all the required equipment for serving the next course or drink is ready and, wherever needed, she/he will assist in setting up 
3. She/he will prepare the whole set-up for the coffee service 
4. She/he will assist the Chief Steward in organising the cleaning station in an efficient way


All equipment must be returned to its storage place as soon as the function is finished.

Every piece of equipment has its storage place which must be organised in an efficient way. This will ease access to this equipment.

Proper storage of equipment will result in less breakage and damage.

In every storage room, signs must clearly indicate where each piece of equipment is to be to stored.


The banquet service will use only the basic bar equipment. The Beverage Manager will ensure that only the required equipment is distributed to the bar concerned.


All menus items have been cost-valued and the price level has been established according to the objectives set by the Management Team. Therefore, it is very important to respect the different recipes and instructions given by the Executive Chef or his Assistant.

All set menus have been elaborated by the Executive Chef. They have been carefully selected and are a balance between the different ingredients, ways of preparing and presentations.

If requested, the guest can change some of the menu items. In this case, the hotel computer/data processing system allows the Catering Sales Manager to change a dish with another one while checking the price level. 

However, one shall be careful to ensure the amended menu is still balanced ; therefore, it is recommended to consult the Executive Chef or one of her/his assistants if an alternative suggestion is made by the guest.

The Cost Control Department will verify and register the use of all food & beverage ingredients in the different kitchens and outlets. The cost control report will issue a monthly report informing the Management Team of any discrepancies within the operational results.


 The following guidelines must be applied :

The size of a recipe must be adapted to the number of people and to the selected menu choice. It is preferable to replenish the buffet more frequently to avoid the unnecessary waste of food.

The food items on the buffet must be replenished whenever necessary. The kitchen staff will stand by to do so.

After the function is over, all food left on the buffet must be returned to the kitchen. 


After the function, the bill is made up according to the information on the Banquet Event Order. If any changes or extra orders were requested by the guest, they will be added to the total amount (as extra charges).

The banquet bill will be prepared on the F & B POS terminal system (at another outlet) and closed on the Front Office computer system master folio. The bill will be printed in 4 copies :

1. One copy for the guest 
2. Two copies for the Accounting Department 
3. One copy for the Banquet Department (for reference purposes) 

If the Banquet Event Order states that the guest will pay after the function, the Banquet Manager shall accompany the guest to the Front Office to settle the bill. A copy of the F&B POS terminal system bill will be attached to the Front Office computer system bill for the guest’s reference.

If the Banquet Event Order states that the bill will be sent to the guest, the Front Office staff shall transfer the banquet bill to the city ledger account. 

At the end of the day, the Assistant Banquet Manager will make a report of all closed checks and will attach the relevant bills ( 2 copies if paid, 3 copies if transferred to the city ledger account).


The Banquet Department will have a logbook reporting all the important events which have taken place during each day.

Each shift shall state whether the function was a success, the time the function started and ended, and if there were any complaints or any other unusual happenings. 


At the end of each day, the Assistant Banquet Manager will make a report of the daily revenue of the Banquet Department and submit it to the Accounting Department.


A function sheet will contain complete information on all events within a function for one day.

All function sheets for the coming week will be distributed with the weekly forecast, i.e., on Thursday mornings, and will be discussed during the banquet coordination meeting on Thursday afternoons.

Revised function sheet

1. Where the content of a function sheet has been amended due to changes from the guest, they will be reprinted and redistributed 

2. The first revision of a function sheet shall be printed on green paper, with the second and all subsequent revisions where applicable printed on red paper 

3. Small changes (<10%) of the number of expected attendants or in timing do not need a revised function sheet. The daily event list will provide all the updated information to each department