A banquet event order, or BEO, is an important document a venue needs to ensure everything runs smoothly on the day of an event. It helps to keep everything organized down to the very last detail.
What Is a Banquet Event Order (BEO)?
A BEO is a highly-detailed document that lists all the essential information an event planner needs to remember when prepping for the big day. It helps to outline several different things so that those helping to prepare the event don’t miss any critical information. This way, the venue staff, and the event planner can agree on what the event will include and what needs to be done.
Components of a BEO
- Event information: All of the events details need to be included here, even the small ones. This includes the guest count, space or rooms being used at the event, the event's name and type, and the contact information for important parties.
- Menu and beverage information: The event menu should be listed along with guests' food allergies or dietary requirements. The BEO should outline the price of the food and drinks, service time, and any specialty items the event requires.
- Setup and decor information: This portion can be written or laid out in a diagram. Either way, it should designate how the event should be set up spatially and outline other factors that must be considered, such as lighting, decorations, and seating charts.
- Timeline and schedule information: This is the event's basic timeline. A BEO should state the time setup starts and when the event itself should begin and end. For detailed events, such as a wedding, each smaller activity (ceremony, cocktail hour, reception, etc.) should be outlined so that staff, the venue, and the event planner are all on the same page.
- Staffing information: This covers needed staff, such as banquet servers, bartenders, coat checks, parking, and security attendants.
Importance of following the Banquet Event Order
To ensure the event goes smoothly, everyone working on the event needs to follow the banquet event order closely.
Benefits of following the BEO
Following the BEO ensures everything goes to plan, as it includes every possible detail. It ensures everyone involved with the event is on the same page and can refer to the document to resolve any questions or doubts.
Every part of the event is outlined, down to the letter, so everyone knows what should happen, when, and where. The BEO also ensures guests have a great time because the event staff can work effectively as a team and focus on providing exceptional service.
Consequences of not following the BEO
Not following the banquet event order can cause unnecessary stress and chaos for those involved with the event. The BEO aims to prevent any delays or disruptions by providing a meticulous timeline, an outline of everything needed to host the event, and who will be responsible for what.
Most importantly, following the BEO ensures your guests are impressed and that they experience a high caliber of service.
Key terminology for banquet captains and teams
Here are some terms to know and keep in mind as you create your BEO:
- Banquet captain: Responsible for overseeing staff and operations during the event. This person (also called a banquet manager) ensures everything runs as it should while delivering high-quality customer service.
- Catering manager: Monitors the food and food service quality at the event. They ensure that cooking and service are up to par for the best guest experience.
- Setup crew: The team tasked with tackling event setup. This may include setting up furniture, lights, A/V equipment, and decorations.
- Service staff: Servers at the event. They are responsible for serving guests throughout the experience.
- Bartenders: People who create and serve alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks behind the bar.
- Audio-visual technician: This person is in charge of sound and lighting at the event, including music, special lights, and screens.
- Venue coordinator: The point person at a venue. The venue coordinator manages logistics, vendors, and coordinates with the event planner.
Best practices for banquet captains to keep all staff following the BEO
A BEO only works if it’s followed. To ensure it is, a copy should be available to everyone on staff to review and refer to as needed. These copies should ideally be delivered at a pre-event meeting where everyone can ask questions related to the BEO or their specific role during the event. This way, each team member has clarity on their specific tasks and responsibilities and when they need to execute them.
During the event, you should monitor how everything is going. If your team struggles in a particular area, step back and reassess. Make a new plan and inform the staff quickly and clearly of any changes that need to be made to the BEO.
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