From weddings to birthdays to corporate events and more, catered events require banquet servers for a delightful guest experience.
If service with a smile comes naturally and you’re used to fast-paced environments, working as a banquet server may be just the right fit for you. Before you step into the dining room, make sure you have all the details on how to become a banquet server.
This comprehensive guide on how to be a banquet server is the resource you need. Let’s begin!
What Does a Banquet Server Do?
Before we dive into how to be a banquet server, let’s polish up our knowledge of the role. What does a banquet server do? Simply put, a banquet server provides a pleasant dining experience for guests at an event such as a wedding or party. To do so, a banquet server:
- Sets up the dining table before an event
- Sets up buffet stations before an event
- Greet guests and assist in seating them
- Take food and drink orders to guests
- Deliver food from the kitchen to guests
- Checks on guests throughout the meal to refill beverages and ensure other needs are met
- Clears the table and cleans the dining area at the close of the event
Overall, a banquet server aims to bring quality service to guests as they dine at an event.
What Skills Do I Need to Be a Banquet Server?
Part of learning how to be a banquet server is understanding the requirements you must meet. In this section, we’re setting before you the necessary qualifications a banquet server should possess
- Banquet server etiquette
- Hospitality skills
- High school diploma or GED
- Meet the age limit for serving alcoholic beverages (not always required)
- Great customer service skills
- Ability to manage multiple tasks
- Friendly and positive attitude
- Ability to work well on a team
- Food handler’s certificate
- CPR license (not required, but employers do like to see it)
In addition to these requirements, many banquet server positions are on-call. An on-call banquet server is expected to be available on short notice to work an event. These professionals perform the typical banquet server responsibilities but on an irregular schedule.
Setting tables and serving food may sound like a breeze. But being a banquet server is about bringing five-star service to every guest. While banquet server job descriptions vary depending on the employer, the skills above are all beneficial to have as you apply for on-call banquet server roles.
How Much Do You Make as a Banquet Server?
Now that you’ve received a hearty serving of server qualification details, let’s move on to the next course—banquet server pay rate.
Like many jobs, pay ranges differ based on location, experience and other factors. However, banquet server pay typically hovers between $12-$18 an hour. According to data from Indeed, banquet servers can expect to make an average hourly wage of ~$15.28 an hour.
It’s important to note that tips are a key ingredient in the wages of an on-call banquet server. Because banquet servers work catered events, tips are included in the final bill. This means that banquet servers can expect to receive a tip of 15% to 20% of the catering bill. If the client is especially pleased with the service, the tip will surpass this amount.
Banquet Server vs. Restaurant Server
If you’re wondering, “What’s the difference between a banquet server and a restaurant server?” this section should satisfy your inquiry.
The restaurant server job description does have some overlap with that of a banquet server. But the roles have key differences.
A banquet server works upscale, catered events that can take place at many different locations. This is why banquet serves are sometimes referred to as “cater waiters.” Restaurant servers work in one restaurant location. Their uniforms vary in formality based on the establishment. Banquet servers are required to wear clean and formal attire.
Unlike restaurant servers that work on a strict schedule, banquet servers tend to have more flexibility. On-call banquet servers may work weekends, nights and holidays as many events take place during these times. Fortunately, servers can set their own schedule using a platform like Qwick.
How to Be a Banquet Server
The table is set. Now, let’s dig into the details of becoming a banquet server. Follow these steps to land a role at a catered event.
1. Ensure You Meet the Qualifications
A formal place setting requires specific utensils before it’s complete. In the same way, you need to develop specific skills before you’re ready to be a banquet server. If you lack server experience, consider starting in a restaurant to build up your guest service skills. Additionally, work to obtain your food handlers card and any other certifications that help increase your value to employers.
2. Polish up Your Resume
Once you’ve gathered the necessary qualifications, spruce up your resume! Place your relevant job experience on your resume, and be sure to include the skills you’ve acquired through these roles. Take a look at the job description to make sure your resume aligns well with the qualifications that the employer is looking for.
3. Seek Job Openings
There are many places to look for banquet server roles. If you’re on the hunt for job openings, consider the following options.
Ask your connections in the restaurant industry if they know of any openings. Often, servers or restaurant managers will have connections to hotels or event venues in the area and may be able to connect you.
Another option is to browse online job sites for open positions. Online job boards can offer some hidden gems in terms of job opportunities. But you’ll likely have to navigate through lots of less than ideal postings to find the right fit.
A great alternative to job boards is to utilize a modern staffing platform that lets you pick what shifts you want to fill. To learn more about this option, read on!
4. Apply for Jobs
Qwick is the online platform that connects hospitality freelancers to open shifts in their area. To use it, sign up for free, fill in your information and experience, then attend a virtual orientation. After that, you’ll start being matched with shifts that you can accept or decline based on your availability and preferences. Qwick connects you to banquet server roles that work with your schedule. Working on your terms is simpler than ever, and you can get paid just 30 minutes after your shift ends.
Earn on Your Terms with Qwick
On-call banquet servers may feel that they are at the mercy of an irregular schedule. Flip the script with Qwick. Now, the power to decide when you work is in your hands—literally. From your phone, you can browse and select shifts that you want to work.
If you’re ready to earn on your terms, sign up for Qwick today!