Typical Banquet Serving

Depending on your demeanor, banquet serving can be tolerable or outright brutality.

As I define it, Banquet Serving is working with a team on a large party with a very small menu (perhaps three entree choices). For waiters, it’s the equivalent of ditch-digging. You have your job – lots of purely physical labor – and you do it, till you’re done. Running drinks, serving food, clearing plates and glasses, breaking down and resetting tables, etc.

The key is that you don’t interact with the guests.

Many servers say it’s all about the money. But it’s not. At least, not if you actually enjoy your job. If you don’t enjoy your job, then, sure. What’s the difference between six hours of drudgery dealing with people and their emotions and personalities vs. six hours of breaking your back?

But for some of us, it’s not drudgery dealing with people. That’s actually where the fun is.

There may be exceptions, but what other job puts you in a situation where your client is there to have fun? Most diners come in with the expectation of having a great time. They are excited about going out for dinner. They want to like you, to like your food, the ambience of your restaurant.

As a waiter, if all you do is just not screw up, you’ll get an A-grade from the guest. That’s pretty nice.

So there was a banquet I worked today, as the lone waiter for seven guests. The people were having a meeting about vetrinary drugs and dog food. Powerpoint presentation. Big conference call at the end.

This party was somewhat different from regular banquets because it was smaller, and they ordered off the menu. But the rest was the same. And the end result was also the same: the ‘house’ took more than 25% of my tip.

I picked up a couple other tables on the floor, and turned in an $82 day.


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