Simple training to understand the basics of events in restaurant operations
Events Operations: The primary objective of a function is usually to unite people with the secondary objective of serving elaborate and quality food. Therefore a function/event/private party has the distinct feature of exclusive dining organized with privacy as well as food and services being adapted and delivered according to guests’ requirements.
Advantages of functions business include: Controllable Costs / Lower initial investments / Soliciting deposits / Additional revenue besides food and beverage/ Accurate forecasting / Business by contract/ Publicity
It is important for all staff to know the seating capacity of the restaurant and be able to provide instant information upon request through the phone or personally. Though the easier way is to refer the prospect to the sales & marketing personnel, we run the risk of the sales & marketing personnel not being able to respond immediately for some reasons, thus giving the prospect the chance to consider someone else when we could have converted the prospect by providing basic information.
Basic information Team Members are required to provide: One of the basic information they need to know is the number of guests. Other basic information they should know is the kind of food and beverages we serve in the restaurant. They need to be able to provide the basic information and inform the prospect that a much better package involving menu selection, beverage selection, charges and sound systems etc. can be better arranged and negotiated with the Internal Sales and Marketing Personnel. They are not supposed to just give the contact number of the S&M staff only but they should mark down the clients name, contact/office number and preferences, just in case, and pass them to the appropriate person immediately if possible or follow up the next day.
Understanding the Operations: A step by step approach to understanding the event from the reservation to the thank you letter:
- Initial Guests Contact: The information to be derived from the initial guest contact is as follows: Day and Date / Meal period / Time of function / Expected attendance/ Guaranteed attendance/ Budget / Type of Function / Type of Menu / Type of Beverages / Equipment
- Proposal Letter :The proposal letter is to be sent out to the client immediately after the first sales contact. The proposal must contain all the relevant information that was discussed with the client including the proposed menu.
- Negotiations:After the proposal letter has been sent out, there will be more negotiations and updating of information. All these information must be updated. Any major changes from the initial proposal, a new proposal letter is being sent out.
- Confirmation letter:The confirmation letter is sent out to the guests when all details pertaining to the function have been confirmed. The confirmation letter must consist of all information that has been confirmed by the client event though there may not have been any changes. The guest is to sign the confirmation letter and return it.
- Function prospectus:The function prospectus is to be drawn out and distributed to all concern departments immediately after the confirmation letter has been signed and return. Included in the function prospectus are: The menu / Attendance / Price / Other relevant information .The function prospectus is then filed in the respective files until the event is over.
- Checklist for the function: A checklist is than drawn for the function:
1. Have I calculated the amount of: a. Chinaware? b. Glassware? c. Cutlery? d. Tablecloth and skirting?
2. Do I need to requisite the a. Chinaware? b. Glassware? c. Cutlery? d. Chaffing dishes? e. Tablecloth and skirting?
3. Do I need to requisite a. Beverages and bar items b. Pantry items
4. Have I drawn up a floor plan?
5. What do I need to brief the staff?
6. Buffet table (if any) a. Where will the buffet table? (if applicable) b. How is the buffet table to be set up? c. Where are the appetizers, main course and desserts placed? d. What equipment for the buffet table needs to be prepared? e. How much of this equipment must be prepared? f. Where will the reception table be set up?
- Execution of Function:
- Roll call - Delegate the following: a. How many tables to set up and what is the configuration of the tables b. VIP table / c. What time the dining room must be ready / d. Where to set it up/ e. Skirting of the table/ f. How many dishes / g. What chinaware to set / h. How many chinaware to set / i. Where to set the chinaware / j. How many serving gears to prepare / k. How many napkin folds to prepare / l. What time the buffet or tapas in case of cocktails must be ready / m.When to prepare the desserts / n. When to prepare the coffee and tea / o. How many glasses to prepare / p. What glasses to prepare / q. Chill the wines / r. Set up the beer machine / s. What and how many beverages to prepare
- Final Roll-call: a.Program for the evening / b. What time the dinner will start / c. What is the menu / d. What are the beverages / e. Any special instructions / f. Any special billing instructions / g. Stop courses / h. Table allocation / i. Sequence of service
- Thank you letter: A thank you letter is then out immediately after the function. The letter is to thank the guest as well as to solicit for further business.