Banquet Manager Careers: Salary Info & Job Description

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What are the pros and cons of a banquet manager career? Get real job duties, career outlook and salary info to see if becoming a banquet manager is right for you.
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Pros and Cons of a Banquet Manager Career

Banquet managers oversee the day-to-day activities of the kitchen, dining room and other areas where the banquet is held. Take a look at the pros and cons of being a banquet manager to see if this career is the right fit for you.

Pros of a Career as a Banquet Manager
Certification is available to enhance job prospects*
Possibility of promotion from within based on experience alone*
Many employers provide in-house training*
Free meals may be a benefit*

Cons of a Career as a Banquet Manager
Work long days (50+ hours per week) and may need to work every day of the week*
Experience is often required (2-5 years within the field)*
May have to handle complaints from customers*
Potential for minor on-the-job injuries*
Slow job growth (2% reported through 2022 for food service managers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Career Information

Job Duties

You should have great customer service skills if you are considering a career as a banquet manager because you will be responsible for ensuring that customers are satisfied with both the dining and event experiences. Banquet managers should be knowledgeable about the entire banquet facility; in this role you might also be responsible for training employees in a variety of positions. In addition, banquet managers can have administrative responsibilities that include creating the staff's work schedule, ensuring that state-required standards are being met and handling payroll. Other job duties may feature stocking inventory, menu selection and kitchen maintenance.

Job Growth and Salary

According to Salary.com, as of March 2015, the median annual salary for banquet managers was around $42,000. However, bonuses can raise median salary to about $47,000. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated a slower than average 2% job growth for food service managers from 2012-2022. Despite an expected decline in food service establishments, there will still be a need to replace managers who move on to other professions.

Career Skills and Requirements

Employers, typically in a supervisory position in the food and beverage industry, almost always require experience. Although formal education is not generally required, the need for banquet managers with a 2-year or 4-year degree in hospitality management, culinary arts or another related field is increasing among employers. Such a program can offer an internship experience to expose you to the field, as well as business courses to teach relevant administrative skills. Because banquet managers work both on the front-line and behind the scenes, it is generally a good idea to have solid computer skills along with knowledge of food preparation.

Job Postings from Real Employers

Because banquet managers lead a team of employees, one of the most important requirements is to have previous supervisory experience. This business revolves around the customers, so banquet establishments want you to excel when it comes to customer service. You must also have flexibility in your schedule. Below you can find a few job postings from places looking for banquet managers in March 2012:

  • A banquet and theatre facility in Oakbrook Terrace, IL, is looking for a banquet manager with at least two years of experience as a supervisor in the food and beverage industry to supervise the banqueting staff.
  • A hotel banquet facility in New Jersey is seeking a banquet manager from the local area with a strong background in food and beverage and two years of previous experience. The banquet manager will be responsible for overseeing the functions and events that occur on a day-to-day basis, such as hiring, training and scheduling.
  • A food and beverage services provider in New York is looking for a banquet manager to supervise the daily operations of a banquet facility that hosts business functions and catered events. A minimum of two years in the banquet management field is required.

How to Stand out in the Field

Earning a degree will increase your employability because of the increased emphasis by some employers on at least some postsecondary education. If you aspire to work for a fine dining establishment or for a corporate banquet facility, a bachelor's degree may be more advantageous. Having a background working in the food industry, such as being a server, could also give you an edge over those with little experience in the field. Having a working knowledge of computers might help, with much of the administrative duties of the job incorporating technology.

Certification

A great way to demonstrate that you have reached a certain level of expertise in the field is by earning a Foodservice Management Professional (FMP) credential, issued by the National Restaurant Association. Requirements to earn such a credential include attaining a minimum amount of work experience, being approved by National Restaurant Association Solutions and passing an exam.

Alternative Career Paths

If a career as a banquet manager doesn't seem the right fit for you, but you'd still like to pursue a career in a related field, there are alternatives available. The same knowledge and skills needed to be a successful banquet manager can also be transferred into an alternative career in the food or hospitality industries.

Banquet Chef

Many of the responsibilities of a chef and banquet manager are the same, including overseeing the day-to-day operations within the kitchen, creating the menu and ensuring that health and safety standards are met. However, a chef's responsibility usually remains in the kitchen and in the preparation of the food. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for chefs and head cooks was approximately $41,000 in May 2010. The expected job growth was 6% from 2008-2018. Gaining experience in the field, such as starting out as a line cook, is often a requirement. Employers might also look for a candidate with a degree related to the food and beverage industry.

Lodging Manager

Similar to aspiring banquet managers, you might consider pursuing a degree program in hospitality management, though pursuing a degree program in hotel management is also an option. As a lodging manager, you would be responsible for ensuring customer satisfaction while handling the related administrative duties. Related experience is often necessary as well. A 5% job growth was predicted by the BLS for lodging managers from 2008-2018, with the median salary reported as over $47,000 in May 2010.

Popular Schools

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    1. Kaplan University

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      • AASBA in Food/Hotel Management
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    Certificate
      • Diploma Program - Culinary Arts
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    3. Penn Foster

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      • Career Diploma - Caterer
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    4. The Art Institutes

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    Milwaukee Area Technical College

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    Southwestern College

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    9. Penn Foster High School

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Featured Schools

Kaplan University

  • AASBA in Food/Hotel Management

Which subject are you interested in?

Virginia College

  • Diploma Program - Culinary Arts
  • Diploma Program - Pastry Arts

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Penn Foster

  • Career Diploma - Caterer

What is your highest level of education?

The Art Institutes

  • Culinary Arts Management (BS)
  • Restaurant & Catering Management (AAS)
  • Culinary Arts (C)
  • Culinary Arts (D)

What is your highest level of education?

Southwestern College