How to Become a Banquet Server

No matter what venue you’re working in, banquet server jobs are perfect if you’re someone who thrives in fast-paced, high-energy environments. Discover what it takes to succeed in the catering industry.

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Tips on how to find catering and food service jobs

If you are looking into jobs in catering, there are many different roles you can take to earn money and gain experience in the hospitality industry. For example, host and hostess jobs are available at hotels, resorts and restaurants across the country. Meanwhile, there are banquet server jobs at special events where you may serve up to hundreds of guests in the same night.

No matter what type of venue you’re working in, banquet server jobs are perfect if you’re someone who thrives in fast-paced, high-energy environments. In this article, we share everything you need to know about jobs in catering. This includes information on wages, general duties and career outlook.

How much does a banquet server make?

The expected wages of a banquet server can vary depending on several factors, including location, level of experience, type of event and other factors. The median hourly wage for restaurant and banquet servers was $11.42 in May 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Keep in mind, though, that many restaurant and banquet servers will also make additional wages with tips.

What does a banquet server do?

Food and beverage serving workers are the front line of customer service in restaurants, cafeterias and other food service establishments. As a banquet server, you could work at one of these venues serving potentially hundreds of people at a single event.

There are a variety of duties and responsibilities for banquet server jobs. For example:

  • Seating customers
  • Taking beverage and food orders and serving them to customers
  • Preparing banquet rooms, tables and buffets for service
  • Clearing and setting tables
  • Stocking service areas with supplies such as coffee, food, tableware, linens and other items
  • Carrying large trays filled with glassware, dinnerware and food

When are banquet server jobs most available?

The exact times when catering and banquet servers are needed can vary depending on the location and specific event. Overall, job flexibility is important for anyone who wants to work in food service or hospitality. Shifts for banquet servers and other food service and catering staff may include early mornings, late evenings and weekends.

Another thing to note: The demand for catering servers can also increase during certain seasons, such as summer for outdoor weddings or winter for holiday parties.

What skills and qualities are required to work in catering?

The most important skill or quality to have as a banquet server is the ability to be professional and friendly at all times. Banquet servers should also have effective communication skills and great attention to detail. They often work as part of a team, so being able to collaborate with other staff members is a major key to success.

During the busiest times, serving guests quickly is important for a great dining experience. You should also be ready to be on your feet for long periods of time in this role.

What skills and qualifications do you need to be a banquet server?

A high school diploma is often the only education necessary to become a banquet server. Having prior experience in the food service industry as a banquet server or in a similar role is preferred but generally not required. Some employers may require certifications in responsible beverage service if you’ll be serving alcohol.

What’s the job outlook for food service jobs as a whole?

Overall employment of food and beverage servers is projected to grow 17% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the BLS. Also: at least 1 million openings for these jobs are projected each year, on average, over the decade. That is great news for anyone who wants to join this growing industry!

Are there any areas that may have more catering jobs available than others?

The availability of jobs in catering can vary depending on the location. Larger cities and metropolitan areas tend to have more food service and event jobs overall. Cities known for their hospitality and tourism industries, such as Chicago, Miami, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Dallas, Houston and Washington, D.C. often offer a wide range of catering jobs.

What are some examples of venues that have catering event jobs?

There are many different venues that have jobs in catering and other food service jobs. These include colleges and universities, office buildings, restaurants, entertainment venues, wedding venues, restaurants, museums and galleries.

In event roles like jobs in catering, you may find yourself working at a variety of occasions. This could include corporate events, weddings, holiday gatherings, academic conferences, and more.

Where can I find jobs in catering right now? 

To find jobs in catering, you have several options. Start your search by visiting online job boards and career websites such as LinkedIn or Glassdoor. Many catering companies and event venues post their job openings on these platforms.

You can also consider reaching out to events and catering firms directly. Many of them will advertise job openings on their websites or social media. If you’re looking for further support in your job search, you can turn to staffing agencies to help you find the jobs that you want.

Find banquet server and other jobs in catering with PeopleReady

To sum up, if you have an interest in jobs in catering or other hospitality jobs, PeopleReady can help you get started on your job search. Our team has built relationships with employers hiring in many communities all across North America. As a matter of fact, we know that many hotels, restaurants and many other companies and event venues are looking for prep cooks, servers and other food service workers right now.

PeopleReady also has a wide range of other hospitality jobs and event jobs available right now through our website or on our app, JobStack. For example:

  • Food service jobs: Food service workers, prep cooks, line cooks, food preparation workers, dishwashers
  • Hospitality jobs: Bartenders, hosts and hostesses, concierges, customer service representatives
  • Event jobs: Concession workers, ushers, ticket takers, parking attendants, cashiers, event setup assistants
  • Facility services jobs: Janitors, housekeepers, laundry attendants, cleaning crew members
  • And more!

Looking for jobs right now?

PeopleReady, a TrueBlue company (NYSE: TBI), specializes in quick and reliable on-demand labor and highly skilled workers. PeopleReady supports a wide range of industries, including construction, manufacturing and logistics, retail and hospitality. Leveraging its game changing JobStack staffing app and presence in more than 600 markets throughout North America, PeopleReady served approximately 83,000 businesses and put approximately 226,000 people to work in 2022.