What to look for to set up banquet menu.- Caterer Perspective

Banquet menus are important links between the caterers and the clients. They inform the customer what food and beverages are available at what price and in doing so serve to create a link between each other. Printed menus should look and sound interesting, imaginative and elegant. Menu copy should be descriptive, clear and easy to read.

The following are some points to remember when composing banquet menus;

  • Food must have popular appeal. Avoid spicy, sharp or unusual tasting and looking foods. If customer asks for unusual taste foods, tactfully make the customer aware that many of his guests may not care for it. An unwise menu selection will prevent a segment of the guests from being disappeared.
  • Do not clutter the banquet menu. It should read like a business card. A limited selection of entrees will make the choice seem more personalized.
  • Foods should not be duplicated on the menu. For example, carrot and a vegetable and carrot cake for desert or similar sauces. If there is a wedding cake during the wedding, also avoid serving any other desert.
  • Incorporate liquor, wine and beer into the menu selection whenever possible to increase the beverage sales.
  • Offer menu substitution for every function in the event if a guest can’t eat the chosen entrée.
  • Keep records of what menu items are popular in your area. Make substitutions when needed. Record the number of favourable and unfavourable comments. Compare the sale of items, keeping in mind that higher-priced items tent to sell less frequently than lower-priced ones.
  • Use boneless meat whenever possible.
  • When you served chicken try to take the skin out of which some of the people heath conscious doesn’t want to eat.
  • Use locally grown items for both interest and the price.
  • Butler style, hand carried, canapés should not be messy and drippy or contains shells, bones, or other inconveniences.
  • If soups are in the menu, offer a selection of tick, clear and creamed types.
  • Include only one starch or fried item per entrée.
  • List the menu items in the order they will be served. Each entrée should be priced to include all courses, such as appetizer, soup, salad i.e. The most profitable item should be placed on top or near to the top of the list of entrée.
  • Gratuities and the tax should be listed separately on the bottom of the menu and not included to the menu price, to avoid creating customer resistance to the price.
  • List extra charges on the menu for smaller numbers of guests to compensate for low income or extra labour charges.
  • Include on the menu the number or percent of additional porsions that will be available for guests who arrive in excess of the client’s guarantee.
  • State deadlines for final arrangements and confirmed guarantees on the menu.
  • Eliminate any items that may cause unnecessary production or service problem for large groups, such as soufflé potatoes.
  • Consider using convenience foods to control labour costs and to avoid waste.
  • Calculate how much skilled and unskilled labour and time goes into each item.
  • Utilize leftovers or trimmings.
  • If possible, limit your customer’s selection to one entrée for each function. This will speed preparation and service.
  • Advertise and use only top-quality foods and merchandise.
  • Do not oversell or overpromise on your menus.
  • When an operation has several types of food operations on the same premises, distinguish banquet menus from other menus by including word like “banquet” in the heading, such as “banquet breakfast” or “banquet dinner”.
  • Use your menu as advertising. Put your name, address, telephone number, logo, and days and hours open on the menu to help promote business.