CHAPTER 7

Staffing and Service Styles for Food and Beverage Events

Service Ratios

Understaffed meal service is not compatible with successful events.

The cost of labor is staggering, so most hotels have staffing guides. The average ratio is 1 server for every 32 guests at a meal function regardless of the style of service, the type of menu, or whether the servers are responsible for wine service.

Service is critical. Many excellent meals are ruined by poor service. Meal service levels can run from 1 server per 8 guests to 1 server per 40 guests. Most staffing guides allow for 1 server for every 32 guests, but meeting planners often try to negotiate 1 server for 20 guests or 1 server to 16 guests, if there is poured wine or Banquet French service. ...

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