BEOs & Outside Catering of a Five-Star Hotel


Banqueting Events, BEOs and Sales Department

All those working in the hotel industry or hoteliers are familiar with BEOs, outside catering, and whole banqueting operations. But those who are kind of new to this industry might have many questions and hard to understand this whole process and how it works. Well, today we will write about it. We will first explain what a BEO is, how the events are taken from the Commercial and Sales team, and how the banqueting team will execute the event or the outside catering.

The Initial Inquiry And Proposal Of The Outside Catering Event

The whole process of an outside catering or any other event starts from the moment a client contacts the hotel, usually reaching the sales and commercial team. This contact can happen through phone calls, emails, or the hotel’s website. The sales team quickly replies and collects important details about the event, such as the type of event, number of guests, preferred date, budget, and special requests.

After gathering the initial information, the sales team works with the culinary and event planning teams to create a proposal. This proposal includes menu choices, service styles (like buffet or plated dinner), drink options, and extra services such as decorations, entertainment, and logistics. The proposal is then shown to the client, who can give feedback and request changes.

Banquet Event Order (BEO)

What-is-a-BEO-Banqueting-746x1024 BEOs & Outside Catering of a Five-Star Hotel

After the client approves the proposal, a Banquet Event Order (BEO) is created. The BEO is a document that mention every aspect of the event. It serves as the blueprint for both the client and the hotel’s operational teams. Key elements of the BEO include:

  1. Event Details: Date, time, location, and type of event.
  2. Guest Count: Expected number of attendees and any VIP guests.
  3. Menu: Detailed menu selections, including any special dietary requirements.
  4. Beverages: Beverage selections, including alcohol, non-alcoholic drinks, and any special requests.
  5. Setup and Layout: Table arrangements, seating plans, and any special equipment or decorations.
  6. Service Style: Whether the event will be a buffet, plated service, family-style, etc.
  7. Logistics: Transportation of food, equipment, and staff to the venue.
  8. Additional Services: Entertainment, decorations, audiovisual equipment, etc.

To have a better idea of how to make a BEO or all the SOP of an outside catering, have a look into this other post:

Internal Coordination

Once the BEO is finalized and signed by the client, it is then distributed to all relevant departments within the hotel. This includes the culinary team, banquet team, food & beverages department, logistics, and any external vendors involved. A coordination meeting, often referred to as a BEO meeting, is scheduled. During this meeting, each department reviews their responsibilities and discusses any potential challenges or special considerations.

  1. Culinary Team: The executive chef and their team review the menu, ensuring that ingredients are ordered, and preparations are scheduled. They also consider the logistics of transporting the food to the off-site location while maintaining quality and temperature.
  2. Banquet Team: The banquet manager and their team plan the setup, service, and teardown of the event. This includes staff scheduling, transport arrangements, and ensuring all necessary equipment is available.
  3. Food & Beverages Team: The sommelier and bartending staff prepare the beverage selections, considering transport and storage requirements.
  4. Logistics: The logistics team coordinates the transportation of food, equipment, and staff to the event location, ensuring timely delivery and setup.

Site Visit and Venue Preparation

For an off-site event, a site visit is a must and very important. The banquet manager, along with key team members, visits the venue to assess the space, layout, and any potential challenges. They check for essential facilities like kitchen access, power supply, and space for equipment setup. This visit ensures that the team is well-prepared and any adjustments to the plan can be made in advance.

Final Preparations

In the days leading up to the outside catering, final preparations are in full swing. The culinary team begins the initial food preparations, focusing on items that can be made in advance without compromising quality. The banquet team organizes all necessary equipment, including tables, chairs, linens, tableware, and decorations.

  1. Food Preparation: High-quality ingredients are sourced and initial preparations begin. This includes marinating, chopping, and any other prep work that can be done ahead of time. The goal is to minimize on-site cooking while ensuring the freshness and quality of the food.
  2. Equipment Check: All equipment, from cooking tools to serving utensils, is checked and packed. This includes backup equipment in case of any last-minute issues.
  3. Staff Briefing: The banquet team holds a final briefing with all staff members involved. This includes reviewing the timeline, assignments, and any special instructions. Staff are reminded of the importance of maintaining the hotel’s high standards, even in an off-site location.

Event Day Execution

On the day of the event, the team arrives at the venue well in advance to set up and ensure everything is in place. The execution involves several critical steps:

  1. Setup: The banquet team sets up the venue according to the plan. This includes arranging tables, chairs, decorations, and any additional equipment. Attention to detail is very impoart, as the setup should reflect the elegance and sophistication of the hotel’s brand.
  2. Food Transport and Setup: The culinary team transports the food in temperature-controlled containers to maintain freshness. On-site, they set up the kitchen area, ensuring all equipment is ready for final preparations.
  3. Service Preparation: The service staff, including waiters and bartenders, prepare their stations. They receive a final briefing on their roles and any last-minute updates.
  4. Client Walkthrough: The event manager conducts a final walkthrough with the client to ensure everything meets their expectations. Any last-minute adjustments are made as needed.

During the Event

Throughout the outside catering event or any other event, the banquet team need to maintain a seamless operation, making sure that guests receive impeccable service. Key aspects include:

  1. Food Service: The culinary team ensures that food is served at the correct temperature and presented beautifully. They handle any special dietary requests and make sure that buffet stations are replenished promptly.
  2. Beverage Service: The bartending staff manages the bar area, serving drinks and ensuring that guests’ glasses are never empty. They also handle any special beverage requests.
  3. Guest Interaction: The service staff engages with guests, ensuring their needs are met and addressing any concerns promptly. The goal is to provide a personalized experience that reflects the hotel’s high standards.
  4. Coordination: The event manager oversees the entire operation, coordinating between the culinary team, service staff, and client. They ensure that the timeline is followed and any issues are resolved swiftly.

Post-Event Wrap-Up

After the outside catering have been finished, the banquet team begins the teardown process. This involves:

  1. Cleanup: The team cleans up the venue, ensuring it is left in the same condition as before the event. This includes removing decorations, packing equipment, and disposing of any waste.
  2. Equipment Return: All equipment is packed and transported back to the hotel. The logistics team ensures that everything is accounted for and in good condition.
  3. Staff Debriefing: A debriefing session is held with the staff to discuss what went well and any areas for improvement. This feedback is invaluable for future events.
  4. Client Follow-Up: The sales team follows up with the client to gather feedback and ensure their satisfaction. This follow-up also provides an opportunity to discuss any future events or referrals.

An outside catering for a five-star hotel is a complicated job that needs careful planning, coordination, and execution. From the moment an order for the event is made until the event ends, every detail is managed to ensure everything goes smoothly and guests have a great experience. The success of these events depends on the hotel’s staff, who work hard to maintain the hotel’s excellent reputation.

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The founder and owner of Hotels & Hoteliers. A hotelier with over 15 years of experience working in different international branded Hotels. My Expertise is mainly in Food & Beverages and Front Office.


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