2 Major factors influencing the selection process Function room's appearanceLocationUtilitiesAmount of floor space.
3 AppearanceA function room's appearance is high on most clients' priority listsOften a potential client is attracted to the facility primarily because of the ambience providedView
4 Appearance Lighting Sound Colors Walls Temperature Smell Visibility Layout
5 Other Considerations Room dimension Ceiling height Number of columns Exits and entrancesProximity, number and quality of restroom facilitiesColors and types of floor and wall coveringsSound insulationLighting
6 Ceiling HeightThe typical ceiling height in hotel or convention center function rooms is approximately eleven feetIn many local municipalities, the building code may require a higher ceilingSome building codes stipulate 14-foot ceilings in public areas, such as restaurants, theaters, and shops.
7 A lectern or head table should not be located next to an entrance because the movement of those coming and going will disrupt the speakerIf a video or power point presentation is planned, try to have the room set up so the doors are off to the side so that a late-comer does not have to walk in front of the projector and interrupt the presentation.
8 ColorsThe colors and types of floor and wall coverings are the first thing a client sees when viewing a function roomIn addition to meeting building-code requirements, they should be free from stains and in good repairThey also should be in good taste and decorated with style.
9 ColorsGuests tend to eat and drink more in brightly lit, colorfully decorated surroundingsVibrant colors, such as brilliant red, hot pink and bright yellow stimulate the appetiteDark tones dull the appetiteExamples of colors that cool the appetite are dark green, navy blue, gray and black.
10 ColorsSome caterers consider how the clients are paying for receptionsIf they are paying per person, it would benefit the facility to have the guests eat and drink less, hence locating them in a darker room would be a wiser choiceHowever, clients that are paying on a consumption basis would benefit the facility’s sales in a brighter room.
11 Table Placement Table placement at receptions affects food consumption An hors d’oeuvre table placed against a wall only provides 180° access to the foodA rectangular table in the center of the room provides two open sides and 360° access to the food, and greater food consumption
12 Round TablesA round table in the center of the room gives an appearance of a lavish presentationBut since there is no way for a line to form to circle the table, guests have to work their way in and out at various points for each item they wish to eatWhich decreases food consumption.
13 LocationIf the function room is a great distance from the kitchen, the menu planner may be limited to only those foods that hold up wellThe banquet staff also will need to use hot and cold transport equipment in order to preserve the foods' culinary quality en routeWithout this equipment, food costs could increase as finished food items are vulnerable to quality deterioration when they must be pre- plated in advance and transported long distancesThe extra effort also could increase labor costs.
14 Utilities Number, types, and locations of: electrical outletselectrical floor, wall, and ceiling stripsphone jacksdimmer switchesvents and ductsbuilt-in speakersdoors (open in or out? single or double doors?)If the event will be in an exhibit hall, the client may be concerned with the number, types, and locations of:gas hookupsexhaust fansdrainswater connectionsData ports for computersTypes of electricity available in houseTypes of electricity that can be brought inMaximum wattageMaximum lightingNumber of separate lighting controlsHeating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) capacity.Closed-circuit TV, radio, and VCR system.Closed-circuit, audio- visual (AV) systemPaging system
15 Space Requirements Number of Guests Type of Dining Tables Aisle Space Dance Floor SpaceBandstandOther EntertainmentHead TablesBank MazeReception NeedsBuffet TableBeverage Station/BarSide StandsAction StationsStaging AreaCashierDisplay AreaLanding SpaceMeeting ActivityStyle of ServiceAudience SeparationHandicap SeatingProps, Décor, Plants
16 Number of GuestsLocal fire code will dictate the maximum number of people who can be legally housed in a function roomThis maximum is a good guide when planning a stand-up function, such as a cocktail receptionIt can also be a good guide when planning theater or auditorium setupsMany events, such as banquet or classroom setups, will accommodate fewer personsFor most F&B, you would be unable to accommodate the maximum number of persons allowed by the local fire codeRoom setups for these types of events will reduce the number of guests that can be handled efficiently and comfortably.
17 Type of Dining TableAllocate 10 sq ft per guest at rectangular banquet tablesRound tables require about 12 ½ sq ft per guestThese estimates will suffice if you are using standard chairs whose chair seats measure 20” by 20”Adjust your estimates if you use smaller chairsseats measuring 18” by 18” or larger armchairs, which usually have a minimum width of 24”Round tables are the easiest for the staff to service and they maximize interaction among guestsChair backs should be placed from two to three feet apart.
18 Aisle SpaceAisles are needed for server access and customer maneuverabilityAisles between tables and around food and beverage stations should be at least 48 inches wideLeave enough entry and exit room for guestsAllocate sufficient cross-aisle spaceaisles used for guests to collect and funnel in and out of the function areascross-aisles should be approx. six feet wide.
19 Dance Floors Allocate 3 sq ft of dance floor per guest Lay-out squares for portable dance floors come in 3’ by 3’ sections9 sq ftUse one section for every three guestsA 24’ by 24’ dance floor covers approximately 600 sq ft of floor space.
20 Bandstand Estimate about 10 sq ft per band member Drum sets usually require about 20 sq ftLarge pianos, synthesizers, runways, and so forth need additional spaceDisc jockeys may need considerably more space to hold their equipment and music collectionCheck the entertainment contract as it may set forth the floor-space specifications.
21 Risers Bandstands are often elevated on risers Risers come in many shapes and sizesThe are used to elevate speakers, other entertainers, or audio-visual (AV) equipment so that a large audience can see what is taking place at one end of the function roomMost are 4’ by 4’ or 4’ by 8’ folding risers that can be adjusted to several heightsSet up with steps with attached hand and light stripsA lawsuit can occur if a guest falls from an improperly set stage.
22 Other EntertainmentYou may need to allocate additional floor space for strolling musicians, and other similar entertainmentCheck the entertainers' contracts for exact space requirements.
23 Head Tables 25 to 100 % more floor space than regular dining tables If tables on risers, increase space estimate to include platform area, steps, and to spread the table-and-guest weight properly over the stageIf using platform sections 4’ x 4’ and 4’ x 8’, connect a 4’ x 4’ and a 4’ x 8’ to have enough space for a dining table measuring 3’ x 8’You need 48 sq ft of platform space for approx 24 sq ft of dining-table space48 sq ft will seat four guests at 24” intervals12 sq ft pp is the minimum amount for head-table guests.A raised head table for twelve people, plus a lectern should be a minimum of 26’ longThe rule of thumb is 2’ pp, plus 2.5’ for the podiumFor more comfortable seating, allow 2.5’ to 3’ pp.
24 Bank MazeA bank maze consists of posts (stanchions) and ropes set up to control guest trafficYou may want to use bank mazes to control traffic around cashier and ticket-taker stationsAllocate more floor space to accommodate them.
25 Reception Needs Plan about 6 to 10 sq ft of floor space per guest With 6 sq ft, guests will feel a bit tight; they also will have a bit less ease getting to the food and beverage stationsConsequently, they may eat and drink lessIf a budget client is paying on a per-person basis, where guests can eat and drink as much as they want for one price, you might consider allocating only about 6 sq ft pp to keep the price low and your food and beverage costs under control.
26 Reception Needs7 ½ sq ft pp is considered to be a "comfortably- crowded" arrangementIt is thought to be the ideal amount of floor space per guest for receptions and other similar functions10 sq ft provides more than ample space for guests to mingle and visit easily the food and beverage stationsIt is an appropriate amount of floor space for a luxury- type receptionIt is an appropriate setup if the client is paying according to the amount of food and beverage consumedYou want guests to have enough room to eat and drink as much as they want so that your revenues are maximized.
27 Buffet Table Number of guests expected. Length of dining time. Food stations need enough floor space for the tables and aislesAn 8’ rectangular banquet table needs 24 sq ft for the table, and 60 sq ft for aisle space (if the table is against the wall); about 100 sq ft for aisle space if the table is accessible from all sides.When determining the number of buffet tables needed, as well as the number of buffet lines required, consider:Number of guests expected.Length of dining time.Amount of service equipment required.Type of service equipment required.Type of menu.Style of service.Amount of decor desired on the buffet line.Amount of total floor space available in the function room.
28 BuffetAllocate approx two running feet of buffet table for each food containerTp display three hot offerings, three cold offerings, and a condiment basket, you should set up a buffet table about 14’ to 16’ longWith two 8’ rectangular banquet tables, you will need 48 sq ft of floor space for the buffet table and approx 150 sq ft of standard 3’ aisle space surrounding the buffet tableThe total allocation for this setup is 200 sq ft.
29 BeveragesFor self-service, nonalcoholic beverage stations, setups are similar to buffet-table setupsA hot-beverage station will need about as much space as a buffet table laden with foodsBars need more floor space because you need room to store back-up stock, ice, and coolers to hold beer and some winesAllocate enough working space for bartenders and, if applicable, cocktail serversThe smallest portable bar measures approximately 6’ x 7’ or about 42 sq ftTaking account of aisle and other space needed, you need to allocate at least 150 sq ft for the typical portable banquet-bar setup.
30 EquipmentSide stands, tray jacks and bus cartsThree square feet each
31 Action Stations Also called Performance or Exhibition Stations Allocate a bit more floor space than for a buffet, so guests can gather and view the chefs' performanceYour floor-space estimate also must be increased if the action station is elevated on a riser.
32 Staging AreasIf you anticipate any of these needs, you will need to allocate sufficient space to accommodate themtemporary serving line in the function roomband or disc jockey equipment storageA client may need space to store convention materials, party favors, and other similar itemsFloor space for lighting and sound equipmentA temporary service corridor to store hot cartsIf you allocate floor space for a staging area, you should block it off with pipe and draping so that it does not interfere with the appearance and ambience of the catered event.
33 CashierSome functions, particularly beverage functions, may require floor space for one or more cashiersThe catered event might include a cash barThe typical facility will require the client to use cashiers to sell drink tickets.Plan at least 25 to 30 sq ft for one cashier stationIf a security guard will be stationed at the cashier area, you will need additional floor space to accommodate this person.
34 Display Area.Sometimes clients need space to set up their own cashier stations, registration/information tables, kiosks, booths, and so forthA client may need a cashier station in order to sell meal tickets to guests who have not prepaid, but who decided at the last minute to attend the event.
35 Landing SpaceWhere guests can discard empty plates, glasses, soiled napery, and wasteA tray on a folding tray jack stand located next to a bar or against a wallAllow 4 sq ft for each of landing space areaCocktail or tuxedo tables can also accommodate this needYou can reduce the amount of landing space if attendants remove the discards quickly and often during the eventLanding space should be allocated on the buffet tables between and in front of food containersGuests will need some place to set their drinks while putting food on their platesThey may need room on the table to set their plates temporarily while deciding what foods to take.
36 Meeting ActivityA client may want to have a business meeting and the meal or reception in the same function room
37 Style of ServiceThis is important if you are planning to use French or Russian service, as these service styles require up to twice as much floor spaceSome buffets, especially those where beautiful displays and several tables are used, may also need extra spaceInstead of the typical buffet floor-space estimate, you may want to increase it by 50 to 100 % if the function is very elaborate and you want to provide a luxury amount of space for all guests.
38 Handicapped SeatingIf you expect to have a physically handicapped guest, you will need to allocate additional floor spaceA wheelchair-bound guest will need a bit more space at the dining table as well as a wider aisle in which to navigate.
39 Function Room SetupUsing facility floor plans and other schematic drawings that show square footage, dimensions, doors, and other factors that may be important to the client, several visual plans can be developed using a basic template with graph paperMany facilities have software that will correlate the room's dimensions, location, doorways, service corridors, columns, protrusions, dead space, permanent service installations (such as a permanent bandstand, bar, and/or dance floor), and other limitations, with the client's desires and draw out several suggested layouts for consideration.
40 Software LayoutSoftware programs will draw a layout using industry standards as defaults (which can be changed) for such things as distances between rows of chairs or tables, aisle space needed, and the optimal angles that should be set to accommodate video presentationsMost of these software packages also will automatically generate standard seating stylesMeetingMatrix, Vivien, RoomViewer
41 When scheduling, consider: Function Room StatusTiming of EventsSetup DifficultyFunction Room Layout and DesignDécorPre-movementTear DownLighting and AVOutside Service Contractors
42 TablesShould be 30” high60” round – typically called a round of 8, or 8-topIt is usually used to seat between 6 to 10 guests.72” round – typically called a round of 10, or 10-topIt is usually used to seat between 8 to 12 guests.66” round -- a more recent compromise table size, it is designed to take the place of the 60” and the 72” roundsIt can seat between 8 to 10 guests
43 TablesBanquet 6 -- a rectangular table, measuring 30” wide by 6’ long.Banquet 8 -- similar to the banquet 6, measuring 30’ wide by 8’ long.Rounds are the most popular style of dining tables, except where U-shaped, hollow- square, or conference-room setups are required.
44 TablesSchoolroom or classroom table -- similar to the banquet 6 and banquet 8It can be 18” or 24” wide and 6’ to 8’ longUsed for business meetings where classroom presentations are madeSeating is usually on one side onlyCan also be used as one-half of a buffet table.Serpentine table -- a crescent-shaped tableTypical size used is 1/4 of a hollowed-out round tableCan be used to make a snake-shaped buffet line
46 Tables Half-moon table -- a half-round table Quarter-moon table -- a quarter-round tableCocktail table -- a small, round tableUsually available in 18”, 24”, 30-inch, and 36” diametersYou can use 30” heights (for sit-down service), shorter tables (for displays), or Tuxedo (bar height) for stand-up.
48 ChairsThe seat height of the chairs used should measure 17” from the floorThe most common seat-cushion dimension is 20” x 20”Typical banquet stacking chairs meet these specificationsFolding chairs usually do not; they are usually lower (15” high) and less comfortableFolding chairs should only be used for outside events or for emergency backup.
49 Bar Layout Bar setups are easier to plan than food events Unlike food, alcoholic-beverage service tends to be very standardizedAlso, you do not normally set up portable bars with the wide array of equipment needed to prepare and serve a complete line of specialty drinksSimple mixed drinks, wines, and beers are more commonly servedUnique specialty drinks are not commonly available.
50 Portable Bars Must serve all function needs Provide sufficient working spaceHave sufficient storage spaceEnhance cost control proceduresPrevent access by minorsAllow space for other itemsAccommodate special requestsAllow for proper accounting of drinks servedEnhance security
51 Coffee Stations & Refreshment Breaks Coffee may be the simplest and most profitable service you provideThere are more compulsive coffee drinkers in the US than there are compulsive liquor drinkers, and they need coffee throughout the dayCoffee drinkers are generally impatient and want their coffee right away, especially in the morningThe setup must be easy to understandYou must make access easyTraffic must flow smoothly with no backtracking.
52 CoffeeAttendees can draw 5 gallons of coffee from a single urn in 15 minutesYou can anticipate 20 6-ounce cups of coffee per gallon.It takes twice as long to add cream and sugar as it does to pour coffee, so cream and sugar should never be placed directly in front of the coffee urnsBy placing these items away from the urn, the line will move much faster.
53 Setup order for good flow From left to right:CupsRegular coffeeDecaffeinated coffeeHot water for teaTeabags, Sugar, Sweetener, Cream, Lemon SlicesSpoonsFood
54 Buffet LayoutBuffets are generally faster and more efficient than table-service, assuming there are enough buffet lines to accommodate the guests quickly and efficientlySome clients are under the impression that buffets are less expensive to implement than table-service stylesWhile labor costs may be a bit lower, there is no portion control and you must provide surplus food to insure an ample supply of each item.
55 BuffetsLower cost food items, such as salads and breads, should be placed first on the table so that the guests' plates will be full by the time they reach the main courseYou can also cut down on consumption by using a 9” plate instead of a 10” one.Put small portion sizes on buffetsInstead of serving whole chicken breasts, or even half-breasts, you should cut them into three or four pieces eachGuests who want to eat another meat on the buffet, but also want to sample the chicken, will not have to take a large piece of chicken,
56 BuffetsIf the buffet line will be longer than 16’, it should be two tables wide, i.e., about 4’ to 6’ wideA long, narrow line is unattractiveA wider line allows you to spread out the foods, create a more aesthetically pleasing depth perception, and enhance the set up with decorations and food displaysIf you must use long, narrow lines, you should use a combination of straight tables and curved ones to eliminate the "skinny" look.
57 BuffetsIf floor space is at a premium, you should use double-sided buffet tablesThey can save as much as 20% of your available floor spaceThey also tend to reduce leftovers because, when service slows near the end of the meal, you can close one side of the line and consolidate all foods on the open side.
58 Buffets Use small containers of food on the buffet line Try to use containers that hold no more than 25 to 30 servingsThey will be more attractive than large, elaborately garnished containersOnly the first few guests through the line will see the beautifully garnished large presentations before they are disturbedSmall containers will need frequent replacementExperience shows that guests will take smaller portions from smaller containers, and larger servings from bigger containersThe result: you save more on food cost than you spend for any extra laborSmaller containers usually mean fresher, more attractive presentations.
59 BuffetsMost meal buffets are usually set with one line for every 100 guestsOne line is one side of a buffet table, if you are using two sides, that is considered two linesThe maximum amount you can serve efficiently with one line is 120 guestsThe break point, therefore, is 120 guestsYou should have one line for every 100 guests, but you should have two lines if the number of guests ranges from 120 to 200.
60 BuffetsIf you set one buffet line for every 50 guests, you can feed the entire group in about 15 minutesThe first guest will take about 5 minutes to go through the lineAfter that, there will be about 4 guests passing through the line every minuteFor some luncheons, it might be a good idea to set one line for every 50 guests.
61 Tablescapes The top of the dining table is 'the stage.' Once guests are seated they will spend the rest of the meal function looking at the tableThe table presentation sets expectations for the meal and should reflect the themeThe colors of the napery should not clash with the carpet or wall treatmentsEach place setting is referred to as a coverThe cover should never be empty, or what is called a "naked cover."A show plate, folded napkin, menu or preset first course should be placed between the flatware.
62 NaperyWhen ordering napery, or requisitioning it from a “linen” room, you will need to specify the exact measurements neededFor round tables, for most functions, the size of the tablecloth should be approximately 18” wider than the table diameter so that about 9” of cloth will drape over the sidesIf the tabletop diameter is 60”, use a cloth 78” square. A 72” diameter table should be fitted with a 90” round clothIf you use rectangular dining tables, the tablecloth should also drape about 9” over the table's sides.
63 TableclothsSince the standard table measures 30” from the floor, and the standard chair seat measures 17” from the floor, a tablecloth with a 9” hem will not touch the chair seatsIf this tablecloth is fitted correctly on the dining table, it will not interfere with guest comfortHems should just barely touch the front edges of the chair seats.
64 Floor Length Tablecloths At formal dinners, if floor length tablecloths are desired, allow 29” on each sidefor a 72” round, you would order a 130” round tableclothWhen using floor length tablecloths, be sure that the setup crew does not push the chairs in so far that the cloth is not hanging straight down to the floor.
65 Cover/Place SettingThe standard cover includes a plate set in the center with flatware placed on either sideForks are placed to the left of the cover, knifes and spoons to the rightFlatware is placed in the order in which it will be used by the guest, from the outside inThe soup spoon would be on the outside and far right, as soup is usually an early courseThe knife would be closest to the center plate, with the blade edge facing the rim of the plateThe smaller salad fork would be set to the left of the dinner fork on the left side of the plate.
66 Cover Some dessert flatware may be placed above the center plate Dessert pieces set above the plate would have the bowl of the spoon facing the guest’s left, and the tines of the fork facing the guest’s rightThe exact place setting depends primarily on the menu and style of service selected by the clientCoffee cups should not be preset at a formal dinnerThey should be placed on the table after dinner when coffee service begins.
67 CenterpiecesFloral arrangements of cut flowers, potted plants or foliage combined with candles, lights, and ice carvings are excellent centerpiecesConsider how the flowers will look on the day you will be using themIf you want flowers in full bloom, you should purchase them a few days early to allow them to open fullyIf you are going to use roses on the same day as purchased, order "funeral roses," which are at their peak of bloomStore flowers between 38 and 45 degrees F.
68 CenterpiecesStrongly scented flowers, such as tiger lilies, can interfere with the palate, i.e., taste of the foodCenterpieces on dining tables should never be at eye levelThe centerpiece should not interfere with guests‘ sight lines, they should be placed under or over these sight linesYou do not want guests peering under, over, or around them trying to see the person on the other sideGuests should not have to have a conversation with a disembodied voiceFor height, use an "epergne," a container with a slender center portion that does not obstruct the view across the tableA centerpiece should not overpower a table.