Function room's appearance Location Utilities Amount of floor space.
A function room's appearance is high on most clients' priority lists Often a potential client is attracted to the facility primarily because of the ambience provided View
Lighting Sound Colors Walls Temperature Smell Visibility Layout
Room dimension Ceiling height Number of columns Exits and entrances Proximity, number and quality of restroom facilities Colors and types of floor and wall coverings Sound insulation Lighting
The typical ceiling height in hotel or convention center function rooms is approximately eleven feet In many local municipalities, the building code may require a higher ceiling Some building codes stipulate 14-foot ceilings in public areas, such as restaurants, theaters, and shops.
A lectern or head table should not be located next to an entrance because the movement of those coming and going will disrupt the speaker If 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.
The colors and types of floor and wall coverings are the first thing a client sees when viewing a function room In addition to meeting building-code requirements, they should be free from stains and in good repair They also should be in good taste and decorated with style.
Guests tend to eat and drink more in brightly lit, colorfully decorated surroundings Vibrant colors, such as brilliant red, hot pink and bright yellow stimulate the appetite Dark tones dull the appetite Examples of colors that cool the appetite are dark green, navy blue, gray and black.
Some caterers consider how the clients are paying for receptions If 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 choice However, clients that are paying on a consumption basis would benefit the facilitys sales in a brighter room.
Table placement at receptions affects food consumption An hors doeuvre table placed against a wall only provides 180° access to the food A rectangular table in the center of the room provides two open sides and 360° access to the food, and greater food consumption
A round table in the center of the room gives an appearance of a lavish presentation But 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 eat Which decreases food consumption.
If the function room is a great distance from the kitchen, the menu planner may be limited to only those foods that hold up well The banquet staff also will need to use hot and cold transport equipment in order to preserve the foods' culinary quality en route Without 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 distances The extra effort also could increase labor costs.
Types of electricity available in house Types of electricity that can be brought in Maximum wattage Maximum lighting Number of separate lighting controls Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) capacity. Closed-circuit TV, radio, and VCR system. Closed-circuit, audio- visual (AV) system Paging system Number, types, and locations of: electrical outlets electrical floor, wall, and ceiling strips phone jacks dimmer switches vents and ducts built-in speakers doors (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 hookups exhaust fans drains water connections Data ports for computers
Number of Guests Type of Dining Tables Aisle Space Dance Floor Space Bandstand Other Entertainment Head Tables Bank Maze Reception Needs Buffet Table Beverage Station/Bar Side Stands Action Stations Staging Area Cashier Display Area Landing Space Meeting Activity Style of Service Audience Separation Handicap Seating Props, Décor, Plants
Local fire code will dictate the maximum number of people who can be legally housed in a function room This maximum is a good guide when planning a stand-up function, such as a cocktail reception It can also be a good guide when planning theater or auditorium setups Many events, such as banquet or classroom setups, will accommodate fewer persons For most F&B, you would be unable to accommodate the maximum number of persons allowed by the local fire code Room setups for these types of events will reduce the number of guests that can be handled efficiently and comfortably.
Allocate 10 sq ft per guest at rectangular banquet tables Round tables require about 12 ½ sq ft per guest These estimates will suffice if you are using standard chairs whose chair seats measure 20 by 20 Adjust your estimates if you use smaller chairs seats 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 guests Chair backs should be placed from two to three feet apart.
Aisles are needed for server access and customer maneuverability Aisles between tables and around food and beverage stations should be at least 48 inches wide Leave enough entry and exit room for guests Allocate sufficient cross-aisle space aisles used for guests to collect and funnel in and out of the function areas cross-aisles should be approx. six feet wide.
Allocate 3 sq ft of dance floor per guest Lay-out squares for portable dance floors come in 3 by 3 sections 9 sq ft Use one section for every three guests A 24 by 24 dance floor covers approximately 600 sq ft of floor space.
Estimate about 10 sq ft per band member Drum sets usually require about 20 sq ft Large pianos, synthesizers, runways, and so forth need additional space Disc jockeys may need considerably more space to hold their equipment and music collection Check the entertainment contract as it may set forth the floor-space specifications.
Bandstands are often elevated on risers Risers come in many shapes and sizes The 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 room Most are 4 by 4 or 4 by 8 folding risers that can be adjusted to several heights Set up with steps with attached hand and light strips A lawsuit can occur if a guest falls from an improperly set stage.
You may need to allocate additional floor space for strolling musicians, and other similar entertainment Check the entertainers' contracts for exact space requirements.
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 stage If 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 space 48 sq ft will seat four guests at 24 intervals 12 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 long The rule of thumb is 2 pp, plus 2.5 for the podium For more comfortable seating, allow 2.5 to 3 pp.
A bank maze consists of posts (stanchions) and ropes set up to control guest traffic You may want to use bank mazes to control traffic around cashier and ticket-taker stations Allocate more floor space to accommodate them.
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 stations Consequently, they may eat and drink less If 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.
7 ½ sq ft pp is considered to be a "comfortably- crowded" arrangement It is thought to be the ideal amount of floor space per guest for receptions and other similar functions 10 sq ft provides more than ample space for guests to mingle and visit easily the food and beverage stations It is an appropriate amount of floor space for a luxury- type reception It is an appropriate setup if the client is paying according to the amount of food and beverage consumed You want guests to have enough room to eat and drink as much as they want so that your revenues are maximized.
Food stations need enough floor space for the tables and aisles An 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.
Allocate approx two running feet of buffet table for each food container Tp display three hot offerings, three cold offerings, and a condiment basket, you should set up a buffet table about 14 to 16 long With 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 table The total allocation for this setup is 200 sq ft.
For self-service, nonalcoholic beverage stations, setups are similar to buffet-table setups A hot-beverage station will need about as much space as a buffet table laden with foods Bars need more floor space because you need room to store back-up stock, ice, and coolers to hold beer and some wines Allocate enough working space for bartenders and, if applicable, cocktail servers The smallest portable bar measures approximately 6 x 7 or about 42 sq ft Taking account of aisle and other space needed, you need to allocate at least 150 sq ft for the typical portable banquet-bar setup.
Side stands, tray jacks and bus carts Three square feet each
Also called Performance or Exhibition Stations Allocate a bit more floor space than for a buffet, so guests can gather and view the chefs' performance Your floor-space estimate also must be increased if the action station is elevated on a riser.
If you anticipate any of these needs, you will need to allocate sufficient space to accommodate them temporary serving line in the function room band or disc jockey equipment storage A client may need space to store convention materials, party favors, and other similar items Floor space for lighting and sound equipment A temporary service corridor to store hot carts If 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.
Some functions, particularly beverage functions, may require floor space for one or more cashiers The catered event might include a cash bar The typical facility will require the client to use cashiers to sell drink tickets. Plan at least 25 to 30 sq ft for one cashier station If a security guard will be stationed at the cashier area, you will need additional floor space to accommodate this person.
.Sometimes clients need space to set up their own cashier stations, registration/information tables, kiosks, booths, and so forth A 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.
Where guests can discard empty plates, glasses, soiled napery, and waste A tray on a folding tray jack stand located next to a bar or against a wall Allow 4 sq ft for each of landing space area Cocktail or tuxedo tables can also accommodate this need You can reduce the amount of landing space if attendants remove the discards quickly and often during the event Landing space should be allocated on the buffet tables between and in front of food containers Guests will need some place to set their drinks while putting food on their plates They may need room on the table to set their plates temporarily while deciding what foods to take.
A client may want to have a business meeting and the meal or reception in the same function room
This is important if you are planning to use French or Russian service, as these service styles require up to twice as much floor space Some buffets, especially those where beautiful displays and several tables are used, may also need extra space Instead 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.
If you expect to have a physically handicapped guest, you will need to allocate additional floor space A wheelchair-bound guest will need a bit more space at the dining table as well as a wider aisle in which to navigate.
Using 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 paper Many 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.
Software 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 presentations Most of these software packages also will automatically generate standard seating styles MeetingMatrix, Vivien, RoomViewer
Function Room Status Timing of Events Setup Difficulty Function Room Layout and Design Décor Pre-movement Tear Down Lighting and AV Outside Service Contractors
Should be 30 high 60 round – typically called a round of 8, or 8-top It is usually used to seat between 6 to 10 guests. 72 round – typically called a round of 10, or 10-top It 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 rounds It can seat between 8 to 10 guests
Banquet 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.
Schoolroom or classroom table -- similar to the banquet 6 and banquet 8 It can be 18 or 24 wide and 6 to 8 long Used for business meetings where classroom presentations are made Seating is usually on one side only Can also be used as one-half of a buffet table. Serpentine table -- a crescent-shaped table Typical size used is 1/4 of a hollowed-out round table Can be used to make a snake-shaped buffet line
Half-moon table -- a half-round table Quarter-moon table -- a quarter-round table Cocktail table -- a small, round table Usually available in 18, 24, 30-inch, and 36 diameters You can use 30 heights (for sit-down service), shorter tables (for displays), or Tuxedo (bar height) for stand-up.
The seat height of the chairs used should measure 17 from the floor The most common seat-cushion dimension is 20 x 20 Typical banquet stacking chairs meet these specifications Folding chairs usually do not; they are usually lower (15 high) and less comfortable Folding chairs should only be used for outside events or for emergency backup.
Bar setups are easier to plan than food events Unlike food, alcoholic-beverage service tends to be very standardized Also, you do not normally set up portable bars with the wide array of equipment needed to prepare and serve a complete line of specialty drinks Simple mixed drinks, wines, and beers are more commonly served Unique specialty drinks are not commonly available.
Must serve all function needs Provide sufficient working space Have sufficient storage space Enhance cost control procedures Prevent access by minors Allow space for other items Accommodate special requests Allow for proper accounting of drinks served Enhance security
Coffee may be the simplest and most profitable service you provide There are more compulsive coffee drinkers in the US than there are compulsive liquor drinkers, and they need coffee throughout the day Coffee drinkers are generally impatient and want their coffee right away, especially in the morning The setup must be easy to understand You must make access easy Traffic must flow smoothly with no backtracking.
Attendees can draw 5 gallons of coffee from a single urn in 15 minutes You 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 urns By placing these items away from the urn, the line will move much faster.
From left to right: Cups Regular coffee Decaffeinated coffee Hot water for tea Teabags, Sugar, Sweetener, Cream, Lemon Slices Spoons Food
Buffets are generally faster and more efficient than table-service, assuming there are enough buffet lines to accommodate the guests quickly and efficiently Some clients are under the impression that buffets are less expensive to implement than table-service styles While 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.
Lower 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 course You can also cut down on consumption by using a 9 plate instead of a 10 one. Put small portion sizes on buffets Instead of serving whole chicken breasts, or even half-breasts, you should cut them into three or four pieces each Guests 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,
If the buffet line will be longer than 16, it should be two tables wide, i.e., about 4 to 6 wide A long, narrow line is unattractive A 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 displays If you must use long, narrow lines, you should use a combination of straight tables and curved ones to eliminate the "skinny" look.
If floor space is at a premium, you should use double-sided buffet tables They can save as much as 20% of your available floor space They 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.
Use small containers of food on the buffet line Try to use containers that hold no more than 25 to 30 servings They will be more attractive than large, elaborately garnished containers Only the first few guests through the line will see the beautifully garnished large presentations before they are disturbed Small containers will need frequent replacement Experience shows that guests will take smaller portions from smaller containers, and larger servings from bigger containers The result: you save more on food cost than you spend for any extra labor Smaller containers usually mean fresher, more attractive presentations.
Most meal buffets are usually set with one line for every 100 guests One line is one side of a buffet table, if you are using two sides, that is considered two lines The maximum amount you can serve efficiently with one line is 120 guests The break point, therefore, is 120 guests You should have one line for every 100 guests, but you should have two lines if the number of guests ranges from 120 to 200.
If you set one buffet line for every 50 guests, you can feed the entire group in about 15 minutes The first guest will take about 5 minutes to go through the line After that, there will be about 4 guests passing through the line every minute For some luncheons, it might be a good idea to set one line for every 50 guests.
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 table The table presentation sets expectations for the meal and should reflect the theme The colors of the napery should not clash with the carpet or wall treatments Each place setting is referred to as a cover The 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.
When ordering napery, or requisitioning it from a linen room, you will need to specify the exact measurements needed For 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 sides If the tabletop diameter is 60, use a cloth 78 square. A 72 diameter table should be fitted with a 90 round cloth If you use rectangular dining tables, the tablecloth should also drape about 9 over the table's sides.
Since 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 seats If this tablecloth is fitted correctly on the dining table, it will not interfere with guest comfort Hems should just barely touch the front edges of the chair seats.
At formal dinners, if floor length tablecloths are desired, allow 29 on each side for a 72 round, you would order a 130 round tablecloth When 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.
The standard cover includes a plate set in the center with flatware placed on either side Forks are placed to the left of the cover, knifes and spoons to the right Flatware is placed in the order in which it will be used by the guest, from the outside in The soup spoon would be on the outside and far right, as soup is usually an early course The knife would be closest to the center plate, with the blade edge facing the rim of the plate The smaller salad fork would be set to the left of the dinner fork on the left side of the plate.
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 guests left, and the tines of the fork facing the guests right The exact place setting depends primarily on the menu and style of service selected by the client Coffee cups should not be preset at a formal dinner They should be placed on the table after dinner when coffee service begins.
Floral arrangements of cut flowers, potted plants or foliage combined with candles, lights, and ice carvings are excellent centerpieces Consider how the flowers will look on the day you will be using them If you want flowers in full bloom, you should purchase them a few days early to allow them to open fully If you are going to use roses on the same day as purchased, order "funeral roses," which are at their peak of bloom Store flowers between 38 and 45 degrees F.
Strongly scented flowers, such as tiger lilies, can interfere with the palate, i.e., taste of the food Centerpieces on dining tables should never be at eye level The centerpiece should not interfere with guests sight lines, they should be placed under or over these sight lines You do not want guests peering under, over, or around them trying to see the person on the other side Guests should not have to have a conversation with a disembodied voice For height, use an "epergne," a container with a slender center portion that does not obstruct the view across the table A centerpiece should not overpower a table.