For hotels that host corporate events, managing onsite events can be a challenge. Every event presents unique challenges for hotel management, and no one wants to be responsible for putting on an event that doesn’t meet their client’s expectations.
For hotel staff tasked with executing corporate events, a banquet event order helps ensure that any hotel can prepare and execute a flawless event.
What Is a Banquet Event Order (BEO)?
A banquet event order (also known as a BEO) is a contract document for those in catering sales, event planning, or hotel venue management that outlines all the important details of an event – such as dates, order of events, F&B needs, and more. BEOs are utilized by nearly all hotels and event halls that host events and conferences to centralize planning for corporate events and that the details of an event are agreed upon by the client, the event planner, and the venue.
Event planners and hotel GMs rely on BEOs to prepare and manage corporate events, acting as a project brief that builds confidence that any event is properly set-up and will go on without any issues. Most importantly, a BEO ensures that the venue is putting together an event that meets the expectations of the client.
Above: Example of a BEO.
What Information Is Included in a BEO?
1. Basic Event Details
Your BEO should include all the basic information for your event. Your banquet event order should include, at minimum, the following details:
- Contact Information for the Hotel
- Event Date
- Event Theme
- Event Start & End Time
- Guest Headcount
- Space Requirements
2. Food & Beverage Requirements
A BEO should also include all the food and beverage requirements needed for the event. This will vary for each event. Some events will require full-plated meals, while others will only require beverage services.
A few F&B details to include in your BEO include:
- Types of F&B Services Needed: Each event is different. Think outside of traditionally catered events. What does your event need food and beverage-wise? Will your event need appetizers, coffee, wine tasting, a full bar, etc.?
- Menu: Your BEO should list out all menu items that will be offered at your event.
- Dietary Requirements: If a company requests special dietary requirements such as meat-alternatives or allergies, be sure to include those in the BEO.
- Serving Times: What time food will be served.
- Beverage Details: The types of beverages and bar services needed.
- Prices: If the event does not include F&B in the ticket for guests, be sure to include that in the BEO.
3. Event Space Mockup
No BEO is complete without an event diagram. An event diagram visualizes the entire floorplan and layout of an event – from table setup, lighting, guest walking paths, bathrooms, and more. This is also where the room set-up section will exist. Be sure to also include details on parking and transportation in this section (or break parking and transportation out into its own section.)
4. Staffing & Equipment Requirements
Depending on the size of your gathering, you’ll need to list out all the staffing needed to execute the event. You’ll need to consider staff to manage the entire event from start-to-finish, including staff to manage the following areas:
- Parking Attendants & Valet Service
- Coat Check
- Guest Check-In
- Food Service & Wait Staff
- AV Technicians
You’ll also need to include all equipment needed to execute the event. This includes everything from:
- Tables & Chairs
- and more
5. Order of Events
The order of events is a form of your event’s schedule – down to the minute. This helps events stay on track and ensure that all aspects of the schedule go on without issues.
6. Vendor Information
Be sure to include all the contact information, pricing, and important details for all external vendors you’ve hired to help manage the event. This could include AV technicians, florists, bartender services, caters, and more.
7. Pricing & Billing
While a BEO is a project brief, it’s also a contract between the client and event space. Be sure to include all the important billing details broken down by fee types. This could be included as a per-person price or as a flat fee. Don’t forget to include details on how and when the client needs to submit their payment to avoid conflicts and unpaid events.
8. Special Requirements
Be sure to include a final section that acts as a catch-all for all other requirements of an event. Each event will have unique needs and challenges. Logging those needs in a BEO will ensure any hotel event planner is ready to execute their client’s dream event.
“The timing of our catering group orders is always perfect, and 2ndKitchen’s packaging and presentation are top-notch.”
Leslie Thompson, GM at Residence Inn French Quarter
4 Tips for Creating the Perfect Banquet Event Order
1. Use Software and Templates to Manage BEOs
Typically, event planners and hotel management staff are not writing BEOs by hand. There are many free BEO templates available for planners to use to manage their events – including our free BEO template.
Additionally, there are many project management software tools that can help venues and hotels create, send, store, manage, and automate all their BEOs in one place. Examples include:
2. Outsource Your Food & Beverage Operations
Many venues and hotels don’t have onsite F&B services – but that’s okay! There are many options for outsourcing food and beverage. Traditionally hotels would lean on a catering service to provide the F&B for their events – but there are new trends and technologies that hotels can leverage to offer a most cost-effective and better dining experience for attendees.
2ndKitchen is a free event catering and kitchen-as-a-service solution that allows kitchen-less venues and hotels to outsource food preparation to kitchens in nearby, popular restaurants. For venues and hotels, this allows for flexibility in menu creation and relies on the brand-recognition of well-known restaurants instead of utilizing traditional catering services.
Hotels can also use 2ndKitchen to offer room service and other F&B services to guests throughout their core hotel property and guest rooms. 2ndKitchen creates branded QR-code menus, guests order via a mobile ordering system, and meal drop-off times can be scheduled for bulk delivery or delivered on-demand – all completely managed by 2ndKitchen.
3. Visual Your Event with Mockups
A proper BEO includes mockups of the event space. Be sure to create an event space and floorplan mockup to give your client a visual example of what the final event will look like. You can leverage one of the many diagramming and mockup software tools to help your event come to life.
4. Collaborate with Your Clients
Finally, be sure to collaborate with your clients as much as possible. Leave no detail unmentioned. Be sure to give login credentials to all the event planning, project management, and mockup tools you’re using in order to have real cross-collaboration. Ask for feedback and critiques at every turn, and be sure that you empower your clients to give their honest feedback in order to put on exactly the type of event they want, as well as to build a strong relationship with them to lock in your event space for future events.