Hosting a Banquet Dinner
Hosting a banquet dinner involves a lot of coordination, guesswork, and... wine!
Finding a venue
Where should I start looking? Who should I talk to? What should I ask? What should I say??????
- Start by asking your departmental society on how far they think that students would be willing to move to get there. Most banquet locations are in downtown or in the Plateau, but it's highly recommended to find a location near the after party (try asking the EUS VP Internal for the location). Finding a location that is at a walking distance and/or "Uber-able" is also something to consider.
- When contacting the venues, you can either email or call them. Calling them is a quicker way on determining whether or not the venue fits your criteria, but sometimes, employees will tell you to send an email instead. Either way, you should directly ask for the manager since they are the ones in charge for large group bookings.
Deciding on a Menu
Congrats, you're a step closer to finishing banquet! After confirming the availability of the restaurant with the manager, it is time to now decide on the menu. A classic option would be to go for a 3-course menu. Some restaurants even give you the flexibility to choose your appetizers, main meals and desserts. Make sure that the menu fits most dietary restrictions, such as vegetarian or porc-free.
Most banquets are BYOB; an option that is preferred the most! However, if it isn't possible with the restaurant, it's still possible to discuss it over. For instance, you could organize a ticket system (e.g. 4 tickets for 4 drinks), or work with the restaurant to make an exception for your event, which is pretty rare. Some restaurants even suggest open-bar for a fixed price, but you should investigate more on how much wine the restaurant would be able to provide us. Whenever a restaurant is not BYOB, it's usually turned down and out of the list since banquet wouldn't be banquet without glorious wine. HOWEVER, banquet is open to all, so wine is totally optional, but highly preferred.
You usually seal the deal by making a contract, or the restaurant sends you one to sign. Important components to put in the contract includes, but is not limited to, projected amount of students attending, extra charges for possible damages and contact information of organizers and liabilities. Make sure to see if you can sign the contract, or if it is required for an EUS signing officer to do it according to the bylaws.
Most restaurants also require a deposit, and this is a matter to be discussed along the departmental VP Finance. The final payment date is to the discretion of the restaurant, so make sure to have the dates clearly written in the contract!
During the Event
Congrats, banquet is lit thanks to you!!!!!! Isn't it nice to see everyone dressed all fancy schmancy, sippin' their wines, mingling with each other, and hearing "O M G YOU'RE SO PRETTY" here and there? But remember: you are the direct liaison with the managers, and if anything were to go wrong, they will directly contact you to sort things out. That being said, you can still have fun like the others, but in order for everything to go smoothly, it is highly highly recommended that the organizers would at least remain functional enough to work with the managers. Remember that you are not alone in this and you have council members to help you out if anything goes wrong!
Tips and Important Considerations
- If your department has found an excellent venue that requires a fixed cost contract, you may want to give your consideration of it further thought.
- Found the perfect menu, but is expensive? Talk it through with the manager to see if they could adjust the price by modifying the menu. Also, consult the departmental VP Finance to see how much they would be able to subsidize students for the event.
- If an important scholarly commitment is involved, such as a midterm, the day following the banquet may add risk to being able to get the attendance needed to justify the dinner financially. If you're part of a departmental society, ask your year reps to do some checking on your behalf to see if the professors would be willing to adjust for an event that is being held every semester.
- If there is substantial risk, consider moving forward with a venue which may not be as appealing but that can accommodate a change in numbers a few days before.
Here are some venues which have previously been used by the EUS along with the rough cost of the menu and capacity information. Use this to get an idea of where you could host, though ensure you do some due diligence in your search.
List of Past Venues
|Venue Name||Held by in the past:||Banquet Size||Fixed or Variable Cost||Notes|
|Basha||IT Committee 2017||69||Variable with $300 deposit||Food was a little greasy, but most liked it.|
|Buonanotte||ECSESS W17||160||55$ menu||Food portions were small, but expected of a fancy place.|
|Chez Alexandre||ECSESS F16||150||40$ menu||Mixed responses for food.|
Set of Criteria
When looking for a venue, you should have a set of criteria that you have discussed with the council members. Such criteria include, but are not limited to:
- Amount of students/professors if applicable attending
- Price of menu
- Location (e.g. proximity to campus or after party)
- BYOB or nah