The banqueting department is without doubt one of the most dynamic areas in food and beverage; we, at Les Roches, do not miss any opportunity to offer this type of exposure to our students while they are in the school.
Nowadays, most hotel chains focus their efforts on generating revenue from their banqueting departments which, together with the rooms department, are the main source of income for their operation.
Innovations in this field appear every single day, and companies will do whatever it takes to gain a competitive edge in this market, be it through catering for business meetings, social events, weddings, or providing indoor or outside catering.
In 2014, we added an extra practical rotation to our applied learning program for BBA1 students, whereby every day students have the opportunity to serve a full lunch banquet event.
They start on Monday with a simple three course menu, and as they move through the week, service gets more and more elaborate, enabling them to learn different techniques: French, English or Family style, wine service, order taking, and, time permitting, some of the very traditional service techniques such as carving, flambé and guéridon service.
In addition, we often organize cocktail receptions for new students, alumni, industry visitors, open days and special events such as our famous “Cultural Night” when we serve up to 800 hungry guests who are eager to discover all the different F&B specialties that our multicultural community has to offer.
But the most exciting opportunities for students are all the outside catering events in which we participate. They give them the opportunity to work in a real-life scenario, with real guests, at some of the most breath-taking settings in the region. These events are also important for the school; students get extra-curricula training and more importantly, the school is able to reinforce links with the local community.
Last month, groups of 35 students had the opportunity to serve lunch and dinner at the VIP restaurant at the Women’s Skiing World Cup in Montana, under the direction of Service Teacher, Maurizio Sinigallia.
They worked hard for long hours, but they also had a lot of fun, serving some of the most influential figures in the Crans Montana community right at the finishing line on the slopes. It was a great atmosphere full of music, joy and sports, where our students once again left a very good impression through their practical skills and their wonderful Les Roches attitude.