Banqueting

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Researching a Hospitality Sector
Banqueting: Conferences & Exhibition Halls
Introduction
This report presents research into the banqueting sector of the hospitality industry, focusing on banqueting for conferences, exhibition halls and convention centres. The report will compare and contrast two organisations which operate within the banqueting sector. The two organisations chosen for the purpose of this assignment are the International Convention Centre (ICC) and the Hyatt Regency Hotel which is part of Hyatt International, one of the most prestigious hotel chains in the world, both of which are located in Birmingham city centre, close to Broad Street, one of birminghams bussiest streets. This objective shall be achieved by comparing the servicescape, including the premises and accommodation of the organisations. Staffing and training shall also be covered within the report. In addition, quality control procedures implemented by the organisations will be outlined in the report. And finally the report will discuss how both organisations care for their customers. Banqueting can be on premise catering or off premises; this assignment will focus on on-premise catering. Both organisations are commercial businesses as they are profit oriented.
Banqueting: A lucrative business
Schmidt (2001) notes the traditional meaning of the banqueting business is “providing food and beverages to a group of people who will eat together at the same time”. Banqueting is mainly associated with convention centres, exhibition halls and large hotels, although, as a side line, this type of food service is now being employed by many food service operations, such as restaurants, due to its profitability (Davis et al). Banquet food and beverages in some large convention hotels, can account for as much as 70% or more of the combined total food and beverage percentage from all other services in the hotel, such as restaurant, room service and bars. (quote research??). Banqueting can thus be an extremely lucrative business.

Competition
The banqueting sector can be very competitive due to the enormous potential profits. Convention centres such as the ICC have to compete with other convention centres such as the BT convention Centre in Liverpool. Recently opening in January 2008 the centre is now the ICC main competitor, taking many of their existing customers. (reword). As well as having to compete with other convention centres, the ICC is also in competition with hotels such as the Hyatt and Crown Plaza. Hotels such as these now have added conference facilities or have modified their existing banqueting space in order to get a share of the conference business. Conference aston -

Servicescape
To compare the said businesses it is important to analyse their servicescape. Servicescape is a widely used term to describe “the location in which the service encounter takes place” (Beech et al 2005). Booms and Bitner (1981) were first to develop the concept of servicescape and defined it as “the environment in which the service is assembled and in which seller and consumer interact, combined with tangible commodities that facilitate performance or communication of the service”. Fundamentally the servicescape influences profitability. According to Berry et al (1988) one managerial implication is that it can help segment, position and differentiate a company from its competitors. Three key dimensions of the servicescape were identified by Bitner (1992). These elements collectively influence customers’ overall holistic perceptions of the servicescape (i.e. perceived service quality) and their subsequent responses.

Servicescape: Ambient Conditions

Above: Entrances to the ICC and the Hyatt
The servicescape is different for the ICC and the Hyatt as the organisations differ hugely in scale and diversity. The ICC can cater for as little as eight for a business dinner to up to 2, 000 in a 3,000 sqm banqueting hall...
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