James Bond, Director of Catering & Tournament Sales for Diamond Oaks Country Club, Fort Worth, Texas, and C&RB Blogger, emphasizes flexibility and quality as the keys to success with any banquet operation.
Q: Tell us about your banquet operation at Diamond Oaks CC.
A: We have three different rooms that can be broken down in a lot of different ways. Our grand ballroom can seat up to 300 guests, The Winchester Room has an outdoor patio that can accommodate up to 100 people and the Ackey Room can accommodate up to 60 people. We offer our outdoor gazebo for wedding ceremonies but we also use it for F&B events as well.
Q: Do you offer your members and guests a standard banquet menu?
A: Yes, we offer both a package for weddings which has more “add ons” and also bar menus as well as a standard three course menu for high school banquets and church/professional groups that are fairly simply with little to no “add ons,” and most likely no bar.
Q: How often do you change those menus?
A: I review the menus each spring and fall so I guess you could say every six months. I do not always change them drastically, but I will reevaluate the pricing as well as the items themselves to make sure they are relevant and interesting.
Q: What are some of the most important elements in creating a banquet menu?
A: You have to consider the budget, culture, style of service (buffet, family-style or plated), the length of the event as well as the number of guests attending.
Q: How do you ensure quality food in a banquet type environment?
A: Our kitchen is very proud of the product they produce. I also make it a point to see the food before it leaves the kitchen and is viewed by the guests. Like most operations, we are not perfect, but we do the absolute best we can.
Q: What makes your banquet menu unique?
A: We are able to customize the menu in any way for any reason. We are also able to recreate menu item members or guests may have seen or tasted elsewhere or work with them directly to come up with new options. We are also very understanding of vegetarians and other dietary issues that require some guests to be served a “special” meal. I have heard from many people that some of my competition is not willing to make those options available for those guests. Great customer service, right?
Q: What are some of your most popular and unique banquet dishes?
A: Our most popular would be the Beef & Chicken Fajitas due to their versatility and also our 1000 Garlic Chicken which is served with a Lemon and White Wine Sauce. Carving stations and other action stations have always been, and will always be a crowd favorite, too.