20 Jul

5 Things You Can Expect to See on Your BEO

A banquet event order, commonly referred to as a BEO, is a document that outlines the details of your event. Kahn’s Catering, like many other businesses, use BEOs as a guideline to execute and communicate vital logistics to all necessary departments- as well as to the client. Your event specialist builds your BEO and will work with you to update and modify it throughout the planning process. Regardless if you are hosting a business function, social engagement or a wedding ceremony and reception, every event you plan will have a banquet event order attached to it.

Here are 5 components of the BEO you should expect to see:

1. Timeline
It has been said that timing is everything, but if you intend to plan your event down the minute, expect things to not go according to plan. We don’t mean for this to sound harsh, but this is the reality of most events. Over-planning a timeline tends to cause more harm than good, not to mention more stress for you. The most important aspect of any event timeline is the order of events. A timeline is a road map to how an event unfolds. Of course there will be a start time and an end time, but in the middle are a variety of things that need to happen such as toast, speakers, presentations, introductions, entertainment, food service, first dances – the list goes on. This doesn’t mean that you won’t see times on your event timeline – you will. Various aspects of your event will be tied to specific times such as when guests are to transition from cocktail hour to the reception, the time of the meal serve, and the time of bar closes and opens. It’s possible you’ll have several times listed on your BEO, and it is also possible that you’ll only have a few. Either way, don’t focus all your energy on perfecting your times to the minute. Ensure that all the events you want to happen are listed and are in the order you want them to happen.

This section of your BEO is the one section that applies to all areas of the operation. It allows the setup team to know when they are needed to setup and by what time everything needs to be in place. It notifies the culinary team of the times food needs to be prepared and ready. The timeline also notifies the event captain, the person that works with your event specialist to execute your event as it happens, or each time and detail they need to be aware of during the course of your event.

2. Menus
Every item you select will be listed in the order that they are to be served, beginning with the cocktail hour (if you are having one), on your banquet event order. This section of the BEO will detail the bar/beverage you’ve selected, hors d’oeuvres, salad, entrée, sides and dessert. Regardless of whether or not you’re having a plated meal or a buffet, all items will be listed in this order.

In the example menu below a vegetarian option is listed. If you are catering for guests with special diets, it will be notated on your BEO. Typically special diets are listed on the first page of the BEO so that our executive chefs see the information right away and can plan appropriately for those accommodations. The special diet notations are also noted in the actual menu section itself by listing the options selected. In addition to simply listing out what the allergy is, it is also noted where those affected by special diets are sitting to ensure a seamless meal service for your guests. Usually this is in the form of listing the table number, guest name, and allergy.


This section of the BEO applies to both the culinary team and your event captain. Of course the culinary team needs to be aware of what needs to be prepared, but it also communicates to the event captain what items are being offered so their servers can explain the menu to guests and also warn people of any allergens should they ask.

3. Set Up & Equipment
Expect to see a diagram as part of your BEO, as well as notes about how the room will be set up and what types of tables and table arrangements will be used. Your linen information will also be listed, including where specific linens are to be placed. Audio visual notes and equipment will also be included in this section. If you are having audio visual at your event, be sure to verify your needs in advance of your event and arrange for a time to test your technology before the start of it. Remember, even if you test your technology a day or two in advance, you’ll still want to test your technology the day of as a final precaution.

Below is an example of what a room diagram looks like, including the language that you may find on your BEO. This is from a real wedding that was recently held at the Indiana State Museum. (Read about Carl and Amanda’s wedding day here!) We understand that the wording and phrasing we use to describe set up may not make much sense, but when you read through it be sure to check that the linen you want is noted on the correct tables and locations. It might see like gibberish, but the BEO and diagram is how we make your vision a reality.



Your room layout and equipment are important to set up team and your captain, predominately. The set up team will need to know where everything is to be placed and set, but the captain needs to know that information to verify placements and also check-in with you regarding the technology you intend to use.

4. Vendor Information
The vendors you choose for your event will be listed on the BEO. Even though you already know who they are, it’s important for them to be listed so that we know who to expect. Typically vendors arrive about 2 hours prior to the event. With that in mind, we need to know who is coming (and when). Both their name and their contact information are important – especially if someone that we are expecting to arrive does not show up… we want to be able to contact them to ensure that everything is in place and ready to go at the start of your event when you and your guests arrive.




This information is vital to no one other than your event captain and event specialist. It’s important when dealing with vendors like florist, DJs, bands, and photo booths or other physical entertainment like casinos.

5. Special Requests
Special requests will be noted throughout your BEO dependent on what it pertains to. You’ll notice this in the menu section for special meals, allergies, and custom menu items. It will also be evident in the setup and equipment section for any personal items that you want laid out on a memory table or favor table or if you have menu cards you want laid at each seat.

Special requests, as they apply, affect different parts of the operation based on what they are in regards to. It’s possible that you’ll have special requests and notes for your event that apply to each of our teams respectively.

Every event is different, so every BEO will be too. As you work with your event specialist to plan your event, always read through your BEO and sign off of the changes made. This is the path to success for your event and the one document that contains all vital information to your event going as planned. Be sure to ask questions if you do not understand something!

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