I have never worked for a reservation over 15 people before, until yesterday. Yesterday we were bought out for the lunch shift by a group of about 50 people for a wedding reception type event. We normally don't get bought out because we make more money on a normal day through regular business, as we have about 55 seats, and we can turn the tables at least twice, and usually 3 times on a normal lunch shift. Yesterday was a bit different though. Recently our weekend lunches have been almost dead, with some days where I can count the customers on my fingers. So my boss decided to have the big party come in, with the agreement that they spend at least $20 a head.
We had a set menu, sashimi tempura teishoku (teishoku is a set that comes with rice, pickles, miso soup, salad, and side dish). While the actual preparing of all the food was easy, finding space to put the cold foods was difficult, because our kitchen space is very limited. The tempura was made fresh, and sent out hot to each person. I was in charge plating all the sets, which means arranging the tempura, dishing out miso soup and rice, and organizing all the dishes on each tray. My job was made much easier because we only had 3 waitresses for that shift, and only two could take out food at a time, since the other was tending to the drinks so the kitchen was able to stay ahead of the wait staff. After all the food went out, there were no more orders that were going to come in so we were able to do prep work for dinner.
It was pretty hectic, but I enjoyed it. While I think being the head chef in the back of a kitchen is my ultimate goal, working in a catering or banquet business, seems like it could be fun alternative to the usual kitchen career.