On March 3-4, 2014, the Bay Region Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Grant Initiative (RHT), housed at Skyline College, hosted its first session in the Bay Region Training Tour. The workshop session titled “Hospitality Banquet Server Training” was held at the San Mateo County Event Center.  This pilot training workshop attracted close to 25 participants throughout the county. Ronny Tompot, Assistant General Manager at the San Mateo Event Center and Andrea Vizenor, Deputy Sector Navigator for Bay Region RHT, co-taught this interactive and relevant banquet training.

The two-day training provided attendees with the skills necessary in banquet serving such as tray carrying, napkin folding and formal/informal table settings and excellent guest service. In addition to learning these skills, participants had the potential to earn industry recognized certifications offered through the California Restaurant Association, the certifications included: ServSafe Food Handler and ServSafe Responsible Alcohol Training.

SAM_2140This was an industry-driven partnership project that was built with the support of leading industry partners in San Mateo County which include: Hilton SFO Bayfront, Hyatt SFO Airport, San Mateo Event Center, Primed and Prepped, Peninsula Works, and Acrobat Outsourcing. With the completion of this course, participants have gained skills that will assist them in workforce entry into hospitality careers and have learned the many exciting career pathway opportunities available in the Hospitality and Tourism industry.

Banquet server training is not the only stop on the RHT tour. For more information on future hospitality events and workshops contact Andrea Vizenor at

This activity is part of the Deputy Sector Navigator, Retail, Hospitality and Tourism “Learn and Earn” Grant awarded to Skyline College and the California Community Colleges Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy Initiative through the State Chancellors Office.

Article by Elizabeth Tablan