My Beginning at Homewood
Updated: Aug 30, 2022
I am the Banquet Manager at Homewood Suites by Hilton in Center Valley, PA. I got hired as Banquet Manager in January 2018. The hotel opened in November 2017, and the first party was hosted around New Years', 2018, which meant I started right after their grand opening. There was a Chef and sales team in place, I think a bartender or two, but no wait staff. I was walking into a place that had a non-existent banquet department and no standards set, a completely blank slate.
The first staff member I was "given" was a young housekeeper with no banquet experience. She was open to moving from the housekeeping department to mine, so there I had it: my one and only, #1 waitress. She and I worked all of the events. Luckily, to start, they were all small(ish) and mostly corporate breakfast meetings. Along with working the events, I was also putting the tables and chairs in place beforehand because I had no setup crew or banquet houseman. It doesn't sound like much on paper, but I was working myself into the ground; I don't remember exactly anymore, but I had to have worked at least 100 hours my first two weeks. After being given my first paycheck paid by the hour, I was offered salary immediately (lol, *crying face*). Slowly but surely, I hired the staff that was needed, and we finally became a banquet team, not just a banquet one-(wo)man show with a sidekick.
So that was the beginning for me at Homewood; somewhat of a nightmare, but I refused to leave because it was what I loved, and it was something to call my own; something to be proud of. Over the years, I've always averaged around 15 employees, consisting of bartenders, servers, and the best setup guy in existence. I have a core wait staff of five and three main bartenders. I appreciate them every single day, because without them, I'd be back to square one, and the events at Homewood would not be possible.