Introduction to the Food and Beverage Sector
Profit generated from the provision of food and beverage services is another significant source of income in the hospitality business.
The food and beverage department within a hotel consists of various units and huge quantity of staff in order to cater the needs of customers inside or outside the hotel.
Generally speaking, the provision of food and beverage services are not only limited to restaurants and bars operating inside a hotel property. In fact, it also involves other functional units.
A kitchen is a place for the storage and preparation of food. In some hotels, there may be a variety of kitchens catering to different needs, from breakfast, lunch and dinner, to events such as gala dinners and conferences.
The number of customers being catered for varies depending on the size of the dining facilities and kitchen, the number of staff employed and the equipment being used.
The purpose of a kitchen is to produce the right quality of food of the highest standard for the required number of people, on time, by the most effective use of staff, equipment and materials.
It is sometimes necessary for a hotel to have different types of kitchens and cooking sections.
Different types of kitchens/sections serve their unique functions.
Production kitchens produce foods for separate
service areas in the hotel.
The amount of food produced can be as large
as in the production for airlines or function centres
dealing with hundreds of people, or as in the food
production for a counter area where smaller
numbers of customers are catered for.
Most hotels have at least one dining room that can be used for breakfast, lunch and dinner meals.
Typically these food and beverage areas are run by a Restaurant Manager.Some larger and higher-grade hotels may have multiple restaurants and dining areas,
In hotels can vary, e.g. coffee shop, casual restaurant, formal dining room, banqueting facilities. Restaurants can also often specialize in certain types of food or sometimes present a certain theme. For example, there are seafood restaurants, vegetarian restaurants or ethnic restaurants.
Hotels may have different restaurants to cater for different events and times of the day. For example, breakfast and lunch may be served in the same restaurant whereas dinner may be in a more formal setting.
There are many different restaurants offering an array of foods and culture. Some specialize in foods from different countries.
Using the Internet, see how many different types of foods from different countries are offered in your area.
A banquet, event or function can be described as the service of food and drink at a specific time and place, to a given number of customers at a known price. Banquet is a term used to describe a large formal occasion, e.g. wedding.
Some examples of hospitality functions include:
Business functions: Conferences, lunch and dinner meetings Social functions:
Gala dinners, anniversaries, weddings
The banqueting service is an on demand service which requires advanced reservation by customers. The demand for banquet staff is less stable when compared with restaurants and may involve the recruitment of part-time staff in this department, especially in peak seasons.
Hotel catering events are usually organized in different formats. Set menus are generally preferred in most catering events. And some organizers would prefer choosing buffet style which is suitable when time is limited.
Hotels, which provide banqueting facilities and services are always equipped with banqueting kitchens. The setting of a banqueting kitchen should be spacious which allows mass production of food items required for every single event.
In some hotels, special preparation areas are also available in adjacent to the banquet kitchen for the plating of dishes as the end stage of food production.
This is the service provided in hotels that allows customers to order food and drink to be delivered to their rooms.
Although not all hotels have room service available for their customers, such a service does give conveniences and enhance guest satisfaction during their stays. Customers who order food and beverages to be delivered to their rooms can enjoy high privacy and personalized services in their dining experiences.
In order to enhance the efficiency of this service unit, the room service department should be located conveniently near the kitchen and the service elevators.
Some hotels offer 24-hour room service which enable customers to place food orders at any time, ranging from breakfast to night owl menus. Orders are normally taken by room service staff over the telephone and some hotels have assigned such a responsibility to the telephone operators which serve as centralized points for handling all internal and external phone calls.
To ensure the freshness of food orders, hot dishes are kept in the warmer inside the service cart before being delivered to the room. Close communication with the housekeeping department is essential to ensure no used trays or dishes are left outside guest rooms.
In order to reduce the workload on room attendants, floor checks are performed regularly by room service staff to ensure the hygiene and tidiness of corridors on each hotel floor.
Bar management involves planning, organizing, staffing, leading and controlling. A bar manager’s responsibilities often include coordinating, training and evaluating the staff.
Bars managers will have a sound knowledge of wines, beers and spirits, and also the ability to make alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails
The stewarding department is responsible for the correct cleaning, drying and storage of all equipment used in the preparation and cooking of food. It is critical to prevent the spread of bacteria and cross-contamination.
Responsibilities of the Chief Steward are:
Cleanliness of back-of-house
Washing of pots and pans
Cleanliness of glassware, china and cutlery
Inventory of chemical stock
Maintenance of dishwashing machines
Pest control, where necessary
Most hotels have their own staff canteens which are managed by the food and beverage department. In some cases, hotels may appoint a catering company in manage and offer food and beverage services to employees. Some of them operate 24-hour a day to provide free meals to staff working in different shifts.
Operational cost would not be counted as an expense of the food and beverage department but budgeted by the financial controller of the hotel as a cost of the HR department.
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