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Food and Beverage Management Essay

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Updated: Apr 9th, 2019

A five star hotel is a place of luxury that incorporates all the facilities that you can think of from a golf field, swimming facilities, accommodation, food and beverage, to catering services (Wood 2000).

The food and beverage department is the heart of any hotel. The mission of the department is to provide food and beverage that meets highest standards so that they can keep a competitive edge in the hotel industry.

The department is managed by the food and beverage director who works hand in hand with his assistant. This department is divided into kitchen, catering, bar and stewarding sections where each section is run by its manager who is in charge of its operations.

To keep up with the competition in the hotel industry, a five star hotel has to adopt strategies that shall place it in a competitive edge above its rivals.

There are two generic strategies that can work for a five star hotel and they include differentiation and focus strategies (Washington 2005). In differentiation strategy, they can decide to produce pastries, cookies and beverages that are unique in taste and branded with the hotel name.

If this is done, then most of the guests to the five star hotel shall associate it with its facilities. On the other hand, a focus strategy shall give the hotel a class of its own.

They may focus on marketing their products and services abroad and to tourists given that the service charges for such visitors are high on the basis of their needs.

It is worth noting that, the food and beverage department works very closely with other departments such as those of finance and procurement. This is due to the fact that, the operating cycle of control cannot be implemented without the involvement of these parties.

For instance, the food and beverage department sends a purchase requisition to the procurement department, so that they can forward a purchase order to prospective suppliers for the products requested.

On the other hand, the procurement department then requests the finance department to ascertain the possibility of funding these products. If the costs to be incurred are within the finance budget, then it approves the transaction to proceed.

Besides, it is important to realize that a typical operating cycle of a five star hotel involves seven stages. They include purchasing, receiving, storing, issuing, preparation, serving and service.

Purchasing, receiving, storing and issuing fall under the procurement department. In purchasing, the department develops specifications to meet the product quality and prepares a list of potential suppliers to be contacted for the purpose of supplying these goods.

Before the suppliers are selected, they undergo an appraisal procedure that only approves a few of them that are reliable.

On receiving the goods, the purchase department checks on their quality and quantity, whether they meet the set standards and prices as per the initial agreement and whether they have been delivered at the agreed time and manner. Finally, the department moves these goods to the store.

Inventory control is very essential to avoid excess of goods in the store that may increase carrying costs and also under-buying should be avoided to reduce ordering cost.

Hence, for the procurement department to be effective, then they should a Just-In-Time delivery system that ensures the supply of the limited quantities based on demand.

While issuing the goods from the store to the food and beverage department, the procurement department ensures they match the issue and usage to avoid waste and making subsequent orders only when the inventory is depleted.

However, preparation, serving and service fall under the food and beverage department. The food and beverage preparation starts in the kitchen.

The kitchen is managed by the executive chef and his assistant, whose responsibility is to ensure quality and consistency in preparing food and also ensure that the guests get satisfied (Cesar 2002, p.23).

When evaluating quality in the kitchen, the executive chef assesses the professional qualification of the cooks, whether they are putting on their aprons, if the kitchen room is clean and ensures the safety of the cooks, both from physical injury and in a case of unprecedented fire outbreak.

He also ensures that the hotel’s recipe is followed consistently so that the unique taste of the hotel’s products is maintained.

The assistant chef is responsible for the day to day operations of the kitchen besides representing the executive chef when he is not around. In addition, the kitchen management cannot be complete without station chefs who supervise specific sections of products.

For instance, we may have a pastry chef, a roast and grill chef among others. These are specialists in these products and they ensure that products of good quality are produced to meet customer satisfaction.

Moreover, a five star hotel has a bar that is supervised by the bar manager. These managers are better termed as sommeliers who work hand in hand with the bar maids.

These bar maids are involved in the beverage cycle that entails ordering, receiving, bar stocking, servicing and guest billing.

In addition to their management roles, the sommeliers take part in serving (ordering the drinks from the store and then delivering them to the bar maids) while the bar maids take part in providing direct services (taking orders from guests and giving them bills for payment) to the guests.

Hence, the sommeliers order specific wines that are frequently demanded by their esteemed customers, through the procurement department. On receiving these orders, the bar maids help the sommeliers to select the best wines based on the quality and brands.

If the drinks meet the required standards, the bar maids help in stocking the wines onto the bar shelves. They also help in taking orders from individual guests and billing them appropriately.

Before the bills reach the guests, the sommeliers supervising the staff countercheck them to ensure that they are neither overcharged nor undercharged by the bar maids.

This measure ensures that the hotel’s pricing policies are met. They also check on the wine dispensing system to ensure that it is in good working condition so as not to fail their services.

Besides, the hotel has a separate steward department headed by the chief steward. He ensures that the stewards have maintained cleanliness of the glassware and cutlery, dish washing machines, and that they control pests (Druly 2002, p. 45).

All the wine glasses and other utensils are collected and put in a dish washer for cleaning purpose. The incoming and out going number of these cutlery is recorded to determine those that have been broken, so that they are replaced immediately. Special detergents are used for cleaning glassware to ensure they remain free from stains.

For many hotels, pest control is an important issue to be looked at. These pests include flies, cockroaches, and mosquitoes.

Flies and cockroaches can be controlled by ensuring that all surfaces of equipments, seats and tables both in the kitchen, hotel and bar rooms have been cleaned thoroughly.

Where they become a menace, then pesticides can be applied at varying times not to infringe the comfort of the guests (Horace 2006, p. 22).

Another department that is crucial in the hotel is the catering department. However, the term catering is sometimes confused with banquet. In catering, guests can eat at varying times while in a banquet they eat at once in one place.

Hence, the catering division works closely with the director of food and beverage, director of sales and the executive chef through their catering services manager (Bond 2006, p. 13).

Since the catering division is concerned with providing services outside the hotel, then director of food and beverage and the executive chef have to know the expected number of guests to serve, the foods and drinks they would like to order for and whether they may require the products such as cakes to be customized so that they may supervise their staff appropriately in producing them.

On the other hand, the director of sales determines the prices of all the orders that have been placed and ensures that the hotel gets the revenue at the right time.

Finally, the food and beverage should have a security department that takes care of the store. It is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that only the authorized persons gain access into the food store. The guards also keep a record of the store.

The food and beverage department is faced by issues related to perishables, poor economic times, and technology. Some foodstuffs are usually imported and so by the time they reach at the premises, they have only a few days left to go bad.

In addition, the changing economic times have been a challenge to five star hotels that deal in foreign currencies which have been seen to depreciate over time.

Another challenge is the cost of technology that is required to produce goods and services of high quality (Dimmit 2004). These and other challenges have been an uphill for the hotel industry.

Reference List

Bond, F 2006, Practice of management: modern hotel, 3rd edn, Harvard Business Review, New York, US.

Dimmit, T 2004, Embracement of technology in the food and beverage division, PhD Thesis, Yale University, via American Digital Thesis Program.

Druly, H 2002, Management and hospitality in a modern hotel, 4th edn, Thomson Learning, London, UK.

Horace, T 2006, Challenges facing the hotel industry: poor economy, technology and pest control, 2nd edn, Thomson Learning, London, UK.

Cesar, J 2002, Hotel management: food and beverage, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, Berkshire, UK.

Washington, L 2005, Strategies of management: generic strategies, Stanford University, pp. 23-25.

Wood, K 2000, “Management of a five star hotel”, University of Cambridge, pp. 60-62.

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