Hospitality management is a complex, wide and extremely diverse field. This field is exceptionally challenging in terms of anticipating the needs of clients and guests. Besides, it is not a profession for everyone. It needs creative people, able to identify the needs of clients, ready to work with the public, and people who can think quickly when it comes to solving problems (Barrows and Powers 99).
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According to The Food and Beverage Industry in Taiwan, this industry has grown tremendously over the last one decade. This paper looks at the food and beverage industry, which is an important field in hospitality management and one that lies at the center of the tourism industry.
The essay begins by looking at the food and beverage industry in general, and then proceeds to look at the main sectors of the industry. The essay also reviews some of the reasons behind the growth of the industry. The remaining parts include elements of the industry, market assessment, and consumer needs, kitchen and dinning room designs, menu planning, cost control, food processing, and market technologies.
Food and Beverage Industry
Over the last few decades, the food and beverage industry has tremendously flourished in the business market from serving few individuals to international corporations. There is an increasing number of people having their meals in hotels and buying packed food when travelling or going for picnics. This growth in the food and beverage industry has also resulted into the growth of several companies such as Coca-Cola and Starbucks.
Main sectors of Food and Beverage Industry
The food and beverages industry falls into two major sectors, viz. commercial and subsidized/welfare. As a commercial entity, the industry further falls into two sub sectors, viz. restricted market and general market. Restricted market includes transport catering, clubs, workplace catering, and institutional food and beverage preparation. General market comprises of hotels, restaurants, snack bars, pubs, vending machines, and fast foods.
Subsidized food and beverage industry also falls into two sectors, viz. institutional catering and employee catering. Institutional catering applies to the operations in schools, universities, colleges, hospitals, prisons, and any other institution where they offer similar services (Davis, et al. 83).
Reasons behind blossoming of the Industry
People choose to go out, for instance, to celebrate a special function like graduation or when one gets job promotion. People also eat out when they are meeting friends. Hotel setting is a good place to meet new people or people that one would not want to meet at home. People could also eat away from home to commemorate an event. It could be a birthday or an event that positively influenced an individual or a group.
There are also people who eat out just to have a change from the family routine. Food and beverage operation centers are equally good locations to have meetings. Moreover, people eat out while travelling, especially on long journeys. In addition, people eat out when they are at work, attending a workshop, or in school. All these reasons are driven by the fundamental fact that the food and beverages industry is specifically designed to satisfy the demands of the consumers.
Elements of Food and Beverage Industry
There are eight elements of food and beverage industry. The first element is monitoring the needs of consumers for consumer satisfaction is very necessary for the existence of the industry. The second component is production and service aspects, which are perhaps the most important factors in the industry.
They are two-way, viz. the owner gets the profit and the consumer gets quality service. The third element is monitoring of costs and revenues. The other elements include consumer and market, formulation of policy, interpretation of demand, provisioning, and convergence of facilities.
Market assessment and Consumer Needs
Market assessment and consumer needs are two great factors to consider when setting up a food and beverage establishment. After analyzing the food and beverage industry through market research, one can prosperously decide to establish the business. Therefore, it is important to employ market research skills (market information, questionnaires, and sales-analysis among others) to map out the industry framework (Haverkamp 81).
Apart from market research, there is also market-segmentation. Knowing one’s clients and especially the food they eat is equally essential. People from different places may prefer different foods and drinks. Idea generation is also important in market assessment. Even as one thinks about venturing into the food and beverage industry, factors such as prices, product quantity, concept development, and market competition should provide good sessions for brainstorming (Enzing 23).
Service Operation System
There are three important services in the food and beverage industry. The first service is acquiring raw materials, in what is called the “input service” in the food and beverage industry. Once the unprocessed materials are available, the second service is processing them into food. The last service is the “output”, which entails serving the food to the customers.
Format of food and beverage production
Usually the format of food and beverage production begins with the store. Once the raw materials are gathered, they should be kept in a clean and neat store. Equipments such as refrigerators should be in good condition. From the store, the next step is preparation, which could be done by either cooking the food or simply cleaning up in the case of fruits. It is also important to pay keen attention to methods and recipes during food preparation. Besides, food flavor must be kept consistent in all meals, and that aspect requires close monitoring.
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Before serving the food, the dining room should be neatly prepared. Clients may put up with other weaknesses, but cannot compromise tidiness. When customers are through with eating, the table should be immediately cleared. The last step is washing of dishes, cleaning of debris, and disposing stuff that cannot be re-used. This last step is imperative in food and beverage industry.
Designing Dinning Room/Sitting Area
Be it in a hotel, pub, club, restaurant, or any other outlet in the food and beverage industry, the sitting area/dining room should appear in a manner that is easily accessible to customers.
Inasmuch as the owner may want to accommodate many people as he or she can, the arrangement should be in a way that allows free flow of customers in and out without pushing and shoving. In addition, the arrangement should be in a way that clients are can have some sort of privacy.
For example, people on one table should be in a position to discuss their private issues without having to worry about other people on the next table.
Therefore, it should be in a way that the serving staff can easily access the clients in the shortest time possible. The host may also consider fixing some form of music speakers around the room. Soft music, for instance, adds to the environment of hotels and restaurants. Clubs and pubs are exceptional in terms of volume and music they play (Lentz 85).
Although customers do not go to the kitchen or even access its location, it is equally important to design it in a way that adds to the overall production of the industry. The kitchen is partitioned into several areas. The store, for example, should have enough shelves and refrigerating facilities.
The washing area, which also includes sinks, should be spacious and kept clean all the times. There should be a set area for processing raw materials. Peeling and chopping, for instance, should be done in this section. Cooking should occur in a clean separate area with proper ventilation. There should also be a post-preparation area for keeping the prepared food before serving the customers. The other important part is the storage area utensils and pans.
The menu is extremely important when it comes to the food and beverage industry. It underscores what the customers look at when they visit a hotel, and interestingly, it is behind the fall of many businesses. However, in planning the menu, several critical factors stand out conspicuously.
They include food preferences, customer food habits, prestige of the customers, economic factors, nutritional factors, tastes of the food, cultural background of the expected customers, and emotional aspects. It is also important to consider the availability and ease-of–use of products to be processed into food and beverages. Lastly, the management can upgrade the existing menu by paying much attention to the customers’ demands (Ojugo 35).
Businesses exist primarily to make a profit and thus the food and beverage industry is not exceptional. Possibly, the first path to this goal is cost control. This aspect requires evaluation of spending and maximization of profits. As of today, there are three approaches to cost control.
The first approach calls for the management to supervise the personnel directly to ensure maximum production. The second approach is by rationalizing the costs based on performance (Guler 161-170).
The latter is mostly popular in the food and beverage industry. The management should establish goals and then weigh them against service operations. It also means coming up with ways to measure performance. In addition, given that it hinges on performance, the management compares the actual results with the expected goals.
Lastly, cost control could be managed by corrective action. When necessary, the management may also consider reshuffling the staff or getting professional personnel. The third approach is menu pricing. Paying attention, for instance, to how the customers perceive menu pricing is extremely important. The menu pricing also holds the demand of guests (Ojugo 180).
Food processing refers to the method of transforming unprocessed products into ready products for consumption. In food and beverage industry, food processing occurs in fours ways. The first method is a one-off production, which is used when clients request for special food and drinks with their own specifications.
A good example is a wedding cake, which is made for specific customers only. The second method is batch production, which is used when the demand of the product is not consistent.
The management prepares food based on an estimated number. The third method is mass production, which is applicable on products that are on demand. The last method is just in time. In this method, customers choose what is to be included in their food before preparation (Davis, et al. 74).
Food and Beverage technologies
Computer technology is an important element of in the food and beverage industry. Computers speed up paper work, especially in the field of data recording. They also find a wide application in the area of improving customer service. Moreover, computers are useful in increasing sales revenue by enhancing personnel productivity.
In addition, computer networks have eased bookings analysis and daily work schedule (Seric and Saura 7-38). Media and marketing technologies are also important elements in increasing production in food and beverage industries. Both of these technologies help in keeping consumers close to the products, especially during changes or new products in the market (Xia 93).
The food and beverage industry is an extremely complex, wide, and diverse market. When people eat out while travelling, go to clubs, have their meals and drinks in hotels and restaurants, spend a night in a hotel, or go watching movies/cinemas that are routinely marked with snacks, they are simply patronizing the food and beverage industry.
This field can be interesting, but can also be exceptionally challenging. It requires people who are creative, able to identify consumer needs, willing to work with the public, and can think quickly when it comes to solving problems. Over the last decade, this industry has tremendously blossomed and has improved the tourism industry.
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