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In the world today, all businesses including hotels are faced with stiff market competition; this is because of new inventions and changes in technologies coming up, all with the aims of winning customers confidence in terms of quality products and services rendered by the hotel (Atkinson and Brander, 2001).
This will only be achieved if the owner of the hotel employs a qualified food and beverage manager to manage the hotel. For the manager to be competent in his duties, he must be a very hard working person who bears good transformational leadership qualities such as inspiring and being the role model to employees, demonstrating good leadership and how to become a model employee for the good of the hotel (Anoop and Lokman, 1985).
An F&B manager must be able to win trust of employees and have the ability to communicate with the employees in very simple way that they can understand. The F&B manager should also be able to be motivating and awarding employees who do satisfactory work. Whenever there is a problem or misunderstanding among the employees or with the customers, the F&B manager must be in the best position to solve such issues with intelligence to avoid problems.
Food and beverage operations
The major role of the food and beverage manager is to ensure that all methods and recipes followed in every food preparation are of accepted standard that are according to the cooking plan of each specific food. In rare cases where the cooks or chefs need some help or when the cook delays or fails to report to work on time, the manager has the responsibility of stepping in temporarily and work in the kitchen so as not to cause inconveniences to the customers.
In addition, menus play a key role when it comes to food and catering services (Atkinson and Brander, 2001); it’s again the role of the manager to come up with the hotels menu list and customize it by adding or removing items on the menu based on the demand and preferences of the customers. The F&B manager has the responsibility of changing the menu prices once the prices of the commodities fluctuate or when there is complains from the customers.
Additionally, the F&B manager has the mandate to consider and approve preparation of special meals for customers who are for instance vegetarians, elderly people, expectant mothers, diabetic people and little children’s (Atkinson and Brander, 2001). Thus, the F&B manager has to effectively manage the menu since the “effectiveness of the menu is based on the technique where the manager will have to check menu average versus the guest check average,” (Atkinson and Brander, 2001).
It is up to the F&B manager to ensure that there is minimal amount of food wastages (Wong and Pang, 2003); thus, a manager must be able to forecast the amount of food production required in the hotel per day to reduce wastage. This is because the manager is in the best position to forecast the required food amounts per day based on past consumption trends. This will also makes work easier and lighter for the cooks who will have enough time to prepare great meals because they will not have to over produce.
Recruitment and training of staff
The other major duty of an F&B manager is to hire new employees both permanent and daily casual workers whenever there is demand. The F&B manager is also supposed to carry out interviews to applicants for any catering post applied and carry out orientation of the new employees (Xenikou and Simosi, 2006).
Most importantly the F&B manager is also required to train staffs in catering skills including food preparation skills, food safety, kitchen cleanliness and proper sanitation when handling food (Xenikou and Simosi, 2006). Finally, the F&B manager must ensure that new staff follows the rules and that they abide to the hotels code of conduct when working.
The food and beverage manager also has the duty of monitoring staff performance and recording any misconduct of the staff. When a customer complains of rude treatment from any staff for instance, it’s the responsibility of the manager to intervene and get to the root of the problem.
Disciplinary measures according to the codes of conduct must be taken against the staff after guiding them on how to improve on the mistake next time it happens. By doing so, the manager maintains is able to retain customers and train staffs on how to solve issues with customers in future.
High quality performance by employees in the hotel is achieved based on the behaviors and attitudes of the employees (Xenikou and Simosi, 2006). Well motivated employees are in the best position to provide high quality service and respond to customers’ needs fully; furthermore, it’s the work of the food and beverage manager to ensure that the staffs are motivated and appreciated to strengthen their performance (Xenikou and Simosi, 2006).
The F&B manager must enforce periodic patrol and assessment to ensure that the customers receive the best services in order to win customers confidence. The F&B manager has a major role of monitoring cleanliness all the time and ensuring constant cleaning of the hotel. The F&B manager does this by developing a daily cleaning schedule to assist the employees in cleaning every part of the hotel for example floor, tables, kitchen, utensils and making sure it is adhered to daily by all the employees (Xenikou and Simosi, 2006).
It is also up to the food and beverage manger to negotiate and arrange with the supplier of the food and beverage products who will without failing be supplying the product daily and on time to avoid delaying customers.
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The vendor’s delivery products quality must always be monitored to ensure that products are delivered which are fresh and of accurate quantity (Xenikou and Simosi, 2006). The F&B manager has a duty of providing excellent and consistent products that will satisfy the customers who will then spread the fame of the hotel and maintain frequent visitation to the hotel.
The food and beverage manager also has the duty of keeping hotels records of the employees, hours of working and calculate them when preparing the paychecks (Xenikou and Simosi, 2006). If any employee complain of his pay not reflecting the number of hours he/she worked, it’s the manager’s duty to use the employees working records he must always keep to solve that problem (Xenikou and Simosi, 2006).
An important task that F&B manager must perform is to win customers trust and confidence always in order to make them come frequently and ensure that the business remains profitable because there is usually stiff competition from other international hotels (Xenikou and Simosi, 2006).
In such a competitive environment, the manager has the power to adjust rates based on the circumstances without comprising the standards of the hotel; the manager is sometimes for instance is required to reduce costs of the rooms thereby attracting customers or sometimes offering discounts to their customers.
This however is disadvantageous to the hotel since it might reduce perceived standard of the hotel if practiced for a long time and should be used only as a short term strategy to win few and especially new customers over other competitors (Baum, 1990).
Notable to mention is that its up to the food and beverage manager to ensure that the staffs are delivering quality and satisfactory services to the customers by employing the use of Servequal scale instrument which is currently used in many hotel around the world to check and investigate the quality of the services rendered by the hotels staff (Xenikou and Simosi, 2006).
This will help maintain the frequent customer visit by improving on the weaknesses mentioned by customers and upgrading services rendered thus contributing to the success of the business.
Health and safety regulations
The food and beverage manager has to ensure that all the employees are bound to and follow safety regulation to avoid accidents and mishandling of food which can cause health complication to the customers and other hazards. There are many international laws and regulation governing food and beverage services which the manager must be aware of and must ensure all the employees follow them.
For example, if alcoholic drinks or cocktail are served in the hotel not bar, then safety regulation must be followed to prevent chaos from drunkards who will interfere with other customers. It’s the role of the food and beverage manager to ensure that the employees abide to this and others international hotel regulations.
The manager must also be licensed by the food and beverage board of that country which must be renewed periodically (Xenikou and Simosi, 2006). The F&B manager must again be wiling to upgrade his knowledge and skills by continuing education and short training programme especially on food safety, food storage and health (Xenikou and Simosi, 2006). This is important so that he will be aware of new emerging techniques on handling of food and health matters.
The manager must be a well educated person and must have academic qualifications with at least a secondary education certificate with a diploma or degree in business management, tourism or any related field plus several years experience, but this varies with regions.
This knowledge and experience are necessary as it equips the manager with relevant management skills that promotes efficiency in the workplace (Wong and Pang, 1989). In addition, the food and beverage manager must have various skills and ability to perform all related tasks discussed above efficiently; for example the manager should have leadership skills which will enable him/her to solve conflicts arising in the hotel.
The F&B manager should be flexible and be able to multi-task effectively even when working under pressure because of newness of the course in many countries including Australia where few managers have advanced diploma education, degree up to post graduate (Wong and Pang, 1989). This is because highly qualified employees in terms of education are always considered for higher posts by the employer.
The most common type of vocational education among many managers in Australia and most parts of the world is at diploma level but this is expected to change with time since many young people are now joining the hotel industry (Wong and Pang, 1993). In addition, the food and beverage manager must have knowledge of foreign languages since most visitors lodging in the international hotel comes from other countries not Australia (Nikolich and Sparks, 1995).
This will solve the communication barrier which causes poor interaction between the hotels service providers and the guests. The hotels services must always satisfy the customers and that’s why it’s the duty of the F&B manager to hire competent and experienced staffs preferably those who have knowledge of foreign languages to act as interpreters.
As we have seen because of the essential duties that rest on F&B manager it is paramount that all hotels including five star, three star and local hotels must employ a food and beverage manager.
Indeed, the F&B manager has the overall duty to participate in ensuring success of the hotel in overall catering operations including; purchasing and receiving foodstuff and beverages, ensuring proper storage of foods and non foods items, issue out foodstuff and beverages, production of food and beverages menus lists and also takes part in supervision and monitoring of employees services at the hotel.
It’s the roles of the food and beverage manager to be able to multitask and aptly capable of being in charge of day to day operation of the restaurant. The F&B manager must be competent in country restaurant laws, health codes, and food safety; also attractiveness and beauty of the hotel must be overseen by the manager.
The F&B manager must undergo the international food and beverage management course which is meant to create international uniformity when managing food and beverages in an international hotel. The programme equips all managers with skills and knowledge required for successful management of food and beverage business in an international hotel in Australia and elsewhere.
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Nikolich, M. & Sparks. 1995. The Hospitality Services Encounter, the Roles of Communication. Hospitality Research Journal, 4 (3): 87-95.
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