Importance of F & B Department in a hotel

Food and Beverage Department (F&B) is responsible for maintaining high quality of food and service, food costing, managing restaurants, bars, etc.

Food and Beverage Service is the service of Food made in the Kitchen and Drinks prepared in the Bar to the Customers (Guest) at the Food & Beverage premises, which can be:
Restaurants, Bars, Hotels, Airlines, Cruise Ships, Trains, Companies, Schools, Colleges, Hospitals, Prisons, Takeaway, etc

Food & Beverage Outlets are divided in to the following categories:

1. Restaurants: Restaurants are places where Food & Drink is served.

There are various types of Restaurants:

All Day Dining Restaurants: They are usually called as Coffee Shop or Cafe in Hotels. They are usually big in size with many Covers (seats), compared to other Restaurants in the same Hotel. The main reason why they are called All Day Dining Restaurant is because of their hours of operation, as they are open for Breakfast in the morning to Lunch in the afternoon to Dinner in the evening.

Fine Dining Restaurants: Fine Dining Restaurants are characterized by their elaborate and exclusive menu with special emphasis on the very high quality food they serve. The emphasis being on fresh ingredients and natural flavors or on the type of Cuisine served, or both. Usually the operation of this restaurant revolves around the Head Chef or Chef De Cuisine of this Outlet.

Speciality Restaurants: These are Restaurants which usually have a type of National or Regional Character or Cuisine attached to them, for example: Italian Specialty Restaurant, Chinese Specialty Restaurant etc. In some Hotels they do also sometimes have Multi Cuisine Specialty Restaurant, which literally means that Restaurant serves cuisine from more than one country, or the dishes on the Menu at that Restaurant has Food Specialties from many different countries.

2. Lounge: Lounges can be found in different hotels. Their main purpose is to offer Food & Drinks in comfortable and cozy seating in relaxed surroundings. There are many kinds of Lounges ranging from a Lounge in a Lobby, Cocktail Lounge and Cigar Lounge to Executive and Club Lounge on special Floors.

3. Bar: Bar is a place where drinks are served. There is usually a small Snacks Menu too. The service is fast and quick. There are various kinds of Bars ranging from Formal bars to Club Bars, Pubs, Pool,Bars, Wine Bars, Cocktail Bars, Beach Bar to Juice Bars and many more.
4. Discotheque/Nightclub: They are outlets where Music and Entertainment takes priority with the Food & Drink. The operation is very fast and the guest numbers are large. Security is an important aspect in these operations. Music and entertainment can range from DJ to live bands playing.

5.Room Service/In Room Dining: Room Service, also known as In Room Dining .It is the service of Food & Drink in Guest Rooms in a Hotel or a Resort.

6. Meeting and Conference Rooms: Meeting and Conference rooms together with Ball Rooms come under the Banquets & Conference section. They are a great source of Revenue in Food & Beverage Department usually in Corporate and City Hotels. MICE (Meetings, Incentives, and Conferences & Exhibitions) can alone bring much revenue in some hotels in comparison to other outlets in Hotel.

7. Ball Rooms: These are large Function Rooms which are primarily used for Functions and Weddings. The Staffing ratio of Full Time Staff in this section is very less as the Function and Wedding Business can sometimes be seasonal and extra staff is usually filled in by the use of Casual Staff. This Section is the most Dynamic section in Food & Beverage with the Conference Section, which is more physically demanding and creatively oriented.

8. Delicatessen: Delicatessen or Deli is a place where guests can buy fresh produce ranging from Freshly Baked Bread, Cold Meat, Fresh Salads, Cakes, Home Made Ice creams and light and healthy drinks.

9. Others: There are many other Food & Beverage outlets ranging from Fast Food Outlets to Food Courts to Snack Bars which are usually stand alone or in a shopping centre.
Career in Hotel Industry:

With the growing demand for well-trained professionals in Indian hotel industry, it has become mandatory to receive formal training in the hotel industry.

Apart from the professional degree, the hotel industry places great emphasis on excellent communication skills, good presentation skills, good listening skills, teamwork skills etc. India’s hotel industry is thriving due to an increase in business opportunities and foreign and domestic tourism

Employment and Advancement:

One of the major challenges faced by the industry at present is of staff turn over. The need is for a team of people who can dedicate their talent in the industry and to enjoy their work.

Food and beverage servers are employed in restaurants, coffee shops, bars, clubs, hotels and other retail eating  and drinking establishments. There are more part-time positions in this occupation than there are in most occupations, and most food and beverage servers are young. Experienced food and beverage servers can move to better paying jobs in larger and more formal food establishments.

Food and beverage servers’ duties vary considerably from one type of establishment to another. In fast food outlets, they often work behind counters and use computerized systems to take orders and tabulate bills. In coffee shops and cocktail lounges, they provide quick and efficient service for customers seated at tables. In formal dining establishments, they carefully observe established rules of service and etiquette, and pace the meal according to customer preference.

In general, however, food and beverage servers:

  • prepare tables or counters for meals
  • stock the service area with supplies (for example, coffee, glassware)
  • greet customers, present menus and help customers select menu items
  • inform customers about daily specials
  • record orders and place them with the kitchen and bar
  • pick up and serve orders
  • check that customers are enjoying their meals and correct any problems
  • suggest and serve desserts and beverages
  • clean and reset tables
  • tabulate and present bills for payment.

Attributes of a professional Food and Beverage server:

Personal Characteristics:

Food and beverage servers need the following characteristics:

  • the ability to serve customers cheerfully, courteously and efficiently
  • good organization and multi-tasking skills
  • good health
  • good grooming
  • the ability to work as part of a team
  • the ability to work with little supervision
  • good verbal communication skills and sensitivity to customer needs
  • the ability to work calmly under pressure.

Other requirements depend on the environment in which the server works. For example, serving in a coffee shop or cocktail lounge requires the ability to remember many orders and move very quickly.

Food and beverage servers should enjoy having clear rules and organized methods, working with people, and working with tools and equipment.

Food and beverage servers who serve liquor must be at least 18 years of age. In formal dining rooms, food and beverage servers also must:

  • know proper food service etiquette
  • use the correct terminology and be able to answer questions about wines and other beverages be able to prepare tableside dishes (for example, flambe) at the customer’s table if required.
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Redcarpet Hotel Management & Culinary Academy is an educational initiative of people from the hotel industry with global experience in hotel management and culinary enterprise. Redcarpet is ideal combination of an industry sponsored and internationally recognized educational institute. approved by Edexcel, United Kingdom.
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