Guiding effective operations

Guiding effective operations

Given that the number of eateries are on the rise to meet  the demand of a growing population, there is a steady increase in employment opportunities for food service managers, writes Hemant Kumar Kochar.

Be it special events or daily operations, the one who oversees everything in a hotel, from issues pertaining to quality control, staff management, inventory, health, safety regulations, and customer service to the profitability of a restaurant or hotel’s catering department, is the food and beverage manager (F&B). He  usually holds a director's position and works at a restaurant, banquet hall, hotel, or catering company. The job responsibilities generally consist of complete menu-planning, budgeting, placing product orders, and maintaining service and culinary equipment. He/ she is also  in charge of managing the kitchen and catering staff to esure  quality.

A banquet event order (BEO) produced by the catering sales unit details the outlook of the client, which consists of predetermined menu selection, the timelimit for each course, and the number of guests going to be present in the occasion. Vegetarian or other dietary needs for individual guests may also be incorporated in the BEO. The manager uses this information to order new product, schedule kitchen and wait staff, and rent any equipment that may be necessary to fulfill the request.

In addition to exceptional events, a food and beverage manager may also be accountable for restaurant operations. He or she may plan and create splendid menus, maintain high quality for cuisine to be served in the establishment, and ascertains product safety and freshness. Creating a visually inspiring environment for patrons is usually included into daily tasks.

Tasks and responsibilities

F&B supervisors are generally accountable for all of the business operations of a dining establishment. Duties typically include interviewing, hiring, training, scheduling and managing employees and inventory, including food and beverages, supplies and other restaurant equipment. Managers are also answerable for resolving customer complaints regarding food quality and service and making sure the business complies with health and food safety convention. Besides, most managers perform organizational tasks such as managing payroll and writing budgets and also participate in the recruitment, selection, and training.

* Administer and plan staff
* Ensure customer satisfaction
* Determine customer complaints
* Maintain register control costs
* Supervise food service

Work environment

Most food and beverage supervisors work full time, often on nights and weekends. Food and beverage supervisors engaged at establishments offering extended hours, which may incorporate certain fine-dining or fast-food restaurants, often work between 12 and 15 hours each day and more than 50 hours each week. Managers who administer multiple locations such as a chain or franchise restaurant may be on call seven days per week. Food service managers are on their feet for much of the work day and should expect to sustain a certain level of physical fitness in order to hold the long hours and pressure of the job.

Skills and know-how

Skills required of a food and beverage supervisor are;

* Outstanding sales skills
* Brilliant client servicing skills
* Proper Management skills
* Human resource management skills
* Excellent organizational skills
* Must be of permissible drinking age if functioning in a certified
* Proper understanding of the products, services, sector, industry and local area.
* Awareness of legislation and regulations

Employment outlook

Employment of food service managers is probable to grow by 5 percent, or more slowly than the average for all occupations in the coming years.  Latest eating and drinking places will open to meet the mounting demand for convenience and value from a growing population, generating new employment opportunities for food service managers. Most new jobs will be in full-service restaurants, but they are estimated to decline among limited service restaurants. Manager jobs will also enhance in special food services, an industry that includes food service contractors that provide food for schools, health care facilities, and other profitable businesses and in nursing and inhabited care for the elderly.

Educational qualification

There are no compulsory educational requirements to become a food and beverage supervisor. While on-the-job training remains the most vital course to a successful career in food management, a degree course in restaurant, hospitality or institutional food services management can give prospective manager the edge, especially when imposing for work in a fine-dining restaurant or other upscale establishment.
Although practical experience is an essential part of finding a food service management position, applicants with a degree in restaurant, hospitality or institutional food service management will have a boundary when competing for jobs at upscale restaurants and for progression in a restaurant chain or into corporate management.


Salaries for a food supervisor vary depending on the employer, experience, certification and location of work. Starting salaries are from Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 a month including bonus and commission while experienced managers can earn from Rs 50,000 to Rs 60,000 a month. The job is more physically demanding than one might imagine. It's a job where you have to be active every time as per the need of the company. 


Institutes offering food supervisor courses include, Indian Institute of Hotel Management,Kolkata, Madhuban Academy of Hospitality Administration and Research (MAHAR), Dehradun, and Culinary Academy of India, Hyderabad.

(The writer is the director of a hospitality academy.)