HOTEL DIRECTOR OF FOOD AND BEVERAGE - Hotel Management and Operations

A food and beverage director in a major lodging property must be ready for a variety of tasks each and every day. In one sense, this position requires two different individuals to keep the operation moving forward. One is the leader, or strategic visionary, looking ahead to the future of the operation (that may be just one or three months, or it could be one full year out). The other is the day-to-day manager, constantly moving through the organization to be sure all events are proceeding according to plan and guests are treated beyond their expectations.

In this position, I have the responsibility of overseeing several departments: culinary, banquets, room service, specialty and theme restaurants, and all private bars. While an ideal day is spent on planning, more often than not I find myself in discussion with staff or guests. Regular meetings include the following examples:

  • (Daily) Banquet Event Orders (BEO) Meeting. Purpose: To go over BEO for the day.
  • (Weekly) Food and Beverage Meeting. Purpose: Review operations with department managers.
  • (Weekly) Executive Meeting. Purpose: Overview operations with all executive committee members and the general manager of the hotel.
  • (Weekly) One-on-One Meetings. Purpose: Meet with individual food and beverage departmental managers to establish goals and cover issues specific to each department.
  • (Monthly) Staff Meeting. Purpose: Review operations by all department managers and general manager of the hotel.
  • (Monthly) Employee Recognition Meeting.

Purpose: Honor employees of the month at a luncheon. To gain a better appreciation of the job of a director of food and beverage, we should look at an actual job description. Again, recognize that all job descriptions are written as an ideal, and every day brings deviations from that ideal, given the unique daily circumstances found in any dynamic lodging property.

Position: Director of Food and Beverage

Reports to: General Manager

Objectives:

  1. Meet and exceed guests’ needs and expectations by ensuring proper service standards, providing quality food and beverages, and managing all aspects of operations, resulting in an increasing guest satisfaction index (GSI) and decreasing guest complaints.
  2. Provide all guests with the highest quality food and beverage experience by working as a team with all food and beverage outlets ensuring prompt, courteous, and professional services, resulting in increasing employee morale, decreasing employee turnover rates, and lowering employee service times.
  3. Seek profitability in the food and beverage department by decreasing all costs, maximizing sales in all outlets, achieving budget and profit guidelines, creating promotions, and meeting and/or exceeding long and short range goals.

Specific Operations Functions:

  • Provide the highest quality in food, beverage, and service in all food and beverage outlets. Includes at least one daily walk-through of all food and beverage areas.
  • Maintain existing programs and develop new programs ensuring the highest quality of food and service. Consists of daily talks with all staff and managers, reviewing plate-ups in different outlets.
  • Maintain a high-quality hotel image through effective housekeeping and sanitation in the F&B operation.
  • Maintain physical security for all F&B property and inventories.
  • Maintain knowledge of local competition and current industry trends. Includes changing menus based on seasonality, product availability, and input from staff.

Specific Management Functions:

  • Direct and coordinate the activities of all assigned personnel and departmental responsibilities. Examples are daily contacts with staff and performance reviews.
  • Maximize sales potential through aggressive marketing of each F&B unit. Includes ongoing monitoring of business levels and review of daily performance.
  • Achieve budgeted sales and maximum profitability.
  • Maintain an appropriate level of community public affairs involvement.
  • Maintain fair wage and salary administration in the department in accordance with division policy.

Guest Relations

A major part of my job involves maintaining warm, hospitable guest relations in all guest contacts and positive employee relations in a supportive environment. I also try to increase guest satisfaction index scores (our feedback mechanism) and to lower guest complaints by ensuring prompt, courteous, and proper service and surveying guest comment cards to correct negative situations immediately.

It is also important to ensure that my division is operating in compliance with all local, state, and federal laws and government regulations. To assure that our guests have a quality stay, I am also responsible for communicating effectively within and between departments, ensuring good safety practices of employees and performing special projects as requested.

In trying to achieve or exceed budgeted sales goals, our division management team constantly seeks ways to operate within budgeted guidelines by maintaining effective controls. This includes developing and forecasting accurate and aggressive long- and short-range financial objectives and monitoring them through daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual reviews of our performance.

General Functions

I am expected to perform special projects as requested and to maintain a high level of professional appearance, demeanor, ethics, and image of subordinates and myself. Part of our culture in this hotel concerns professional development of staff associates, and it is among my responsibilities to find ways to provide for this.

As you can see, the job of a hotel food and beverage director requires a high-energy person who loves working with people in a variety of dynamic situations. The ability to lead a group of employees in pursuit of operational goals is paramount. Students should actively seek experiences in their college career that provide opportunity to learn the skills mentioned in this article.


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Hotel Management and Operations Topics