Many developed countries now have more serviced based economies rather than production focused ones, and this shift has created a demand for the food and beverage manager role. Food and beverage managers are key operators of restaurants and institutional cafeterias. They make sure customers get products that meet or exceed their expectations as well as the industry’s safety standards. Here are some of the specific job responsibilities of food and beverage managers.
Design and Update Menus for Restaurants
Successful food and beverage managers know their industry and targeted customers very well, and knowledge of consumer trends within the food and beverage sector help them to keep restaurants’ offerings fresh and appealing to customers. When customers in the 2000s began low carbohydrate dieting in mass, some food and beverage managers responded with menu options that would help those customers to stay on their diets while still enjoying the dining out experience. Today, these same managers are responsible for bringing many of the vegetarian options that restaurant goers see on their menus. The challenging part of the food and beverage manager position is to adjust menus in such ways that new items can be produced within budgetary constraints while they attract sales. Food and beverage managers may opt to roll out pilot programs for new food items to ensure that these new additions maximize restaurant revenues as expected.
Address Customer Concerns
One of the primary ways that food and beverage managers meet their sales and revenue goals is through excellent customer service. Great service sets the ambiance of restaurants, and it makes guests want to repeat the experience. Consistently poor service or inadequately addressed customer concerns usually get informally reported to the customers’ friends, family and co-workers which can quickly drive many restaurants out of business. Food and beverage managers understand how to efficiently spot potential service issues and mitigate risks. They also proactively interact with customers so that they can make sure that each guest is having the expected dining experience that they and their staff work hard to create.
Manage Food Service Staff
Food and beverage managers are often responsible for recruiting, hiring, training, evaluating and terminating food service staff members. Personnel management of restaurant staff requires experience as well as interpersonal skills. These managers must know how to spot someone who will work well with other team members and who are willing to learn the unique aspects of the job for which they are hired. Food and beverage managers must also demonstrate organization and communication skills when they lay out job expectations for employees and evaluate how employees met the standards over a given time period. Their goal is to create a cohesive, empowered team that is customer service oriented and revenue driven.
Comply With Food Safety Standards
Food and beverage managers must also be knowledgeable of the food safety standards that apply to their venues and make sure that their team is educated about them as well. Checklists and internal procedures are often established by food and beverage managers to help their team to comply with food safety standards easily so that team members can focus primarily on customer care.
The job responsibilities of food and beverage managers are extensive, and many upscale establishments require that these managers have a degree in hospitality, food service management or a culinary school diploma. The Bureau of Labor Statistics listed $47,960 as the median annual salary for these managers in 2012, but the true pay scale of a food and beverage manager depends on job location, the type of venue and the experience level of the manager.