Food&be­ve­ra­ge Ma­na­ger His ro­le in the ho­tel and his pro­spec­ts

Master Meeting - - HOTEL RESTAURANT TRENDS - By Ste­fa­no Bo­ni­ni

I n a ho­tel, the food and be­ve­ra­ge ma­na­ger has the hi­ghly sen­si ve job of ma­na­ging and loo­king a er the en re ca­te­ring de­part­ment. This pro­fes­sion whi­ch de­ve­lo­ped in the USA to tac­kle the dif­fi­cul­ty of fin­ding a pro­fes­sio­nal fi­gu­re ca­pa­ble of loo­king a er the room de­part­ment (ac­com­mo­da on) and a ma­na­ger ca­pa­ble of ta­king ca­re of and ma­king ca­te­ring (food& be­ve­ra­ge) pro­fi­ta­ble, is no ea­sy ta­sk. The­se are two key areas of the ho­tel that de­ser­ve dif­fe­rent vo­ca ons and a en ons from ex­pe­rien­ced, te­sted and spe­cia­li­sed peo­ple, bo­th ca­pa­ble of un­der­stan­ding num­bers and able to or­ga­ni­se the work­for­ce of the de­part­men­ts we ha­ve ju­st men oned, but wi­th a sen­si vi­ty and an al­mo­st fe­mi­ni­ne ope­ra ve sty­le, a ty­pi­cal and es­sen al va­lue in the field of ho­spi­ta­li­ty. The­se fi­gu­res and skills we­re crea­ted and then de­ve­lo­ped wi­thin lar­ge chain ho­tels su­ch as the Hil­ton and In­te­rcon nen­tal, who­se com­ple­xi­ty re­qui­red bo­th eco­no­mic and qua­li­ty con­trol. A syn­the­sis em­bo­died by the food & be­ve­ra­ge ma­na­ger, who con­trols the qua­li­ty and quan­ti­ty of all the ac­ti­vi­ties con­nec­ted to the ca­te­ring sec­tor, from the con­trac­tual ma­na­ge­ment of the staff that over­see pur­cha­ses, in­ven­to­ries, fre­sh­ness, to the su­per­vi­sion of food pro­duc­tion and the ma­na­ge­ment and op­ti­mi­sa­tion of costs. Wi­thout for­get­ting the me­nus: he mu­st be well­ver­sed in food spe­cia­li­ties, the wi­ne cel­lar, wi­ne li­st, li­queurs, as well as cry­stal, glas­ses, croc­ke­ry, ta­bles and chairs. The skills re­qui­red of this fi­gu­re are in­fi­ni­te and dif­fi­cult to find con­cen­tra­ted in ju­st one per­son. In Ita­ly, the­re­fo­re, we are hun­ting for a sort of unob­tai­na­ble uni­

corn. Wi­th no di­sre­spect to the ten who ha­ve suc­cee­ded in ob­tai­ning the qua­li­fi­ca­tion! One op on in see­king out the­se fi­gu­res would be to stu­dy the staff of lar­ge ho­tels wi­th 300­400 rooms wi­th at lea­st two ca­te­ring of­fers (in ad­di on to break­fa­st, ban­que ng and room ser­vi­ce) be­lon­ging to lar­ge in­ter­na onal chains, wi­th a team of as­si­stant food & be­ve­ra­ge ma­na­gers who could adapt to Ita­lian ro­les. Be­cau­se in Ita­ly due to the trai­ning me­thods, ty­pes of in­tern­ship, si­ze of the ho­tels and de­fi­cien­cies in ho­tel ca­te­ring, it is not pos­si­ble to train and te­st this fi­gu­re that is o en con­fu­sed or part of the du es of the exe­cu ve chef and re­stau­rant ma­na­ger. The si­gni­fi­can­ce and im­por­tan­ce that cooks ha­ve wi­thin the ho­tel or­ga­ni­sa onal struc­tu­re means that it is o en the exe­cu ve chefs who al­so oc­cu­py the ro­le of food & be­ve­ra­ge ma­na­ger. The chefs who al­so deal wi­th the eco­no­mic si­tua on, the bud­get and the ma­na­ge­ment of di­ning room staff, room ser­vi­ce and ban­que ng are a boon, ho­we­ver, a wi­de ran­ge of re­spon­si­bi­li es ma­kes it al­mo­st im­pos­si­ble to ele­gan­tly and ap­pro­pria­te­ly look a er the fun­da­men­tal com­po­nent of ho­spi­ta­li­ty and ca­te­ring ser­vi­ces: cu­sto­mer sa sfac on. What can a ge­ne­ral ma­na­ger of a ho­tel do then? If F&B ma­na­gers can­not be found, who could the GM as­si­gn to ma­na­ge the staff, costs and re­ve­nue of the F&B sec­tor? It is, fir­st and fo­re­mo­st, a ques on of de­fi­ning the skills that in Ita­ly are held by a han­d­ful of chefs, maî­tre d’, and re­stau­ra­teurs. And the­se are the skills re­que­sted by ma­jor ho­tels and the main in­ter­na onal chains of a po­ten al food&be­ve­ra­ge ma­na­ger: – le­gal know­how re­la­ted to ad­mi­ni­stra on, col­lec ve con­trac­ts (sec­tor­re­la­ted col­lec ve bar­gai­ning agree­men­ts), the go­ver­nan­ce of hu­man re­sour­ces and re­la ons wi­th sup­pliers of raw ma­te­rials; – an in­dep­th un­der­stan­ding of mar­ket

ing and di­gi­tal ele­men­ts (com­mu­ni­ty ma­na­ge­ment, so­cial me­dia, mer­chan­di­sing, etc.); – ad­mi­ni­stra ve skills (ac­coun ng and co­st con­trol) and abi­li­ty to read a fi­nan­cial re­port (crea on of va­lue, per­for­man­ce in­di­ca­tors, etc.); – com­pu­ter skills on “in­ter­nal” (ware­hou­se ma­na­ge­ment, etc.) and “ex­ter­nal” ma­na­ge­ment sy­stems (no ons of gra­phics for the pre­sen­ta on of or­ders, me­nus, wi­ne li­st, etc.); – in­dep­th kno­w­led­ge of the wi­ne &

spi­ri­ts sec­tor; – ex­ten­si­ve ex­per se (to deal wi­th maî­tre, re­stau­rant ma­na­gers and chefs) in terms of mi­se en pla­ce, ser­vi­ce equi­p­ment, coo­king tech­ni­ques and pro­duct main­te­nan­ce; – em­pa­thy, in the sen­se of par ci­pa ng wi­th the sen ment of to­day’s guests ... Ever­mo­re “com­pli­ca­ted” (ve­gans, coe­liacs, peo­ple on ma­cro­bio c die­ts, al­ler­gy suf­fe­rers, etc.); – strong ma­na­ge­ment and lea­der­ship skills, star ng wi­th the iden fi­ca on of ta­len­ts to their en­han­ce­ment. Even if you find the­se skills, or ma­ny of them em­bo­died in a per­son, the mu­ch sought­a er F&B ma­na­ger can­not win the com­pe on wi­th a chef al­rea­dy no­mi­na­ted “exe­cu ve”. The la er will al­ways tend to im­po­se the ser­vi­ce, sty­le, his ta­ste and do­mi­nan­ce of the kit­chen over bu­si­ness and the eco­no­my of ca­te­ring and ban­que ng. In short, the chef usual­ly does things his way ( li­ke ar sts do) and ex­pec­ts eve­ryo­ne to ali­gn them­sel­ves wi­th his vi­sion. Fin­ding the fun­da­men­tal ba­lan­ce is, the­re­fo­re, the job of the ge­ne­ral ma­na­ger, whi­le the ow­ner in per­son has the dif­fi­cult ta­sk of un­der­stan­ding the es­sen al ro­le (or other­wi­se) of the F&B ma­na­ger, the va­lue of the exe­cu ve chef (who­se ta­lent and am­bi on should be tem­pe­red), to ma­ke su­re that the ca­te­ring sec­tor (and the who­le ho­tel) func ons li­ke a well­re­hear­sed or­che­stra, wi­th the few so­loists (al­lo­wed) in­vol­ved in team work to pro­du­ce the per­fect per­for­man­ce.

Il re­spon­sa­bi­le del­la ri­sto­ra­zio­ne de­ve in­ten­der­si an­che di spe­cia­li­tà ali­men­ta­ri, di can na, di car­te dei vi­ni, di li­quo­ri ma an­che di cri­stal­li, bic­chie­ri, sto­vi­glie, ta­vo­li e se­die. The re­stau­rant ma­na­ger mu­st be well-ver­sed in food spe­cia­li es, the wi­ne cel­lar, wi­ne li­st, li­queurs, as well as cry­stal, glas­ses, croc­ke­ry, ta­bles and chairs

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