Hotels and Food and Beverage Operations


Food and beverage service is a growing industry in the United States. With an aging population, health concerns are at the forefront of society. As a result, health-conscious consumers are demanding more from their food and beverage providers. They are asking for lower sodium, more fiber, and less sugar. How will they adjust?

One option is to become more creative in the ways they serve their customers. For example, many hotels offer on-site restaurants, cafes, and snack bars. These are convenient for guests who don’t have time to venture out of their rooms. Many have small snack bars where people can grab a drink or two while waiting for a table. However, because these hotels are hotels, the ghost kitchens food and beverage offerings are limited.

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Another approach some hotels take is to add food to their menus. Most will have an on-site restaurant, but many also serve alcohol and offer a buffet-style menu. Depending on budget limits, some are forced to create practical but satisfying solutions. Some use frozen entrees and serve pizzas. Others provide a full range of food choices from casual dining to upscale cuisine. The goal is to balance satisfying the guests, who want convenience, and pleasing the owners who want to maximize profits.

Another option for hotels looking to improve food and beverage service is to create a food and beverage operation division. This division would be separate from the regular operating staff. Typically, it would include bartenders, server helpers, and kitchen workers. It would provide jobs for people not in the kitchen, thus increasing overall efficiency.

In addition to hiring additional employees, hotels should also think about training them. Customers expect and deserve good food and beverage service. The problem is that many employees are not trained in basic food and beverage operations. They are usually hired based on a specific description of the position. A position description for a server might be “the man with a can,” which effectively describes the employee only by name.

Many hotels offer a full complement of on-site restaurants, which serve alcoholic beverages and snacks. However, not everyone works in the kitchen. In this case, creating an emergency menu with food and beverage options can make the restaurant more efficient. If the menu changes frequently, staff can learn how to handle these situations when they occur.

When running a hotel or other types of facility, you must keep all employees informed of essential food and beverage procedures. On-site employees may not understand the rules and regulations. Having multiple bulletin boards available to remind employees of the proper food and beverage serving and consumption procedures can help solve this problem. Hotel employee handbooks are another source of information. They contain detailed designs and a glossary of essential terms. Your personnel handbooks should also include any special instructions, such as no-wet food and preferred drinking practices.

Developing a procedure for serving complimentary food and beverage is essential. Guests do not appreciate standing around while plates are being cleaned, so make sure there are adequate and comfortable tables and chairs in each area where your guests will be sitting. Keep serving carts within easy reach of tables, and have servers bring food and drinks to tables as soon as they arrive. Finally, encourage guest interaction. Ensure your staff allows and encourages your guests to interact, such as passing out candy or asking for a special drink, so that they do not become uncomfortable and frustrated.