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Old Tricks to Manage Successful Food and Beverage Operations


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Training and Orientation.
The manager is not expected to be a teacher and conduct formal classes; rather, training duties include initial training given to new staff to help them in adjusting to the operation’s particular system, to acquaint them with the requirements of the job and to get them started. The manager is also responsible for continues training of all personnel on new systems, new products, new form of service and new sanitation requirements. Theses duties also include scheduling Line Staff so that they can learn new skills if not from the manager personally, then from some skilled person in the organization. The dishwasher is assigned to the pantry, the server is asked to show the service attendant platter services; otherwise the training opportunity will not occur.

Similarly, initial training and continuous training have to be planned, even semi-skilled work, which is learned on the job, should be analyzed and presented clearly to the new line staff; setting the table, removing soiled dishes, cleaning linen, filling water glasses, serving butter, offering breads keeping service stands cleared and other tasks should be discussed and demonstrated and if possible, presented in written form. Allowing the Line Staff to simply learn by mistakes greatly extends the period before work is performed efficiently.

Orientation Checklist:

1. Has the manager given the new line staff understanding of the types of operation he/she will be working in? Is this a fast operation restaurant or does it have the type of clientele that likes to be treated as if it is a little of both; therefore, the mood of the service differs. Once our operation is explained, then the new line staff will begin to feel more relaxed.

2. Has the new line staff been taken on a complete tour of the entire operation, both inside and out of their own department, then where he/she will be working? Can this person give directions when asked by the guests so as not to embarrass either of them?

3. Has the accepted uniform to be worn been explained in details?

4. Has a copy of the House Rules been given and explained? House Rules are for the purpose of explaining in details what the do’s and don’ts are for the particular operation. A new line staff should not be embarrassed on the first day of duty because he/she has committed a “no-no”. This can be avoided if the manager has initially done the job properly.

5. If the proper attention has been given to the new line staff on the aforementioned, then he/she can take complete inventory of their efforts in giving the best possible service with the best possible attitude and appearance.

Sanitation. The manager seldom has a problem keeping the dining room/banquet rooms clean. Everyone recognizes the importance of good appearance in the operation. The manager’s constant supervision is needed; however, in maintaining standards of hygiene is the areas the guest does not see, where food contamination is entirely possible, the importance of the highest standards of sanitation cannot be over stressed. An operation serving mediocre food in an indifferent way cannot survive; the best establishment to be ruined by well publicized case of food poisoning.

Proper supervision in the area of sanitation requires the manager to prepare a schedule for cleaning with specific assignments for each member of your own department. A checklist must be prepared and completed every day. The minimal checklist includes check on:

Food in Your Department. Are unused perishable being discarded or returned to the refrigerated storage? Is ice cream kept refrigerated? Are creamers washed? Are sliced meats and cheeses and antipasto properly covered and dated before leaving in refrigerator overnight? They should be sealed under saran wrap when not placed in airtight container.

Ware-washing. Is the machine functioning properly? Is the final rinse at the prescribed temperature? Is bactericidal detergent being used? Is silverware slightly spotted? Should they all be wiped clean with damp cloth?

Pantry. Is the pantry clean? Are coffee urns and toaster being cleaned daily?

Tableware. Are cracked and chipped tableware discarded? Be sure if one type or brand of cookery chips or breaks easily to report the occurrence to the Director of Food and Beverage and Department Mgr.

Linen. Save samples of improper laundering and report the occurrence to the Executive Housekeeper.

Cleaning. Is the cleaning schedule being followed?

Garbage. Is garbage being properly processed, kept in proper containers, which are emptied and cleaned daily?

Vermin. Is there any evidence of rats, roaches or flies anywhere in the establishment? Report these immediately if they should occur.

Complaints. The time and effort required to train and guide Line Stag is an investment. The result will be less management strain in the long run and an operation that reflects your policies and is a credit to your personal ability. If the people in the trade want respect from the general public they must themselves exhibit self-respect for their profession in their actions and attitudes.

The magic wand for handling guest complaints is total sympathy for the guest’s feeling. Everything you do or say that makes the guest get the anger out of his/her system and feel you want to know his/her side puts the guest on your side. No matter how wrong the guest may be, if he/she didn’t feel that the complaint was legitimate he/she wouldn’t be making it. You may well realize, from a practical standpoint, that anything you say before the guest has said his/her piece is going to fall on deaf ears. On the other hand, if you have been attentive and seem sincere in your interest, the guest will be all the more receptive to reason and logic and if you have fully listened the guest will fully listen to you.

In a complaint, you can’t take the initiative away from the guest... but in the above approach, he/she gave up without knowing it, and then you have the situation in the palm of your hand.

Cash Control. The cashier in most operations is generally responsible to the Accounting Office for cash control.

All voids explained, the operation is assured that persons who eat there, pay for their meals.

Liquor Control. The Manager or the Bartender generally requisitions liquor from the storeroom using the requisition system.

A standard has been established for each drink and the bartender is given an indication of how many drinks he/she is expected to pour from each bottle. Comparison of daily inventory requisition forms and sales receipts make a close measure of control possible.

Linen Control. A very similar requisition form can be used, both to provide control of napkins and tablecloths, which would otherwise go astray, and to anticipate weekly variations in need.

Portion and Quality Control. Although the maintenance of portion standards and the quality of the food is the kitchen’s primary responsibility, they are of considerable importance to supervisory personnel. A guest complaint of lukewarm food may mean a server delay or it may mean kitchen inefficiency. In either case, the Restaurant Manager has responsibility to the operation where the servers help themselves to vegetables, salad, appetizers and desserts in the kitchen. Instruction of personnel appetizers and desserts in the kitchen. Instruction of personnel by the manager assures both portion control for food costs analysis and a fair portion for the guests. Even items such as relishes, salad dressings, ice and butter should be controlled, as wastage and over serving can add considerable to the food cost.

Banquet Supply. An important distinction to make in understanding the steward’s supply process is between banquet and restaurant operations. In normal restaurant operation there is usually a more or less continuous flow of food and tableware from the kitchen to the dining room and to the dish room, over a period of several hours.

In contrast, a banquet is a “batch feeding” operation, serving large numbers of guests at the same time. The service of the meal and the removal of soiled dishes are performed at one rime. A large banquet and busy schedule require teamwork, organization and proper training. Plans for supplying banquets begin with the menu for the event. For the steward, the menu will indicate which specific pieces of china, glassware and silverware are to be used. It will indicate any special tableware or service equipment required, for example, fish fork, chaffing dishes or extra wine glasses required. The menu is distributed by the Catering Department in advance of the banquet and can be helpful in determining labor requirement and in preparing the schedule.

After consulting the Chef and Catering Department to confirm and clarify the banquet arrangements, the Chef must then take the necessary steps to see that the required tableware is available and ready for the banquet. A supply form is usually used to list the quantity of all tableware according to each specific item on the menu. For large banquets or during a heavy banquet schedule, additional flatware, glasses, etc. May have to be brought out of storage or otherwise obtained from another source.

Everything that is needed by service personnel for set-up is assembled and delivered to the banquet area preceding the event. Dishes and other service equipment must be deliver to the kitchen. (+5%) over the total number of expected guest to avoid “last minute” problem.



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About the Author

Nasir Zahir, NZ Hospitality
2707 Forest Grove Dr
Richardson, TX 75080
469-835-2719

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