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What does a Food and Beverage Manager do?

By Lori Smith
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A food and beverage manager typically holds a director's position and works at a restaurant, banquet hall, hotel, or catering company. The job responsibilities generally include complete menu-planning, budgeting, placing product orders, and maintaining serving and culinary equipment. He or she is also usually in charge of overseeing the kitchen and catering staff to ensure the highest level of quality within an establishment.

In a hotel or resort, the food and beverage manager is often responsible for catering to special events, such as galas and weddings. A banquet event order (BEO) created by the catering sales department details the expectations of the client, such as a predetermined menu selection, the time each course should be served, and the number of guests who will be in attendance. Vegetarian or other dietary needs for individual guests may also be included in the BEO. The manager uses this information to order fresh product, schedule kitchen and wait staff, and rent any equipment that may be necessary to fulfill the request.

In addition to special events, a food and beverage manager may also be responsible for restaurant operations. He or she may plan and create sumptuous menus, maintain high quality for cuisine to be served in the establishment, and ensures product safety and freshness. Creating a visually stimulating environment for patrons is usually incorporated into daily responsibilities. Additionally, the profitability of a restaurant or hotel’s catering department is often determined by this person's successful budgeting.

Catering companies that primarily work at off-site venues may also employ a food and beverage manager. The basic responsibilities are generally the same, although, the job often requires additional experience and careful planning. For example, if an event is to take place outdoors or under a tent, separate cook tents often need to be erected for meal preparation. Other, similar considerations that are unique to these types of events are also frequently handled by the manager.

Electrical power concerns sometimes arise when an event is hosted at an outdoor venue. Many times, a generator is needed to run electrical appliances and lighting fixtures. It is also more likely that rental items — such as chafing dishes, banquet tables, and display accessories — will be needed for an off-site catered event. The food and beverage manager considers all of the logistics when planning for staff, rental items, food products, and technical requirements. Hiring the appropriate number of experienced, reliable staff members to complete the job is also of equal importance to someone with this position.

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Discussion Comments

By meandcoffee — On May 18, 2011

I am currently working on my Bachelor's degree, and I have experience working as a waitress. I am applying for job at a local hotel.

What should I put on my food and beverage manager resume? I am just wondering if the waitress experience will be enough. I do have marketing and leadership classes under my belt.

By liveoak — On May 16, 2011

Being in food and beverage management would be fun and stressful at the same time. It would be fun to organize events and see them come together. But when things went wrong it would become stressful, such as being a person short, or the wrong food being sent.

I think I would like working at a hotel the best. It would be a controlled environment, and maybe there would be a little less stress involved.

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