food and beverage services


The provision of food and beverage services away from home forms a substantial part of the activities of the hotel and catering industry and like the industry of which it is a part , the food and beverage function is characterized both by its diversity and its size. Outlets include private and public sector establishments that include hotels, bars and restaurants.

1.1 Characteristics of food production and food and beverage service systems

Characteristics of the food and beverage sector are:

Major contributor to the national economy

Creates employment

A vital part of everyday life

Promotes diversity through many different food concepts & cuisines

An opportunity to enjoy the company of friends, family and colleagues

Food is a basic need for everyday life


Food production may be defined as that phase of the food flow mainly concerned with the processing of raw, semi-prepared, or prepared foodstuffs. The resulting product may be in a ready-to-serve state, for example in the conventional method (cook-serve); or it may undergo some form of preservation, for example cook-chill or cook-freeze, before being served to the customer.

Production systems:

There are several production systems that include;

Centralized: This method is frequently adopted by large chains that are looking to outsource all or part of their food production.

Traditional: Most food is purchased raw. The traditional method is commonly used in the kitchen establishment

Cook-chill: This method is a catering system based on normal preparation and cooking of food followed by rapid chilling and storage. Its economical since less staff are required.

Cook-freeze: this is a system whereby full cooking of food is done and followed by fast freezing. Cooked food is stored at controlled temperatures of -18C.

Cook-Chill method:


Table/Plate service

A la carte

Silver service

Flambé service

Table d’hôtel

Counter/Buffet service

Family service

Specialist food service

Table/ Service:

Food is prepared, placed on individual plates and delivered to the customers. This method is used in the hotel and independent restaurants.

The disadvantages: need high quality and highly skilled chefs, customers sometimes have to wait for food delivery.

Buffet service:

Food is prepared in advance. Large quantities of food then placed in containers and served from a table in the restaurant. Used in conference and banqueting.

The opportunities of the method: can serve large quantities of people, customers have choice, fewer staff required, service staff require less skills.

The disadvantages: queuing, food can run out, food presentation can be affected.

Family/ English service:

Food is prepared and placed in dishes. Server then transports to restaurant, it is placed in the centre of tables. Uses: Chinese and Middle Eastern Cultures.

The advantages are: less demands on kitchen, visual for customers, does not demand high skilled services staff.

Disadvantages: food temperature can change, food distribution can be inconsistent.

A la carte:

Hotel or restaurant meal consisting of several differently priced dishes which are cooked usually when ordered from a menu. A guest orders separately and pays for them separately.

Advantages of this method are: food is priced individually, menu if its items rarely change.

Disadvantages: difficulty finding seasonal ingredients, it is usually more expensive.

Table d’hôtel:

Is usually a restaurant meal consisting of a fixed number of already prepared dishes, at a fixed price for a whole meal for one person

Advantages: price change are relatively simple, consumer decisions are easier.

Disadvantages: pricing inflexibility, guest may feel it costs too much.

Flambé service/Gueridon:

Food is prepared but not cooked. Server puts food on a portable trolley and transfer into front of house area. The food is prepared in front of the guests.

Advantages: visual and aromatic, highly personalized service, customer feels more involved in the process.

Disadvantages: high labor costs, not suitable with large numbers of customers.

Beverage production method:

The term beverage is used to describe both alcoholic and non-alcoholic and no-alcoholic drinks.

Beverage can be classified into three main categories:

  • Row beverage(tea , coffee or cocktail)
  • Semi-prepared(fruit cordials, some cocktail)d
  • Fully prepared(juices, spirits, wines)

Beverage service may be defined as that phase of the beverage flow wholly concerned with presentation of the beverage to the customer after the completion of beverage production. The method of beverage service employed by a catering establishment should be complementary to the food service method.

Beverage service methods:

Self-service i.e. customer get their drinks

The cafeteria i.e. the beverage is included in the main counter line

Bar or counter service; this common in public bars and restaurants.

Room service; usually in hotels

The buffet; involves food display


Waiter service


Factors affecting recipes and menus for specific systems are: size, quality and objectives of the operation. Other factors include;

Nature of the menu

Customer needs

Budget of the customers

Quality of customers

Availability of resources

Customer satisfaction

Menu can be an essential selling tool to supplement the suggestive selling of staff. Customer perceptions: keeping your customers happy can be harder than you think. Happy customers result in: (repeat sales, positive company image, and high quality customer’s referrals);

Each establishment has a target food cost to be achieved, the cost, preparation and production of the food items, have to fit the target. Business stands for profit; it is difficult for menu designer to make a customer and business friendly menu, to cover all costs.

Availability of ingredients in seasonality and suppliers need be taken into consideration. Color balance is important; customers should be able to ‘eat with their eyes’.

Ethnicity and nutritional value: Nutritional balance is important to ensure that the dishes are produced as nutritiously as possible (protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins). Menu is made for customer satisfaction, but if the items do not suit customer’s ethnicity and nutritional value then it is a big difficulty.

As we have only 200 guests, a medium kitchen is enough, the ingredients we use in our menu are easy to find, and five or six waitress will be enough.

Buffet/Counter service has the next advantages: can be serve a large number of people, customer have choice, customers are part of the process, fewer staff required, service staff require less skills, fewer complaints due to their decision-making;

Disadvantages: queuing, food presentation can be affected; food can run out, food quality affected due to temperature and mixing service cutlery.

1.3. Compare the cost and staffing implications for different systems.

The success of food service operation is greatly influenced by staff. Staff selection process is given appropriate consideration in terms of: requirements, skills, knowledge and experience required. A smooth running of a food and beverage operations depends on the following qualities of staff:

  • Efficiency means the skill of delivering a service to the customers conveniently.
  • Behavior; polite behavior is a great quality for staff.
  • Attitude is something which holds the values of person and the operation.
  • Good communication skill of staffs can enhance the sale of the operation

Staffing is a major resource, and maximizing the potential of this of this resource requires the management of staffing to be considered. Staff willingness to learn is also very important. With more and more individuals entering the industry with improved educational qualifications it is easy to see that those individuals require higher maintenance.

Staff training: make the operation more profitable by reducing the amount of equipment and material required to produce or sell in a given unit. It also encourage willingness, loyalty and interesting in the company activities

1.4. Justify the suitability of systems for particular food and beverage outlets.

In this paper suitability of counter/buffet service will be justified. The buffet is a method of food service that is a modification of true self-service. The food is attractively displayed, on one or a series of tables and presentation is an all-important factor. Buffet is a combination of hot and cold foods. This service system is suitable for conference, banqueting, events, restaurants, hotels, for featuring special weeks, for special sales, promotions.

The customers pay a fixed price for the buffet and for this price is able to return as many times to the buffet table, as they would like. Buffet service also enables a facility to feed a large numbers of people in a given time with less staff requirements (Mukherjee, 2006).

Advantages for buffet service are: customers have choice, customers are part of the process, and service staffs require less skill. Compared with other types of food service, the buffet method has a higher food cost, and labor cost in the kitchen. Disadvantages of this service system are: queuing, food presentation can be affected..

2.1 Discuss the use of financial statements in food and beverage operations.

Some of the most important financial statements in the food and beverage provision include:

Sales records: records on customers such as contacts, what they purchase and at what price.

Operating statements:

Dish costing sheet: involves getting the cost of ingredients.

Cost statements: breakdown of all costs incurred direct or indirect.

Variance analysis: helps management understand present costs and then control the future.

There are four costs a food service manager must concern with:

  • Food cost (are the cost associated with actually producing the menu items)
  • Beverage costs (include the costs of ingredients to produce these drinks)
  • Labour costs (include the cost of all employees necessary to run the business)
  • Overhead costs (utilities, rent, and linen).

Financial statements:

Financial accounts are the records of the financial dealings of the business

The main role of financial accounting is to: – record financial transactions help the managers to manage the business. They are mainly four;:

  1. Balance sheet
  2. Statement of cash flows
  3. Income statement
  4. Statement of retained earnings

Advantages of financial statements:

  • Financial statements provide a reliable indication of operation results.
  • Provide information by authoritative requirements and regulatory groups
  • Management knows the most about the business
  • Lenders and financiers can get crucial information from such statements.

2.2 Demonstrate the use of cost and pricing progress.

Cost and pricing are:

Dishes, menu and beverage lists

Sales mix

Net and gross profit

Fixed, variable, direct, indirect cost

Cost elements

VAT: is an indirect tax which is imposed on goods and services at each stage of production, starting from raw materials to final product.


Price: is the amount of money required to purchase the product or service.

Cost: is the total spent for goods or services including money, time and labor.

Direct costs: usually is the cost of the materials which enter into and from part of the product.

Indirect costs: is the cost of material which do not form the part of product but which help the production for example cooking oil.

Fixed costs: remain constant over a set period of time even though the level of business fluctuates such as rents and rates.

Variable costs: are proportional to the level of business and might include meal ingredient costs and beverage cost.

Profit: is the difference between the incomes of the business all its costs/expenses. It is normally measured over a period of time.

Discount: is either an amount of money or a percentage taken off the market price.

Gross profit: is the difference between sales incomes and the direct costs of making those products.

Net profit: represents gross profit less all expenses associated with the normal running of the business. Net profit show how well the business performs under its normal trading circumstances.

Pricing menu and dishes:

It is important to remember that the price in itself can be a valuable selling tool and a great aid in achieving the desired sales volume (McKinney, 2006). The method of pricing chosen should take into account the departmental profit required and the different profit margins of the menu.

The formula for costing is:

Cost of your product/0.35= menu price

The method used to price the beverage is similar to the formula pricing food.

Discount is an amount of money or a percentage taken off the marked price

Selling price= marked price- discount

2.3 Analyse the purchasing process

Purchasing is a function concerned with the search, selection, purchase, receipt, storage, and final use of commodity in accordance with the catering policy of the establishment’. This suggests that the person employed to purchase foods and beverages for an establishment will be responsible for not only purchasing, but also for the receiving, storage and issuing of all commodities as well as being involved with the purpose for which items are purchased and the final use of them (Enzing, 2009).

Requisition of equipment and supplies:

In food and beverage operations requisition and inventory control must be implemented. A supplier of equipment of food stuffs can be easily selected from among those that buyer has previously purchased from. Ideally a visit should be made to potential supplier to see the size of company, the full range and models of product, conditions of storage facilities, and to meet members of the management team. When seeking a new supplier caution must be exercised and detailed enquiries made to cover the next point. Total details of the potential supplier must be obtained (Dopson & Hayes, 2011).

Purchase specification can often be in a form of purchase order where the necessary information is included.  The purchase order should describe quality, size quantity and weight. A purchase record may indicate what was ordered, who ordered it and at what price. Always use a purchase specification when buying any food items. Purchasing specification of beverages are simple than of foodstuffs. Beverages are sold and purchased by the brand name label of the product, having a consistent quality and quantity (Hill & Bell, 2010).

Receiving practices vary with different organizations but the general principles of control are:

  1. Check delivery note
  2. Inspect product to determinate if they are in agreement with the purchase order and specification
  3. Accept the product by signing the delivery note
  4. Store and deliver goods to the right place.

Invoicing should include the following:

  • A business identification number
  • Supplier name, address and contact information
  • Your company name and address
  • Delivery date of the invoice
  • The amount being charged
  • VAT amount if applicable

Getting your invoicing system and payment terms right can be key to a healthy relationship between the supplier and the business (Davis & Rensburg, 2002).

After receiving the products proper storage should be accorded to them. The foodstuffs storage can be split into: dry goods and items for refrigeration and freezing. The beverages storage can be split into: cellar items, separate area, bar stock items. A clean food or beverage storekeeping, run efficiently, is essential in any foodservice establishment.

3.1Compile food and beverage menus for hospitality event

The menu is a critical component to a food and beverage operation. It is the first impression of your establishment. It communicates everything about your type of operation. It dictates your staffing, organizations, production and service methods. It drives your image, theme, quality and overall mission



Sausage, chips and fresh salad


Apple cake


Jack-potatoes with vegetables

Coffee or tea

Fruits salad


Fish, rice and fresh salad

Mineral water

Fruits salad


Battered chicken fillet with chips and salad

Orange juice


Service System: Buffet

3.2 Justify the selection and suitability of recipes for menus

When i compile the menu, i take in consideration nutritional issues, balance diet, balance of color, health and safety and hygiene issues. The same level of consideration to my guests with special conditions such as vegetarians, diabetics, and children are given special treatment. The choice of sausage, chips and fresh salad for adults, because is a dish that is made quickly, it not required special skills. Vegetarians will have jack potatoes with vegetables, this dish respects nutritional issues and balance of color (Dodgshun & Peters, 2012). Guests with diabetics will have fish, rice and fresh salad, this dish is low in fat, contains carbohydrate and vitamins and it is good for their healthy. For children I have battered chicken fillet with chips and salad, this choice is nutritional value, because has protein and vitamins, good for their growing and healthy. Variety of beverages will be available to have a choice.

4.1 Plan a food and beverage service for a hospitality event within an agreed budget.



Sausage, chips and fresh salad £5, 00

Jack-potatoes with vegetables £5, 00

Battered chicken fillet with chips and salad £4, 00

Fish, rice and fresh salad £5, 00


Beer £3, 50

Coffee or tea £1, 50

Orange juice £1, 50

Mineral water £1,00


Apple cake £2, 50

Ice-cream £2, 00

Fruits salad £2, 50

4.2 Implement the planned service maintaining standards of quality and health, safety and security.

In any hospitality events like celebrate the ‘end of the term’ maintaining standards of quality and health, safety and security are main points. Nowadays, customers are looking for quality rather than quantity (Cousins & Foskett, 2002).

Quality standards means: production and service planning, food and beverage preparation, cooking and presentation, setting and maintaining standards. The success of the event depends on the quality. The quality means keeps every standards, the service provide by the staff be trained well, the food must be bought from quality supplier and to have proper storage. Temperature requirements shall be met all the time. The food must be prepared, handled, cooked using procedures that prevent cross contamination. Equipment and food must be washed cleanly to avoid any food illness (Comen, 2006).

Healthy and safety one of the most sensitive issues in any event. It is important to ensure that the premises and equipment are safe and that they are kept safe so as to prevent accidents. The staffs need to assess any hazards or risks. Staff should receive training how to prevent and how to dealing with accidents. Proper health and safety procedure action will protect guests from danger. Respecting healthy and safety procedure will increase the guest trust and satisfaction and will reduce the cost of insurance (Foster, 2003).

4.3 Evaluate factors to determine the success of the service, making recommendations for improvement.

The factors that determine the success of the service are: planning and organisation of the management; customer satisfaction; quality assurance and setting standards; cost and time effectiveness. The success of the event is determined by the management organisation. Management must select food service, style of cooking, controlling the deliveries and storing of food and beverages.

Recommendations for improvement in planning and organisation of the management are:

  • Communications with customers must be clearly and effectively
  • Maintained standards of food and service systems
  • Keep hygiene and safety standards in food and beverage department

Customer satisfaction is one of the most important tasks to gain to achieve the success of the service. Happy customer means repeat business, positive company image, and high quality customer referrals. It is costly and difficult to get new customers than keeps the old customers.

Recommendations for improvement customer satisfaction are:

  • Provide excellent customer service before, during and after event
  • Give personal attention
  • Do not neglect a single customer, transmit a positive attitude

Cost and time effectiveness are to gain the maximum profit, the event manager has to be cost and time effective. Customer always wants the best value for their money.

Recommendations for cost and time effectiveness are:

  • All suppliers have to be negotiated
  • Make a good relationship with the local business operation.


Modern day food and beverage operations are continuing to improve in the quality, and the service. It is therefore important for the players in this sector to have high professional qualifications and standards to have a successful operation.















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