Food and Beverage – Lesson 4

Lesson – 04




Depending on the size of the establishment, the food and beverage manager is either responsible for the implementation of agreed policies or for contributing to the setting of catering policies. The larger the organization the less likely the manager is to be involved in policy setting.  In general, managers are responsible for:

¨       Ensuring that the required profit margins are achieved for each food and beverage service area in each financial period

¨       Updating and compiling new wine lists according to availability of stock, current trends and customer needs.

¨       Compiling, in liaison with the kitchen, menus for the various food service areas and for special occasions

¨       The purchasing of all materials, both food and drink

¨       Ensuring that quality in relation to the price paid is maintained

¨       Determining portion size in relation to selling price

¨       Departmental training and promotions, plus the maintenance of the highest professional standards

¨       Employing and dismissing staff

¨       Holding regular meetings with section heads to ensure all areas are working effectively, efficiently and are well co-ordinate



Restaurant manager/supervisor

This person has overall responsibility for the organization and administration of particular food and beverage service areas.  These may include the loungers, floors; grill rooms, restaurants and possibly some of the private banqueting suites.  It is the restaurant manager who sets the standards for service and is responsible for any staff training that may have to be carried out on or off the job.  He/she may make out duty rotas, holiday lists, and hours on and off duty s that all the service areas run efficiently and smoothly.


Reception head waiter

This staff member is responsible for accepting any bookings and for keeping the booking diary up to date.  He/she will reserve tables and allocate these reservations to particular stations.  The reception headwaiter greets guests on arrival and takes them to the table and seats them.


Head waiter/ma——/supervisor

This person has overall charge of the staff team and is responsible for seeing that all the duties necessary for the pre-preparation for services are efficiently carried out and that nothing is forgotten.  The headwaiter will aid the reception headwaiter during the service and will possibly take some orders if the station waiter is busy. The headwaiter helps with the compilation of duty roaster and holiday lists, and may relieve the restaurant manager or reception headwaiter on their days off.


Station head waiter/section supervisor

The station headwaiter has the overall responsibility for a team of staff serving a set number of tables, which could be anything from four to eight in number, from one sideboard.  The set of tables under the station headwaiter’s control is called a station.

The station headwaiter must have a good knowledge of food and wine and its correct service, and be able to instruct other members of the staff.  He/she will take the order (usually from the host) and carry out all the service at the table with the help of the chef de rang who is the second in command of the station.


Station waiter/chef de rang

The chef de rang must be able to carry out the same work as the station headwaiter and relieve him/her on days off.  The chef de rang will normally have had less experience than the waiter. Both the chef de rang and the station headwaiter must work together as a team to provide and efficient and speedy service.


Assistant station Waiter / demi chef de rang

The demy-chef de rang is a post usually found only on the continent.  As the term implies, this person is next in seniority to the chef de rang and assists where necessary.


Waiter /server /commis de rang

The commis de rang acts by instruction from the chef de rang.  He/she mainly fetches and carries, may do a little service of either vegetables or sauces, and also offers rolls, places plates upon the table and so on, and helps to clear the tables after each course.  During the pre-preparation period some of the cleaning and preparatory tasks will be carried out by the commis de rang.


Trainee commis / debarrasseur / apprentice

The debarrasseur is the ‘learner’, having just joined the food service staff, and possibly wishing to take up food service as a career.  During the service this person will keep the sideboard well filled with equipment, and may help to fetch and carry items as required.  The debarrasseur would carry out certain of the cleaning tasks during the pre-preparation periods.  The apprentice may be given the responsibility of looking after and serving hors-d’oeuvre, cold sweets or assorted cheeses from the appropriate trolleys.



The carver is responsible for the carving trolley and the carving of joints at the table as required.  The carver will plate up each portion with the appropriate accompaniment.


Floor service staff/chef d’ e’tage/ floor waiter

The floor service staffs are often responsible for a complete floor in an establishment or, depending on the size of the establishment, a number of rooms or suites.  Floor service of all meals and beverages throughout the day is normally only offered by a first-class establishment.  In smaller establishments floor service may be limited to early morning teas and breakfasts with the provision of in-room mini bars and tea and coffee facilities.

If a full floor service were in operation, the staff would consist of a head floor waiter with the appropriate number of floor waiters working for him/her.  These staff is then responsible for the service of all meals and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) in rooms. A thorough knowledge of food and drink, and their correct service, is therefore essential.  The important of good liaison and co-operation with the housekeeping staff cannot be over-emphasized here.  The floor service staff would normally work from a floor pantry or from a central kitchen with all food and drink reaching the appropriate floor and the required room by lift and in a heated trolley.


Lounge staff/chef de salle


Lounge staff may deal with lounge service as specific duty only in a first-class establishment.  In a smaller establishment it is usual for members of the food service staff to take over these duties on a rota basis.  The lounge staffs are responsible for the service of morning coffee, afternoon teas, aperitifs and liqueurs before and after both lunch and dinner, and any coffee required after meals.  They would be responsible for setting up the lounge in the morning and maintaining its cleanliness and presentation throughout the day.


Wine butler/wine waiter/ sommelier


The sommelier is responsible for the service of all alcoholic drinks during the service of meals.  The wine butler must also be a sales person. This employee should have a thorough knowledge of all drink to be served, of the best wines to go with certain foods and of the licensing laws in respect of the particular establishment and area.


Cocktail bar staff


The person who works on the cocktail bar must be responsible, well versed in the skills of shaking and stirring cocktails and should have a thorough knowledge of all alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, the ingredients necessary for the making of cocktails and of the licensing laws.


Buffet assistant/buffet chef/chef de buffet


The chef de buffet is in charge of the buffet in the room, its presentation, the carving and portioning of food and it s service.  This staff member would normally be a member of the kitchen team.



The cashier is responsible for the takings of the food and beverage operation.  This may include making up bills from food and drink checks or, alternatively, in a cafeteria, for example, charging customers for their selection of items on a tray.


Counter assistants

These would be found in cafeterias where they would stock the counter and sometimes serve or portion food for customers.  Duties may also include some cooking of call order items.


Table clearer

Again found in seating areas where the service is not waiter service.  These peop0le are responsible for clearing tables on to trolleys specially designed for good stacking of crockery, glassware, cutlery etc.


Function catering/banqueting staff

In establishments with function catering facilities there would normally be a certain number of permanent staff.  These would include the banqueting manager, one or two assistant banqueting managers, one or two banqueting headwaiters, a dispense person and a secretary to the banqueting manager.  All other banqueting staff required is normally engaged on a casual basis.  In small establishments where fewer functions are necessary administrative and organizational work would be undertaken by the manager, the assistant manager and the headwaiter.




What is briefing?

Briefing is a meeting of restaurant staff and as it denotes, it is a technical talk between the staff members.


When it is held?

It is held minimum half and hour before the restaurant is opened for the guest.  The briefing time can be increased if the senior staff of restaurant decides so.


Where it is held?

It is held in the restaurant itself.  All the staff excepting the senior staff members that are senior captain, captain, standing in one line facing the senior staff member.


During briefing:

In these sessions senior staff members of the restaurant looks into the following paints—

  1. Instruction to the staff:  the staff is painted out his mistake of the previous day and how to rectify them.  The staff shouldn’t fell bad about this.  Because from learning from mistake and not committing them again, help one to learn more and become efficient in his work.
  2. Checks the aspect of service
  3. Checks upon the staffs knowledge of menu
  4. Receive suggestion
  5. Listen to the problem of the staff.
  6. Checks on the non availability of the day
  7. Checks on the hygiene, the uniform and personal appearance of the staff.
  8. Allot station to captain and steward.
  9. Explain if any new house rule or policy is there
  10. The staff should clarify all doubt
  11. This time is very important for the new staff to get trained up and the old staff refreshes their knowledge.


What are the points that junior staff keep in mind before briefing?

Acquaint themselves with the non-availability of food and beverage items listed on the menu.


  • One steward who is assigned to go and ask the chef or sections in -charge to check up the non-availability item and then go to the bar and check up the non-availability of beverage with the barman does this.  The non availability of the F/B item of the day should be written on the board and pinned next to the service door towards the kitchen the not inside the restaurant.  This will help the staff member to know the day’s non-availability.
  • He should see that his shoes are polished his dress does not look chaby, he is shaved his hair are well kept and not too long.  His nails are cut and clean not bad smell from mouth.
  • All the staff should see that they have clean waiter’s cloth, clean handkerchief, bottle opener, matchbox, pen and pad.
  • He should always be conversant with the recipe of the food items listed in the menu as well as the cocktails in the bard cord.  He should acquaint himself with the accompaniment and crockery to be used with the different food and bar item.



Importance of briefing:

Briefing is very important to train up the staff develop good communication, and better          work.  The following will help you to understand the importance of the point dealt with above.


Knowledge of menu card and bar card:

It helps the staff building up confidence in them.  The staff of the restaurant is like a sales man who should know fully well the products, which he sells.  It mostly happens when a guest enquire a particular dish of the menu, the steward has to run to the captain so that the captain can explain it to the guest.  This leaves a very bad impression in the mind of the guest because he feels that the staffs are doing not know what they are serving.

Example: If ‘B’ [salesman] comes to ‘A’ [customer] and tells him that he has got a very good production to offer and ‘A’ asked him as to worth the product ‘B’ replies that he does not know what the product without have full knowledge about it.  This gives a very bad impression and the product cannot sell.  In the same way when a restaurant staff member does not know the recipe of the dish of the menu it gives a bad impression and he may lose the guest.  But a staff member who know the recipe of dishes of the menu can immediately make it clear to the guest about the same when enquire into and thus a guest fills satisfy and so that the staff member.  One should have a knowledge of the accompaniment served with a particular dish or beverage say for the accompaniment of tomato juice is serve with W.C. sauce when a steward knows this he does not have to ask captain or manager and thus he able to serve faster and saves much of his own time and also create a very good image in the eyes of the guest.  He should have the knowledge of cutlery; crockery is provided with particular dish.


Personal appearance of the staff:  This helps the staff themselves to feel confident and also be pleasing in the eye of guest.


Check of non availability of the day: this helps the staff taking order efficiently if he does not know the non availability 9of the day and takes the order for any dish and then goes to kitchen.  He find the item is not available.  Such and award position puts the staffs into a lot of embarrassment, which also creates a bad impression in the mind of the day help saving time and prevents unnecessary running to the kitchen to know the actual position.  All these can be avoided if he is conversant with the non-availability of the day.


Receive suggestion, problem: this helps developing good teamwork and finding suitable solution to practical problem during day today service.


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