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Scenario:

You are a trainee manager in a 4* hotel. This hotel has 140 bedrooms, restaurant, bar and three large function rooms. You are currently working in the food and beverage department supporting the team that looks after the planning and implementation of functions and events. You have been set the target of leading the next event in this area and you are working towards this goal. As part of your training you have also been asked to carry out research on different food and beverage production and service systems with a view to the hotel replacing some of its systems and the manager also wants you to show your understanding of how financial processes are used within the food and beverage department.

Understand different food and beverage production and service systems

1.1 Discuss the characteristics of food production and food and beverage service systems
1.2 Discuss factors affecting recipes and menus for specific systems
1.3 Compare the cost of staffing implications for different systems
1.4 Justify the suitability of systems for particular food and beverage outlets

You have been asked to investigate and discuss the characteristics of different food and beverage production service systems and produce a report on your findings. Look into a variety of food production and food and beverage service systems and analyse the cost of equipment and staffing of the different systems. During your report discuss recipe and menu factors that may be affected by the individual systems researched. After research and comparing alternative applications concentrate only on the systems that you feel would be of benefit to the 4* hotel you work in and justify their suitability.
 

Role of Management Trainee in Hotel and Hospitality Industry

The main role of a management trainee in a hotel or hospitality industry is to learn the work while working in a team, thereby increasing the sales, providing excellent customer service as well as increasing the profitability. The role of management trainee is to satisfy the customers and ensure that the beverages are properly stocked. It is the responsibility of the trainee to check that proper services are provided to the customers and they must report to the supervisors. They will also undergo performance evaluation process and thereby discuss the strategies for further improvement. Although the position of the management trainee is considered temporary, yet they are responsible for regular check-in with their supervisors. Sometimes, the trainees must also attend the classes and there must be regular sessions to find out proper strategy for improvement. The management trainees must also learn the work in such contexts so that they can handle the entire responsibility and thus work for the growth of the hotel (Chaochotechuang and Mariano 2016). This paper will highlight the different concepts associated with food and beverage production and thus carry out an in-depth analysis of these concepts.

The restaurant will try to use the different conventional methods of serving food. The restaurant will prefer to start table booking service and this will be beneficial for the customers as well as for the management. In this type of service, the waiters will bring the food to the respective tables of the customers and serve them. After having the food, the waiters take away the plates and clean the table. It is the responsibility of the trainee to count the number of table covers and the amount of utensils that will be required for serving food. In the Buffet service, the entire amount of food is made in advance and a large proportion of food is placed in the containers and then served accordingly to the customers (Wambua 2014). The most important characteristics of these methods are that food is served in large quantity and customers can choose their desired food. Moreover, buffet services also require less employees and staffs. This system also has a disadvantage and the presented food can be affected or sometimes there might be shortage of food. In English/family service food is made and kept in dishes according to the quantity. This type of service does not demand high skilled staff. On the other hand in silver/Russian service, the food is made and kept in hot silver containers. This type of food is served in restaurants in fine dining services, banqueting as well as in conferences (Schiefer and Deiters 2016). The disadvantage of this type of food service requires high labor charges and skilled staffs. In ala carte, menu different meals are charged at different prices and it is not fixed i.e. the price changes according to festive seasons or any other occasions. Moreover, in Flambe service, the food that is served is prepared and processed but it is not cooked. This type of service is provided to the customers when they are present in that particular area. This involves personalized services and the customers feel more involved in the process. The disadvantage of this type of service is that it requires high labor cost and it is not suitable for a large mass of people. On the other hand, in specialist food service, there are food specialists who are involved in providing special dishes to the customers and this method helps in reducing the number of customer complaints. There must be a guideline for the staffs in this service method. Moreover, beverages are also served in this type of specialist service and it is also presented in a much better way (Abbey et al. 2015). 

Food Production Methods


There are various types of food production method, namely tradition method, batch cooking, call-order, centralized, assembly kitchen, cook-chill, cook-freeze and sous-vide. In traditional method, maximum amount of food is usually purchased raw and labor service is intermittent. The cost of running a kitchen is high due to necessity of manpower, energy, equipment and space (Danezis et al. 2016). Batch cooking method is adopted when the market size is not known and the product line has a range. Hence, a certain number of same good is produced by estimating the number of potential customers. This is the case for bakeries and buffet services (Godfray and Garnett 2014). Call-order method is the one chosen for room services in the hotels. As the menu gives restricted option, hence, it is smaller in size and scope and convenient for production using some basic equipment. In the centralized production method, production of food and its service components are separated and food that is centrally produced is served in batches or pre-portioned ready-to-serve way. As the name suggests, under assembly kitchen method, ingredients from various sources are assembled together to produce the final food. For example, frozen food is sourced from food processing industry to assemble and produce food. Cook-chill and cook-freeze are other common types of food production methods. In the cook-chill method, low temperature is used for preserving the quality of processed food; and under cook-freeze method, very fast freezing is required with advanced machineries for preserving the quality. Sous-vide is a type of cook-chill process. It is a combination of vacuum sealing and tightly controlled rapid chilling of food, especially fruits that are preserved in syrup, meat products in sauces etc. (Wilkinson, Dart and Hadlington 2013).

The factors impacting menus and recipes for a specific system includes the nature of the menu, objectives of the operation process, size of operation, quality of operation, customer needs, availability of resources and budget of the customers. The other factors affecting the recipes and menus for specific system includes customer satisfaction, size of the kitchen, decision of the management, food preferences and habits, availability of items, demographic features as well as nutritional value (Heikkilä et al. 2016). The equipments and the space in the kitchen also affect the menu. It can be said that every establishments has a targeted food preparation and production cost and thus it is necessary to meet the target. As these establishments are running for profit, it becomes difficult to design the menus and it is the responsibility of the management to take care of the menu.

Menu Design

There are some other important factors that affect the recipe and menu for a specific system. For example, suitability, modification, choice of products, appearance and flavor of the items are important factors in menu design. The basic rule for menu planning is to know the food preference, price and age of the guests along with the operational factors, such as, theme or cuisine, equipment, quality standards, budget and personnel (Feldmann and Hamm 2015). The recipes should be suitable to the tastes and preferences and budget of the customers. Type of menu should be chosen according to the menu styles, that is, whether it is A la Carte, table d’hôte, combination, fixed menu and cycle menus. The menu design should be flexible for modification according to the demand. Choice of the products in the recipe and menu should be such that the customers get nutrition from the food as well as they get attracted by the appearance of the item (Baiomy and Jones 2016). It is vital to balance the quality and the color of the food because the customers get attracted with the food color. It is also important to know the nutritional value as well as the ethnicity and these are important to ensure that the customer gets proper and balanced diet. Flavor is a crucial part of the recipes as that is the main factor that makes the customer to come back to the restaurant repeatedly. Apart from that, if there are certain items that are beyond customer’s ethnicity, it becomes a big issue for the customers. There are certain disadvantages related to the food quality and quantity and it is important to take of these issues.   


Different food service systems are affected in different ways based on the different criteria that affect menus and recipes. These are discussed in detail as follows:

  • In case of conventional food systems, since the food is prepared on the spot freshly and served to clients, so the availability of raw materials, or even processed food forms the most important criteria for deciding the menu and the recipe as all the goods should be readily available. The flavor of the food and the viability and speed with which the food can be prepared also plays a very crucial role in this case.
  • In case of centralized food service system, since the food is transported from the central kitchen to several other receiving kitchens, so the most criteria in this case is the choice of all customers being the same and the distribution techniques as different amounts are to be delivered at different locations. The demography of te clients also play an important role in this situation
  • In case of ready prepared food system, as multiple amounts are produced within a single day, it is important the menu decided consists of food items that can stay put and fresh for long. If the items are susceptible to spoil and decay, such items should not be included in the menu.
  • In the case of assembly service food system, the food is purchased at the middle stage of production and then cooked or heated to make it eatable. In this case. The menu or the recipe depends upon the quantity and the reliability of the components of not being prone to decay.
  • Further in case of a food servicing system like buffet the recipe and menu of the food should be based on the size of the clients and system under servicing and flavor forms a very important part and also the presentation as the customers are directly involved in serving the food for themselves. It should generally include a wide variety of dishes as it adds to the appealing nature and provides a greater array of choices for the clients to choose from.
  • As opposed to this in case of A la Carte, the primary factor that decides a recipe or menu is the choice of customers and the availability of ingredients as in this case the choice of the customer can vary across all the choices mentioned in the menu. In this case it is very important for the mangers to decide the menu in such a way that all the dishes mentioned in the menu are readily available.

However, the most important criteria for determining any menu depends upon the choices of clients, the budget, the event and the venue and also the setting and infrastructural capabilities of the restaurant or the catering firm.

Cost Implications, that is, system costs, and operational costs for equipment, staff and products are very important in this business. It takes a big amount of capital for running the operations and systems. There are many operational factors, such as, procurement of equipment and ingredients, maintaining supply chain network, menu design, furniture in the dining area, interior decoration, staff hiring and training, and marketing, which incur a heavy amount of cost and that gets reflected in the menu pricing (Seyitoglu 2017). At the same time, type of service also causes variance in the costs, such as, cost of buffet is much different than that of A la Carte services. 


The employees must have a vital authority on the success or operation of food service. The process of staff selection must include the knowledge, skills as well as the requirement. It is important for a smooth and better functioning of the food and beverage operation department of the hotel. There must be efficiency in the skills of the employees and they must also know how to behave with the customers. In this case, it is important to take care of the attitude of the employees and this symbolizes better and effective attitude of the management. A good communication with the employees can enhance the sale of operation and thereby recommend the staff to serve better food and improve the service quality. The employees are considered to be a major resource of the hotel and they help in maximizing the potential. Moreover, the employees must also be willing to learn new techniques and procedures and this is vital for raising the satisfaction level of the customers. The skills of the labor involves re-skilling, de-skilling as well as up-skilling process. As more and more individuals enter the industry, it is important to hire the employees with better qualification and skills and this requires higher maintenance. The training of the staff will make the operation process profitable. Moreover, they are also provided training to improve their performance standard, improving the ability of the staff, encouraging them to perform better and therefore identifying better standard of performance (Seyitoglu 2017).

In case of buffet, the availability of utensils is very important and the use of fresh utensils is very important to avoid contamination as people pick up food from the same utensils. The same goes for cutlery and napkins. The average salary of such trainees and workers ranges around $42,387. Also the trainees involved should be highly prone to maintenance of ethics and manners. In case of English service the utensils mostly used are knives, trays, moulds and also thermometers in certain cases. In this case customized training is very important as it involves a set of principles that are specific and specialized. Russian service involves the sequential bringing of food in three stages and requires utensils made only of silver to pertain to the tradition involved. The table setting and stewards involved need to be trained with the setting of French dinner, however, the rules can be flexible. In case of A la Carte, a menu is provided to guests which is based on a pre selected menu of the clients and dishes are ordered individually, so the stewards should be readily prepared for providing any of the dishes mentioned on the menu. The flambe/gueridon service of food generally implies the serving of side courses and this requires immense training and skills on the part of the stewards as it is the very essence of this kind of service. This involves carving skills and other skills that adds to promotional events and involves gaining attention of the surrounding tables. Specialist food service involves the setting, venue and stock of components and ingredients that are to be used. It involves promoting new food samples and testing their impact on the clients. Table service of food is the most common type of servicing where food is served at the table by waiters and waitresses and involves only preliminary levels of servicing which can be learnt and adapted to very easily.

The buffet method is considered to be the most suitable method of food service. In this system, food is attractively exhibited on the tables or presented in an artistic way. Buffet is considered to be a combination of food as well as beverages. This system is suitable for conferences and the labor cost involved in these processes is low. The advantages of buffet system are that customers can have their own choice of food and it does not require high skilled staffs or expertise. Compared with the other service method, it involves lower cost and provides high quality food and service. There is also a disadvantage of this system i.e. the food is not cooked fresh and there are chances of bacteria in the food if it is not stored or cooked properly. The price menu is set in such a way so that it becomes easier to get the profit and pay off the other charges that are associated with the food and beverage section. The hotel must also earn profitability to pay off the electricity bills, cost of gas for kitchen as well as other charges associated with it (Thomas 2016). 


Buffet service is mostly suitable in other type of services in the hospitality industry, such as, hotel, restaurants, clubs, pubs, contract food services, nightclubs, membership clubs, hospitality services, banqueting, events and specialist operations. In all these events, usually, plenty of people gather in a place. Buffet is the most suitable service in these places because it involves batch cooking and menu is pre-decided to make the options restricted. Buffet is easier to manage and cost effective and thus, for a big gathering, this is the most preferred way of serving food. On the other hand, in case of fast-food and in-flight catering, buffet service is difficult to manage. The fast food service cannot offer mass amount food as people cannot consume only fast food in a large scale. In case of in-flight catering, the management of buffet is extremely difficult due to constraint of space, equipment and man power. In this case, a la carte is the most suitable method of food serving (Wambua 2014).

Conclusion 

Therefore, it can be said that modern food and beverage activities are trying to make improvements in the service as well as the quality of food. With increasing professionalism, it is vital to train the staffs for better growth and development. The service quality is considered to be the principal and the most important differentiating factor in customer’s choice of selecting better establishments. It is vital to communicate with the staff effectively and properly. This will be beneficial in maintaining the food standard as well as the quality of food. The happy customers will come to the restaurants again and it is important to keep them satisfied. Paying personal attention to a single customer and neglecting the other customers will transmit a positive attitude to that customer and negativity to the other customers. Moreover, customer satisfaction is also important in the proper and successful working of the hotel. 

References

Abbey, K.L., Wright, O.R. and Capra, S., 2015. Menu planning in residential aged care—the level of choice and quality of planning of meals available to residents. Nutrients, 7(9), pp.7580-7592.

Baiomy, A. and Jones, E., 2016. Measuring menu attributes in the international and local resort hotels in Egypt. Anatolia, 27(4), pp.526-536.

Chaochotechuang, P. and Mariano, S., 2016. Alignment of new product development and product innovation strategies: a case study of Thai food and beverage SMEs. International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business, 8(2), pp.179-206.

Danezis, G.P., Tsagkaris, A.S., Camin, F., Brusic, V. and Georgiou, C.A., 2016. Food authentication: Techniques, trends & emerging approaches. TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 85, pp.123-132.

Feldmann, C. and Hamm, U., 2015. Consumers’ perceptions and preferences for local food: A review. Food Quality and Preference, 40, pp.152-164.

Godfray, H.C.J. and Garnett, T., 2014. Food security and sustainable intensification. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, 369(1639), p.20120273.

Heikkilä, L., Reinikainen, A., Katajajuuri, J.M., Silvennoinen, K. and Hartikainen, H., 2016. Elements affecting food waste in the food service sector. Waste Management, 56, pp.446-453.

Schiefer, G. and Deiters, J., 2016. Food innovation dynamics and network support. In Innovation Strategies in the Food Industry (pp. 1-17).

Seyitoglu, F., 2017. Components of the menu planning process: the case of five star hotels in Antalya. British Food Journal, 119(7), pp.1562-1577.

Thomas, E., 2016. Food for thought: obstacles to menu labelling in restaurants and cafeterias. Public health nutrition, 19(12), pp.2185-2189.

Wambua, J., 2014. Food and Beverage Operations Management.

Wilkinson, P., Dart, S. and Hadlington, C., 2013. Cook-chill, cook-freeze, cook-hold, sous vide: risks for hospital patients? - PubMed - NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1679787 [Accessed 14 Feb. 2018].

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