Food and Beverage Services - Operations

Food and Beverage Service operations involve a multitude of activities which engage the staff right from purchasing raw material, preparing food and beverage, keeping the inventory of material, maintaining service quality continuously, managing various catered events, and most importantly, analyzing the business outcomes to decide future policies.

Let us look into the operations involved in F&B service −

Product Cycle in F&B Service

The purchasing department in F&B Services is responsible for purchasing, storing, and issuing the supply of raw food items, canned/bottled beverages, and equipment. The following is a typical product purchasing cycle −

Product Cycle

The purchasing department works with accounts department to keep the information on allocated budget and balance budget.

The following factors influence purchasing −

  • Size of F&B Organization
  • Location of F&B Organization
  • Availability and Size of Storage Space
  • Organization Budget and Policies
  • Availability of the commodity due to season

Purchasing Product

The purchaser is responsible for purchasing a product. He studies the market, and analyzes and selects suppliers, wholesalers, and the contemporary market prices. He then liaisons with suppliers and wholesalers to get good material at fair price and purchases the required commodities by following appropriate purchase procedures.

Receiving the Product

The receiver receives the products from the suppliers. He checks the product for right quality and quantity. He deals with the delivery personnel from the supplier’s end and signs on the related receipts.

Storing and Issuing the Product

The store men carry out the task of storing received supply and issuing it to respective departments. They update the stock database, and manage old and new material in the stock. They also keep record of stock to the latest date.

Preparing and Presenting an F&B Product

This includes preparation of various food items and fresh beverages. The cooks prepare various foods and the bar tenders prepare cold beverages such as mocktails and cocktails. They also make the dish most presentable by arranging food on platter and decorating it in an attractive manner. The beverages are also decorated by using fruit slices, decorating the glasses, sippers, and stirrers.

Consuming the F&B Product

This part is played by the guests. At the service end, the respective staff takes inventory of the consumed and balanced stock of food and beverages and keeps it updated to latest figures.

Maintaining Food and Beverage Standards

It is very vital for an F&B Services organization or an F&B department in a large hotel to keep their standards of food and beverage high. If the quality of food and beverage along with the best service is what the guests liked, then the chances of the guests coming repeatedly and singing praises of what they received are high.

Food and Beverage Standards

Any food and beverage service business has a great responsibility of serving hygienic, safe, clean, and fresh food. The customers also rightfully question if the food or beverage they consume at the F&B Services outlet is healthy, safe, and fresh.

For ensuring food safety, a system named Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) in Europe works to identify Critical Control Points (CCP) for the presence of physical, chemical, and bacterial hazards to food. HACCP has set guidelines and principles on producing healthy and safe food. It also enables food and beverage businesses to adhere to consistent safety and quality of food production.

In India, Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSA) works towards setting standards for safe and hygienic food. In USA, Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is responsible for the safety of meat, poultry, and processed egg products. Also, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for virtually all other foods.

Managing Buffets, Banquets, and Catered Events

Before planning and executing buffets, banquets, or catered events, the respective managers and supervisors need to consider the following factors −

Type of Event

It can be formal such as seminars, meetings, or conference, or informal such as a wedding reception, birthday party, employee outing, and alike.

Involvement of Various Persons

The participants such as decorating staff, planning staff such as managers, serving staff, supervising staff, whole sellers, and the guests.

Event Requirements

It is important to know the date and time of event, the number of expected guests, dance floor, audio or projector systems, or any special requirement demanded by the guests before planning the event.


It includes flowers, table arrangement, center-pieces, candles, artificial fountains/waterfalls, decorative art pieces, plants and pots; for both formal and informal occasions with the involvement of décor artists. The display pieces may be carved, baked, or assembled; made of edible or non-edible substances according to the laid standards. The decoration needs to go in pair with the theme of the banquet, buffet, or some event.


According to the time of event, it can include starters, salads, breads, main courses (meats, poultry, or sea food), desserts (fruits, pastries, or frozen desserts), beverages, accompaniments, and garnishes according to the establishment standards. It must be hygienic, in-line with the occasion, and meeting the F&B Services establishment standards.

Serving Equipment

Depending upon the requirement of guests and serving style, it can include silverware, platters, table linens, and other required serving equipment. It also includes size and shape of tables and chairs.

Serving Norms

According to establishment norms, serving right food at right temperature, replenishing food platters timely, keeping the overall display neat and attractive, storing food and managing beverage consumption after service, cleaning buffet or banquet area, restoring plates, cutlery, Guerion trollies, and glassware after completion of service.