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Food & Beverage Manager: What to expect?

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Marketing Manager, Sales Manager, Media Manager, Event Manager, Retail Manager and the list is endless when one talks about career fields under the huge umbrella of Management. The sector has been increasingly pursued by students and professionals from all walks of life.

Getting a specialisation in Management is no longer a fad but has transformed into a need of the professional world. The idea is to inculcate general proficiencies like team management, leadership, communication, organisation and patience in every career field to create an impeccable initiative benefitting an organisation and world at large.

For those who want to be a part of hospitality industry can look beyond the conventional profiles of a chef, floor manager, banquet manager or a front desk manager. Managing Food and Beverages division in any hotel is also an integral and one of the most crucial parts of the hotel industry and helps in managing the funds released for the same.

Here, Dinesh Singh, Food and Beverages Manager with Café Coffee Day, tells us what the job of an F & B Manager is all about and why he chose this as his career.

Tell us about your current profile as Food & Beverages Manager.

Though I don’t cook but am responsible for managing the outflow and inflow of all the food and beverages products. As an F & B Manager, I have to create a monthly budget for all the products that have to be distributed all over Delhi and NCR at the same time I have to keep in mind that no outlet lacks any kind of resource. Along with planning the budget I also take care of maintaining the cost to the company and look out for most cost-effective vendors for our food and beverages products. I also keep on planning changes in the menu pertaining to the demands of customers.

How challenging is your job?

Well, taking care of a large area with so many outlets is definitely not a smooth road but one needs to overcome all the hurdles. The job becomes a little challenging while dealing with vendors or while preparing budget for inventories. As an F & B Manager, you cannot overlook any detail. Sorting out issues and conflicts can be exhaustive but it’s all part of the game. If you want to be here then you have to deal with various issues and find solution for each.

Did you always want to be a Food and Beverages Manager?

I always wanted to be a doctor and had taken Science in my 10+2 but somehow I couldn’t clear my medical examination. At that time I thought that there was no hope for me. But my parents supported me and asked me to look out for alternate options. It was then that I learned about the hospitality industry. I gave the NCHMCT JEE entrance test and got selected for IHM, Chandigarh where I completed my graduation in Hotel Management.

How did you look out for job after your graduation?

I never had to look out for job. We had college placement at the end of our course and I got placed with Taj Hotel, Delhi as a Chef De Partie at Taj’s Bakery after two years training in kitchen.

What was your profile as a Bakery Chef?

To reach the designation of Chef De Partie and handle a team (Assistant Manager-Chef) from just a trainee was not an easy task. Being a chef requires a lot of hard work and time. If anyone wants to be a chef, then he/she should be ready to give in 12-18 hours at the kitchen. A chef is not all about cooking. It includes details and knowledge about products, methods and technology used in cooking. An efficient chef is one who delivers the best product with optimum costs by using resources properly, costing and waste management.

Why did you choose to become a manager over a chef?

As a Chef De Partie, I learnt a lot during my tenure as a chef about new product development, new menu launches, menu engineering, costing, production of various products, includes – breads, cakes, chocolates and desserts (international cuisines).

But I wanted to groom my managerial expertise further and joined CCD as a food and beverages manager. Along with that I also got enrolled with IIFT for MBA in International Business for working professionals.

Work along with studies. Is it not tiresome?

When I joined CCD, I realised that I need to learn more about the basics of Management. I thought MBA degree will help me to use more of management skills in handling the issues more effectively. Tiresome, yes but to succeed a little, hard work is a must.

Can a student without any experience in Catering or Culinary skills become a food and beverages manager?

To become a food and beverages manager one needs to have knowledge about hotel operations and food and beverages or experience in the same field. It is very rare that a regular MBA gets this profile. One needs to plan his/her studies in accordance with the career he/she wants to pursue.

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