Thursday, April 28, 2011

Food Service Managers

Nature of the work
Food service managers are responsible for the daily operations of restaurants and other establishments that prepare and serve meals and beverages to customers. Besides coordinating activities among various departments, such as kitchen, dining room, and banquets operations, food service managers ensure that customers are satisfied with their dining experience. In addition, they oversee the inventory and ordering of food, equipment, and supplies and arrange for the routine maintenance and upkeep of the restaurant's equipment and facilities. Managers are generally responsible for all administrative and human-resources functions of the business, including recruiting new employees and monitoring employee performance and training.

Managers interview, hire, train, and when necessary fire employees. Retaining good employees is a major challenge facing food service managers. Managers recruit employees at career fairs and at schools that offer academic programs in hospitality management or culinary arts, and arrange newspaper advertising to attract additional applicants. Managers oversee the training of new employees and explain the establishment's policies and practices. They schedule work hours, making sure that enough workers are present to cover each shift. If employees are unable to work, managers may have to call in alternates to cover for them or fill in themselves. Some managers may help with cooking, clearing tables, or other tasks when the restaurant becomes extremely busy.

Food service managers ensure that diners are served properly and in a timely manner. They investigate and resolve customers' complaints about food quality and serve. They monitor orders in the kitchen to determine where backups may occur, and they work with the chef to remedy any delays in service. Managers direct the cleaning of the dining areas and the washing of tableware, kitchen utensils, and equipment to comply with company and government sanitation standards. Managers also monitor the actions of their employees and patrons on a continual basis to ensure the personal safety and local liquor regulations are obeyed.

In addiction to their regular duties, food service managers perform a variety of administrative assignments, such as keeping employee work records, preparing the payroll, and completing paperwork to comply with licensing, tax, wage and hour, unemployment compensation, and Social Security laws. Some of this work may be delegated to an assistant manager or bookkeeper, or it may be contracted out, but most general managers retain responsibility for the accuracy of business records. Managers also maintain records of supply and equipment purchases and ensure that accounts with suppliers are paid.

Managers tally the cash and charge receipts received and balance them against the record of sales, securing them in a safe place. Finally, managers are responsible for locking up establishment, checking that ovens, grills, and lights are off and switching on alarm systems.

Technology influences the jobs of foes service managers in many ways, enhancing efficiency and productivity. Many restaurants use computers and business software to place orders and track inventory and sales. They also allow food service managers to monitor expenses, employee schedules, and payroll matters more efficiently.

In most full-services restaurants and institutional food service facilities, the management team consists of a general manager, on or more assistant managers, and an executive chef. The executive chef is responsible for all food preparation activities, including running kitchen operations, planning menus, and maintaining quality standards for food service. In some cases, the executive chef is also the general manager or owner of the restaurant. General managers may employ several assistant managers that oversee certain areas, such as the dining or banquets rooms, or supervise different shifts of workers. In limited-service eating places, such as sandwich and coffee shops or fast-food restraints, managers or food preparation or serving supervisors, not executive chefs, are responsible for supervising routine food preparation operations.

In restaurants, mainly full-service independent ones where there are both food service managers and executive chefs, the managers often help the chefs menu items. Managers or executive chefs at independent restaurants select menu items, taking into account the past popularity of dishes, the ability to reuse any food not served the previous day, the need for variety and the seasonal availability of foods. Managers or executive chefs analyze the recipes of the dishes to determine food, labor, and overhead costs, work out the portion size and nutritional content of each plate, and assign prices to various menu items. Menus must be developed far enough in advance that supplies can be ordered and received in time.

Median annual wages of salaried food service managers were $46,320 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $36,670 and %59,580. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,450, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $76,940. Median annual wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of food service managers were as follows: Traveler accommodation: $54,710; Special food services: $52,680; Full-service restaurants: $49,420; Limited-Service eating-places: $41,320.

Story & Salary information courtesy of Bureau of Labor


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