Food and Beverage Service

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© 2011, Educational Institute
Chapter 14
Food and
Beverage Service
Convention Management and Service
Eighth Edition
(478TXT or 478CIN)
Courtesy of Hyatt Regency Dallas
© 2011, Educational Institute 1
Competencies for
Food and Beverage Service
1. Identify different types of food service and servicerelated issues related to food functions.
2. Identify control issues related to food functions.
3. Describe service and control issues related to
beverage functions.
4. Describe post-function activities for both food and
beverage functions, and compare large properties
with small ones in terms of in-house coordination.
© 2011, Educational Institute 2
A Vital Function
• Food functions are an integral part of most meetings
• Association and corporate meeting planners rate the
quality of food service as “very important” in their
selection of meeting facilities
• Food and beverage functions
are second only to guestrooms
in generating revenue at most
convention hotels
Courtesy of Orient-Express Hotels
© 2011, Educational Institute 3
Hyatt’s Personal Preference Menus
• Meeting planner selects one appetizer and one salad in
advance to be served to each attendee
• Meeting planner also chooses three entrées from a
selection of six
• At the tables, attendees may pick from these three
entrées or a vegetarian option
• A dessert sampler is also included
© 2011, Educational Institute
Trends in Banquet Food and Beverage
• Meeting planners are more food savvy
• Hotels seek to create a restaurant-quality
dining experience at banquets
• Customized menus, choice of
entrée, action and testing stations,
and upscale presentation are
• Meeting facilities are offering
fresh, healthy, locally grown,
organic, and nutritional foods to
connect with the trend toward
green menus
Courtesy of Fairmont Hotels
© 2011, Educational Institute 5
Profitability of Banquets
• Food and beverage is second only to guestrooms in the
amount of revenue it generates
• The profit margin on banquet
sales is 35–40 percent
• Banquet sales volume often
exceeds restaurant volume
by two to one

Banquets allow for flexible
pricing, while both food and
labor costs may be lower
Courtesy of InterContinental Hotels
© 2011, Educational Institute 6
Planning Food Functions
Types of Food Functions
• Breakfasts
• Luncheons
• Dinners
• Dinners with entertainment
and/or dancing
• Coffee breaks
• Receptions
• Hospitality setups in
suites, meeting rooms, or
exhibit halls
Courtesy of Raffles Hotel Singapore
© 2011, Educational Institute 7
Planning Food Functions
• Use a function sheet for each event
• Menu is focal point of theme party
• Better to refuse a request than to fail
Courtesy of Gaylord Palms Hotels
© 2011, Educational Institute 8
Changing Tastes
Healthier Foods
• Low in calories, fat, and cholesterol
• High in fiber and nutrition
• Breakfast foods lighter/healthier
• “Green” menus
promote organic,
locally grown choices
• Refreshment breaks
are becoming
“energy” breaks
Courtesy of InterContinental Hotels
© 2011, Educational Institute 9
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Managing Attendance at
Food Functions
• Firm menu prices are not quoted earlier than six
months prior to event
• Planner initially will estimate attendance at a food
• Early estimates of planners should be updated
• Guarantee needed 48 or 72 hours in advance for
ordering purposes
• Group generally guarantees to pay for a certain
number regardless of attendance
© 2011, Educational Institute 11
• Overset safety margin of 5 percent is common. For
example, if guarantee calls for 200 attendees, hotel
agrees to set for 5 percent over and sets tables and
chairs for 210
• Require guarantees in writing
• Attrition fees may be assessed if group fails to meet its
• Ticket exchange is often used for final banquet
Managing Attendance at
Food Functions
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Types of Food Service
Plate or American Service
• Most common form of
banquet service
• Food prepared in kitchen
and presented on guests’
Russian Service
• Food prepared in kitchen

Served from platters onto
guests’ plates
Courtesy of Fairmont Hotels and Resorts
© 2011, Educational Institute 14
Types of Food Service
English/Family-Style Service
• Food brought to the table on platters or in bowls
Butler Service
• Used at receptions
French Service
• Food prepared tableside
on carts or a gueridon
• Requires space between
tables for carts
Courtesy of Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts
© 2011, Educational Institute 15
Types of Food Service
Preset Service
• First course on tables when guests arrive
Buffet service
• Guests serve themselves from arrayed choices
À la Carte Catering
• Guests have choice of entrées
© 2011, Educational Institute 16
Function Room Issues
• Choose location based on
type of function, location of
other functions, traffic, kind
of seating, and lighting
• Ensure enough time for
setup, breakdown, and
• Ensure that noise will not
disrupt functions
Courtesy of Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts
© 2011, Educational Institute 17
Control Procedures and Staffing
Control Procedures
• Meals: usually charge per person
• Hotels must establish a head count procedure to
determine the actual number of meals served
• Count coupons or tickets at door or table, or count
• Coffee breaks or hospitality suites: charge per cup or
gallon of coffee, per piece or tray of Danish
• Complimentary hors d’oeuvres allow higher meal and
drink charges
• Labor charges and setup costs added to smallfunction bills
© 2011, Educational Institute 18
Control Procedures and Staffing
• One server per 20 guests
• As little as one server per 10 if price and service
warrant it
• One captain for every 10 to 12 servers
• One server per 16 guests with wine service
• One server per 30 to 40 guests for buffets
© 2011, Educational Institute 19
Two Ways of Handling
Food and Beverage Service
• All arrangements for function space and F&B
made through one service contact—the
convention service manager.
• F&B responsibilities separated from
scheduling of function space. Meeting
planners must work with a banquet/catering
department for their F&B requests, and with
the convention services department for their
function room needs.
© 2011, Educational Institute 20
Beverage Service Setups and
Pricing Methods
Types of Beverage Service
• Host bar/open bar
• Cash bar/no-host bar
• Coupons or tickets at no-host bar
• Captain’s bar
Pricing Methods
• By the person: flat rate for a specified time
• By the bottle: includes opened bottles
• By the drink: include labor charge and use
standard drink sizes
© 2011, Educational Institute 21
Hospitality Suites and Brands
of Liquor
Hospitality Suites
• Used by exhibitors and for good will
• Policy on liquor from outside (corkage)
• Inform group of union regulations
Brands of Liquor
• House brands—standard
• Call brands—by request only
• Premium brands—most expensive liquors
• Prices for house and call brands may be the
same or different
© 2011, Educational Institute 22
Beverage Control Systems
• Maintain formal procedures
• Stock 25 percent more than group’s estimated
consumption and return excess to stockroom
• Marrying beverage service stations—closing
bars in staggered order, moving partials from
one bar to another
Host Bar Control
• Easiest—no cash exchange
• Opened bottles returned to stock or sold to group
© 2011, Educational Institute 23
Beverage Control Systems
Cash Bar Control
• Requires rigid controls
• Use cashier, not bartender, for cash handling
Coupon or Ticket Bar Control
• Need for cashier depends on when tickets are sold
Automated Bars
• Prevent overpouring
• Bartender still required for blended drinks
• Most units take only 8 bottles
• Lends a mechanical atmosphere to cocktail receptions
© 2011, Educational Institute 24
Liquor Liability and Staffing
Liquor Liability
• Many states have dram shop laws
• Must take responsible care in serving alcohol
• One bartender for every
75 to 100 people
• One bar back for every
three bartenders
• Open bar stations farthest
from entrance first
• Staff one waiter for every
50 people for food receptions
Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Geneva, Switzerland
© 2011, Educational Institute 25
Post-Function Actions
• If billing is per person, tally guests served and
have planner acknowledge total
• Tally unopened bottles and bottles to be returned
for credit; have planner acknowledge totals
• If billing is not through master account, bills
should be paid when totals are certified
© 2011, Educational Institute 26
Food and Beverage Service at
Smaller Properties
Role of Catering Manager
• Can be responsible for sales as well as
coordinating F&B in smaller properties
• Small property’s catering manager usually
does not have authority over rooms
• Large property’s catering manager usually
handles only F&B
© 2011, Educational Institute 27
Food and Beverage Service at
Smaller Properties
Servicing and Selling
• Smaller properties use uniserve
• Catering manager may be in charge of
function book at small property
• The danger of double-booking
Communication and Cooperation Needed
• More so in small properties because
departments are more autonomous
• Small properties should still use
specification sheets

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