Reflective critique on managing food and beverage operations
Simulation concepts are organized by educational teams who feel the need to share knowledge on restaurant’s management and organization of events. This kind of knowledge helps every person working under this environment since the main aim of such concepts is to shed light to employees regarding all activities undertaken by various restaurants in our world today. And also to establish some standardized ways of performing duties across all restaurants. This would therefore have a positive impact on the productivity of the restaurant industry. It would also ensure uniformity in the way tasks are undertaken and eventually enhancing simplicity and flexibility of activities in restaurants and promotion of team work. This would be a basic ingredient to quality foods and quality services in our restaurants. Team work in management is a very important tool that is used to develop particular skills of competence in individual persons. Every team member plays a crucial part towards the success of the outcomes. In the course of education therefore, students should develop such skills of collaboration, communication, problem solving and interpersonal skills through team work (Tarricone and Luca n.d). Team work is quite applicable in the restaurant industry.
Team work improves the general management skills of persons and also contributes towards their personal development. Foods and beverages are the only major items served in all restaurants of the world. The management in this case oversees all activities of the restaurants. Finance manager is the most important manager in any give restaurant since he is in charge of finances of the restaurant. This is the manager in charge of overseeing activities touching on money issues. According to (Burgess 2010: 2) such a manager should be well equipped with financial techniques of hospitality management. It is his obligation to ensure continuous flow of needed raw materials to the restaurant, he also keeps records of payments and sales made, and he also computes the profits accrued by a restaurant in a day and compiles them in a monthly report when determining the general profit of a particular month. These activities also involve managing of budgets, performing purchasing and portion controls to ensure low food wastages and controlling the cost of the foods. The finance manager has a duty to control the expenses of a restaurant and more particularly the buying of inputs associated with food preparation that may result in wastage (Fosketts and Paskins 2011).
Reflective critique on the concept as a finance manager
In the concept of A Taste of Brazil, I acted as a bridge between the restaurant and the kitchen. This was one of the busiest positions in that there was more than just a single responsibility to undertake; overseeing the activities of the kitchen as well as controlling the finances of the restaurant. In this position, I was responsible for the most important tasks such as ordering of goods and revenue compilation. Amongst this was also the issue of profit realization. During this concept, I realized that for there to be profit realization in any given restaurant, food, beverages and labor costs are to be minimized under all costs. According to Jack, Hayes and Dopson (2006: 7) food costs are those costs that are generally associated with the preparation of menu, beverage costs on the other hand are costs associated with refreshments and mostly alcoholic ones. Labor costs are the costs needed to run a particular business. These are amongst the main costs associated with any given business unit. Costs are forms of expenses and from the basic business skills we know that expenses are incurred so as the business can make a profit. Most of the businesses of the world however use profits or losses as a tool of measuring their performance. Profits are arrived at by determination of both revenues and expenses.
Revenues are the amount of money you gain from a business and expenses are the amount of money incurred when running that particular business (Miller, Hayes and Dopson 2002: 4). I noted that when finance manager fully participates in the business, the business is likely to makes enormous revenues and his failure to participate in business may result into increased expenses since there is a limited control to them. Profits therefore in any restaurant are determined by the revenues and expenses resulting from its activities which mostly entails sale of foods and beverages. From such details, the finance manager determines the difference between revenues and expenses. If the difference is a positive figure that is a profit and if the figure is a negative figure, that shows a loss. At times, I noted that due to increased expenses the restaurant may charge its foods at a higher price. In such a case, I discovered that the finance manager considers the following items in the process of determining the prices to fix on the food items of a particular restaurant; the cost of the goods in the market, the cost of labor associated with the preparation of the foods as well as the additional expenses involved in the preparation of these foods. The additional costs are costs such as; cost of the ingredients and cost of electricity in cases where electricity was used during food preparation.
I came across a lot of expenses involved in food preparation and noted that they add up to become the operating expenses. In my role as a finance manager, I determined prices of the different classes of foods separately. I used the budgeted figures to determine these prices on the products. The price tagged on the products has to be in a way that it ensures that the business gets some profit on top of what it uses to prepare the different classes of foods. The amount must be enough to be a return to the business which enables the business pay out the expenses involved. Fixing these prices on the products was not a simple task for me since I was afraid I could tag a price which would scare away our customers. I had to come up with a standardized pricing strategy.
As In the same concept, I was supposed to perform other duties too other than the daily accounting records of sales in a day. It was also my obligation to perform stock controls to limit food wastage and also make the orders from the market in advance to avoid delays in conveyment. There were a few problems I encountered though, first, we had an inadequate budget; the costs incurred during the concept proved to be more than the ones we had earlier planned for. This was a constituent problem in price determination on our products to our guest. According to Miller and Pavesic (1996: 8) Pricing of the menu is as equally as important as the tender services provided by the staff members of a restaurant. In this case I was forced to limit some of the key orders and in turn came up with a standardized ordering procedure for all required items. On the part of sales there were some orders that were sent back by the guests as a result of cancellation. There was also low turnout of guest expected which resulted to low sales of covers. Lastly, there was a problem of insufficiency of some items on the menus. We had to outsource some of the products since we lacked the necessary resources and expertise to produce them. According to Burgess (2010: 6) goods outsourced may result into increased expenses of a certain restaurant and has a negative effect on its profit margins. These goods in most occasions are a bit more expensive than planned. These were products such as beverages.
Nevertheless, as a finance manager, I did all I could in ensuring that all operational expenses remained as low as possible since the main aim in revenue determination is not actually to eliminate all expenses but to ensure that they are as low as possible. Expenses are only minimized since for example a restaurant cannot do without ordering goods from the market. In some situations restaurants make order on some goods in bulk which are in turn preserved in the fridges.
Brazil just like other nations of the world is a country that has its own cultures and traditions. In most occasions these traditions plays a huge role on the variance of some habits among the members of the society. These are habits such as eating habits and the different ways of preparing the foods. They vary from one particular region of the world to another. Every country has a culture and a tradition and hence a different menu as far as foods and beverages are concerned. In Brazil there are various classes of foods ranging from the traditional ones to the modern ones. They include; Pao de Queijo, Coxinha, Feijao de coco, Salada de batata com camerao, maca e molho, Cheesecake de chocolate commaracuja, Pudim de leite condensado and Feijoada.
Reflective critique on the concept as a guest
In the concept a Taste of Yorkshire that I acted as a guest, I really enjoyed my self, the diffrent classes of foods prepared ranging from local to international foods. This was quite an experience, the foods were the sweetest one could have ever encountered. I more particularly enjoyed the taste of the local ones.Thanks to the staff members who were involved in the preparation of these foods. Their quality was outstanding. The staff members had more to be thanked for not just the foods, the quality of servives they rendered were amazing. Personally, I had not ever been served by such polite waiters and waitresses. The overall services were perfected by the level of discipline and cleanliness they potrayed. They were also very devoted towards our satisfaction as guests. There were no delays on orders placed and we had no shortages on covers we aspired to make order on. The menus were friendly since there was no excessive charges. I must say that those ladies and gentlemen were well equiped with the best code of conduct I have ever witnessed. We were pleased as customers for the services we received.
To me, with the increased customer satisfaction, the restaurant would be more profitable since they would make more profits through maxmization of sale of foods. When I a first arrived into the hotel as a guest, I was first ushered into the hotel room by some gentlemen upon our entrance. Then, there were these decent ladies who pulled our seats and ensured that I was confortably seated. One of them then guided me through their menu and gave me time to scrutinize the menu before making my choice. I was then served and left to enjoy my lovely meals.The concept potrayed a beautiful image of today’s restaurants and how they are operating. I cuold say that the foods were prepared by the best cooks ever.
Reflective critique on the concept as a member of staff
For one to become a good cook, he or she must really know the specific utensils used to prepare each meal. For example, it is common that foods such beans are prepared by use of the pressure oven for faster cooking of beans. Some other common equipment is the pans for preparations of simple menus such as crisps. In this concept therefore, every staff member was supposed to highly participate so as to make him or her conversant with all the equipment and the basic procedures used in preparation of different types of foods. I took the part of checking the level of broth so enhance consistency levels. I was therefore to remain much focused. The core purpose of the concept was to train staff members on basic techniques to use so as to improve on the services rendered to the customers in the restaurants. It entailed the different food preparation procedures, preparation of standard recipes to diffrent classes foods, how to make quality foods to our guests and how to best attend our customers. There was also the different ways on how to minimize food losses during food preparation and also ways of working as a team so as to improve on quality services interms of food and attendance to our guests. Inside the kitchen,the staff members receives instructions from the head chef. He is in control of the activities going on inside the kitchen and ensures that they are performed to the level best. As one of the staff members, I also learnt all what is included in the standard recipes and what should be followed in preparation of every class of food. I also found out that for example these standardized recipes were prepared using the standard market price of commodities to be used in the kitchen. The head chef conducts a market research on the prevailing market prices of these goods and submits the report to the finance manager for a continued revision of the recipes. According to Davis (2010: 7-8) it is also the duty of the head chef to ensure that he keeps proper communication with the management outside the kitchen.
In my first role as a financial manager in the concept of Taste of Brazil, I would propose that the management oversees this in future; there is need for extensive advertisement program so as to reach out to more guests and the need to perform higher budgets so as to adequately cater for anticipated future demands on products or prices of goods in the market.
In the concept of Taste of Yorkshire, which i attended as a guest,for the purposes of more customer satisfaction in future, the management of the restaurants should embark on more methods of business promotion so as to capture more guests and even fro far distances. Other than discounts I received from the orders I made, there are other methods of business promotion. Advertising is one of them. According to Dunn (1995) advertising gives a customer details on where the business is located, what is the business selling and the seasons when the business is on or off. Advertising would eventually increase the number of guests to a particular restaurant and eventually raising its number of sales.
In the concept the American Dinner, a lot on how to win customer satisfaction was emphasized on and how to present to your customers the most enticing classes of foods to present our menus to our guests. From what I learnt in the concept, it was evident that customer satisfaction is what keeps a restaurant in business.In this case, a restaurant fully satisfies the desires of a guest if he or she does not raise any complain against the foods or the services rendered by the staff members (Ghimire 2012: 14).Customer satisfaction is therefore a crucial factor for every restaurant. As a member of staff, I also the proper communication channels inside the job fraternity were addressed and more particularly how to handle diffrent customers. Secondly, the importance of embracing team work. Team work was highly encouraged during the concept.
The concept I attended as a staff I must say that the management was stricter than in the previous ones. I must also congratulate all who participated for the job well done and for making it a success. It is out of their hard work that all this was possible.
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