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The sector is expanding

Rishi Raj Singh, F&B manager, Sheraton New Delhi Hotel, talks about the evolving hospitality sector in India

education Updated: May 22, 2012 15:39 IST

What’s the scope in an F&B manager’s job in India? What does it take to join as an F&B manager in an international chain?
With the growing economy, new hotels are coming into India. I can already see a shortage of F&B managers. There’ll be a greater demand for good F&B managers. Globally, the sector is expanding. So you’ll see a demand and people will be willing to pay a higher salary.

People have the option to move to international destinations. You join an international chain and after one or two years, you can ask for a re-location if they have an opening.

What’s the career ladder of an F&B professional like? What’s the highest position he can reach?
There are two routes. You could start as an apprentice, become a steward and grow into an F&B manager. Or get into a management training programme as a trainee in one of the large hotels.

Of late, has there been any change in the role and responsibility of an F&B manager?
The position is becoming more demanding. You need to be innovative. You are competing globally. You have to be aware of global trends. You have to be a business manager in the true sense. It’s a very versatile position. Over and above operations, the F&B manager is also pretty much marketing the restaurant. He is responsible not only for guest experience but also for the revenues.

What are the exciting and challenging aspects of an F&B manager’s work?
Everyday is a new challenge. The challenges give you excitement. You enjoy a certain lifestyle and form relationships with important people.

Apart from leading hotels and restrobars, where else can F&B managers work?
Yes, because you get a knack of handling people. You understand luxury. This work can take you to jobs in other sectors where relationships matter. One could become a relationship officer with a lifestyle brand or an investment bank. You could get into PR, hotel supply companies, food processing companies, backend catering (ship/hospital catering), and real estate consultancy.

You need to be innovative... You have to be aware of global trends Rishi Raj Singh, F&B Manager, Sheraton New Delhi Hotel

What’s it about
A food and beverage manager heads all restaurants and banquet operations in a hotel. S/he is responsible for all aspects of catering inside and outside a hotel. S/he must take care of menu planning, staffing and service quality assurance. The F&B manager and executive chef together ensure profitability of operations. The F&B manager compiles menus, arranges and caters for functions and exercises overall control over a food service unit. S/he is responsible for: quality control, attractive food displays, palatability and nutritional value, effective use of equipment, hygiene and safety, stock control, compilation and adhering to budget procedures, identification and solving of problems in a food service unit, evaluation, training of subordinate staff, liaison with different divisions of the organisation and industry and maintaining brand standards and marketing of restaurants

The typical day of an F&B Manager
8.30am: Arrive at the hotel and take round of banquet halls for any conferences and coffee shop
9 to 10am: Check attendance records of various outlets, go through restaurant logs. Visit sales office to ascertain the day’s banquet bookings
11am: Go through the previous day’s sales sheet. Meet HODs for internal coordination
Noon: Take a round of all lunch service outlets
12.30pm to 4.30 pm: Meet suppliers, guests, high-profile banquet clients
4.30pm: Browse next day’s functions, important dinner reservations.
5pm: Operations meeting with HODs and resident manager
7pm: Rounds of banquet halls, dinner outlets and restaurants
8pm: Send out end-of-day report
9pm: Leave for the day, if nothing else is lined up

The pay
As an F&B manager at a leading hotel, one's salary can be anywhere between Rs. 80,000 and Rs. 2.5 lakh per month. As your experience grows, you can aim at better packages which can be upwards of Rs. 5 lakh per month

* You must have good management and team skills. You could be managing older, more experienced or less literate people than you
* High level of people skills
* Ability to handle the stress and still remain cheerful
* Should be able to work long hours
* Awareness of the monetary aspects of each decision
* You should be very well groomed

Getting there
After Class 12, earn a recognised bachelor's degree in hotel management from a recognised university/ institute and then join a training programme with a leading hotel or a restrobar. Else, you could rise through the ranks starting as an assistant steward

* Institute of Hotel Management, Catering and Nutrition, Delhi
* Indian Institute of Hotel Management, Aurangabad
* Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development
* Institute of Hotel Management, Bangalore

Pros and cons
* You have the opportunity to travel and work anywhere in the world
* You hone your interpersonal skills to a very advanced level
* You could have the opportunity of serving state dignitaries
* The role demands long hours at the workplace
* One might not be able to give time to family
* A well-paying job

Interviewed by Rahat Bano

First Published: May 22, 2012 15:33 IST