A food service manager’s role is to manage the procurement, maintenance, and distribution of food in order to ensure that quality does not suffer. In addition, they direct staff members on how to serve food in a safe and effective way.
The hospitality and restaurant business is a billion-dollar industry. In 2017, for example, food service brought in $799 billion. Additionally, it supports many industries through its purchasing power and supply chain management functions. In particular, the corporate dining industry plays a significant role in the economic growth of the United States.
The food service industry has seen a shift in today’s society, with more people eating out than ever before. In order to keep up with the growing demand, businesses must adjust to customer demand by offering new and innovative products and services. This has led to a need for managers to incorporate an approach that is both customer-centric and operational efficiency-oriented.
Here is an overview of the basic or fundamental principles of the industry and the challenges of being a food service manager.
Fundamental Principles of the Food Service Business
The fundamentals of the foodservice business are simple yet important to know. These principles can help you get up and running as a food service business owner. Additionally, these principles will make sure your restaurant is successful.
1. Food Safety is a top priority.
This is a top priority for any food service establishment because every operation should be conducted in accordance with the guidelines of the Food Safety Act. Food service management safety requires knowledge and skills about food storage, preparation, and quality assurance of clean kitchens and dining areas.
When food service managers are in charge of quality assurance for a restaurant, they ensure that the food is prepared healthily and with cleanliness in mind. They also make sure that restaurants are safe and healthy and clean for their employees and customers.
2. Customers must get value for money.
It can be hard for companies to maintain their customers’ interest without offering better menu options. They must provide delicious menus to maintain their customers’ interest while still keeping overheads under control.
Restaurants must be able to offer unique menu options to stay competitive without losing out to competitors in the market. To do this, the company must keep up with the ever-changing tastes of their customers and offer new items that are unique and fresh yet affordable priced.
3. Restaurants must control their operating costs.
As the food service businesses continue to grow, they need to look into ways for increasing their profits while providing high-quality service.
4. Restaurants must comply with a variety of legal requirements.
The food service industry is regulated by different state, national and local laws. They must follow all laws and regulations for dining room operations.
Challenges of Working as a Food Service Manager
With the increase in the number of restaurants and food service outlets, management skills are at a premium. The job is no longer just about cooking delicious food and serving it to customers. It takes a lot of understanding about how to manage people, processes, and systems.
Here are a few challenges faced by food service managers:
The food and hospitality industry is known for its high stress. In a busy restaurant, it is very easy for food service managers and staff to be stressed. In the US alone, food service managers have a high risk of developing stress-related conditions such as anxiety and depression. This is because they have to work in an ever-changing environment where they are constantly faced with new challenges and responsibilities.
There is a high employee turnover. If you are a food service manager, you have to be more proactive in order to deal with high turnover rates of staff members. In addition, human resource managers of restaurants are constantly hiring and training new employees.
Frequent job changes. With the rise in demand for high-quality food, many food service managers have to seek opportunities for advancement by moving to new locations rather than hoping for a salary raise in their current restaurant.
Food service managers have to make sure that their employees and customers are happy. Since this is not an easy task the number of food service managers is on the decline.
Although the National Restaurant Association is highly profitable —for instance, it brought in $799 billion in 2017, the food service business has its challenges.
One of the biggest reasons for slow growth was the high turnover rate. In 2011, for instance, the average restaurant had a 60% turnover rate each year. With each new hire, costs are incurred because they have to be trained and re-trained for a job they could not do themselves.
Besides the challenges of hiring the right people many restaurants have also found themselves having to fire staff members because of employee theft or poor customer service, which makes this process even more difficult.