Food and beverage assistants help with the daily operations of restaurants, commercial kitchens and other establishments that provide food and beverage service to customers. These food service managers typically report to the food and beverage manager or director and are responsible for front-of-the-house dining room operations. Food and beverage assistant managers focus on maximising the profitability of food and beverage operations and carry out menu strategies and promotions to meet this goal.
Food and beverage assistants manage the customer-facing aspects of restaurants, bars and lounges. They provide on-the-job training, ensure work shifts are properly staffed and manage the bartenders and food service staff. Assistant food and beverage managers also interact with guests, inform staff of any food concerns and special requests and resolve any guest complaints or issues. They adhere to standard operating procedures and ensure dining areas are compliant with the regulatory requirements and public health standards for food handling, alcohol service, sanitation and hygiene.
Food service managers work under stressful conditions. The work hours are long; some managers work up to 50 hours per week and are on their feet for up to 15 hours per day. Certain tasks require manual labour and heavy lifting. Their customer-facing duties require a warm and hospitable attitude at all times, even when dealing with intoxicated guests, irate customers and insubordinate staff. The U.S. Department of Labor indicates food service managers are also at risk for minor injuries, such as muscle aches, cuts or burns.
Employers may hire applicants with less than a bachelor’s degree; however, food service managers with postsecondary education, including a college degree, are usually in greater demand. Many food service management companies prefer graduates of hospitality or food service management programs. However, applicants with degrees in other fields or individuals with demonstrated experience, interest, and aptitude in the food service or hospitality industry are also hired for food service management jobs.
Food and beverage assistant managers who are reliable and demonstrate leadership and initiative are likely candidates for promotion. Foodservice Management Professional (FMP) certification from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation is not necessarily required for promotion, but voluntary certification demonstrates personal motivation and professional competence. Many food service managers relocate, or seek employment with a larger or more prominent establishment to advance to positions with greater responsibility and more pay.
PayScale indicates food and beverage management jobs in the United States average a base salary range of £25,090 to £33,209, with a bonus potential range of £585 to £3,575. Food service managers employed by establishments offering commission-based earnings can expect additional wages ranging from £2,555 to £6,981. The estimated total compensation for food and beverage management jobs in the United States, inclusive of salary, bonus and commission, ranges from £23,824 to £33,592, as of June 2010.