F&B Services – Definition
Food and Beverage Services can be broadly defined as the process of preparing, presenting and serving of food and beverages to the customers.
F&B Services can be of the following two types −
- On Premise− Food is delivered where it is prepared. The customer visits the premise to avail the food service. The premises are kept well-equipped and well-finished to attract customers to avail F&B service.
For example, restaurants, pubs, etc.
- Off Premise or Outdoor Catering− This kind of service includes partial cooking, preparation, and service at customer’s premises. It is provided away from the F&B Services provider’s base on the occasion of major events which call for a large number of customers.
Types of F&B Services Operations
There are two broad types of F&B Services operations −
- Commercial− In this case, F&B Services is the primary business. The most known commercial catering establishments are — hotels, all kinds of restaurants, lounges, cafeterias, pubs, clubs, and bars.
- Non-Commercial− Non-commercial operations are secondary businesses in alliance with the main business. These F&B services mainly cater to their consumers with limited choice of food and beverages. These establishments often run under contracts. For example, food and beverage services provided at hospitals, hostels, and prisons.
Food and Beverage Services come only after preparing what is to be served.
Most food and beverage service businesses operate in the following cycle –
There are a number of service styles to be followed when it comes to how food and beverage should be served to the customers. The following are the most prominent styles −
In this type of service, the guests enter the dining area and take seats. The waiter offers them water and menu card. The guests then place their order to the waiter. The table is covered in this service. It is grouped into the following types.
English or Family Service
Here, the host contributes actively in the service. The waiter brings food on platters, shows to the host for approval, and then places the platters on the tables. The host either makes food portions and serves the guests or allows the waiter to serve. To replenish the guests’ plates, the waiter takes the platters around to serve or to let the guests help themselves. This is a common family service in specialty restaurants where customers spend more time on premise.
American or Plate Service
The food is served on guest’s plate in the kitchen itself in predetermined portion. The accompaniments served with the food, the color, and the presentation are determined in the kitchen. The food plates are then brought to the guest. This service is commonly used in a coffee shop where service is required to be fast.
It is very personalized and private service. The food is taken in platters and casseroles and kept on the table of guests near their plates. The guests then help themselves. It is expensive and elaborate service commonly used in fine dining restaurants. This service has two variants −
- Cart French Service− The food is prepared and assembled at tableside. The guests select food from the cart while sitting at their tables and are later served from the right. It is offered for small groups of VIPs.
- Banquet French Service− The food is prepared in the kitchen. The servers serve food on each individual’s plate from guest’s left side. For replenishment, the servers keep the food platters in front of the guests.
In this service, partially cooked food from the kitchen is taken to the Gueridon Trolly for cooking it completely. This partial cooking is done beside the guest table for achieving a particular appearance and aroma of food, and for exhibiting showmanship. It also offers a complete view of food. The waiter needs to perform the role of cook partially and needs to be dexterous.
In this service, the food is presented on silver platters and casseroles. The table is set with sterling silverware. The food is portioned into silver platters in the kitchen itself. The platters are placed on the sideboard with burners or hot plates. At the time of serving, the waiter picks the platter from hot plate and presents it to the host for approval and serves each guest using a service spoon and fork.
It is identical to the Cart French service barring the servers place the food on the platters and serve it from the left side.
Here, the guests enter the dining area, collect their plates, and go to buffet counters and help themselves. The guests may partially get service at the table or replenish their own plates themselves.
It this type of service, the guests get plates from the stack and goes to buffet counter where food is kept in large casseroles and platters with burners. The guests can serve themselves or can request the server behind the buffet table to serve. In sit-down buffet restaurants, the tables are arranged with crockery and cutlery where guests can sit and eat, and then replenish their plates.
In this type of service, the guests enter the dining area and select food items. They pay for coupons of respective food items. They go to food counter and give the coupons to avail the chosen food. The guests are required to take their own plates to the table and eat.
This service exists in industrial canteens, hostels, and cafeterias. The menu and the space is limited; the cutlery is handed over to the guests. The tables are not covered. Sometimes high chairs are provided to eat food at narrow tables. It is a quick service.
Single Point Service
In this type of service, the guest orders, pays for his order and gets served all at a single point. There may be may not be any dining area or seats. The following are the different methods of Single Point Service.
This is an array of autonomous counters at which the customers can order, eat, or buy from a number of different counters and eat in adjacent eating area.
The customer enters the choice and amount of money physically and the machine dispenses what customer demanded accurately.
Customer orders and avails food and beverage from a single counter and consumes it off the premises.
The customer can get food or beverage service by means of automatic machines. The vending machines are installed in industrial canteens, shopping centers, and airports.
It is called special service because it provides food and beverage at the places which are not meant for food & beverage service. The following are the different methods of special service.
Grill Room Service
In this type of service, various vegetables and meats are displayed for better view and choice. The counter is decorated with great aesthetics, and the guest can select meat or vegetable of choice. The guest then takes a seat and is served cooked food with accompaniments.
Method of service of whole or part of meal on tray to customer in situ, such as hospitals, aircraft, or railway catering.
Food is cooked, finished or presented to the guest at a table, from a moveable trolley. For example, food served on trollies for office workers or in aircrafts and trains.
Food delivered to a customer’s home or place of work. For example, home delivery of pizza or Meals on Wheels.
Service of variety of foods and beverages in lounge area of a hotel or independent place.
Here food is served to guests in their allotted rooms in hotels. Small orders are served in trays. Major meals are taken to the room on trolleys. The guest places his order with the room service order taker.
The waiter receives the order and transmits the same to the kitchen. Meanwhile, he prepares his tray or trolley. He then goes to the cashier to prepare and take the bill. He then takes the bill along with the food order for the guests’ signature or payment. Usually clearance of soiled dishes from the room is done after half an hour or an hour. However, the guest can telephone Room Service for the clearance as and when he has finished with the meal.