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In their primary role, food and beverage supervisors, also called food and beverage managers or food service managers, oversee food planning and preparation for restaurants, hotels, and resorts. Food and beverage supervisors create menus, oversee food and beverage inventories, manage cooking staff, and choose a range of beverages to be served at their establishment. They ensure adherence to food safety and alcoholic beverage regulations. Food and beverage supervisors might also inspect kitchen equipment and address any customer complaints or concerns regarding food preparation and menu offerings.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the projected employment growth rate for food and beverage supervisors will be 9 percent over through 2026. The increasingly popular trend of dining out coupled with the continued demand for varied menus at many restaurants are believed to be the major reasons for this expected growth.

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Food and Beverage Supervisor Duties and Responsibilities

Food and beverage supervisors have many demands placed upon them. In performing this challenging work, food and beverage supervisors perform a variety of core tasks, such as the following:

Coordinate Food and Beverage Options

The main role of a food and beverage supervisor is to choose the type of food and drink selections available at a restaurant or hotel. This responsibility includes creating menus, choosing specials, and overseeing food preparation.

Manage Food and Beverage Inventory

Food and beverage supervisors oversee the inventory of all food and beverages in an establishment. They conduct checks to ensure that enough products are on hand to serve customers, order items as needed, and generate inventory reports for superiors.

Oversee Kitchen Operations

It is typically up to food and beverage supervisors to manage cooking, wait and bartending staff. They are responsible for interviewing, hiring, and training personnel, as well as inspecting kitchen and bar equipment.

Monitor Adherence to Regulations

Food and beverage supervisors ensure that the establishment for which they work meets all federal, state, and local food sanitation and safety regulations. They must be knowledgeable about the most updated laws and guidelines and are responsible for communicating this information to all workers.

Food and Beverage Supervisor Skills

Successful food and beverage supervisors typically display strong leadership, problem-solving, customer service and organizational skills. Detail-oriented individuals with strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work with diverse personnel, such as food vendors, cooks, restaurant managers, and servers, are often well equipped to meet the demands of this job. Self-motivation, the ability to work in teams, and multi-tasking are other important capabilities for food and beverage supervisors. Along with these skills, it is essential for food and beverage supervisors to demonstrate the following:

  • Create and design food and drink menus
  • Manage kitchen staff and oversee food preparation
  • Ensure adherence to food sanitation and safety guidelines
  • Maintain food and drink inventory
  • Resolve customer complaints or concerns

Food and Beverage Supervisor Tools of the Trade

Food and beverage supervisors utilize different tools to assist them throughout their usual workday. If you wish to become a food and beverage supervisor, you should have an understanding of the following:

Restaurant management software – from accounting to menu planning, restaurant management software can help food and beverage supervisors determine food and beverage costs, choose menu items, and more

Federal and local food safety regulations – it is imperative for food and beverage supervisors to be able to cite food safety and sanitation laws and ensure that their establishment meets all standards

Basic computer applications – in this role, professionals should be adept at creating spreadsheets, generating Word documents, and communicating by email

Food and Beverage Education and Training

Many job listings indicate that employers prefer job candidates who possess a bachelor’s degree, most notably in hospitality or food service management, though a degree in business management might also be considered. Hands-on training through internship programs, which are typically included in degree programs, is helpful for those planning to pursue work as a food and beverage supervisor. Voluntary certifications, such as Food Protection Manager Certification (FPMC) and Foodservice Management Professional (FMP), can reflect the knowledge and experience needed to advance in this career.

Food and Service Supervisor Salary

According to the most recent statistics supplied by the BLS, food and beverage supervisors earn a median annual salary of $50,820. Those in the 10th percentile earn $29,290 and those earning the top median annual wage can make $87,120. New Jersey ($75,880), Florida ($73,070), and Delaware ($71,910) top the list of the states where these supervisors earn the highest mean annual salaries. New York ($69,040) and Nevada ($68,880) round out the top five states for food and beverage supervisor salaries.

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Food and Beverage Supervisor Resources

To help you gain further insight into a career as a food and beverage supervisor, we have provided various resources below. Click on links to books, blogs, and more to review detailed and first-hand information about what it takes to become and work as a food and beverage supervisor.

Food and Beverage Association of America

Since 1956, this professional organization has been providing food and beverage supervisors continuing education, professional growth, and networking opportunities.

International Food and Beverage Association (IFBA)

Established in 2012, IFBA was created to provide an international forum for food and beverage supervisors and others in the hospitality field. It offers conferences, educational opportunities, and skills development programs.

Hotel F & B

An online publication offering news on current trends and best practices as well as menu suggestions, suppliers, food storage processes, industry technology, and much more.

Foodservice Director Magazine

With sections on emerging trends, menu suggestions, and food pricing, this online magazine provides a vast amount of information helpful to those working as food and beverage supervisors.

The Restaurant Group Blog

From food trends to menu planning, this blog, hosted by a hospitality consulting company, offers advice and strategies for food and beverage supervisors.

Food and Beverage Management 5th Edition

From case studies to ethical concerns, this book covers every detail about working as a food and beverage supervisor. The authors are educators in the hospitality field.

Food & Beverage Service Training Manual with 225 SOP

This book provides the opportunity to review what you would need to know to become a food and beverage supervisor. Study restaurant service standard operating procedures, best practices, and more.

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