Food and beverage supervisors oversee the day-to-day operations of dining facilities. This includes the recruitment, training and management of staff, the procurement of services and inventory, and providing excellent customer service. Food and beverage supervisors can find employment in a variety of environments including restaurants, hotels, banquet halls, office complexes, academic institutions and hospitals.
According to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, food and beverage supervisors held approximately 321,400 jobs in 2012 -- for example, in full-service restaurants, fast food places and fine-dining establishments. Approximately 40 percent of food and beverage supervisors were self-employed, owning dining and food services. The remaining members worked in a variety of industries such as amusement parks, health care facilities and casinos.
Food and beverage supervisors attend to customer complaints or issues, resolving matters as expediently as possible. Supervisors also oversee food preparation, food storage and dining areas, ensuring that the facility remains in compliance with safety regulation and health codes. They perform the duties of a human resources manager, recruiting, hiring, training and terminating staff members. They carry out performance management duties and take disciplinary action as required. Supervisors also schedule employees for work, maintain employee records and administer payroll and benefits. In addition, they often have responsibility for the management of incoming funds and accounts payable.
Personal Qualities Essential for Success
To successfully perform the duties of a food and beverage supervisor, individuals must possess a drive to provide exceptional customer service. Supervisors must be reliable and self-motivated. They must be excellent communicators to manage a team in a high-volume environment and carry out multiple tasks at the same time. Additionally, a degree of physical fitness is required, as many supervisors stand for long periods of time and lift heavy items.
Training and Certification
While a four-year degree is not mandatory to land a food and beverage supervisor position, many employers prefer applicants that have a college education in hospitality management, food services management or a related field. Certain institutions sponsor formal trainee programs, specifically recruiting students from academic institutions. The National Restaurant Association awards the Foodservice Management Professional certificate to those who meet minimum work experience criteria and pass an examination.
Compensation and Industry Outlook
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in May 2013 that the average yearly income of a food service manager was $53,130. The BLS anticipates only 2 percent growth in these jobs between 2012 and 2022, compared to 11 percent for all occupations. The food industry will continue consolidating positions, but the retirement of older workers will open up places for new hires. Applicants with food and beverage service experience or a bachelor's degree in a related field will have the best job prospects.