Directors of Food and Beverage: Essential to Lifestyle and Boutique Hotels

There is a growing trend recently to outsource restaurants when repositioning or building new luxury lifestyle or boutique hotels. This allows the property to leverage a partnership of renowned chefs, such as Gordon Ramsey at The London New York or Jean Georges at the Trump International Hotel. While these restaurants assume the day-to-day management of the hotel’s food and beverage offerings for meal service, the Director of Food and Beverage is ultimately responsible for the hotel’s culinary program, and must be of the highest caliber.

Directors of Food & Beverage must understand the essential mechanics of the restaurant business. They will curate mini bars that are generously stocked with artisanal and organic snacks as well as top shelf wines and spirits. This requires someone with a seasoned palate and understanding for fine food and food as well as exceptionally high service delivery standards.

This position is vital in the smooth functioning of both the hotel and the restaurant operations. The Director of Food and Beverage needs to provide restaurant staff with ongoing support and must train and nurture them with the correct attitude and process to ensure consistent, optimal guest experience.  This professional must be prepared to handle complex and demanding situations and to make sure that every guest has an enjoyable and highly satisfactory experience in the restaurant and the hotel. Guests are not concerned about the corporate relationship between food service and rooms operations, but perceive their experience as a whole.

The Director of Food and Beverage is accountable for a variety of tasks that include leading and directing others, supervising health and safety regulations and standards, as well as procurement. Excellent knowledge and ability to work with budgets and manage GP are required qualifications in addition to maximizing the restaurant’s resources. The Director must be able to communicate personally with each member of the restaurant team to establish positive rapport and to ensure that the hotel’s brand and  guest experience are never compromised.

Successful Directors of Food and Beverage maintain an ongoing understanding and familiarity with industry trends and with their competitions.  They work closely with sales and public relations to manage annual promotions, increase profits year-round, and improve the image of the food and beverage department. Marshall-Alan Associates specializes in finding top performing executives like these for positions in hotels in the United States, Europe and South America.

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