• History of catering

Hotel is a commercial establishment where bonafide customers are accommodated and served with their needs in exchange of suitable cash and cash equivalents. The hotel industry comprises of the establishments which cater people, accommodate them and provide them the necessary needs to make them feel ‘home away from home .

In ancient times when there was lack of facilities like accommodation, transportation, communication, health, education etc, people didn’t use to travel much due to the the fear and threat. During that period people used to cover distances by foot, horse, donkey, muel, boat etc and used to stay in naked place wherever they felt tired but on increment in civilization they started to travel during only day time and during night they started to find safe shelter as there was threat of wild animals and bandits. During Mogul rule, the forts & their surroundings would cater to the needs of the traveller often in exchange for no more than the story of their adventures during their travel or any news from other towns and villages they passed by.

In the series of getting free accommodation only the travellers had to arrange their own food themselves and at the time of leaving that particular place they sometimes used to give some rewards as a momento to the host family and getting rewards gave rise to the concept of earning in return of providing accommodation and service to the needy travelers. With this idea of getting something in return, there was a family at very first time that started accommodating some travelers and gradually the feeding as well came in use along with accommodating the travelers. Then the modernization occurred gradually as per the understanding and needs of both host and guests.

In India, resting houses called serais/sarais and dharamshallas were established on high ways by kings and emperors of ancient and medieval periods. Movement of people both political and pilgrimage stressed the need for better and improved facilities to cater to the varied needs of the various classes of the society. In India, development of catering can also be attributed also to the legacy left by people belonging to different cultures and ethnic groups who have ruled her. Development of catering in India as we see it today is chiefly due to the British, who had introduced hotels and restaurants similar to those found in Europe.

Most of modern hotels that sprouted were managed by European families. The Bombay hotel was opened in 1799. The British brought modern hotels to Kolkata. The Oldest was John Spence’s Hotel. Spence’s, the first ever hotel in Asia was opened to the public in 1830. The credit for opening the first Western style hotel under the name of British Hotel in Bombay in 1840, goes to Pallonjee Pestonjee was the first hotel to give a la carte and table de hôte menu. Then came the Auckland hotel by David Wilson in Calcutta in the year 1840-41 (now – The Great Eastern Hotel – officially Lalit Great Eastern Hotel) is a colonial era hotel in the Indian city of Kolkata – formerly Calcutta) and Connemara hotel in madras in the year 1870 by E. A. Oakshroff. But now this property belongs to Taj group.

Tourism is travel for pleasure or business, health, education, visiting relatives for not more than one year without any purpose of earning revenue, the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists, and the business of operating tours. People when travel from one place to another for large distance, they need lodging , fooding to support their travel and it’s the catering establishments which act as a support to fulfill their needs.

People traveling for different purposes require small haults in their journey to refresh their energy and kill the apetite as well as tiredness, the catering establishments fulfill their needs where people are out of their personal contacts. The food sector or catering industry is one of the most important elements in the travel and tourism industry. This includes restaurants and take-away outlets, but it can also include catering providers to hotels and airlines.Catering and food service industry plays an important role in the promotion of local food features and culture of tourism destination through providing catering products and services for tourists.

As an important part of tourism industry, catering and food service industry is the important carrier of the brand and culture for a country or region with the characteristics of wide market, extensive influence and more employment opportunities.In recent years, the development of global catering and food service industry maintains a rapid and healthy momentum of tourism development. A wide variety of catering products and different styles of food culture has been shaped in the background of different regions and cultures.These food service groups provide a fast catering and food service for the consumers all over the world. It can be seen that the gradual development of catering market has helped with the rapid development of economy and society.In many countries, catering establishments are regarded as a means of developing wealth and creating employment, especially when traditional activities are on the decline. It is expected to contribute significantly to increasing GDP and providing jobs in the tourism sector.The core activity in tourism is the hotel and catering industry, which includes business and leisure tourism, as well as the everyday business and leisure activities of local inhabitants.

Catering is still perceived as an opportunity available to people of all ages which do not require much capital investment or many qualifications. Anyone can open a restaurant, and only some of those working in the trade to take a basic training course in manufacturing and processing. Thus, in a way the development of hotel and restaurant chains is gradually increasing the amount of wage-earning jobs available, which may come to further increase the economic development of Tourism/ Travel industry. The catering establishments not only fulfill the needs of people but also provide essential job opportunity, employment, relevant services to the local people.

Catering establishments

Food & Beverages are served to the guests in various ways as per the sitting arrangements, space available, types of function, types of guest to be catered, courses of menu, meal planning etc. Depending upon the above mentioned factors, these following types of operations are performed in food and beverages department.

1. Hotels – Home away from home. Provision of accommodation together with food and drink and other facilities such as gym, spa, saloon, shopping complex, banqueting, and conferences, etc.

2. Restaurant – Term used to cover a wide variety of operations. A commercial facility that provides food and beverage to customers for profit. Basically, it is equipped with dining tables and chairs, with the crockery, cutlery and linen suited to the objectives and standards of the establishment. Price, level and type of service, decor, styles, cuisines and degree of choice varies enormously across the range of types of operation. Service ranges from full table service to assisted service. It can be speciality restaurant, coffee shop, fine dining restaurant.

3. Fast food outlets – Provision of food and drink in highly specialised environment, characterised by high investment, high labour cost and vast customer throughput. The characteristic of this type of establishment is that it served food and drink which are quick to prepare and served.

4. Industrial catering – Provision of food to people at work at subsidized rates. Developed out or recognition that better fed workers work better further developed by worker unions wanting to preserve conditions and the emergence of professional contract caterers/foodservice operator.

5. Welfare catering – Food served in hospitals, schools, colleges and prisons etc. where the motive is not to earn profit but to cover the cost only. Provision of food is not a primary operation here, but is a part of another operation.

6. Transport – Provision of food and drink to people on move. This type of catering establishment grew out of the need to meet the demands of the travelling public. Originally services were of high level, reflecting the type of travellers. It eventually changed to meet the needs of a wide range of travellers. e.g. Railways, Airlines .

7.Outdoor catering – Provision of service at special events. The venue is left to the people choice and caterer provides the food and drinks at the venue. Standard of the catering depends upon the price agreed by both the parties. This type of establishment developed through the need to provide services at special events.

8.Retail store catering – Big departmental store along with selling their wares also provide the food and beverage service to their customer at the same venue. It developed originally from prestigious stores wishing to provide food and drink as part of the retailing experience.

9.Takeaways – Service of packed foods e.g. kiosks, KFC. Fish and Chips. It developed from a variety of concepts. More recently, influenced by USA and trends in food taste.

10.Licensed trade – Provision of food and drink in environment dominated by licensing requirements e.g. Bars, Pubs, Nightclubs, Kiosk, Membership clubs, etc. it developed from bars and other drinking places with increased regulationsand liquor licensing requirements.

11. Bistro – Often a smaller establishment, with check tablecloths, bentwood chairs, cluttered decor and friendly informal staff.

12. Coffee Shop – Open round the clock and serve all meal types from breakfast through to supper.

13. Cafeteria – Primarily self service with customer choosing selection from a counter or counters in varying designs and layouts. Originally developed for the industrial feeding market but now seen in a variety of sectors.

14. Brasserie – It is a formal restaurant, which serves drinks, single dishes, and other meals. One can have just a drink or coffee. It extends professional service and presents printed menus. The waiters are in traditional uniform of long apron and waistcoats.

15. Fine dining restaurant – This kind of restaurant primarily caters to the requirement of the affluent market segment which wants to experience fine dining. The restaurant may either offer dishes of one particular region or country or exotic dishes from various cuisines, wines, spirits, and digestives. It is open mostly during dinner time. However, it may also operate during luncheon depending on the location. The ambience and décor of the restaurant will be elegant and rich. The furniture is made of teak wood with fine craftsmanship. The dining chair may have arm rest. All the tables will be covered with good quality linen and napkins of contrasting colour or colour that matches the décor will be folded and kept. The glassware chosen will be of fine lead crystal communicating to the guest the beauty of the crockery. The metal chosen for cutlery will be either silver or electroplated nickel silver (EPNS), which will be maintained well at all times. The wait staff employed is skilled and has a sound knowledge of the dishes served. The restaurant employs sommeliers to serve wines and other alcoholic beverages. Uniformed service staff serves the dishes either by silver service or by guéridon service. In silver service, the food is transferred to the guest’s plate using service spoon and fork from the food container. Guéridon service is also known as trolley service, in which the food is either prepared, carved, or flambéed in the presence of the guest on a trolley. These services call for highly skilled staff. The average revenue generated per cover is more compared to other restaurants but at the same time the seat turnover is very low while the labour cost and overheads are at a higher side.

D. Classification of commercial catering –

Commercial sectors operate mainly to make profit or to earn adequate return on investment (ROI) through their products and services. Food and beverage facilities of hotels, resorts, motels, clubs, stand-alone restaurants, popular restaurants, takeaway outlets, pubs and bars, coffee shops, fast food outlets, transport catering, contract catering of industries, and so on, are examples of commercial catering. It can be further classified into residential; for example, hotels, motels, resorts, inns, clubs, and so on, and non-residential; for example, restaurants, fast food outlets, popular restaurants, pubs, bars, and so on.

Hotels: Hotels provide F&B services to customers in the following areas other than accommodation:

• Restaurants (from silver service restaurants to self service restaurants, 24 hour operations to restricted hours of operations, open to residential and non-residential guests)

• Bars

• Lounge area

• Banquets

• Rooms (restricted only to hotel guests)

Most guests staying in hotels are on business trips and stay for a very short duration and expect quick service. They may also need banquet halls to hold functions, conferences, and business meetings. The restaurants of hotels may offer buffet for all three meals to speed up service. Alternately, guests may place orders from the à la carte menu. Food and beverage service may also be extended to guests who are not staying in the hotel.

Resorts: Resorts provide accommodation mainly to vacationers. The duration of their stay is longer as compared to guests who stay in hotels. They stay on package deals, which normally include all three meals. In resorts, more importance is given to the compiling of menu to ensure that dishes are not repeated, as guests tend to stay for a longer duration. The ambience of the restaurant will be very informal and the service is either from a buffet or at the table. Guests expect special dishes of the region as they want to experience new dishes and have more time to spend in the restaurant.

Motels: Motels provide F&B facilities to travellers. Food can either be consumed in the restaurant or taken away.

Clubs: Clubs offer F&B services only to their members. Non-members can avail the services of the club only if they are accompanied by the members. The governing body of the club is responsible for monitoring the catering services, which may either be run by a contractor or by the employees of the club.

Residential and non residential catering :-

On-Premise Catering/Residential catering

All of the required functions and services that the caterers execute are done exclusively at their own facility. For instance, a caterer within a hotel or banquet hall will prepare and cater all of the requirements without taking any service or food outside the facility.Many restaurants have specialized rooms on-premise to cater to the private-party . A restaurant may have a layout strategically designed with three separate dining rooms attached to a centralized commercial food production kitchen. These separate dining rooms are available at the same time to support the restaurant’s operation and for reservation and overflow seating. In addition, any of the three dining rooms may be contracted out for private-event celebrations and may require their own specialized service and menu options.Other examples of on-premise catering include hospital catering,school, University/ college catering.

Off-Premise Catering/non – residential catering

Off-premise catering is serving food at a location away from the caterer’s food production facility. Off premise catering happens when a caterer prepares food on their premises and have it transported by food trucks to the location of an event where it is served to guests. Food on an off premise catering is kept warm by buffet warmers and just a few caterers are on site to take care of the guests’ orders. One example of a food production facility is a freestanding commissary, which is a kitchen facility used exclusively for the preparation of foods to be served at other locations. Other examples of production facilities are as well included here but are not limited to hotel, restaurant, and club kitchens. In most cases there is no existing kitchen facility at the location where the food is served. Caterers provide single-event foodservice, but not all caterers are created equal. They generally fall into one of three categories:

Party Food Caterers:

Party food caterers supply only the food for an event. They drop off cold foods and leave any last-minute preparation,plus service and cleanup, to others.

Hot Buffet Caterers:

Hot buffet caterers provide hot foods that are delivered from their commissaries in insulated containers. They sometimes provide serving personnel at an additional charge.

Full-Service Caterers:

Full-service caterers not only provide food, but frequently cook it to order on-site. They also provide service personnel at the event, plus all the necessary food-related equipment—china, glassware, flatware, cutleries, tables and chairs, tents,and so forth. They can arrange for other services, like décor and music, as well. In short, a full-service caterer can plan and execute an entire event, not just the food for it.

Welfare catering :-

The primary focus of welfare catering outlets is to offer food and beverage to the needy. As the name suggests, welfare is not done to earn profit or make money.yes of course minimum charge is taken to maintain the expenses incurred in food preparation and service. It is provided to the needy people to avoid wastage of time, money, effort, efficiency etc. This grew out of the welfare state concept, prevalent in western countries. It includes catering in hospitals, schools, colleges, the armed forces and prisons, airlines, railways, etc. Here the food menu, price of menu are based on the type of customers to be catered. Generally table d’ hote menu is served here along with little variations in cyclic menu that is good enough to fulfill the nutritional requirements of the customer.

Industrial catering :

This welfare catering caters ‘people at work,’ in industries and factories at highly subsidised rates is called industrial catering. It is based on the assumption that better fed employees at concessional rates are happy and more productive. Catering for a large workforce may be undertaken by the management itself, or may be contracted out to professional caterers. Depending on the choice of the menu suggested by the management, catering contractors undertake to feed the workforce for a fixed period of time at a predetermined price.cyclic , nutritious menu is prepared to support their hard work in industries.

Institutional Catering

This welfare catering caters ‘students in schools or colleges’ at highly subsidised rates is called institutional catering. It is the responsibility of the institutes to provide the students with a complete balanced diet. This kind of catering establishment may be under taken by the management itself or may be contracted out to professional caterers. The food menu in this type of establishment is Cyclic and is mostly based on the seasonal availability of ingredients. The concept is not to earn revenue but to serve their own social responsibility.

HospitalCatering:In hospital catering, patients are given food prepared according to the advice of dieticians, which are dished out on insulatedtrays, and delivered in their rooms. The services rendered to patients are charged. Medical staff, outpatients, and visitors make use of the cafeteria facilities.

Old Aged Home: Provision of food and lodging to aged person to be taken care of.

Orphanage: Provision of food and lodging and various other basic needs to children whose parents are dead

Religious Congregations: Provision of food in various religious institutes. Examples – Ashram, Langar, etc.

Disaster/Distress catering: Provision of foods, clothing and other basic daily needs to victims of natural calamities carried out by voluntary organisations like UN, Salvation Army, Ramakrishna Mission, etc.

Transport catering :-

Airlines catering

Airlines are the mode of transportation where there is very less chances or no chances of landing between take off point and destination, thus the passengers traveling in airlines need to be catered inside the airplane . For this, there are off premise catering on the airports or somewhere else on the way to destination which prepares food as per predetermined choice of guests then vacuum packed and lodged in plane after blast chilling. Before the service in plane, those food packets are heated In microwoven then served.

Although the airlines catering as well serves the table d’ hote menu but guest choice is accepted in large extent for better satisfaction. Highly priced menu is served here as per high cost involved in production to service of the food and beverages.

Railway catering :-

Railway has occupied a large share in the market of transportation. A great number of people travel daily by train and during their journey they are dependent upon railway catering for their food. Although in local ( general) classes, they get food from street vendors but in case of AC coaches people get food from catering inside the railway.

The railway has a compartment with all the facility of food preparation along with soft drinks to cater people inside the railway. The railway catering could be on stations as well to serve in bulk amount. The menu is table d’ hote here along with little variations and suitable price is already coated as per railway standard. For the very first time the company named ‘ Spencer ‘started this service to the railway travelers. It is a diversified catering which serves a large number of people across the globe .

Motel catering /Road catering :-

It is the roadside catering establishment meant of serving the travelers, motor riders traveling through road and also contains a motor repairing center for the maintenance of motors and refilling of fuel to the motors, cars. This catering It may serve medium to high standard food and during the period of this lockdown across the countries, the motel catering served the roadtravelers , emergency goods portable vans’ drivers etc and this industry has risen as one of the sources of foods to those needy people traveling by road.

Sea catering / ship catering :-

Sea catering can be also called as floatel catering. People traveling by route of sea had to stay for days to month at a same place and during the entire period their food along with lodging is served by sea catering. A la’ carte menu is served here

What professional waiters do differently?

1. Professional and hygienic appearance

All staff should be aware of the factors listed below and it is their individual responsibility to ensure that they are put into practice:

• Staff should be clean and should use deodorants (but not strong smelling ones).

• Aftershave and perfumes should not be too strong (as this may have a detrimental effect on the customer’s palate).

• Sufficient sleep, an adequate and healthy intake of food and regular exercise is essential for good health and the ability to cope with the pressures and stress of work.

• Particular attention should be paid to the hands. They must always be clean, free of nicotine stains and with clean, well-trimmed nails.

• Teeth should be brushed before coming on duty and the breath should be fresh smelling.

• Men should normally be clean-shaven or with any moustache or beard neatly trimmed.

• Women should only wear light make-up. If nail varnish is worn then it should be clear.

• Earrings should not be worn with the possible exception of studs/sleepers.

• Uniform must be clean, starched as appropriate and pressed. All buttons must be present.

• Hair must be clean and well groomed. Long hair must be tied up or back to avoid hairs falling into foods and drinks and to avoid repeated handling of the hair.

• Shoes must be comfortable and clean, and of a plain, neat design.

• Cuts and burns should be covered with waterproof dressings.

• Any colds or other possible infections should be reported immediately,

• Hands should be washed immediately after using the toilet, smoking. Hot water and soap must be used.

• Staff should try to avoid any mannerisms they may have, such as running their fingers through their hair, chewing gum or scratching their face.

• Excessive jewellery should not be worn. The establishment policy should be followed.

2. Knowledge of food and beverages and technical ability

Staff must have sufficient knowledge of all the items on the menu and wine and drink lists in order to advise and offer suggestions to customers. In addition, they must know how to serve correctly each dish on the menu, what its accompaniments are, the correct cover and the make-up of the dish and its garnish. For beverage service, staff should know how to serve various types of wine and drink, in the correct containers (e.g. glasses, cups) and at the right temperature.

3. Punctuality

Punctuality is very important. If staffs are continually late on duty it shows a lack of interest in their work and a lack of respect for the management and customers.

4. Local knowledge

In the interest of customers the staff should have some knowledge of the area in which they work so they may be able to advise customers on the various forms of entertainment offered, the best means of transport to places of interest and so on.

5. Pleasant Personality

Staff must be tactful, courteous, good humoured and of an even temper. They must converse with the customer in a pleasing and well-spoken manner, and the ability to smile at the right time pays dividends.

6. Attitude to customers

The correct approach to the customer is of the utmost importance. Staff must provide service but should not be servile and should be able to anticipate the customer’s needs and wishes. A careful watch should be kept on customers during the service (but without staring) to check the progress of the meal. Be attentive but not intrusive at all times during the service sequence.

7. Cultural awareness

The cultural diversity of customers is increasing and this is reflected in factors such as language, dress and traditions as well as dietary. Members of service staff need to be open-minded, non-judgemental and flexible and able to appreciate and communicate respect for other people’s values and beliefs.

8. Memory

A good memory is an asset to food and beverage service staff. It may help them in various ways in their work if they know the likes and dislikes of customers, where they like to sit in the food service area, what their favourite drinks arc, and so on.

9. Honesty

Trust and respect in the triangle of staff, customer and management relationships lead to an atmosphere at work that encourages efficiency and a good team spirit among the food and beverage service operators.

10. Loyalty

Staff obligations and loyalty are first to the establishment in which they are employed and its management. Staffs therefore need to commit mentally to the ethos of the establishment and be fully aware of their department’s aims and objectives.

11. Conduct

Staff conduct should be impeccable at all times, especially in front of customers. The rules and regulations of an establishment must be followed and respect shown to all senior members of staff. This also applies when staffs are off duty but may still be in uniform as they represent the establishment’s values and attitudes.

12. Sales ability

All members of staff reflect the image of the establishment. They are sales people and must therefore have a complete knowledge of all forms of food and drink and their correct service, and so be able to contribute to personal selling and merchandising.

13. Sense of urgency

In order for the establishment to generate the maximum amount of business over the service period, with as high a net profit as possible, staff must develop a sense of urgency in their work.

14. Complaints

Staff should have a pleasant manner and demonstrate courtesy and tact, an even temper and good humour. They should never show their displeasure even during a difficult situation. Staff should never argue with a customer and if they are unable to resolve a situation, it should be referred immediately to a senior member of the team who will be able to reassure the customer and put right any fault.

15. Team Work

Above all, staff should be able to work as part of a team within and between departments. Being a team member means communicating, co-operating and being reliable so that as a team each member contributes to enable a successful service to be delivered every session.

  • Inter and intra departmental cooperation

Inter-Departmental Relationship

No department can function all alone. Success of an organisation depends entirely on the coordination between the various departments. The food and beverage service department coordinates with other department in following ways:

1. Kitchen

  • Receiving of food and beverage orders from service staff, preparing, preparing and handling over to them for service of food items to guest.
  • Planning of menu items for different restaurants and banquet functions.
  • Pricing of different menus.
  • Planning of food festivals and promotionalevents.
  • Food store management.
  • Dispensing of wines used in cooking.
  • Transfer of any flavouring agents or condiments to restaurant.
  • To take the feedback from the guest on the quality of food being served to him.
  • Receiving complaints from guests and handling them properly.
  • Menu improvisation.
  • Menu merchandising.
  • Menu Engineering

2. Housekeeping

  • Receiving dirty linen and in exchange giving them fresh stock linens e.g. table cloth, slip cloth, waiter cloths, upholstery etc.
  • Cleaning of entire area of food and beverage department.
  • Wood polishing, brass polishing, carpet shampooing and spring cleaning.
  • Decoration of entire food and beverage service area e.g. restaurants, banquets, conference, seminars etc.
  • Theme setup and decoration of restaurant accordingly.
  • Pest control, fumigation etc.
  • Flower arrangement.

3. Front Office

  • To know the number of in house guests in hotel.
  • To know the occupancy status of the hotel.
  • Billing procedure of in house guests.
  • To know the guest reservation status for future dates for volume forecasting.
  • Special requirement of guest to be placed in rooms.
  • Room service menu cards to be placed in rooms.
  • Promotion of menu items to walk in guests.
  • To know the total arrival and departure of day.

4. Human Resource

  • Formation of HR policies for the department.
  • Recruitment of employees.
  • Induction of new employees.
  • Training of employees.
  • Salary fixation of employees.
  • Leave rules and other benefits associate with employees.
  • Promotion policies.
  • Retirement benefits.
  • Formation of disciplinary rules, action procedures.

5. Sales & Marketing

  • To promote the food and beverage items.
  • To know the current rates and trends in the market.
  • Any kind of market survey to be done.
  • To know the future room sales or volume forecasting.
  • To provide the feedback from clientele.

6. Maintenance/Engineering

  • To maintain the air conditioning of all the food and beverage service areas.
  • Repair and maintenance of electrical equipment.
  • Maintenance of hot and cold water in the areas.
  • Furniture and fixture alteration.
  • Change of any faulty electrical appliances.