The duties of a food and beverage director are varied, so the person filling this role must be well-rounded and knowledgeable in all aspects of the hospitality industry, with a focus on food and drink. Many hotels, casinos and convention centers hire a food and beverage director to oversee the numerous details associated with providing quality food and beverages for all guests. The director should also be skilled in leadership, overseeing special events and maintaining quality and safety in the workplace.
Menu planning is often a task falling to a restaurant or resort's food and beverage director. The director's vast experience with purchasing food and predicting costs are used to determine appropriate selections and accompanying prices customers will be charged. A director should be well-versed with all aspects of food, from prep work and cooking to serving. In addition to the cost of ingredients, the amount of labor that is involved in making a dish is another factor the director will weigh when pricing the dish for the menu. The most skilled directors will strike a successful balance by providing attractive menu items at a price that will generate profits.
Food and beverage presentation also falls under the director's purview. Familiarity with a variety of dishes and drinks will help a director identify when a dish or a beverage is being executed correctly, as well as when it is not. The director is responsible for overseeing every aspect of the guests' food and beverage experiences, from the ordering and dining experience to the quality of service provided by the waitstaff. The ability to manage several projects at once, organize work crews and give clear instructions is also critical for a director.
Leadership skills are a must for a food and beverage director. A director should also possess the skills to implement, identify and maintain safety and quality standards in the workplace. Kitchens and dining rooms can be potentially dangerous workplaces, and a director needs to be able to enforce safety rules and guidelines among the staff.
Special events are often overseen by a food and beverage director, who needs to be able to organize the event and meet the customers' expectations. The director needs to be able to assess the customers' needs, including determining and coordinating the meals and beverages that will be served to attendees throughout the event. Creativity is another asset for a food and beverage director to possess, as creative touches can make events more memorable and generate repeat business for a venue.