The purpose of writing this assignment on the food and beverage management is to aid in identifying, discussing and analyzing to what extent the ethical food supply chain management is a key factor for a successful menu design and creating a clear segment in the competitive food and beverage industry. The ethical food supply chain management is one of the goals that this sector of economy seeks to achieve. In most business organizations, the supply chain management is one of the fundamental goals that each of them strives to achieve. It encompasses the manufacturing, assembly and distribution of commodities to final consumers. In order for the business to remain competitive and viable in the market, a vigorous advertising needs to be conducted. In most developed nations, such as the United States of America, the food and beverage hotel is seen to grow, and the employment will increase by 12% from 2010 to 2020 about as fast as the average for all occupations. It is also projected that job opportunity at most eating and drinking places will become excellent, and this is due to the expansion of the hotel industry dealing with the food and beverage (U.S. Department of Labor 2012).
Sector definition: hotel food & beverage operation
According to Chiu (2013), the food and beverage was evidenced at around 50 AD in Italy of food stalls catering for different customer needs. He also pointed out that there is some evidence, which state that the hotel food and beverage operation are one of the sectors, in which its market is highly competitive. In most developed countries, like the USA, the sector has attracted a large number of investors, contributing to the industry. According to Hobbs & Toscano (2013), the hotel industry in the United States is a rather promising sector due to insufficient new construction along with increasing demand. The success of this sector is attributed to the fact that it aims at understanding the communication and marketing tool "menu" in order to compete successfully with others in the market. The food and beverage hotel are one of the sectors that are globally competitive, and one needs to plan carefully to embark on any task. One of the plans that require a careful planning in this sector is the designing of the menu. A menu in a hotel is, in fact, seen to be a welcoming message to customers. It makes a customer feel comfortable in choosing commodities that he or she would like to take. Such customer would also be in a position to budget for what he or she takes in that hotel without the fear of overspending in case the menu is not available.
Evaluation of food and beverage business environment
The food and beverage business environment encompass various aspects, which may affect it daily operations. Business environments, which affect it, include competitors, suppliers and consumers of the hotel's commodities. The business environment is classified mainly into two types that are the internal and external environment. The internal environment factors are those that affect the business within and are within the management ability to control them. The management may be in a position to control those factors thus, able to protect itself from their adverse effects. External environments are those factors that affect the business outside, and the business does not have a control over it. The food and beverage hotel need to adopt a mechanism, in which it will try to cope with this environment and remain viable. Examples of the external environment involve the economic downturn, which includes rising costs of fuel, flour and sugar, and the exchange rate, thereby, making the returns decrease. The political environment, where the government increases taxes, the legislature that do not favor the hotel industry would also hamper the hotel operations negatively. Social and technical factors also pose challenges to the sector. On the other hand, the internal factors include food and beverage itself, staff and control in cash, capital and maintenance. In this category, the hotel industry has control over it.
Supply chain management
A supply chain is defined as the link or network that joins together internal and external suppliers with internal and external consumers. The supply chain management emphasizes itself with managing the network and the flow of information, materials, services and customers through the network (Johnston & Clark 2005, p. 143).
A supply chain is viewed as a system that requires to be managed effectively; it involves the following activities: manufacturing, assembly and distribution to final customers (Chiu 2013)
An effective supply chain seeks to achieve the following objectives: quality, speed, dependability, flexibility, and cost. Therefore, for one to manage effectively a food and beverage hotel, he or she should work towards achieving those objectives, in order to remain competitive in the market. In the supply chain of a food and beverage hotel operations, some issues arise: some of them include getting ingredients on time, as well as human resources, pose challenges to hotel operations and availability of facilities. The supply chain management in a food and beverage the hotel industry mainly depends on the speed and quality of the services provided by hotel industry. The commodities are highly perishable, especially the food ones, and, thus, require to be taken to the vicinity of customers within the shortest time possible. According to Parasuraman, et al,.(1985) the service providers of food and beverage in a hotel industry what understand what customer satisfaction entail. They need to understand dimensions which include; reliability, assurance, tangibles, responsiveness, and empathy that lead to customer satisfaction. These dimensions help them to distribute the commodities to customers and having won the heart of the consumers.
Key principles of menu design
The menu in any given business organization plays a key role in every aspect of the organization's service delivery. Some of the principles that should be sought in a design of a menu is striving for balance, whereas the hotel management should seek for balancing flavors in appealing ways to consumers of products. Emphasizing on a variety of services, the hotel management should be in a position to provide various commodities that are mainly suited for at meeting the consumer's needs. Additionally, the hotel management should advocate for a contrast in terms of texture, flavor and methods of preparations of the meals served in a hotel industry. While thinking about color and considering which products are of eye appeal, most of the consumers in a food and beverage hotel may not have a clear picture of what food is offered; providing an appealing color of meals will attract consumers with the purpose of purchasing the food.
In a menu design, the concepts of cost, price and market considerations are inevitable and ought to be considered (Chiu 2013). The menu plays a vital role in the hotel's food and beverage operations. It aids in driving sales volume and profit margins of the hotel operations. The menu serves as a guideline for kitchen and equipment purchasing decisions, which are vital in any given hotel, dealing with the food and beverage management. In addition, it steers all other aspects of the business and aids in determining the direction the hotel will pursue to remain competitively viable in the market. The menu is a critical link in putting together the hotel food and beverage concept - its overall identification and purpose (Chiu 2013).
In any given hotel operation, it is understood that the menu is a powerful marketing tool that seeks to influence the way how hotel guests make their purchasing decisions. A carefully and well-prepared menu will, thus, be critical in a food and beverage hotels. When hotels use the menu marketing, they not only understand the customer, grab his or her attention and deliver expectations, but also use feedback to improve products, sales, profit contribution and customer satisfaction.
Understanding consumer behavior in menu design
It is essential for an individual operating a food and beverage hotel to understand the consumer behavior in a menu design. In the current world, consumers of food and beverage commodities are becoming sophisticated, complex and dynamic in nature. To identify consumer behavior, such sciences as psychology, sociology, social psychology, geography and anthropology are used to identify the behavior of individuals and groups in any attempt to understand the human condition and relate to the consumer through the examination of human needs, wants, demands, goals, and value. (Chiu 2013) In order to effectively design a viable menu, an individual ought to understand what customers want, their culture, tastes and preferences. Failure to understand the consumer behavior in the food and beverage sector would result in a collapse of the business sector.
In order for one to design a menu in a hotel industry operation, he or she should be in a position to fully understand consumers from the psychological point of view. This gives him or her opportunity to make critical decisions.
The consumer behavior is the most significant aspect for any given business organizations as it seeks to help sellers in boosting sales volume and increasing the revenue. The consumer behavior also helps in terms of influencing the consumers from groups, which include family, friends, reference groups, and society in general. All these aspects enable the management in the daily operations of the hotel to design effectively and efficiently a menu. The consumer behavior is viewed to change occasionally; the management should be able to design a menu that is flexible in nature to meet the changing demands of consumers of the products offered in the food and hotel industry.
Menu as a marketing tool: market segmentation
Market segmentation includes the processes that involve looking for subsets of consumers, who have definite homogenous characteristics of demand, in the food and beverage in hotel operations. Market segmentation in the food and beverage sectors aids in concentrating the company's marketing resources. It also seeks to improve the probability through increasing customer satisfaction to a considerable degree. In the hotel operations, the management is keen in conducting a market research through varied ways, which include consumer panels, questionnaires, sales analyses and seeking data from a specialist (Chiu 2013).
Market segmentation should seek to achieve the competitive advantage, which would ensure that the hotel industry would remain competitive in the market. According to Porter (1980), a firm should determine whether to gain its competitive advantage by either producing at the lower cost than the competitors or by differentiating commodities and services and offer them to consumers at their set price. He also pointed out that firms gain the competitive advantage through economies of scale, proprietary technology and cheap raw materials, which would boost the firm's productions.
The market is the most fundamental goal of the organization. Business organizations produce commodities and, in turn, have to take the output to the market and consumers. It is the responsibility of the organization to look for the market, where commodities are going to be sold. In the hotel industry; the management sets up the organization in a strategic place, where customers are able to come and enjoy taking the commodities provided. Due to the competitive nature of this sector, the management sets the organizations to where the population is high. This is because the hotel industry has to deliver services directly to people as most commodities are perishable and may easily get spoilt if no customers purchase them. Therefore, this sector is highly dependent on the population as they provide the market.
Market segmentation is influenced by the following aspects, which are aimed at a healthy business organization; they entail having well-qualified sales employees, involving 3rd party agents, distribution channels to be applied and possibly customer promotions. The customer promotions are some of the ways, in which it is possible to attract customers, and this can boost the sales volume and, consequently, increase the revenue. The distribution channels of the products should also be considered; in terms of serving customers in a fast and quality manner, hence, making them feel comfortable and have a thirst to avail themselves again in that particular hotel industry. Segmentation refers to the way, in which organizations identify and categorize customers into groups defined by a set of similar characteristics, desires and needs. In the market segmentation of the food and beverage, the hotel industry includes several types of segmentation. The demographic implies segmentation through using the aspects such as age, gender, family life cycle and ethnicity. The psychographic segmentation seeks to divide buyers of the commodities into different groups, which are entirely based on social class, personality traits, attitudes, motivations and activities. The geographic segmentation seeks to divide the market according to geographical locations and boundaries such as countries, states, regions, cities or neighborhoods.