Food and Beverage Service communication: Intra and Inter
No hotel can develop in the absence of effective communication- both internal as well as external
It includes the communications of hotel with external sources and officers that may be government
agencies, post-office, licensing authorities, foreign trade officers, income tax, transports, financial
2. INTERNAL COMMUNICATION:
It includes communication within the hotel itself, i.e. transmitting information within the
organization, its departments, sections etc. and between the same chain.
Internal communication can be formal (or official), informal or consensus.
a) Formal or official: this line of communication is used to transmit the official messages or
information within or outside the organization. These communication flows along
prescribed channels, which the staff members wanting to communicate are obelised to
follow. Formal channels can be horizontal or vertical.
Horizontal communication or lateral communication is between workers and other
workers, supervisors holding coffee break to discuss organisational problem. The
horizontal communication is important for promoting understanding and co-ordination
amongst various departments. Face to face, exchange of views or telephonic conversation
is very convenient for horizontal communication. The congenial atmosphere in which oral
communication takes place allows freedom of expression. There is immediate feedback
and all doubts and misunderstanding are sorted out.
Vertical communication usually associated with formal structural relationship of the
enterprise set-ups. Vertical communication can be in the upward or downward direction.
Upward communication flows from bottom to top of a hierarchy. In this, the managers
receive information continuously stemming from levels below them. Open door policy,
suggestion complaints box, and counselling are the best methods used. The limitation of
this communication is that at times the employees may be unenthusiastic to express
themselves and fear that their condemnation may be taken as sign of peculiar weakness
and may be taken personally by the superior.
Downward communication flow from top to bottom of hierarchy. In this, the orders,
instructions, guidelines, policy statements, job sheets, circulars etc. are flow from top
manager to concern subordinates. It can be both verbal and written. The drawback of these
types of communication are under or over communication, delay in action, resentment by
subordinate staff and probable loss of information.
b) Informal: with formal channels of communication informal channels also exists in every
organisation. It does not arise out of organisation needs but is an integral part of
communication.it is characterised by the network of interpersonal relations among
personnel not formally as people have tendency to cut across formal channels, and
communicate informally with different part of organisation. Rumours that are all time
spreading in any organisation follow of communication. In this form of communication
information passes quickly. In addition, the panorama to form a social group is high. The
chances of incomplete and distorted information may be carried as people add their
personal interpretation to the evidence, these data are fly-by-night, and information is
impulsive and ambiguous.
Grapevines is of four (4) types-single strand, gossip, probability, and cluster.
c) Consensus: agreement in the judgment or opinion reached by a group as a whole; "the lack
of consensus reflected differences in theoretical positions"; "those rights and obligations
are based on an unstated consensus.” The advantage of this form of communication is that
the decision is easy to accept, preserves harmony, avoids conflicts and splits, and the
hindrances are that the rebellion is often hushed in the name of consensus.
Inter departmental coordination and communication with F and B service and other
The Food and beverage service department is seen to possess a very vigorous intra and inter
departmental interactions in prospect of accomplishing works. This has also made the functioning
of the organisation very suave. Positive mutual aid and harmonisation can be found in between the
intra departmental staffs, as they are willing to lend a helping hand during busy operation hours
and favourably exchange their ideas and views with each other.
With f and b production: It coordinates with kitchen department for the preparation of various
food and beverage items as per the orders. The kitchen also coordinates with food and beverage
service department regarding the functions, outdoor caterings, and promotional activities.
With housekeeping: It coordinates with housekeeping department regarding the cleanliness of the
outlets, different F&B sections and regarding the regular supply of staff uniforms and soil linens.
The coordination of housekeeping department with the restaurants and banquet halls is mainly
concerned with the provision of linen and uniforms. The linen room supervisor, under the
supervision of the executive housekeeper, needs to have sufficient stock of clean napery to meet
the demands of the F & B department’s restaurant and banquet function. On his/her part, the
restaurant manager should ensure that the time set for the exchange of linen is respected; that linen
is not lost or misused; and that intimation of forthcoming banquet function is conveyed to
housekeeping department well in advance. Beside extra/special linen, housekeeping may also have
to arrange for flower decorations for banquet.
Coordinating between two departments becomes particularly necessary in the case of room service,
so that friction does not arise over matters such as waiters not collecting trays from guestrooms or
room service staff leaving soiled trays in the corridors or causing extra work through careless spills
on the carpet. In many hotels, housekeeping department also looks after pest control in restaurants,
kitchens, and store attached to them. Special cleaning of this areas call for coordination with the
housekeeping department. Restaurant staff required clean uniforms on a daily basis, for which they
need to communicate with housekeeping department.
With front office department: Communication between the food and beverage department and
the front ofﬁce is also essential. Some of this communication is conveyed by relaying messages
and providing accurate information on transfers, which are forms used to communicate a charge
to a guest's account. Communication activities also include reporting predicted house counts, an
estimate of the number of guests expected to register based on previous occupancy activities, and
processing requests for paid-outs, forms used to indicate the amounts of monies paid out of the
cashier's drawer on behalf of a guest or an employee of the hotel. These vital services help an
overworked food and beverage manager, restaurant manager, or banquet captain meet the demands
of the public. Incoming messages for the food and beverage manager and executive chef from
vendors and other industry representatives are important to the business operation of the food and
beverage department. If the switchboard operator is given instructions on screening callers (such
as times when the executive chef cannot be disturbed because of a busy workload or staff meetings,
or vendors in whom the chef is not interested), the important messages will receive top priority.
In a hotel that has point-of-sale terminals, computerized cash registers that interface with a
property management system, information on guest charges is automatically posted to a guest's
folio, his or her record of charges and payments. When a hotel does not have point-of-sale
terminals that interface with PMS point-of-sale terminals, the desk clerk is responsible for posting
accurate charges on the guest folio and relies on transfer slips. Also, the night auditor's job is made
easier if the transfer slip is accurately prepared and posted. The front ofﬁce manager should work
with the food and beverage director in developing standard operating procedures and methods to
complete the transfer of charges.
The supervisors in the food and beverage department rely on the predicted house count prepared
by the front ofﬁce manager to schedule employees and predict sales. For ex- ample, the restaurant
supervisor working the breakfast shift will want to know how many guests will be in the hotel so
he or she can determine how many servers to schedule for breakfast service. Timely and accurate
preparation of this communication tool assists in staffing control and sales predictions.
Authorized members of the food and beverage department will occasionally ask the front ofﬁce
for cash, in the form of a paid-out, to purchase last-minute items for a banquet, the lounge, or the
restaurant or to take advantage of other unplanned opportunities to promote hospitality. Specific
guidelines concerning cash limits, turnaround time, prior approval, authorized signatures, and the
general manager and front ofﬁce manager develop purchase receipts. These guidelines help to
maintain control of paid-outs. The banquet department, which often combines the functions of a
marketing and sales department and a food and beverage department, requires the front ofﬁce to
relay information to guests about scheduled events and bill payment.
The front desk staff may also provide labour to prepare the daily announcement board, an inside
listing of the daily activities of the hotel (time, group, and room assignment), and marquee, the
curb-side message board, which includes the logo of the hotel and space for a message. Since the
majority of banquet guests may not be registered guests in the hotel, the front ofﬁce provides a
logical communications centre.
The daily posting of scheduled events on a felt board or an electronic bulletin board provides all
guests and employees with information on group events. The preparation of the marquee may
include congratulatory, welcome, sales promotion, or other important messages. In some hotels,
an employee in the front ofﬁce contacts the marketing and sales department for the message.
The banquet guest who is unfamiliar with the hotel property will ask at the front ofﬁce for
directions. This service might seem minor in the overall delivery of service, but it is essential to
the lost or confused guest. The front ofﬁce staff must know both how to direct guests to particular
meeting rooms or reception areas and which functions are being held in which rooms. Front desk
clerks, must be ready to provide information for all departmental activities in the hotel. The person
responsible for paying the bills for a special event will also ﬁnd his or her way to the front ofﬁce
to settle the city ledger accounts. If the banquet captain is not able to present the bill for the
function, the front desk clerk should be informed about the specifics of food and beverage charges,
gratuities, rental charges, method of payment, and the like.
Human resources department: The human resources management department may rely on the F
and B service staff to act as an initial point of contact for potential employees in all departments.
It may even ask the F and B service to screen job candidates. If so, guidelines for and training in
screening methods must be provided.
Some directors of human resources management depend on the F and B service to distribute
application forms and other personnel-related information to job applicants. The potential
employee may ask for directions to the personnel office at the F and B service. The human
resources management department may also develop guidelines for the F and B service use in
initially screening candidates. For example, the guidelines may include concerns about personal
hygiene, completion of an application, education requirements, experience, and citizenship
status. This information will help the executives in the human resources management department
interview potential job candidates. Each situation will describe some communication problems
between departments, trace the source of mis-communication, analyse the communication
system, and present methods that will help improve communications. The purpose of this method
of presentation is to help future professionals to develop a systematic way of continually
It coordinates with security department to create a safer environment for the guests, hotel
personnel and the assets to control them properly.
It coordinates with engineering department for repairs, maintenance, and installation of various
equipment and physical features required during operation hours and special functions.
It coordinates with information system department regarding the updating and installing of
different electronic information system. Every personal are provide with the password as access
into the computer system of the hotel by the IS department. Similarly, the micros cards are also
issued to the F&B staffs and the degree of accessibility is governed by the rank of the staffs.
Stores: It coordinates with materials department for regular supply of food, beverages, and
essential stationeries for the outlet.
Sales and marketing department: It coordinates with sales and marketing department for the
sales of banquet halls, fixing the menu price, and providing provisions and service as per the
Banquet Event Order. F & B personnel will do the necessary arrangement for the preparation and
see to guests needs. Get clients to hold functions using hotel facilities in banquets.
Finance department: It coordinates with finance department for payment of salary and budget