November 18, 2013
Atlantis’ Food & Beverage Department is hoping to capitalize on its recent successes through the institution of a year-long training course which takes its participants back to the basics and puts an emphasized focus on technical and operational issues.
The Food & Beverage Operations Development Training Programme, which is made up of both theory and interactive components, takes roughly one year to complete with two groups of 30 participants each time, and was developed by Atlantis’ Food & Beverage Senior Directors. According to F&B SVP Ian Reid, the idea for the course was borne from discussions among F&B’s senior leadership team in hopes of improving the knowledge and skill of their staff where the restaurant business is concerned.
“Essentially, what we want to achieve is knowledge enhancement and to instill pride for the job, explains Reid. “We want those team members that the course targets – it is directed at restaurant systems managers, managers and assistant F&B restaurant mangers who have the responsibility to manage the finances, product and the overall quality of their individual restaurants – to have greater pride in what they do and in turn produce the results based on the budgets and potential revenue they have.” Human Resources VP Edwin Zephirin led the charge from the HR side to assist in the programme’s development.
“The Senior Directors completely embraced the idea, developed the materials, did the scheduling, are the instructors and we are now in the first year,” explains Zephirin. “It is an on-going programme and we will run the same modules concurrently to cover as many people as we can… The material was developed and executed using what we do here at Atlantis, but we also brought in additional outside resources when we had to do things like wine tasting. We also got help from our Human Resources Department in the concepts building, material and so on… each module (of the course) may have 10 different pieces that have to be developed and taught, and there’s a lot of work involved for the Senior Directors.”
Budgets, payroll, forecasting, scheduling, learning how recipes are developed, menu, food and beverage costing, and cost controls are some of the modules covered in the financial management aspect of the programme. Other targeted areas include systems training where participants are schooled on all of the different systems that a Atlantis restaurant manager manages, like Micros, HotSOS and Kronos; and Human Resources, which covers resourcing, recruitment, progressive discipline performance management, coaching, and reward and recognition to name a few.
F&B Senior Directors Horatio McKenzie and Hilton Bowleg were two of several course presenters. “My contribution was to deliver insight in financial management and how to manage a financially sound food and beverage outlet – how every process contributes to gains or losses, analyzing the results and taking corrective action steps of the same. I believe this training will play an integral part in the development of our up and coming leaders, reaping great benefits for years to come,” says McKenzie, with Bowleg, who assisted with several modules including the systems training noting that he has already seen benefits from the course, particularly as it relates to the cross exposure aspect. Cross exposure is a highlighted feature that was built in to the programme so that the restaurant managers could gain a better appreciation for the various departments that interacts with theirs like culinary, stewarding, reservations, the distribution center front office and quality assurance. For just a few days, programme participants are required to report to their assigned area to work and learn the operations there.
“I’m seeing it working because I’m noticing managers coming back into the operation having a greater appreciation for their colleagues in the other areas. Before, you had a lot of mangers thinking only about Front of House F&B, now they are understanding what those team members in the other areas have to endure on a daily business,” says Bowleg, adding “Prior to this programme, I think we had a lot of persons working who didn’t fully have an understanding for the business. The Food & Beverage Operations Development Training programme seeks to rectify that.”
At the end of the programme, participants will have to present both individually and as a group on the key aspects that they have actually implemented I their various outlets and how they have changed or, better yet, improved as a result of their expanded knowledge.