A food and beverage coordinator is an essential part of the hospitality team at any large venue or restaurant. Although in smaller restaurants a manager might take on the responsibilities of a food and beverage coordinator, for large scale organizations a food and beverage coordinator is needed to run the administrative side of the back of the house.
The food and beverage coordinator takes on the administrative responsibilities of the kitchen and bar in a large restaurant, hotel, corporate venue, etc. The food and beverage coordinator is in charge of creating and approving food and drink menus, ordering, taking inventory of stock, maintaining records of purchase and sales and assisting in event planning. Depending on the exact position, you might also need to have some knowledge of food preparation. The food and beverage coordinator usually works directly under the food and beverage director, though depending on the size of the organization, the responsibilities might be handled under one title.
To become a food and beverage coordinator, you generally need a significant amount of experience in the hospitality industry, at least three years, You also should have a degree of administrative experience, as the role is primarily administration-based. You should be familiar with basic Microsoft Office tools and accounting software. Furthermore, organizations often require some experience in management. A degree in hospitality management or tourism usually is required, though equivalent experience can make up for the lack of tertiary education.
Food and beverage coordinators are required at a variety of venues. You might choose to work as a food and beverage coordinator at a hotel or resort. These organizations need food and beverage coordinators to take on not only their own restaurants but also handle room service and special events. Here you will often find both a food and beverage coordinator and a food and beverage director. Event venues specializing in weddings and corporate events require food and beverage coordinators to arrange the catering and purchasing and oversee that the event runs smoothly on this end. Restaurants will also sometimes have a food and beverage coordinator, although this is far less common as restaurants are usually smaller and the kitchen and front-of-house managers handle the food and beverage coordinator duties. Other places that can require a food and beverage coordinator include sports arenas, theaters, golf courses and catering companies.
Becoming a food and beverage coordinator could be the right career for you if you love the hospitality industry but are less interested in interacting with the public. Perhaps you also have great ideas about menus and know your wine but are not interested in working directly in a kitchen. The food and beverage coordinator is a creative role when it comes to menu planning and choosing a drinks list, and if this is the most appealing aspect of the job to you, you should try and work with an organization where you would get to take on this task on a regular basis, a venue where you have to work with chefs, caterers and event planners and plan a different menu for each event. In most cases, however, the role is mostly administrative and may be right for you if you are organized and detail-oriented. Remember that the food and beverage coordinator role is a career position that might offer possible opportunities for promotions in the future, for example, to a food and beverage director role.
There are many ways you may go about finding food and beverage coordinator positions. You might simply search traditional job sites, but perhaps the most effective way is to think of the type of organization you wish to work for and then get directly in touch with those organizations. You can also use websites specifically directed to hospitality jobs, including Hospitality For Hire, Hotel Job Resource and Hcareers.com. These websites offer a wide range of hospitality jobs and may not only lead you to a food and beverage coordinator position but also offer valuable resources to help you land that role, including peer forums, resume builders and industry tips.