Food and Beverage Management BTR102

Food Service Management Course

This course develops an excellent and sound foundation for working in a restaurant, catering or other food service enterprise. Topics covered vary from kitchen and food management to planning a menu, restaurant staffing and waiter/waitress skills.

Food Service is a very diverse industry. Food products can be created and delivered in an endless variety of ways. The industry encompasses everything from vending machines and market stalls to exclusive restaurants or airline catering.



This subject has 9 lessons as follows:

1. Human Nutrition - This covers all the major food groups and their importance in a nutritional diet. Also including factors in nutrition from compatibility and range of ingredients through to healthy cooking and eating methods.

2. Cooking - Includes various cooking methods for a variety of different foods, covering both palatability and digestibility through to the nutritional value in processing foods.

3. Kitchen & Food Management - Learn to maximise efficiency and service through proper management of kitchen facilities, including the handling of food storage and preparation, hygiene and ethics.

4. Planning A Menu - Covering menu planning for the needs of special groups in different situations, including children; adolescents; elderly people; expectant and nursing mothers; immigrants; vegetarians and other health related diets.

5. Alcoholic Beverages - Learn how to provide adequate variety and product knowledge in order to manage the provisions of alcoholic beverages appropriately for different situations.

6. Tea, Coffee and Non-Alcoholic Beverages - This lesson provides an understanding of non-alcoholic beverages available in the catering industry and how they should be made and served.

7. Scope and Nature Of Catering Services - Learn to understand the differences in appropriate management and catering for a variety of situations from pubs to a-la-carte.

8. Personnel Management -(waiting skills, staffing a restaurant, kitchen etc) This lesson covers the management of people in the food and restaurant industry, including training programs, job specifications, recruitment etc.

9. Management Of Catering Services - By consolidating the skills developed throughout this course you are given a comprehensive understanding of marketing through to food purchasing in order to effectively manage in the food and beverage industry.


  • Explain the role of different food types in human health.
  • Understand the alternative cooking processes, in order to make appropriate decisions about the cooking of different foods
  • Manage the provision of kitchen facilities, and the handling of foodstuffs (including food storage and preparation), in order to maximise efficiency, hygiene and service with the restrictions of facilities available.
  • Plan menus or list of food products for sale, appropriate to different situations.
  • Manage the provision of alcoholic beverages appropriately, in different situations
  • Manage the provision of non-alcoholic beverages appropriately, in different situations.
  • Describe differences in appropriate management for catering in a range of varying situations.
  • Discuss how to manage staff in the food and restaurant industries.
  • Consolidate skills developed throughout this entire course into an overall understanding of management of catering services.


Opportunities -Where can this course lead?

Everyone has a different reason for studying this course; and all of those reasons can be valid.  Some want to further a career they have started, or kick start a career that has stalled. Others aim to start and operate their own food and beverage business, perhaps a cafe or restaurant, perhaps a catering business or a business that produces and sells some type of food product.

Whatever your reason; this course can provide an excellent foundation for developing skills and knowledge, that will build a greatly improved capability to work effectively in food and beverage management.  

What is involved in the Food Service Industry?

Food Service is a very diverse industry. Food products can be created and delivered in an endless variety of ways. The industry encompasses everything from vending machines and market stalls to exclusive restaurants or airline catering.



The first major attempt to sell using vending machines was selling chewing gum in 1921. Since then the vending machine has grown to become a major industry world wide; and a major part of vending deals with food products.

In various parts of the world caterers have used vending machines for:

  • Confectionery and snack foods
  • Milk
  • Soft Drinks
  • Tea and Coffee
  • Other foods

It is worth mentioning that it is increasingly uncommon to find cigarette vending machines, particularly in Western countries.

When introducing vending, there has at times been resistance; particularly if the vending machine is replacing a previously personal service. The objection to vending can be softened by a staged introduction. If beverage machines are introduced first, they are more readily accepted than food machines. If snack food machines are introduced after beverage machines have been accepted, their acceptance tends to be better.

Food dispensing machines are particularly useful in places that may be open through the night (where access to a cafeteria or other catering service, is unlikely). This may include:

  • Night shifts in a factory
  • Hospitals
  • Hotel lobbies or corridors
  • Bus, rail or airline depots

If a vending machine is to be well patronised during the night it will be important to site it in a secure location, with good lighting, in a high traffic area.

The disadvantages of vending machines are:

  • The break down
  • They are impersonal; therefore people are sometimes reluctant to use them and you limit your customer base to those in a hurry wanting a basic item
  • Surrounding areas tend to become untidy
  • The required coins might not be readily available
  • They are prone to rough handling and may be vandalised
  • There is a perception that they supply inferior goods.



Factors that make this market appealing are speed, convenience, low cost, informality, cleanliness, impulse buying, classlessness, impulse buying and undemanding palatability.

The facts point to a food service for many people now able to eat out while shopping, travelling, or as an alternative to the canteen lunch.

An increase in the use of the car for leisure, and growth of large regional shopping centres, has meant many changes for retailers in the past several decades. Shopping centres, malls and superstores are increasingly providing conventional restaurant facilities, as well as fast food options. The types of services which are provided separately or in combination are:

Table Service
Waiter or waitress service is provided, and it is felt by some companies that it compares favourably with self service. The menu can be sold by staff and the sales material in the restaurant. A more profitable meal can be sold, possibly including beverages. An advantage to the customers is that the tables are usually cleared promptly. Disadvantages of the service are finding sufficient trained staff and ensuring an efficient service when staff are absent.

Cafeteria Service
This is a popular type of service and it is used where there is a movement of a large number of people, for example: airports. The layout of the counter is a governing factor in the success of a business. A disadvantage of the system is the formation of large queues at peak periods. This problem is alleviated, by creating dual flow (diverging or converging) to cash points, instead of a single counter run and/or by separating out the beverage service and introducing by passing along queue barriers. In industrial operations, echelon counters can offer main course choice plus sweets at each counter serving point, so that the selection of the main meal determines customer flows and induces circulation.

Free Flow
This is generally only worth while if there is a through put of 300 to 400 customers per hour. The system has clearly marked banks of counters which enable the customers to go to the food of their choice, and then to the central check point. This is the only bottleneck, but an experienced cashier should be able to cope with 3 to 5 trays per minute.

Counter Service
This is used in “take-away” shops. The customer will order direct from the sales assistant. This type of service is best for a limited menu, and a tightly controlled preparation area. Menus are generally displayed in large format behind the counter area or as leaflets on the counter.

Fast Food Operations & Take-aways
Common examples include MacDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken. These are often (but not always), chains or franchise operations. These may operate on the basis of a counter or table service (or both). They are all characterised by speed, convenience and cost. Increasingly, healthier food options are found at such establishments.



Catering in hospitals imposes certain inherent problems; perhaps the most pertinent being different dietary needs of patients.

Patients on Normal Diets
A major problem is that food is cooked in a central kitchen, and needs to be transported to the patients in heated trolleys. No matter how well the food is cooked, there can be delays and spoilage during the course of transporting it to a patient. One way to deal with this problem is to select only food which can withstand prolonged transportation (eg. stews, soups etc). Another way is to supplement hot foods with cold foods. These considerations do place some restrictions upon the variety of foods; but it is better to offer less variety but always a healthy and quality menu.

Patients on Special Diets
Special diets may be prepared in a separate kitchen by a trained cook-dietician. Ideally, each ward should have its own kitchen for this purpose; however, such a provision is rarely economically feasible. Other ways of dealing with the problems associated with hospital catering include:

  • Preparing and cooking food centrally –packeting it into units, or plating it individually. Freezing food and reheating it in the ward kitchen can then be done as required
  • Preparing food centrally –packeting the food into units, usually of five portions. It is held at a low temperature until it is required.

There must be careful thought given to the size of containers in order that the pack fits into the transportation containers; and the ovens in the wards. Blast freezing in sealed containers is a suitable method. Each pack is labelled for contents, portions, and heating/cooking times and temperature. Where large numbers of people are to be fed, it is generally more economical to perform the operation by central production and distribution methods than the “old fashioned” way, and the service should be superior in quality. There is a further side to hospital catering –the feeding of medical staff, cleaners, etc. Furthermore, in big teaching hospitals, there may be quite a lot of entertaining of important visitors, where a high standard of catering is required.



Airlines have perfected the system of central production by freezing meals and re-heating them in the aircraft in hot air circulating ovens. In this area there is good passenger acceptability since it is realized that it is not really possible to have a full scale kitchen in an aircraft. Furthermore, top quality foods are used which are prepared by skilled chefs, and the whole service is very personalised, and even in some cases, glamorised for first class and business passengers. Special emphasis is often placed on cold fare, and some airlines almost completely exclude hot meals. Airline meals are not usually as strictly tied to costs as what some forms of catering are. Given that airline meal quality can strongly affect sales; attention to meal quality is given a high priority by many airlines. This is becoming increasingly so with the advent of low cost carriers who do not provide food in the air fare at all and instead sell basic snacks. Travelers on other carriers can often pay significantly more and one of the things they will expect is a decent meal.



Function catering may be provided by in-house staff, or may be provided by an out-sourced caterer. This sort of catering is categorised generally by a simple menu, of two possibly three entrees, mains and desserts, a self-service buffet, or for cocktail parties and similar gatherings, a waitered service of beverages and canapes. Alternatively, foods may be pre-prepared and delivered, but service not provided. This is often the case for less formal events that will still have large numbers of guests.

While the range of food and beverage provided is limited, large numbers of dishes will need to be prepared and served in a short period of time. Failing to do this at a large sit down function will see some guests left waiting to start their meal while others and left with long waiting times between courses.

Function catering relies heavily not only on those preparing the food, but also on skilled wait staff who will circle the room offering beverages and canapes, or provide table service. Pre-planning is also vital to ensure all ingredients and beverages are on hand in time to be prepared for guests. Such catering is typically booked in advance, with deposits and/or installments paid as stock is ordered/held or purchased. Function catering may include weddings, funerals, corporate functions, cocktail parties, birthdays, and festive celebrations. Increasingly, catering is provided for children's parties and events.


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Fee Information (S2)
Prices in Australian Dollars

PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $781.66  1 x $710.60
B 2 x $416.96  2 x $379.05

Note: Australian prices include GST. 

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