Plan For Better Future
An excellent qualification to start a career in management in the tourism or hospitality industry. This course develops a diverse and unique combination of valuable skills that will set you apart from graduates of other courses. As with most industries, being different is often what gives you the edge over the competition.
Work in Hospitality and Tourism
How Big is the Hospitality and Tourism Industry?
The hospitality and tourism industry is large and significant across many countries, providing a vast array of job opportunities. In some less developed countries, hospitality and tourism accounts for more than half of the economy; and this industry can also be among the largest of all industry sectors in many developed countries.
Hospitality and tourism may encompass a wide variety of career options including:
Food and Beverage Preparation and Service
Working in Resorts and on Cruise Ships
Run Guesthouses, Bed and Breakfasts, Backpackers and more
Tour Company Managers
Success in this industry comes first and foremost from having skills and knowledge that are in demand by clients or employers. The value in a course like this will be 90% in what you learn, and only 10% in the qualification you achieve. A Proficiency Award will catch the attention of employers when you apply for a job; but (based on years of watching the progress of graduates), it will be what you know and can do that will make the big difference to succeeding at a job interview, getting a promotion or achieving your goals in your own business.
Options to choose electives that you don't find in similar qualifications elsewhere.
An in-depth course with a duration of long duration. Study more, learn more, go further in your career or business.
A stronger focus on learning (we believe that what you learn is what makes the difference, not assessments)
Exceptional tutors with qualifications and experience (see staff profiles here ) After all, it makes sense to know who will be teaching you when you choose where to study.
Note that each module in the Advanced Certificate in Hospitality & Tourism is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.
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THE MENU IS CRITICAL TO SUCCESS
Many establishments think that variety on the menu means the more dishes offered the better. This is not correct. The extent of the menu can often confuse consumers. It is better to offer less choice and a well-balanced menu. Cutting down on choice can help cut down on waste materials in the production department, and allows the kitchen staff to operate efficiently. Another advantage of reduced choice on the menu is that when customers tire of the present menu, a menu of equal quality is easy to produce. This will help maintain guest and staff interest, and so promote trade.
You may write superb menus, but if the staff cannot prepare them, they are useless. When planning menus, the capabilities of the staff must be considered. Staff may attempt to produce the dishes listed, but they are not likely to produce them to the required standard if they are not well trained, or there is insufficient manpower.
Success in food preparation and service is directly related to the quality of the planning involved, and inversely proportional to the amount of guesswork used instead of planning. One cannot estimate or control wage costs until the quantity and quality of the labour required to produce and serve items on a given menu are known. Therefore the menu is vital to the proper planning of food and beverage operations.
An inadequate menu can result in:
- Increased food costs
- Increased labour costs or poorly deployed labour
- Inadequate and complicated purchasing methods
- Poor production techniques and poor labour relations
- Reduced quality and quantity of production
- Poor service techniques
- Poor quality control and customer control.
There are several vital factors that contribute to a good menu:
- The layout and printing (graphics etc) of the printed menu must be well presented.
- A menu planner must have a thorough knowledge of methods of food preparation and all types of service.
- A menu planner must know the potential of food production and food service equipment.
- Simpler and more convenient purchasing methods for food, equipment and cleaning contribute to a better menu.
- A menu planner must be aware of the need for form, texture, colours and flavour in food materials and their interaction with acceptable items produced for a menu. This includes knowledge of basic nutrition and simple dietetics.
- Menu planning depends on management and should not be left to those with inadequate experience, knowledge, or even interest, because menus should be a greater part of the attraction for a restaurant or food facility. Menu planning is the first step in planning the catering side of a new restaurant, guesthouse or food facility. It is the blueprint upon which one bases the plans, equipment and furnishings to give a logical flow system.
TYPES OF MENUS
There are two types of menus: the set meal or table d'hote and the a la carte menu.
The meal or table d'hote (the hosts table) menu consists of a main meal, which can be breakfast, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner or supper. The menu is made up of several courses or items and sells at a set price.
The a la carte menu consists of some dishes or items each of which is priced separately. A la carte menus are much more common in hotels, resorts or restaurants. In a guesthouse or bed and breakfast, it is unusual to offer an a la carte breakfast.
The set price table d'hote menu usually offer a choice of dishes; for example, fruit juice or soup, a meat, poultry, fish dish, cold fare, and a sweet, cheese tray, or savoury. The choice is optional. The set menu for a function does not offer a choice, to allow for easier service, especially with large numbers. However, the menu must be planned to appeal to all present.
Another way to structure a menu is to add and price a choice of supplementary dishes to a set meal. Some establishments may include an additional charge for bread, side dishes or condiments.
The menu is an important marketing medium. Menu planning is one of the most skilled tasks that confront caterers. Even the most knowledgeable often find it a challenge to their creative powers. A menu must be properly balanced, it must read well, and it must be practical. One must also price a menu, and this is a critical task. There are serious financial implications to how much the food costs the caterer, and how much it will cost the consumer.
Bearing this in mind, compose the menu to the following considerations:
- The foods available, the weather, the time and season
- The type of business, customer tastes and the number to be catered for
- The balance of dishes, their colour, taste and avoidance of repetition
- The deployment, occupancy and availability of equipment, and skill in the kitchen.
- The sequence planning so one can correctly serve the meal and organise service. The menu must be production planned.
- The selection and portioning of foods and the costing of dishes to the budgeted ratio of profit.
Other factors that should be considered, depending upon the type of operation, the target market, and economic viability are:
- Nutritional value of the food
- Selection of wines to go with the foods
- Language of the menu.
Menus should be seasonal and topical. A heavy meal will not be acceptable during a heat wave, and people are unlikely to appreciate a selection of cold dishes in the depths of winter. Also, traditions often sets certain expectations of the menu, for instance, at Christmas, during Hannukah or Thanksgiving, when some guests might want traditional fare. Different religions and culture of the world tend to associate certain foods with certain festivals or celebrations, and the menu planner should consider whether to meet traditional expectations, at least as one menu option, or not.
Another factor to be aware of is customer perceptions, which are formed, to a large degree by customer expectations and past experience. While food fashions do change, it can be risky to be too innovative with a menu, or to try to educate the customers. On the other hand, as customers become more sophisticated and cosmopolitan in their tastes, some may be happy to try something different, such as unusual combinations of ingredients or much smaller than usual portions of food beautifully presented. Such decisions must be carefully considered.
The balancing of a menu is a matter for the caterer, and it demands his constant attention to providing variety within a menu while ensuring that all parts complement each other. Avoid poor balancing mistakes such as:
- Having a tomato dish (pasta with a tomato based sauce) following tomato soup.
- Offering something heavy such as bread immediately after something heavy such as a steak and kidney pie.
- Following cream of chicken soup with a chicken and rice dish, and finishing with a rice pudding.
It is possible to feature the same foods (eg. potatoes) more than once in a meal, if presented very differently each time; for example a potato and leek soup can be followed by a main meal that has fries. Variety is created also by using a variety of cooking methods, so that the menu does not heavy in fried, boiled, dry or moist foods. Aim for both balance and variety.
Give some thought to the serving of dishes at the table also. You may need to modify what is in the menu in order to minimise the fuss and time required to serve the food. For instance, a traditional Caesar salad is prepared at the table and requires several important steps; this may make it an unsuitable choice for the menu. Also, all dishes should be served with the correct garnishes and the appropriate choice of accompaniments. For example, serve tartar sauce and slices of lemon with fish. Mustards, sauces or gravies are often served with grilled or roast meats, and the time and cost of providing those accompaniments should be considered in menu planning.
Wine and Alcohol Lists
Research has shown that many consumers are ignorant of a wine label. Being afraid to display their ignorance, they often choose wines that are familiar with generic names. A good list will have a range that satisfies all needs, with some generic wines, and others for connoisseurs. There should be variety in the price range and type of wine available, as well, and a good wine list should include dry, medium and sweet, red, white, and sparkling wines. You may also offer Rose.
Consider offering drinks to complement the menu or style of restaurant. A Greek restaurant may serve ‘Ouzo’; an Italian restaurant may ‘Lambrusco’ and a range of good red wines; a Mexican restaurant may feature drinks such as Margueritas and Tequila, while fruit cocktails may be appropriate for a tropical resort-style restaurant.
It is generally illegal to serve alcoholic drinks without a license. You must check out and comply with appropriate laws for the state or country you operate in. It is also useful to be able to offer low alcohol content drinks.
Always include some non-alcoholic drinks. There is an increasingly wide range of these available including juices, squashes, cider, non-alcoholic wine, mineral water, carbonated soft drinks, teas and coffees.
You learn lots more about all types of beverages through this course.
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