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Functions of Management in the Food Service Industry

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There are four basic functions of management that all businesses must employ in order for a company to succeed. Those functions (planning, organizing, leading, and controlling) are utilized daily by members of management in the food service industry. Without the proper implementation of these four ingredients, the day-to-day operations suffer and loss of revenue will be the result. These functions do not guarantee the elimination of problems, but it does allow a successful start and the means to which a solution can be achieved to correct problems in order for the organization to remain effective and productive.

Functions of Management in the Food Service IndustryEvery organization and company, whether it is big or small, has developed its own management concepts so that it may operate smoothly while accomplishing the goals and objectives it has set forth. There are four fundamentals of management that allow the company to meet those goals: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling.

To better understand the functions of management, it is necessary to first define what management is: American Century Dictionary define management as “the art or act of managing; the conducting or supervising of something (as a business).” (1995) The proper management of a company is essential for the success of an organization. Without management, most organizations would falter and eventually fail. The food service industry utilizes the four functions of management in its daily operations. Let us take a closer look at these functions and how they relate to the food service industry.

PlanningAccording to Sanjay Rane, a writer for the Associated Content, planning is “the foundation upon which the other three should be built (2007). The planning phase requires management to evaluate where the company is currently at and where it is going in the future. In the food service industry, this phase is began each day with an evaluation of the team members regarding the particular skills that each has mastered and the areas for improvement. This also includes inventorying the store to make sure enough product is available to produce a quality product for the consumers.

Organization:We now enter the second phase of the functions of management with organization. Through this process, a company will determine the organizational structure and the allocation of resources needed to perform the required tasks. Organization ensures that the food service personnel is assigned tasks according to mastery of skills while keeping in mind the need to train other employees in those areas as well. Organization also ensures that all the necessary resources and products are dispersed in such a manner that allows ease of use and proximity to the location where such resource is needed to meet time frame demands.

LeadingWe now enter the third phase of the functions of management: leading. According to Sanjay Rane “through directing, management is able to can influence and oversee the behavior of the staff in achieving the companies goals” (2007). Leadership is often the strongest asset that the food service managers can possess. By motivating and encouraging the team members, managers can help meet the company goals and uphold its standards. Food service managers often find ways to reward team members for going above and beyond the standards that have been set through incentives. While demonstrating job knowledge and developing effective communication, managers can maintain a productive working atmosphere. Communication and problem solving are key ingredients to the success of the food service manager as a leader.

ControllingControlling is last, but definitely not the least, in the four functions of management. In the planning phase, standards were set along with goals and objectives. The controlling phase measures those goals and objectives against actual job performance to determine what corrective or preventive measures must be taken to uphold those policies. The food service managers must constantly and consistently check those standards to control food and paper cost along with labor control to ensure that the restaurant is operating at or below those costs to ensure profitability. Corrective action must be taken if those costs exceed the limits that have been set but standards of quality must not be sacrificed or customer retention will be lost. It is a careful balance of corrective action along with preventive action that dictates success or failure for the food service industry.

An argument can be made about which of the four functions is the most vital to the success of management. It is believed by the author of this paper that without the use and utilization of all four functions, a company or organization will be less effective then the company or organization the does so.


Urdang, Laurence (1995). American Century Dictionary. New York, NY: Oxford University PressRane, S. (2007). Associated Content. Retrieved from http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/373994/the_four_functions_of_management_foundation.html?cat=3

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