10 Reasons why your Hotel Needs a Great Restaurant

Hotel Executives spend many hours debating whether they even need a restaurant in their hotel.  Is the expense worth it? Here are my top ten reasons to support having great Food and Beverage venues:

1.         Charisma - It gives your hotel personality, is the face of your hotel, and brings life to your hotel.  It makes it more than just a square box with rooms!

2.         Revenue -  Food and Beverage can add substantial revenue to your operation. Many successful hotel restaurants produce more F&B revenue than Rooms revenue. I understand it is not as profitable, however, if you go into it with the right mindset, it can definitely deliver great results.

3.         Guest satisfaction - Your guests need, and want, to eat! Having a great option in-house that doesn’t require an uber is more often than not what a guest wants. And if it is a great experience, it will result in very happy customers.

4.         Guest Comfort and Security - Being in an environment where you know who the other guests are, i.e., travelers like themselves, makes guests feel at home and safe, especially in a strange city. They can relax in this safe and vibrant atmosphere while enjoying some good conversation and some peace and quiet after a hectic day!

5.         Free Marketing – Your restaurant should be newsworthy and social media worthy. Hopefully it is, and if not, make it so! Postings and photos should be uploaded daily. Having your name out there as a place where things are happening tells others that this is a hip and trendy place to stay!

6.         Engagement - It's a great way to connect with your customers. The service staff can engage and communicate with guests and make memories. In the [rare] case where something is going wrong, this gives you another opportunity to recover and make it right. The average guest spends less than 5 minutes at the front desk, while potentially hours in the restaurant!

7.         Return Guests - It's a great way to bring them back. When a guest feels connected, warm and welcome, it brings repeat business. So many of our guests travel for a living, and you can be their home away from home.

8.         Being a part of the local community – A great restaurant is a place to frequent, has a strong link to its community, and is a topic of discussion. Host meetings, special events, dinners and receptions, and welcome local patrons.

9.         Nostalgia – If you are like me, you grew up in a time when eating out at a hotel was special, let’s bring back those times!

10.      For us, F&B geeks! – It creates a fun, vibrant and happy place to work with all of the glitz and glamor; isn't this why we all got into the business in the first place?

So, don't be short-sighted and look only at the big picture. Understand that it is going to cost a little more, as a percentage of profit, but it still will bring in more revenue to the bottom line, in the rooms division, and in F&B.

Don't short change yourself; make sure that you do it right. Trying to cut expenses at every corner will not make a great restaurant. If you are going to do this, then don’t operate a restaurant at all!

Realize, however, that better guest satisfaction results in more guests. That results in more revenue, more occupied guest rooms, and all of that results in happy guests, happy owners, and happy staff!

Be proud, do it right, and the top line will take care of any bottom line issues.

Russ Blakeborough