Bar Theft - The Reality - It happens…     I know that it is something that we do not like to talk about. There are statistics quoted that say that 1 out of every 8 bartenders or cocktail servers is taking money from you, and while I choose not to believe that statistic, it does make you think about it.     I always chose to [and still do] believe in the goodness of people and like to trust all the staff that worked for me; I also believe in putting systems in place to prevent the accidental incident from becoming the norm. I heard this from someone that had been caught with the hand in the cookie jar:  “The first time it happened was purely by accident, and then a couple of weeks later, I realized that no one had noticed or said anything. Then I thought, maybe I can have another accident. It then became weekly, and eventually, it was part of my income.  I couldn’t stop; it became a habit.”         How can we avoid this happening in our bar or restaurant?         Several ways come to mind. Firstly, creating, if you do not have already, detailed Beverage System Standards. This is where such things as open check audits, nightly/weekly inventory, sales comparisons, etc., as well as many other checks and balances, are put into place, signed off on, and verified.     Secondly, I highly recommend an outside resource to monitor, such as:  ·         Glimpse - Video Auditing where real people match customer interactions with cash register transactions. This is highly effective at reducing theft and abuse, and is quite affordable.  www.focus-fb.com/glimpse      ·         Cash Integrity Audits -monthly audits designed to match actual cash purchases to cash collection. Mercantile Systems, Inc. is one of the best that I can personally vouch for. They are also very reasonably priced and can rotate around your different cash venues. Email me for the contact/discount information at:  info@focus-fb.com .        Trust and verify. That is always how I have worked. You can trust your team because you verify that systems are in place. You and your team need to be aware of how this happens and how you can prevent it. Preventing any “accidental” opportunities is key for both sides.     For help creating Beverage System Standards or more information on the third-party resources, contact Russ Blakeborough, Owner/Senior Consultant at Focus F&B at: russ.blakeborough@focus-fb.com                                 

I know that it is something that we do not like to talk about. There are statistics quoted that say that 1 out of every 8 bartenders or cocktail servers is taking money from you, and while I choose not to believe that statistic, it does make you think about it.


      The Top Five Ways to Increase F&B Profitability.       The key to more profit is more revenue.  If you’re not increasing revenues, it is very hard to increase profit without negatively affecting what you do.  Of course, there are always things that you can do to be more efficient and improve on the cost line, but in the big picture, increasing revenue is really where it’s at!  Here are the top ways to increase revenues: 1. Improve product 2. Increase pricing 3. Find new revenue sources 4. Maximize your seating 5.  Strategically Improve efficiency during peak times  1. Improving Product - Look realistically and evaluate all aspects of your restaurant.  Review and ask why people would go to your restaurant?  Is it something that you would do?  How can we be more attractive, memorable, and give the guests what they want? Look at quality, service, and atmosphere.  What is it that makes you stand out?  2. Compare Your Pricing to Area Restaurants - Conduct a review of what people are charging in the area for same or similar items.  Evaluate based on your popular items and slower selling items.  Don’t always use the food cost percentage alone; you should be looking at what you can sell a dish for and what people are expecting to pay.  Don’t leave money on the table. It should, of course, be a good value, but don’t charge $32 for something that people will be quite happy to pay $35 for.  At the same time, you could just as easily be over-priced in some areas turning off future customers.    3. New Revenue Sources -   There are many new sources to be evaluated.  In these busy times, the modern couple/family is looking for food they can take home and eat or take home and cook.  Many folks like to pre-order and eat at the bar.  “Uber Eats” is getting bigger.  Everything is time sensitive these days, so really evaluate these areas to expand.  But, while you are looking, review and plan on how your restaurant is set to be able to integrate this new revenue stream.  Consider the timing necessary to prepare this new volume of business alongside customers that are seated at the restaurant.  4. Maximizing Your Seating - Realize that you can only serve as many people as you have seats for [obviously!].   Are there areas in the restaurant that you could expand:  How is your bar seating? What about your table sizes?  Do you have the right size tables for the parties that you generally get? Are you able to seat people to the demand you have?  Is there a patio area that can be used? Be creative!  5. Peak-Time Efficiency -  There are three periods of the day which are your peak periods.  These will change by your operation and location, but usually something like 7:00AM – 9:00AM, 11:30AM - 1:30PM, 6:00 PM - 8:30PM.  If you run a wait during any of these periods you’re leaving money on the table. How can you affectively and quickly maximize your seating during these periods?  How is your staffing?  Is the kitchen staffed and prepared?  How about the number of servers, greeters? Are you able to get the food out as fast as required?  Look and evaluate all of these areas as you must maximize your peak periods in order to be successful.  These are just a few thoughts which may seem obvious, but if you take the time to sit and evaluate this with your team, I think you’ll find some quick, low-hanging fruit, and some longer-term solutions.     Russ Blakeborough, Managing Director, Focus F&B, has 30+ years of experience in this field and specializes in helping restaurants increase quality and profitability. Put his experience to work for you today. Contact him at  www.focus-fb.com .   

The key to more profit is more revenue.  If you’re not increasing revenues, it is very hard to increase profit without negatively affecting what you do.  Of course, there are always things that you can do to be more efficient and improve on the cost line, but in the big picture, increasing revenue is really where it’s at!

Here are the top ways to increase revenues:
1. Improve product
2. Increase pricing
3. Find new revenue sources
4. Maximize your seating
5.  Strategically Improve efficiency during peak times

1. Improving Product - Look realistically and evaluate all aspects of your restaurant.  Review and ask why people would go to your restaurant?  Is it something that you would do?  How can we be more attractive, memorable, and give the guests what they want? Look at quality, service, and atmosphere.  What is it that makes you stand out?
 

      Is your reputation declining?      Quality + Service = Reputation: Reputation = Revenues: Revenues + Systems = Profit.  With this in mind, restaurant service coaching is vitally important in taking your restaurant to the next level. Not only do the staff need to bring the correct food to the table promptly, but they need to represent your brand in doing this. They are your ambassadors, and this should not be taken lightly.  Creating a culture of service is a very difficult thing to get started, but once it gets established, it is much easier to keep it rolling. How do we do this, you may ask?    
  
  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
  
  
  
  
  
    As a restaurant service coach, I see that many restaurants do not have a real culture established. The first step is to decide what your service style should be and how you want it to be carried out.  This should be done by the team, perhaps in a team meeting, led by the Owner/Manager and coach, if possible. Once formulated, a serious in-depth training session needs to be scheduled.  In the first session, we define the culture: What is hospitality? Why do we do what we do? What does it mean to us?  On the second day, we tackle service skills: the steps involved and product knowledge with hands-on practice sessions.  We will fine-tune their knowledge of service, food, beverage, talking points, key brand words, and points of difference. This allows the team to actually try it out, get comfortable, and realize that it is not so hard. On the last day, celebrate the completion and set a date in the next day or two to begin putting skills into practice. Have each of your team get certified. Give out some awards, have a glass of bubbly, get excited, and celebrate. After all, this is all about future revenue growth, increased profit, and the general success of the restaurant that we are talking about.  The final and key piece is the follow-up. Now that you have invested a decent amount of money and time in this new culture that will set you apart from the rest, you must ensure it will be sustained. The only way for this to change from a simple training session to a coaching and culture “creation”, is through the leadership team on the floor upholding the standards and living them daily. This should be a separate coaching session with management and supervisors where we run through all the tools needed to make this happen. Over a period of months, this new service culture will become a way of life, if you make it so. It will not happen just because you did training; it will happen if you are passionate and, as a leadership team, you really  get after it !  Choose a restaurant coach that can commit to the long-term results and be vested in your success. Monthly, or regular, follow-up visits from your coach can also be a big help. This allows for regular re-checks, training of new staff, redirection, and giving feedback to the leadership team.  Author, Russ Blakeborough, is the Owner of Focus F&B.  He is a seasoned restaurant consultant and service coach. More information at www.focus-fb.com   

Quality + Service = Reputation: Reputation = Revenues: Revenues + Systems = Profit.

With this in mind, restaurant service coaching is vitally important in taking your restaurant to the next level. Not only do the staff need to bring the correct food to the table promptly, but they need to represent your brand in doing this. They are your ambassadors, and this should not be taken lightly.

Creating a culture of service is a very difficult thing to get started, but once it gets established, it is much easier to keep it rolling. How do we do this, you may ask?

      The Art of Tasting     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
                Creating a Flavor Symphony   Whether eating, cooking, or creating a cocktail, the art of learning how to methodically taste all the elements of a dish can be something that lasts a lifetime and can be used daily.  Try following this outline taught to me by a renowned Hungarian Chef.  Let me explain.  First, you must learn how to interpret what you are tasting and then you can enhance and perfect the taste.  This same procedure can be used when creating a dish or a cocktail to make sure that it is well-balanced, full-bodied, and has flair.   Think about it as an artist would create a painting: The background of the picture is the depth or the base of dish, the middle ground is the storyline, or flavor accents, and around the edge (and sprinkled throughout) are the highlights.  The highlights give style and personality to the dish while dancing around and giving  sizzle  to the finished piece.  Then lastly, think about tying this all together as an exciting work of art.   This is really what the art of being able to taste is about: The ability to analyze each dish as you finalize it prior to service!  Sounds easy, right?    So, let's start with the depths of the dish that is created by the base flavor.  This can be tasted at the back of the mouth as a feeling of fullness.  As you think about, and taste, the actual base flavor of the dish, consider the following:  is it full enough, is it totally there by itself without any accents, or is it flat? This can be the type of stock you use when making soup. It can be the base drink when creating a cocktail.  However, before you deal with the accents and highlights, you must have a full base; otherwise the resulting blend will be flat (like making soup with water versus stock.)  To add substance to your base, try reducing the stock to make it stronger or add in bouillon.  Do not skip this step.  While it is true, you can add bouillon at the end, you are wasting your time, sorting out accent flavors if your base is flat to begin with.  Once you are satisfied that your base is there and the background of your picture is solid and full, then you can start to work on the rest.   Now, we are ready to play with accents.  These are usually tasted more in the center of the tongue. Some of these accents are introduced in earlier stages, such as onion, garlic, mustard, base-herbs, mushrooms, ginger, or leeks, perhaps. Now is the time to evaluate these, and add to them, making sure that you have a full flavor balance of these lighter hints. This middle tongue area can be one of the tougher levels. It is usually relatively easy to taste the base and the fullness, but creating that personality in the middle, can be more elusive.  Time for pizzazz!   This comes at the front and outer edges of the tongue.  Does it have life and excitement, or is it just a solid, flat flavor? Depending on your dish, this can be as simple as few drops of something acidic, sharp, spicy, tart, or other herbal “highlight” flavors.  Combine them at a level where they don't detract from the base painting, but will add life and excitement to what could be otherwise be a great (but slightly plain) dish.   Lastly, I cannot stress the importance of salt enough.   Salt brings out the true flavors in any dish and should not result in “salty” food.   Just add a little bit at a time until the taste potential is at its fullest. Salt it is the central and final part of any dish.  Bringing the salt level to its peak will marry all those different flavors in perfect unison--a symphony of flavors.  You can, and should, have your own flavor style.  Do it your way, but follow this roadmap, and you will create perfection every time!  Author, Chef Russ Blakeborough, is a Managing Director of Focus - F&B. Visit us at  www.focus-fb.com  for more information.   

Creating a Flavor Symphony

Whether eating, cooking, or creating a cocktail, the art of learning how to methodically taste all the elements of a dish can be something that lasts a lifetime and can be used daily.  Try following this outline taught to me by a renowned Hungarian Chef.

Let me explain.  First, you must learn how to interpret what you are tasting and then you can enhance and perfect the taste.  This same procedure can be used when creating a dish or a cocktail to make sure that it is well-balanced, full-bodied, and has flair.


Think about it as an artist would create a painting: The background of the picture is the depth or the base of dish, the middle ground is the storyline, or flavor accents, and around the edge (and sprinkled throughout) are the highlights.  The highlights give style and personality to the dish while dancing around and giving sizzle to the finished piece.  Then lastly, think about tying this all together as an exciting work of art.

      Why Boutique Hotels should have a Great restaurant     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Your hotel can be super cool, well-decorated, in a great location, and have lots of interesting amenities, but it will always come down to the personality and charm of your food and beverage operations that will develop loyal and passionate followers.     Let’s look at what a boutique hotel is, who stays there, and why?  A boutique hotel is typically smaller--under 200 rooms.  It is often in an urban environment, although not always [there are many wonderful boutique resorts], with each hotel having individual personality, including chic, eclectic, and interesting décor and features that make the experience different.  The service tends to be individualized and more connected, where small differentiators and points of service make it stand out.     Why are people drawn to vibrant, current, and attractive food and beverage options?  It is this atmosphere of fashion-forward design and interesting décor in “happening” locations where both business and pleasure travelers are pushing the trend, and we are seeing many migrate to this style of hotel.  For some it is the “see and be seen” type of atmosphere. For others, it is simply the enjoyment of a unique and different experience where each hotel has its own personality.  This does go- against-the-grain when compared to the consistency and dependability of the big brands hotels, so for a boutique hotel, it is vital that the experience be memorable.  The property has to offer unique experiences, even surprises, that make each visit distinguish itself from the competition.  This is where your restaurants and bars come in; it is a natural fit.                                                        Why is food and beverage so important?    There are many reasons, but let’s start with the obvious:  First, each meal should be an important part of any stay and not just “eating”, but “dining”: eating is a necessary function whereas dining is experiential and should be an enjoyable and memorable experience.  This encounter can be touted, shared, and photographed, or simply just enjoyed as a relaxing moment with the family.     Secondly, let’s talk about guest engagement. An average visit to the front desk is under 5 minutes.  The average time spent in a restaurant engaging with your staff can be an hour or more several times per day. The average person spends 32,098 hours of their life eating so there is no better way to get to know your guests and retain their loyalty than in this kind of environment.     Lastly, money talks and great food and beverage will attract more dollars to your property.  In this day and age, successful restaurant revenue can overtake the rooms revenue!  The down side is that it is much less profitable than guest room revenue, and I think that’s why owners and operators have shied away from it. Therefore, over the past 20 years, hotel restaurants have gotten a bad rap.  Due to operators not wanting to do things properly and simply save money, I hear comments like: “ Why do we need a restaurant? It is sucking the profit out of our hotel?  Or others have said,  “If we have to have one, let’s just do the minimum and not lose too much money .”  This is just short-sighted; full service hotels are now realizing that F&B is an important factor and is slowly becoming a focus once again.  Without a great restaurant, your hotel is basically a limited service hotel with guest rooms just like many others.     So the answer is to understand the math, and just watch how quickly the additional revenue will flow to the bottom line.  Of course, it is important to make money and be profitable.  Anyone that expects that a restaurant will produce the same profit as a guestroom will never be content.  Understanding what to expect is important.  Your food and beverage profit should be anywhere from 20 to 40% of sales, and yes, while this a lot less than the rooms side, which can be 75-90%, it is to be expected and a lot more than you would get in the bank! It will, in fact, generate considerably more revenues and more profit.  Consider the additional F&B revenue that you're bringing in, as well as, the increase in rooms occupancy which in turn allows you to demand an increased rate as a result of the your reputation.  If you're doing it correctly, this is marketing that you can't buy and a win-win for everyone!     Here are a few examples of hotels that do it right, from TravelandLeisure.com:  Inn at Little Washington; Washington, VA  “You might come to this  24-room hotel , an hour from Charlottesville, for the English-country-home bliss, or the Virginia wine-country scenery. But really, most people come here to eat, thanks to the inn’s founder, James Beard Award-winner Patrick O’Connell. You can be a gourmand groupie and do kitchen tours at the inn, venture out to explore wineries and farmers markets, or use one of the complimentary bicycles to preemptively burn calories. Service is top-notch, with three housekeeping visits for your room each day”  Chanler at Cliff Walk; Newport RI  “Like many other winning boutique  hotels , this 20-room property on Newport’s Cliff Walk started out as a home—the summer digs for a Gilded-Age-era congressman. Today, each room in the small hotel has a distinct décor personality, like English Tudor, gothic, or French provincial. Besides its high score for rooms, it also ranked well for refined service; the property offers a welcome glass of sparkling wine and an on-site butler who can pack a picnic lunch or draw an aromatherapy bath. Readers were intent to eat here as much as possible: its Spiced Pear Restaurant—with its butter-poached lobster and the rest of its New England Tasting Menu—earned the hotel a near-perfect score in the dining category”.  Farmhouse Inn; Forestville, CA  “This  Russian River Valley hotel  wooed readers with more than great wine. Granted, the hotel has it own winery, which pairs nicely with the Michelin-starred, locally-sourced restaurant; you can also enjoy a glass by the hotel’s s’mores pit, stocked with house-made marshmallows and Valrhona chocolate. Even the bath products are thoughtful: you can help yourself to the Sonoma Bath Bar, featuring a rotating selection of bath salts, scrubs, and bars of handmade olive oil soap; or stretch out at the high-scoring spa, whose treatments use cider apples and honey harvested on-site”.     As mentioned, a great restaurant will bring any hotel an improved reputation and word of mouth, which increases hotel occupancy and give you the ability to demand higher rates.       How do I go about getting my restaurant to this level?  Creating a new, or refreshed concept, can be easier than you think.  Here are a few quick notes:     First, take a moment and walk through your restaurant narrowing down the choices. This gives you a better understanding of what you need, want, and can afford when considering a refresh of your space.  Ideally, hire a concept consultant; it may not cost as much as you imagine!   Decide whether to Refresh, Rebrand, or Redesign.     A  Refresh  is the least expensive option.  Like doing your own makeover-grab a friend, a glass of wine, and try some new ideas.  A new hair-do, stylish outfit, and  Bam , you are in business!  Sometimes, this is all that you need: a new menu, gather the staff, do some training and encouraging, have some one-on-one time with your manager, and appoint a social media champion.  Then you are off to the races! Like new shoes and a new suit, it will transform how a person is perceived and can give your restaurant a new identity.  A refresh can keep your current recognized look and feel, but bring new life to your floundering concept.     A  Rebrand  will take you to a new level.  This is where you re-think who you are, what your message is, and how are you presenting yourself. In other words, change your brand.  Of course, it will require everything from the first paragraph: new menus and new vigor, plus a new vision, more extensive training, a defined marketing plan, new brand elements, and brand voice.  It usually requires a new logo, menu and style, a new color scheme, new table-top, different music, and maybe a light décor shift.  This does not have to be expensive, can be done on many different levels, and can be done to fit budgets all while giving your restaurant a great new, vibrant and exciting look and feel!     A  Redesign  encompasses all of the above with the additional step of bringing in a design team who will work with us in harmony to redesign the space to fit our concept.  Other items to consider: lighting, layout, ambiance, visual components, color schemes, and flooring.  Re-invent your space.  What are you looking for: quiet and demure? stylish and elegant? or hip and trendy?  Should you take down that wall and open up the space, open the bar to the restaurant, create an outside entrance, establish a less cavernous feel when not full by creating smaller sections, or bring life to the ceilings. Whatever your dreams are, this is the time to re-imagine. As Walt Disney once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it!”     In conclusion, take stock of where you are, and where you could be.  When you do the math, It really is a no-brainer.   The R.O.I can be seen in less than 6 months, and will continue for years to come.     Please let me know at Focus - F&B, if you are thinking about a Refresh of your Food and Beverage Operations, I can assist and lead you through what could be a stressful time!      

Your hotel can be super cool, well-decorated, in a great location, and have lots of interesting amenities, but it will always come down to the personality and charm of your food and beverage operations that will develop loyal and passionate followers.

 

Let’s look at what a boutique hotel is, who stays there, and why?  A boutique hotel is typically smaller--under 200 rooms.  It is often in an urban environment, although not always [there are many wonderful boutique resorts], with each hotel having individual personality, including chic, eclectic, and interesting décor and features that make the experience different.  The service tends to be individualized and more connected, where small differentiators and points of service make it stand out.

 

 

      The Art of the Hand-Crafted Cocktail     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              How the Craft Cocktail Culture can increase revenues:  We hear a lot of craft cocktail questions. What are they exactly? What does that mean? Is it a fad that will go away? I actually see it becoming even bigger as more and more locations understand the impact they have on their overall operation. People got bored with the old stand-by cocktails like a Cosmopolitan, Lemon Drop, or Margarita. These drinks generally have lots of vodka, are sweet and colorful with fancy names, but light on flavor! Educated and adventurous guests are seeking out more depth and refinement in their glass.     Bars that are passionate about real crafted cocktails can show a dramatic increase in traffic, both in food and beverage areas. Having a strong Craft Cocktail Culture demonstrates your passion for the authentic and for flavor. It shows to the world that you take your business seriously. This is how restaurants develop a solid reputation; people do talk and will recommend your establishment based on the level of skill and sophistication. Generally speaking, this will attract more traffic to the bar, which will in turn, bring more traffic to the restaurant. Reputation and word of mouth is so easy to achieve if you do it right and are really passionate about doing food and beverage right.      In addition to increased traffic visiting your establishment, revenues and profit can be affected by selling craft cocktails. Premium cocktails demand premium prices and generate some of the best profit in the bar - often doubling or tripling beer and wine profit. People who appreciate a great hand-crafted cocktail will not usually be averse to paying the price. Craft cocktails carry more sophistication, more depth of flavor, and authentic tastes.     The art of hand crafting has actually been around for years, and in its simplest forms date back to pre-prohibition days when that was how all cocktails were made. Now, however, we are seeing a resurgence in demand as our customers look for something new and creative with a bold flavor palette!     Now we see our best bartenders being transformed into the “Mixologist” role. A sorcerer of kinds, mixing potions and creating works of art. They are almost  Chef -like as they create a blend of flavors, balancing fresh, real ingredients with delicate accents and hints of character that ultimately bring the drink together as an exquisite work of art. I actually, very recently heard of a bar area being referred to as our “liquid kitchen”. A fun example that talks to the skills and art involved in cocktail creation.     So, what are crafted cocktails? Think  fresh ingredients : herbs, farm-fresh natural fruits and hand-squeezed juices, premium [sometimes small batch] liquors, homemade bitters of varying flavor, muddled ingredients, and most importantly local ingredients that talk to, and tie in, the flavors of the area. Other important ingredients would be large square or spherical ice cubes, so as to not dilute the drink [and it looks cool], to unusual and bespoke glassware that is distinct and makes a statement itself - all adding to the mystique. The ingredients don’t always have to be exotic, however, they do need to be of the highest quality.     The most important ingredient, a Cocktail Artist [read bartender], that has the passion and the “want” to create, invent, and concoct that magical cocktail. They should be center stage, performing their craft with style and flare!     In our next article, we will review and evaluate the art of taste. How to picture the flavor in your mind, build-on its depth, and improve your cocktail, or food dish, until a harmonious blend of flavors is achieved, and  Voila,  perfection!     Russ Blakeborough, Managing Director, Focus – F&B, Global Food and Beverage Consulting. www.focus-fb.com   

We hear a lot of craft cocktail questions. What are they exactly? What does that mean? Is it a fad that will go away? I actually see it becoming even bigger as more and more locations understand the impact they have on their overall operation. People got bored with the old stand-by cocktails like a Cosmopolitan, Lemon Drop, or Margarita. These drinks generally have lots of vodka, are sweet and colorful with fancy names, but light on flavor! Educated and adventurous guests are seeking out more depth and refinement in their glass.

 

Bars that are passionate about real crafted cocktails can show a dramatic increase in traffic, both in food and beverage areas. Having a strong Craft Cocktail Culture demonstrates your passion for the authentic and for flavor. It shows to the world that you take your business seriously. This is how restaurants develop a solid reputation; people do talk and will recommend your establishment based on the level of skill and sophistication. Generally speaking, this will attract more traffic to the bar, which will in turn, bring more traffic to the restaurant. 

What to demand from a property audit

What to demand from a property audit

Three results you should demand

 

Some hotels and restaurants spend thousands of dollars every year on property evaluations. Some are required by the brand, the ownership, or other third party. Some are better than others, and many bring little to no value to the property. You are paying a lot for these visits - you should expect more from them.

 

What are you getting for you money?  Passing you audit is often the only real goal.  What should you really expect from a good property audit? A lot of money is invested in you and your establishment, and a lot is expected. What would be the outcome if you could increase revenues by 3%? If you can save 5% on the bottom line? If you can increase the level of satisfaction, you can double those numbers. How would that effect your life, your ownership, your staff, and most importantly, guests?

 

 

You should expect to find out answers to these 3 questions:

 

      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  www.Focus-FB.com

10 reasons why you want to have a great restaurant in your great hotel!

 

Many folks spend many hours discussing the virtues of having a great restaurant in your hotel. Here are my top ten reasons to support having great Food and Beverage venues:

 

 

1.         Charisma - It gives your hotel personality, it is the face of your hotel, and is 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.