restaurant reviews

      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.

 

 

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:

 

      What happened to Sunday Brunch?     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Why has Sunday brunch disappeared in many of our great hotels and resorts?  The answer must be the profitability. Too often we are focused on trying to make sure that each event that we do contributes and is a profit center for the hotel while we should be looking at the big picture of what the food and beverage venues bring to the hotel.  F&B should be the face (the personality) of the hotel: one that makes each visit a memorable one, not a dull and uninspired meal where the guests eat out of necessity!  Dining out in your restaurant should be an experience, not a necessity. If we have pride and excitement about what we do, this will reflect on their experience and will result in having busy, lively, and memorable places for our guests to eat, drink, and be merry!  Sunday Brunch is just one of the things that we can do to show off what we can do, both to hotel guests and local clientele alike; brunch should be something that will be talked about, photographed, and tweeted about. You cannot buy that kind of publicity. It does not always have to be about profit! In the long term, building reputations like this will help your restaurant and hotel traffic. Having creative and exciting food and beverage options will make your hotel more than just a collection of rooms!  We need to, of course, be financially responsible, and we can't lose money on these types of events.  However, this can be great PR for the restaurant and hotel.  For many of us, this is why we got into this business, and we should not forget that passion.  So don’t be afraid to show what you can do. Go for it. Let’s put an end to dull, boring and lifeless restaurants!   We can and should do better.....    

Why has Sunday brunch disappeared in many of our great hotels and resorts?

The answer must be the profitability. Too often we are focused on trying to make sure that each event that we do contributes and is a profit center for the hotel while we should be looking at the big picture of what the food and beverage venues bring to the hotel.

F&B should be the face (the personality) of the hotel: one that makes each visit a memorable one, not a dull and uninspired meal where the guests eat out of necessity!  Dining out in your restaurant should be an experience, not a necessity. If we have pride and excitement about what we do, this will reflect on their experience and will result in having busy, lively, and memorable places for our guests to eat, drink, and be merry!

      It's all about the Sizzle!     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Why do patrons go back to restaurants? Why do they recommend to their friends and post on social media? What does it really take to make a restaurant great? Sometimes it can be the food, often the service, and usually the atmosphere. More often than not, it is a combination of all of the above, sprinkled with a little extra  SIZZLE !   Sizzle  is what helps a restaurant stand apart from others and be successful! Let’s try to define  Sizzle . If you review the trendy and popular restaurants, you will find that they all have something in common - that little special something, magic, or  Sizzle,  that makes all the difference.  Take the art world, for example. You can look at a painting, one that has lots of good qualities, is accurately painted, has a great background, has good color, depth, and even nice highlights, but it can be missing that magic that makes it pop! It can even be missing some of those qualities. But, if it has the  Sizzle,  it can make up for some shortcomings because it has something that sets it apart from the crowd.  Think about your restaurant this way: the menu, the food quality, the service culture, the atmosphere, the cocktails and when you put them all together, how does it feel? Is there any magic or S izzle?  What would be most memorable about a guest’s experience? Why would you go back there, and what would you tell your friends? Take a poll, look on Yelp, Open Table, and other social media, and review what people are saying - read between the lines. Is it good, great, or amazing? Good is not enough. In this day-and-age where there are restaurants on every corner and you could try a new one each day, why would you go a second time? You need to give your customers a reason to come back. What is yours?  My advice would be to then create your own  Sizzle   team - a hand-picked team tasked with reviewing and evaluating your operation and creating that special  Sizzle ! It might consist of managers, servers, cooks, regular guests, owners or anyone that has a vested interest. However, it must be comprised of individuals who will have honest input and, hopefully, creative ideas, so that you can create a new vision for the Brand that is your restaurant. It might be lighting, music, curb appeal, pricing, menus, or any of the myriad of things that make the difference. Evaluate everything.  You may not get it the first time, but keep tweaking until you find the special magic, and one day, it will just happen!  Russ Blakeborough, Managing Director at Focus - F&B is available to evaluate your operation and assist in creating the  Sizzle  for your venue. Visit  www.focus-fb.com  for more information

Why do patrons go back to restaurants? Why do they recommend to their friends and post on social media? What does it really take to make a restaurant great? Sometimes it can be the food, often the service, and usually the atmosphere. More often than not, it is a combination of all of the above, sprinkled with a little extra SIZZLE!

Sizzle is what helps a restaurant stand apart from others and be successful! Let’s try to define Sizzle. If you review the trendy and popular restaurants, you will find that they all have something in common - that little special something, magic, or Sizzle, that makes all the difference.

Take the art world, for example. You can look at a painting, one that has lots of good qualities, is accurately painted, has a great background, has good color, depth, and even nice highlights, but it can be missing that magic that makes it pop! It can even be missing some of those qualities. But, if it has the Sizzle, it can make up for some shortcomings because it has something that sets it apart from the crowd.

      Just give a little love!  | A Message to Hotel GM’s     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        How to get the most out of your food and beverage team.  As a consultant, I work with many hotels, different brands, different management companies, franchised and managed properties. Generally speaking, all of the property teams do a great job and have a great staff who care, want to be successful, and do the best they can for the hotel and for the guest. One simple thing that can be done in many hotels is to increase the level of support, encouragement, and attention given to the F&B team. Just a little love can go a long way!     The success of the hotel F&B division can be strongly influenced and affected by the attention they receive from their hotel general manager, executive committee, and corporate teams. By attention, I mean not talking about why the payroll is so high, the guest service scores low, or food cost out of control. I am talking about asking: “how can I help?”, “what issues are you having?”, “thanks for taking care of our group last weekend” or “how is your daughter doing?”. Pick up a tray, chat with a guest or associate, stay involved - 15-30 minutes per shift can be all it takes.     Now I understand that if you ask these questions you may feel the need to get involved, and some can be intimidated by that.  However, ignoring the issues will not make them go away. Blissful ignorance is not sustainable. I have been there and get how it happens. It is OK that you may not know F&B and have all the answers. Being willing to try can make a huge difference and make the team feel that you care about what happens and that you want to help support their efforts. They want and need, to see that you care about what they do, understand how hard it is, and that you're as passionate as they are about the quality, service, taste, and cleanliness.     Profit, food cost, labor cost, and financial metrics are, of course, important, but remember the  Main Thing:  the reason we are all here is the guest. First, get that down, focus on providing the team all that is needed to be able to serve great meals, awesome drinks and memorable service. Simultaneously, you can work on fiscally responsible systems that ensure that margins are controlled, the staff is productive, and the food is not wasted.  Focus on increasing the top-line, by providing a great product, and the bottom line takes care of itself. This is the case whether you are a first-class, industry-leading food and beverage facility, or a simpler restaurant where you just have to do the minimum to keep the brand or owner happy.     The success of your F&B team comes down to the positive direction and influence that you, as general manager, executive committee member, or corporate leader, gives to the team. By inspiring them to be greater and helping to take steps to get to the next level, you  will  always see increased scores and improved results. So, spend a little time walking talking, asking, and being excited about what is going on! This will go a long way with the team and you will see performance greatly enhanced.  Russ Blakeborough | Focus - F&B | Global Consulting for the F&B and Hotel industry.         

Just give a little love!  | A Message to Hotel GM’s

 

How to get the most out of your food and beverage team.

As a consultant, I work with many hotels, different brands, different management companies, franchised and managed properties. Generally speaking, all of the property teams do a great job and have a great staff who care, want to be successful, and do the best they can for the hotel and for the guest. One simple thing that can be done in many hotels is to increase the level of support, encouragement, and attention given to the F&B team. Just a little love can go a long way!

 

 

      The Bottom Line     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Five key places to look to make sure you keep what you have earned!   We all work hard to earn a dime these days. In the restaurant business, it can be very hard earned, and you want to keep all those dollars and put them in the bank. Here are the top five areas to be on the look-out for:     1.     Purchasing - look at your purchasing practices.  Contracts and procedures are key. Do you have a purchasing agreement? Do you get weekly price quotes? Who is ordering and who is receiving? How does the process work? Are we buying the best quality and getting the best yield? I continue to see issues in this area. It is the biggest issue that I see and should be a priority.     2.     Labor - normally the number one expense that you will have.  Don’t take it for granted. Who is scheduling your team, and based on what? Do you compare income to labor hours? Without cutting the quality of service and preparation, there are many ways to be more efficient.  Is everybody arriving at the same time and going home at the same time? Staying busy in slow times? Are people taking lunch breaks? Do the staff leave or hang around on the clock? Look at it from all angles. I can almost guarantee your savings in this area.     3.     Theft - I have always trusted my team, and trust is an important factor in creating a strong team. However, don’t let that be your reason not to protect your investments. Unfortunately, you can’t always trust everyone. Have systems in place to rule out opportunity.  If you leave the bank door open, you would be surprised who will take a tour!  Close the opportunities so that people are not tempted. Look at all departments and positions.     4.     Portion control – over-prepping and over-pouring. Know what your meal and drink sizes are and stick to them. Value for the money is important. Give what you think is the right size for what you are charging; just have systems in place to make sure that you do so.        5.     Your POS system - are items priced correctly? A guest has decided that they will pay the price that you advertise. So, charge them that….. Make sure that you check your pricing in the system periodically, at least every 6 months. I have seen a case where a glass of orange juice was priced at $.25 instead of $3.25 and remained that way for several years. Review all prices, bar, food, modifiers, and upcharges. On top of that make sure that everything given out is rung up, and rung up correctly!     If you need guidance in this review process, contact me at www.focus-fb.co

We all work hard to earn a dime these days. In the restaurant business, it can be very hard earned, and you want to keep all those dollars and put them in the bank. Here are the top five areas to be on the look-out for:

 

1.     Purchasing - look at your purchasing practices.  Contracts and procedures are key. Do you have a purchasing agreement? Do you get weekly price quotes? Who is ordering and who is receiving? How does the process work? Are we buying the best quality and getting the best yield? I continue to see issues in this area. It is the biggest issue that I see and should be a priority.

 

2.     Labor - normally the number one expense that you will have.  Don’t take it for granted. Who is scheduling your team, and based on what? Do you compare income to labor hours? Without cutting the quality of service and preparation, there are many ways to be more efficient.  Is everybody arriving at the same time and going home at the same time? Staying busy in slow times? Are people taking lunch breaks? Do the staff leave or hang around on the clock? Look at it from all angles. I can almost guarantee your savings in this area.

 

3.     Theft - I have always trusted my team, and trust is an important factor in creating a strong team. However, don’t let that be your reason not to protect your investments. Unfortunately, you can’t always trust everyone. Have systems in place to rule out opportunity.  If you leave the bank door open, you would be surprised who will take a tour!  Close the opportunities so that people are not tempted. Look at all departments and positions.

 

4.     Portion control – over-prepping and over-pouring. Know what your meal and drink sizes are and stick to them. Value for the money is important. Give what you think is the right size for what you are charging; just have systems in place to make sure that you do so.

If you need guidance in this review process, contact me

      Keep the Social Media Buzz - Buzzing!     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Managing your social media buzz can take 30 minutes to an hour a day, tops. While this may seem like a lot, many customers are making their choice based on what they see and read. Most people understand that you will not always be perfect, but will usually browse back a couple of pages worth of comments.  Chat with your team; seek and enlist someone that is passionate about this, and let them go at it. Use these tips, and you will see fruitful rewards!   POST PICS DAILY - AT DIFFERENT TIMES   You should do this no more than once a day but to all social media. It can be done in minutes. Mix it up with food, drinks, and restaurant atmosphere shots.   TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE DOING – WHY SHOULD I GO THERE?   Let the world know what is happening: specials, new menus, the patio, etc.   SOFT-SELLING ONLY   Talk about an offer once in a while, but you should not be seen as a used car salesman.  Be authentic.   TALK ABOUT YOUR TEAM   Do you have a new Chef, a rock-star server, a great mixologist? Use your team member’s name [if they ok it]. This will make it personal and get your team in the game.      ALWAYS RESPOND TO COMMENTS   Responses should be ideally as same-day as possible. Positives can be as simple as a “like” or a “thank you” or “our team will love to hear that!”  Be humble and thankful.   DON'T BE AFRAID TO ENGAGE - BACK & FORTH   Some chat back and forth is good just not too lengthy. Social media should be used to build and nurture relationships   DO NOT SHY AWAY FROM NEGATIVES - ALWAYS RESPOND SAME DAY   If you messed up, admit and demonstrate you have learned from it. Do not argue or be defensive. “Thanks for the feedback and we will take steps…..”  Responding with empathy to a guest’s comment shows that you care about hospitality.   DON’T BE TOO FORMAL OR DRY   Have fun with it; engage your audience. Just because you are part of a bigger company doesn’t mean you can’t have a personality!   POST PICS OF PEOPLE [WITH THEIR PERMISSION].   This makes it more authentic, fun, and connects with others.   GUEST DETAILS   Never give out personal details, and be sure to use private messaging when available.  For more details or assistance with marketing and social media success please contact via the contact page.

Keep the Social Media Buzz - Buzzing!

 

Managing your social media buzz can take 30 minutes to an hour a day, tops. While this may seem like a lot, many customers are making their choice based on what they see and read. Most people understand that you will not always be perfect, but will usually browse back a couple of pages worth of comments.

Chat with your team; seek and enlist someone that is passionate about this, and let them go at it. Use these tips, and you will see fruitful rewards!

POST PICS DAILY - AT DIFFERENT TIMES

You should do this no more than once a day but to all social media. It can be done in minutes. Mix it up with food, drinks, and restaurant atmosphere shots.

 

TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE DOING – WHY SHOULD I GO THERE?

Let the world know what is happening: specials, new menus, the patio, etc.

 

SOFT-SELLING ONLY

Talk about an offer once in a while, but you should not be seen as a used car salesman.

Be authentic.

 

TALK ABOUT YOUR TEAM

Do you have a new Chef, a rock-star server, a great mixologist? Use your team member’s name [if they ok it]. This will make it personal and get your team in the game.

 

ALWAYS RESPOND TO COMMENTS

Responses should be ideally as same-day as possible. Positives can be as simple as a “like” or a “thank you” or “our team will love to hear that!”

      Scores going down?     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


            Are your restaurant scores declining?      Revenues are going down, customer service feedback is going in the wrong direction, expenses are going up - and your boss is asking a lot of questions. How did we get here? Well, it happens easily, and happens to most of us at some point. We get caught up in the whirlwind of the daily business and fail to realize how a couple of small things start to grow into a larger problem.   More importantly, how do we go about the task of fixing it? Really making a difference and actually improving the operation? Let’s review.   ·             Identify  - Confirm that you really have an issue is step number one. List out all of your metrics to last year, sixth months ago, last month. What has changed? Is this a short-term blip that will auto-correct or is it more?   ·             Analyze  - Doing some type of analysis is the next step. I found it best to call in an independent contractor rather than someone from corporate office or someone that is too involved in the daily operation. Have a full review of the hotel conducted by an unbiased outsider, who will review the operation, look at what people are saying, and work with the team to figure out where the issues are. Working with the whole team will bring real answers and also make sure that they are more likely to be on-board in leading the improvement, once identified. All aspects of the operation should be evaluated: service, quality, speed, atmosphere, cleanliness, marketing, culinary operations, purchasing, systems and efficiencies. Any review should include the hotel leadership team dynamics; are they the right fit? How do they work together? Are there training opportunities or other needs? Review the concept: is it working, congruent, and current?  An experience report is very important as this drives customers and should be a big part of the report.  It also drives revenues and word-of-mouth marketing, which is so important in this age of social media. If the experience is not good or even just “OK”, then we're spinning our wheels on many fronts. So, this should be done with a keen eye for detail. However, focus on the big picture; don’t get caught up in the minutia. Of course, the small details need to be followed up on, but shouldn't be a distraction to the main event - the overall impression.   ·             Plan for Improvement-  Once the issues have been identified, a clear plan of action, which states the goals, the steps, who is responsible, and when, should be put into place. The team should work as a team and meet on a regular basis to drive the improvements home. Of course, outside resources may need to be used for training, direction, or guidance. That is where I can help you! Each aspect needs to be quantified, and agreed-upon by everyone involved.   ·             Follow-up -  Coming up with a plan is great, but if everybody goes back to work and gets lost in the daily grind, then it will all be for naught and you have wasted good money! But if you have a plan and follow up on it, it can make all the difference to your venue. Follow-up needs to be weekly, monthly, and quarterly, depending on the scope of the project. Know that someone will be checking on your progress. Along the way, milestones should be recognized and celebrated so that the team sees the value in the progress that they have made.  Don’t think for a moment that this is too much for the team. I guarantee you that everyone [ok, most!] on your staff wants to work in great location that they can be proud of!  For help with a comprehensive assessment and a detailed plan to get your organization moving in the right direction, contact me anytime…..   Author, Russ Blakeborough, has extensive hospitality leadership experience and is Managing Director/Senior Consultant at Focus – F&B    www.focus-fb.com    

Are your hotel scores declining?

 

Revenues are going down, customer service feedback is going in the wrong direction, expenses are going up - and your boss is asking a lot of questions. How did we get here? Well, it happens easily, and happens to most of us at some point. We get caught up in the whirlwind of the daily business and fail to realize how a couple of small things start to grow into a larger problem.

 

 More importantly, how do we go about the task of fixing it? Really making a difference and actually improving the operation? Let’s review.

 

·         Identify - Confirm that you really have an issue is step number one. List out all of your metrics to last year, sixth months ago, last month. What has changed? Is this a short-term blip that will auto-correct or is it more?

 

·         Analyze - Doing some type of analysis is the next step. I found it best to call in an independent contractor rather than someone from corporate office or someone that is too involved in the daily operation. Have a full review of the hotel conducted by an unbiased outsider, who will review the operation, look at what people are saying, and work with the team to figure out where the issues are. Working with the whole team will bring real answers and also make sure that they are more likely to be on-board in leading the improvement, once identified. All aspects of the operation should be evaluated: service, quality, speed, atmosphere, cleanliness, marketing, culinary operations, purchasing, systems and efficiencies. Any review should include the hotel leadership team dynamics; are they the right fit? How do they work together? Are there training opportunities or other needs? Review the concept: is it working, congruent, and current?

Don’t think for a moment that this is too much for the team. I guarantee you that everyone [ok, most!] on your staff wants to work in great location that they can be proud of!

For help with a comprehensive assessment and a detailed plan to get your organization moving in the right direction, contact me anytime…..

 

Author, Russ Blakeborough, has extensive hospitality leadership experience and is Managing Director/Senior Consultant at Focus – F&B    www.focus-fb.com