hotel consulting

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.

 

 

      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!

 

 

      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