Visas, F&B, services propel Saudi hotel expansion Featured Articles·26 April 2018
    Big change is coming to hotels in the two Holy Cities of Saudi Arabia, Makkah and Medina—including F&B, visas, pilgrim distribution channels and higher quality—but Western firms will remain largely bystanders at least in the short term. Saudi Arabia’s Holy Cities of Makkah and Medina are experiencing huge growth and expanding their offerings, but do not expect the door to open wide in regards to foreign direct investment, at least in the short term, sources said. Speaking during a session at the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference titled “Holy Cities,” panelists said both pilgrims and other guests are having their distinct needs catered to directly by hotels and new developments.

    OIC 2018: Top Strategies for F&B Innovation

    Oracle Hospitality Check-In·25 April 2018
    Innovation. Innovation. Innovation. It’s the buzz word for restaurant success, and with so many new technologies to embrace there are myriad ways to pursue it. But it’s crucial to understand what should be the true impetus behind it: Enhancing the guest experience.

    Whitbread to split Premier Inn, coffee operations Featured Articles·25 April 2018
    During a call with analysts to discuss the company’s full-year 2017-2018 earnings, which saw ADR increase 1.4%, Whitbread PLC executives outlined the 24-month process to split its Premier Inn/Hub by Premier Inn division from its Costa Coffee division.

    6 tips to turn servers into service stars

    National Restaurant Association (NRA)·25 April 2018
    Restaurateurs always look to enhance guests’ dining experiences and boost sales. Here, service expert Bob Brown, a speaker at our Restaurant Revenue Growth Conference, offers six tips on turning servers into service stars and increasing customer engagement.

    Three Things Operators Overlook When it Comes to Food Safety

    Modern Restaurant Management·25 April 2018
    Your equipment is like your technology. When it’s working, it’s good on both sides of the counter. But with equipment, the stakes are higher when malfunction occurs, leaving you to wonder if your food is safe to serve. It’s never worth the risk; if a disruption is suspected, the inventory must be dumped. That nearly happened to one Chick-fil-A operator in the Southeast, but good luck put him at his restaurant when one of his refrigerators began to fail; he noticed the glitch before the food went bad. Would you be that lucky? Here, the top three things to consider when it comes to refrigeration and food spoilage: How Cold Is It? Always have a number. You can track refrigeration in different ways, including using sensors that are easy to attach, but trusting your instincts or going by “feel” are big mistakes. As a general rule, refrigerator temperatures should be under 40 degrees or lower.

    Using Wine to Show How Much Customers Care About Industry Jargon

    Hotel Mogel Consulting Limited ·25 April 2018
    A problem arises when we attempt to sell to these neophytes by using jargon that they may not fully comprehend. The response to the question, "What's that wine like?" will often elicit the server or sommelier to blab about that particular label having a good structure, being medium-bodied or some hybrid of those two descriptors. But do guests know what the terms 'body' and 'structure' mean? More importantly, do they even care?In short, body defines the weight of a particular wine - how full you feel after consuming a healthy dose. On the other hand, structure is used to elaborate upon the overall quality and intricate union of all the assorted chemicals that encompass a certain wine. For instance, you might hear of a specific vintage being called out for being 'well-balanced' or having 'a good structure for aging'.While both of these terms are great to know for general knowledge and for your servers to build rapport with those patrons who already have a vinicultural acumen, the best course is to always keep it simple. When you introduce complex terminology that the listener has to think about in order to process, you are in fact promoting this recipient to use more of his or her logical brain instead of allowing the emotional nerve centers to spark.As any good salesperson will tell you, people buy based on the latter, no matter how much they back-rationalize their decisions. Hence, instead of deploying a cerebral lexicon while describing a wine, if you want the sale it would be better to use modifiers that evoke the senses, which in turn help to bring about an emotional reaction.All too often, a server or sommelier will attempt to sell a specific vintage by throwing in phrases containing heady words like body, structure, tannins or astringency, and you can see the patron's eyes glaze over. The results of not speaking the customer's language in this regard can range from not taking the bait in trying the more expensive suggestion to not purchasing any alcohol whatsoever.A good way to avoid this problem and to thus help boost revenues is to reeducate your team to steer clear of technical terms off the top and to memorize some adjectives that elicit the senses of taste, smell, sight and touch. Below is a short list to get you started. And for reference, touch in the context of beverages is used to denote texture or 'mouth feel' as well as how the wine sits in one's stomach, and this sense is what's most often associated with 'body'.Taste: fresh, sweet, mellow, rich, savory, subtle, bold, smooth, creamy, buttery, oaky, tangy, juicy, jammy, citrusy, lemony, peachy, zesty, acidic, tart, earthy, spicy, nutty, peppery, chocolaty, bitter, smoky and hopefully not skunkySmell: fragrant, aromatic, flowery, fruity, plummy, herbal, leafy and woodsySight: light, pale, bright, golden, green, amber, dark, violet, cherry red, ruby, brown, thick and cloudyTouch: vibrant, lively, playful, delicate, intense, light, silky, velvety, leathery, chalky, dry, heavy, hearty, dense, viscous, oily, complex and bubbly, of course, if you are discussing any type of sparkling wineObviously, there is some overlap for many of these words insofar as what sense they can be used for, but the overall point should be clear. Words that provoke a visceral response may help you far more than launching into a diatribe about the various constituents of a grape blend and how each minor component helps to lend more body or add structure to the wine.Sometimes people don't care about our enthusiasm for wine's numerous intricacies and the story behind what makes a particular bottle noteworthy; sometimes they just want a quick glass that fits their moods. Read the room and don't complicate the sales process unless invited to do so, or you end up with less than you bargained for.

    Calgary Marriott Downtown unveils mobile dining

    Hotel Management·24 April 2018
    Calgary (Alberta) Marriott Downtown Hotel is bringing mobile dining to its Marriott Mobile app, taking the guest experience at the recently renovated hotel in downtown Calgary to a whole new level. Calgary Marriott Downtown is the first redesigned Marriott in Canada and is one of only two hotels in the country to pioneer this new technology. As a part of the beta pilot program, hotel guests can use mobile dining on the Marriott Mobile app to browse the hotel’s Fresh Bites menu and place their order for in-room delivery, all at their fingertips.

    Food&HotelAsia to double down with bold expansion in 2020

    UBM Singapore ·24 April 2018
    The most comprehensive international food and hospitality biennial trade event in the region, Food&HotelAsia (FHA) will return in 2020 as two dedicated shows - FHA-HoReCa in early March andFHA-Food & Beverage starting late March.The two shows aim to provide an enhanced experience and personalised engagement, while meeting the diverse demands of the food and hospitality industry. The expansion of the respective shows will also help exhibitors maximise their presence at the shows, and engage in more targeted and robust interactions.With 40 years of experience, FHA has amassed recognition worldwide for setting industry benchmarks for being the leading authority and trendsetter for the food and hospitality markets in Asia and beyond. First started in a car park in 1978, FHA moved to occupy one hall of World Trade Centre in the 1980s, to eventually six halls in 1992. The show relocated to Singapore Expo in 2000 and by 2014, it was the first trade event in Singapore to fully occupy all 10 halls of Singapore's largest purpose-built exhibition venue.Over the years, FHA evolved to address the changing palate of consumers with the introduction of specialty offerings such as Bakery&Pastry, SpecialityCoffee&Tea and ProWine Asia. The upcoming 2018 edition will surpass past records, boasting its largest ever showing with 3,500 exhibitors from 76 countries/regions, including 71 international pavilions. 78,000 trade attendees from over 100 countries/regions are expected to turn up."The food and hospitality industry in Asia Pacific is expected to continue its rapid growth trajectory and FHA has long been the business platform driving the industry. In order to address the fast-paced changes, and support the industry as it continues to grow, we believe that the expansion is not only timely but a crucial one, enabling us to both better anticipate and deliver the desired results for the food and hospitality industry through two dedicated shows." said Mr. Rodolphe Lameyse, Project Director, Food & Hospitality, UBM."The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) seeks to anchor and grow business events that deliver rich content, draw visitors, and establish Singapore as a premier MICE hub anchored on thought leadership and business opportunities. FHA has evolved to meet changing industry needs over the years and now cemented its reputation as Asia's marketplace for innovation in the food and hospitality industries. We are heartened by this new development and will continue to work with UBM to support the overall sustainability of both shows," saidMr. Andrew Phua, Director, Exhibitions & Conferences, STB.World Stage for Food and Hospitality InnovationIn the next iteration of FHA, the show will aim to address some of the most significant changes the industry has faced - the widespread penetration of technology that has driven innovations at industry level while impacting how consumers consume today; and the evolution in tastes - driven both by greater affluence and a move to healthier eating.As the industry's choice platform for unparalleled sourcing and business networking, FHA has focused its resources to provide an enhanced offering to raise the level of fulfilment at the shows. While the shows will have two distinct identities and differentiated offerings, they will share a unified goal of enabling businesses. The move to two dedicated shows will also offer both exhibitors and visitors more opportunities to engage as well as access to tools and knowledge for innovation.The Stage for Hospitality ExcellenceFHA-HoReCa is a highly focused platform which gathers global stakeholders from the food service industry to showcase new to market innovations hotel, hospitality technology and style, and share best practices.Discover the Taste for TomorrowTo address the more discerning and health-conscious consumer, FHA-Food & Beverage will bring together the best of food ingredients, drinks and fresh produces among others in a focused way to encourage connections and facilitate trade in Asia and beyond.

    The Holy Grail of Retention: Five Steps to Building New Young Leaders in Your Restaurant

    Modern Restaurant Management·24 April 2018
    Restaurant managers are noticing a problem that has been growing over the past few years, in not just their own, but every industry: there is a big leadership gap. Many are asking themselves, “How are we supposed to find those people who have sufficient technical skill to be in charge of a restaurant, but are also suited for leadership?” There are a lot of people who are committed to their work, but are reluctant to take on supervisory roles. This is the Holy Grail of retention: identifying and building new leaders. It’s not just retaining the best technically skilled talent. Rather, it is retaining those with the best technical ability who are also willing and able to take on leadership responsibilities and helping them step into those roles successfully. How many people have both the specialized skills and the desire and ability to lead?

    A hyper-local culinary experience in 21 Loews Hotels·24 April 2018
    From South Beach to San Francisco, Flavor by Loews Hotels has now launched in 21 destinations across the Loews Hotels portfolio, partnering with local eateries and culinary artisans that inspire the individual hotels’ culinary point of view and offerings. Unique purveyors from renowned smokehouses, independent distilleries and mom-and-pop farms bring the culinary scene of each city to the menus of Loews’ restaurants and bars, enabling guests to experience a taste of the destination without ever having to step off the property. Loews Hotels is one of the first hotel brands to embrace local partnerships on a national scale, satisfying guests’ desires to immerse themselves in the gastronomic landscape of each destination.

    Outside the Box: Why Restaurants Need to Rethink Delivery

    Modern Restaurant Management·23 April 2018
    As a restaurant owner myself, I entered the world of delivery hopeful that we would see significant incremental sales and profits through the channel pushed open by millions--now billions--of dollars in marketing from GrubHub, UberEats, DoorDash and others. I was hopeful that this would be the case, because that’s what I was told in the countless emails I received promoting the various delivery services. And then reality struck. 30 percent? You want 30 percent? Why? Do you know anything at all about the restaurant business? Do you have any idea how thin our margins are? (These loud thoughts banged around inside my head as I reviewed the thick contract sent by the first provider I chose.) The sales rep patiently explained to me, as I’m sure she does to countless restaurateurs around the country, that that’s what it costs for the service to recruit new customers and also to recruit drivers. If I didn’t want to pay it, no problem.

    Oxford School of Hospitality Management students gain unrivalled access to internationally renowned chefs and food writers

    Oxford Brookes ·23 April 2018
    The School works in partnership with The Oxford Cultural Collective, a cultural institute that stages the food-related events at this international festival, which this year ran from 17th to 25th March. Students attended events, hosted VIP guests, staged fringe events on-campus and provided general voluntary support. They are given unrivalled access to internationally renowned chefs, food writers, journalists and broadcasters.Speaking after the festival, American food historian Dr Jessica B Harris commented: "As one who has watched the growth of Brookes presence at the Festival over the years, I can unequivocally state that this year was extraordinary. I was particularly impressed by the opportunities the Festival gave to Brookes students."At this year's festival, students' learning experiences involved the following acclaimed contributors:Chefs - Angela Hartnett, Fergus Henderson OBE, Margot Henderson, Jeremy Lee, Jose Pizarro, Sabrina Ghayour and Jeremiah Tower.Writers and broadcasters - Sheila Dillon, Dr Jessica B Harris, Diana Henry, Sky McAlpine and Bee Wilson.For Marc Millon, Patron of the Oxford Cultural Collective and successful food, wine and travel writer, there was one event in particular that stood out in terms of its education value: a lunch prepared by legendary US chef Jeremiah Tower. "Without exception, the students were excited and inspired by the occasion. This was far more than just the chance to taste extraordinary food: above all, in recounting stories of his time at Chez Panisse with partner Alice Waters, and the creation of his iconic Stars Restaurant, Jeremiah gave the students a rare and inspirational insight into how, with passion, drive and self-belief, iconic hospitality venues can be created that are able to gain world attention and renown. It was a truly inspirational learning occasion; one that I am certain will live long in the memory of the students who attended."

    MRM In Conversation: Storytelling as Restaurant Marketing Vision

    Modern Restaurant Management·23 April 2018
    MRM In Conversation delves into challenges restaurateurs face by offering problem-solving case studies. In this edition, we talk with PR pro Karen Schloss Diaz about the importance of storytelling in restaurant promotion. Send any suggestions for MRM In Conversation to Barbara Castiglia at Karen Schloss Diaz Schloss Diaz and her husband/partner,

    When transitioning to mobile, don't forget about F&B·Requires Registration ·21 April 2018
    There was a time when great service at a restaurant meant a friendly smile, an attentive—but not too attentive—server, and hot, well-prepared food. These days, good service still means all of those things, but it can be augmented with technology. Guests can sit down at a table in a restaurant or in an F&B area, order on a tablet and pay for their meal that way, too—even splitting the bill between several different cards if they want. Technology has made the guest-facing aspect of serving food easier—so why haven’t more restaurants and hotels moved toward doing the same back-of-house?

    Underemployment: The Hidden Underbelly (Infographic)

    Modern Restaurant Management·20 April 2018
    Snag� released its annual State of the Hourly Worker Report, shining light on a record number of employed Americans not making a living wage. Findings reveal 38 percent of workers earning $20 or less an hour consider themselves underemployed and underemployment is most prevalent among restaurant employees over any other industry. (The report defines the underemployed as those who are currently employed hourly or rely on gig work as their primary source of� income,� but still need

    Breakfast Cereals Now An Indulgent Dessert

    Hotel Mogel Consulting Limited ·20 April 2018
    Specifically, with the mounting evidence that excessive eating of grains - particularly those that are highly processed - can lead to obesity and a myriad of other related diseases, the consumption of these mainstays may be on the verge of a dramatic decline. While current statistics may not reveal any precipitous drop in cereal consumption, the eating habits of millennials and iGens support the fact that what was once a foundation of the morning meal has evolved into an evening or nighttime snack.For background, the words 'grain' and 'cereal' are quite generic, encompassing everything from the low glycemic and in vogue crops of quinoa, bulgur and amaranth to all manner of wheat, rice and maize products. Particularly for our purposes, 'cereal' in this case refers to what you would encounter in the similarly named aisle of the grocery store - all the versicolor branded cardboard boxes targeting kids as well as the multigrain oats or muesli varieties.While the extreme version of this trend is the Paleo diet which abstains from all carbohydrates introduced during and after the agricultural revolution starting some twelve millennia ago, most of us will adapt our diets in smaller ways - not touching the perfunctory bread basket before dinner, switching from pasta to a salad bowl for lunch or moving away from cereals for breakfast. Focusing on this third example, there's an interesting fallout effect whereby these sugary morning foods are finding new life as an indulgent dessert.While the rolled oats, chia seed and bran products are still deemed healthy and a good source of fiber, most of the more conventional cereals containing more than a reasonable dollop of refined sugar are under intense scrutiny (as are almost all other foods with proven links to type 2 diabetes). As such, the consensus is shifting whereby they are no longer seen as part of a balanced breakfast. While this could indicate that this whole class of foods is destined for the scrapheap, formative chefs are instead playing upon their glucose-rich compositions to craft some very inventive sweets.Bringing this trend to your attention means that you can evolve your foodservice operations in two potential directions. Firstly, knowing that the demand for these heavily 'frosted' cereals is waning, introducing healthier options for the breakfast buffet and for the a la carte menu will increase meal satisfaction which in turn will reflect positively on your hotel. Important to remember here is that just as these processed breakfast foods are starting to decline in popularity, the rates of gluten intolerance and celiac disease are on the high, meaning that you are all but required to reengineer your menu to accommodate guests with these hypersensitivities.On the other hand, though, this movement towards indulgency gives you the chance to have some fun! The word 'crunch' is often proscribed to these foods and that textural quality of dry cereals works delightfully well when mixed into a smoother, chewier dessert, helping you put a new spin on just about any sweet your pastry chefs choose to create. As a hotelier, you must also consider yourself to be a culinary leader of sorts, and this trend is yet another opportunity for you to differentiate your restaurants and give any visitor something exciting or novel to try.Before you dive into the challenge of developing a slate of indulgent desserts that incorporate breakfast cereals, I'd end with two examples from various trendsetters for inspiration. Foremost is the trademarked Cereal Milk from Momofuku's Milk Bar subsidiary. While wheat puff milkshakes have been popular in Cuban cuisine for awhile now (known as a 'Batido de Trigo' or, literally, wheat smoothie), this acclaimed New York-based restaurant empire takes the combination of a milk base with corn flake residue to the next level, using the branded sugar additive or some other form of it for soft serve ice cream, birthday cake truffles and shakes (also trademarked, this time as a Milkquake).Second is a small biscuit producer out of Chicago called Big Fat Cookie that, as but one confectionary iteration, infuses cereals like Cinnamon Toast Crunch into their chocolate chip cookies. While I am not a native to Chicago and have only encountered these dessert wizards through my travels to the Windy City, I dare you to peruse the company's Instagram and not start drooling. A broad takeaway from going the 'crazy' route that Big Fat Cookie has taken is that your culinary creations will generate good buzz to in turn propel your hotel's reputation.No doubt there are others from around the world as I have kept these in a largely North American context. Ultimately, this trend serves as yet another possible way for you to distinguish your dessert selection. Challenge your team to reinvent what offers as your customers will reward such innovation with their wallets!

    FLSA Amendments: Congress Extends Tip Sharing to Back of the House Employees

    Modern Restaurant Management·20 April 2018
    On March 23, 2018, Congress amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to remove the prohibition on tip pooling, subject to certain circumstances. Under the FLSA, an employer is permitted to pay a reduced hourly wage to tipped employees, provided the employees receive enough tips to bring hourly wages to the federal minimum wage. Employers may claim credit for tips the employees have received both directly and as a distribution from a tip pool.

    7 Steps to Effective Restaurant Manager Meetings

    The Restaurant Expert·19 April 2018
    Do you have restaurant manager meetings? I’m not talking about the passing-in-the-hall quick conversations, but actual sit-down meetings where you focus on moving the business forward? If you are having sit-down meetings, are they effective?

    Restaurateurs, Congress talk policy on Capitol Hill

    National Restaurant Association (NRA)·19 April 2018
    Restaurateurs from across America arrived in the nation’s capital to attend our 32nd annual Public Affairs Conference this week. More than 400 restaurateurs, representing large and small businesses, came to Washington, D.C., April 17 to 18, to meet their Senators and Representatives and discuss important policy issues affecting the industry. The goal: inform federal lawmakers how the decisions made on Capitol Hill impact their local communities and restaurants back home.

    Concept Testing: Does Menu Pricing Matter?

    Modern Restaurant Management·19 April 2018
    Whether to include the price in early stage concept testing is an important question. Some people argue that price needs to be presented, so that people can make an informed decision. Others say that price can’t accurately be known at the time of early stage concept testing, and that putting a “fake” price on the concept could result in misleading feedback. To find out what the effect might be, we ran a test, using concepts for potential menu items for a globally prominent quick service restaurant (QSR).

    Do Loyalty Programs Really Create Loyalty?

    Shepard Presentations, LLC. ·19 April 2018
    "Structured marketing strategies." Now, that's an interesting way of putting it. Anything you do to get a customer to start to do business with you - and gets them to return - could fall under the concept of a marketing strategy. I'm good with that. But, when it comes to a loyalty program, that is going to drive repeat business, there are three types. One is a discount or perks program. Another is a relationship program. The third is a membership program.A discount or perks program is exactly what it sounds like. When you buy five sandwiches at a restaurant and you get the sixth one free. Or when the airlines give you a free trip or upgrade to first class based on how many miles you've accumulated. These programs may drive repeat business, but don't always create loyalty. If you took the benefits away, would the customer continue to do business with you? The danger here is...Sometimes customers are loyal to your loyalty program and not your business.But, then there are other loyalty programs that offer you something quite different than what can be deemed a financial incentive to do business with them.Nike is a great example of a relationship program. When you sign up for Nike's program, it's about content and connection, not discounts. If you are buying running shoes and have identified yourself as a marathon runner, Nike may send you news and videos related to exactly that. You won't receive content related to basketball. They personalize your Nike experience. Their content educates you, lets you know what new products are coming out and more. They know you, they know what you like, and they make you feel connected. Currently, Nike has over 100 million members in their "loyalty program."The third type of program is a membership program, which can also drive repeat business and loyalty. Amazon's Prime program is the perfect example. I love this program, and I've written about it before. You pay for being a member, and once you do, you get access to perks and amenities, such as Prime video content and more. However, your perks don't get better based on how much you buy. Everyone is treated the same. You are simply part of a membership program that doubles as a loyalty program. After all, if you paid good money to be part of the program you'll probably want to take advantage of all it has to offer.Is one type of loyalty program better than the other? I like any loyalty program as long as you recognize what you're trying to achieve. To me, one of the best perks you can offer any customer is an amazing customer experience that makes them want to come back. Combine that with your "official" loyalty program and the discount and perks are "the icing on the cake."

    F&B: Which Is More Profitable - Outsourcing or In-House?

    HVS ·18 April 2018
    Hotel Food and Beverage (F&B) operations increased in revenue value by 4.9% during 2017, according to a report from STR. This is clear evidence that F&B is still an important revenue stream, second to accommodation income, but it is profitable only if companies optimize the way they operate the division.Outsourcing is a popular way to take the problem off a company's plate, but is it necessarily the best option for their hotel and bottom line? At HVS, we believe that profit should not be the primary motive and that the main reason for having food and beverage facilities in a hotel is to enhance the Rooms Division revenue. This enables the hotel to offer dining facilities for guests, while the restaurant benefits from access to a continuous stream of potential diners.With demand expected to remain strong enough to deliver growth of 5% in 2018, it is clear that maintaining the F&B function is still a viable strategy for most hotels. The question is: How do hotels maximize their profits from F&B while simultaneously ensuring they provide quality service to complement their other offerings?F&B Delivers 25% of RevenueFood and beverage typically represents around one quarter of a hotel's total revenue. Measuring profitability can be challenging and is such an integral part of a hotel's operations that isolating its contribution to the annual results can be difficult. A 2016 analysis by CBRE Hotel's Americas Research of the financial performance of F&B showed banqueting food services delivered 36.5% of the total F&B revenue, followed by 21.1% from other food venues in the hotels and 11.9% from beverage venues.To keep up this level of turnover, many hotel chains are re-engineering their food services to showcase flexible lobby and outdoor spaces that encourage social interaction. Locally sourced offerings are in high demand; thanks in part to the environmental movement and socio-economic factors. Adopting this trend helps hotels compete against local restaurants, which are also trying to own the "planet-friendly" space. Hotels, meanwhile, are placing extra emphasis on upscale, casual dining to attract a wider range of guests and provide a quality overall dining experience.In Favor of In-House ServicesMany hotel operators learned a steep lesson in the past by outsourcing food services to high-profile chefs and restaurateurs. It was a great idea for a while, but a five-star environment where guests have high expectations and anticipate an Iron Chef popping out from the kitchen was doomed to failure in most parts of the world.When it comes down to brass tacks, the reasons most hoteliers give for outsourcing their food and beverage services are that they simply do not have the skills in-house to manage them, and that hotel guests mostly do not dine in their hotels (although breakfast dining trends have been shown to invalidate this claim).Many hotel owners, managers and operators have realized that by pursuing an in-house solution instead of abdicating their F&B responsibilities to third parties, they can simultaneously address the current need for differentiation, create exciting options for their guests, and preserve F&B outlets as profit centers in their hotels.BenefitsThe benefits of keeping F&B in-house are numerous. You get to keep creative control of the offering for both in-house guests and destination diners. You retain the ability to add to your revenue and profit streams, and your hotel is empowered to provide career opportunities for the members of your Food and Beverage teams. A hotel that has a management or culinary team and infrastructure in place to support the development of an in-house restaurant and/or bar concept can only be a good thing. RisksNaturally, there are inherent risks in attempting to manage such a specialized service. It can also be challenging for a team to market a hotel restaurant as a destination for non-hotel guests. To do so, you will have to set aside the budget to build and maintain the facilities, employ trained and experienced staff, deliver exemplary food and service, and promote the venue. This can be a tall order for any team more experienced in offering room accommodations than food services, and it can potentially result in the operation becoming a low-profit-margin business.Making the In-House Model WorkOne company that has successfully developed an in-house model is UK-based Ennismore, which is currently expanding The Hoxton from a single hotel to a multi-property organization in the US and Europe. With an open-house concept and lobby, The Hoxton has never been just about room accommodations. Several spaces are available for meetings, parties, private dining and the hotel's own events, and restaurants and bars serve coffee, food and cocktails from morning until late evening. They work with local chefs and operators to craft menus containing dishes unique to their market, along with some comfort food classics. The idea is that hotel guests come to immerse themselves in local culture, while locals come anytime.Outsourcing to a Third PartyThe hotel industry has historically outsourced multiple functions to food service operators, security companies, parking operators, landscapers, concierge services, laundry providers and sound/audiovisual professionals. They do this to keep up with the changing labor market demands, manage increasingly high benefit costs and better meet the needs of their guests. Options for outsourcing in 2018 are even broader, as vendor companies begin specializing in certain niches and offering improved efficiencies for lower costs.Primary Success FactorsKey issues when you are considering outsourcing an F&B function are finding a reputable service provider who understands the market and audience, ensuring there is no reduction in quality or control, and balancing the efficiencies gained by outsourcing with the desire to build the expertise and talent on your team.Another important matter is choosing the type of arrangement to conclude with the food service operator. This could take the form of a lease agreement, a management contract, a consulting arrangement or a licensing agreement (or any combination of these). Issues driving this decision could include the term of the arrangement, the services to be provided and the fee structure. A lease agreement works best, for example, when a hotel has several restaurant facilities and plans to outsource only the specialty restaurant with its own kitchen and storage areas.The decision to outsource F&B should never be based on "getting rid of a problem" and should rather be aimed at providing more accountability to the service delivery standards. This approach will enhance the opportunities for both guests and management.BenefitsThe benefits of outsourcing include some obvious advantages, such as the fact that service providers are subject matter experts in their field. Outsourcing gives your hotel the opportunity to:Earn a reliable revenue stream from rent, whether the contractor's company is profitable or not. Even if the rental agreement is tied to turnover, such agreements usually leave "wiggle room" for both parties to ensure it is a viable deal during a slower economy.Keep your staffing consistent, without having to adjust it to meet market demands for F&B.Avoid having to implement cost-cutting measures that impact the overall operation of the hotel.Enjoy the ability to offer hotel guests a reliable food and beverage service, regardless of any labor issues affecting your company.Deliver a heightened focus on excellent food services, which is difficult to match when F&B is a peripheral service for your team.Display the dedicated expertise and resources to meet the challenges of the environment, which an established third-party F&B provider has.Leverage economies of scale in purchasing, assuming the contractor's operation includes more than just your hotel's F&B services.The overall advantage of all these factors is a seamless experience for the guest that complements the efforts of the hotel.RisksThe primary risk facing hotel management from a third-party F&B outsourcing agreement is the loss of control over their service offering. This is often not limited to operational jurisdiction, but applies equally to creative control over the concepts, the promotions, the marketing, the special offers and the effects on profitability of all these facets of the business.Taking an Innovative ApproachThe hotel industry offers many examples of outsourcing, such as the NYC-based Al Fiori restaurant at Manhattan's Langham Place hotel. The high-end French-Italian venue operates under different ownership than the adjoining Bar Fiori, so working together is paramount to offer guests a seamless dining experience. The restaurant also collaborates with hotel staff and external parties like Uber to develop opportunities for diners both on and off-site, which increases revenue and ultimately enhances profitability. This innovative approach to an outsourcing arrangement illustrates how lateral thinking can positively impact the results.Choosing a ModelAs is so often the case with options, each scenario for managing your F&B operations has its pros and cons. While it is obvious that financial benefit is a vital aspect of the decision, hotel owners also need to determine which route fits in best with their own investment time frame. If a lender is involved in hotel ownership, they should be consulted to avoid any after-the-fact complications from their direction.Both outsourcing and development of a new internal concept are important projects that require a lot more attention and focus than going along with the traditional hotel dining room premise. The returns are likely to be more beneficial as well.

    Are Chefs becoming more fickle? - Hospitality Talk Episode 5

    Chocolate Pillow | By Matt Shiells-Jones·18 April 2018
    So, here I tackle a claim from some restaurateurs that chefs are getting more fickle about their working life and actually attending for interviews etc – well, maybe if the employer considered there marketing channels and working environment, the ‘problem’ wouldn’t exist!

    Airbnb believes healthy travel and tourism is the antidote to what ails us

    Tnooz·18 April 2018
    Airbnb has laid out an updated series of public policies for the home-sharing service intended to tackle the challenges of the modern world through the promotion of healthy travel and tourism. The company’s head of global policy and public affairs, Chris Lehane shared a 158-card deep deck which accompanied the policy call where Airbnb identified three global challenges facing us (climate, automation, and conflict).

    Food experiences platform Eatwith partners with five Chinese travel providers

    PhocusWire·18 April 2018
    Travelers that use any of China’s five largest online travel sites now have direct access to book food experiences offered by Eatwith in cities around the globe. Eatwith has listings from 25,000 local hosts in more than 130 countries that provide culinary experiences such as a meals in their homes, food tours and cooking classes. The experiences are now bookable on Ctrip, Qyer, Tongcheng, Meituan-Dianping and Mafengwo.

    Hotels saved $7 for every $1 invested in reducing food waste·18 April 2018
    For every $1 hotels invested in programmes to reduce kitchen food waste, on average they saved $7 in operating costs. In a first-of-its-kind analysis for the industry, The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste: Hotels evaluated the financial cost and benefit data for 42 sites – including Sofitel, MGM and more – across 15 countries, finding that nearly every site realized a positive return on its investment to reduce food waste. Within just one year, the hotels had reduced food waste from their kitchens by 21 per cent on average, and over 70 percent had recouped their investment. Within two years, 95 per cent had recouped their investment.


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