Library Archives

 
Jonathan Sullivan

What began as a trend in lager cities, the growing popularity of the craft beverage movement is taking the food and beverage industry by storm, increasing by 18 percent from 2012 to 2013. As defined by the Brewers Association, an American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional; has an annual production of six million barrels or less, no more than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or operated by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not a craft brewer and must brew beers using traditional ingredients, such as malt barley. Read on...

Brian Mitchell

Generation Y dominates the ranks of floor staff in hotel restaurants - an area renowned for problems in performance and turnover. This is often attributed to stereotypical characteristics - such as poor work ethic, no interest in the job, inability to remain focused, weak communication skills… Our research into Gen Y however has revealed a balance of contrasting positive values. The key to motivating them is to target aspects of the job that make best use of these attributes. The selling and service of wine is the perfect vehicle. When used in conjunction with the technique of "wine bites" it encourages professionalism and makes for valuable contributions to diner service and F&B profits Read on...

Larry Mogelonsky

The world of food is changing. People of all walks of life are starting to become more health-conscious and selective in their meal choices. As demand for healthy food options increases, it presents an opportunity for hotels to become F&B leaders in this area. One such area worth exploring is nutraceuticals - that is, supplements and functional foods that can be added to meals in order to enhance its nutrient content. Incorporating one or more of these augmented foods may be a more practical method of appealing to the wellness-minded crowd because it won't require a complete menu revamp. Read on...

S. Lakshmi Narasimhan

The Catering operation is thus a different kind of food and beverage operation. It takes the normally prevailing low price high volume characteristic of the typical food and beverage operation and turns it on its head. It thus becomes a high volume high price operation with enormous boosts to revenues and profitability owing to the numbers it manages to pull. The high contribution margin it enjoys thus makes it the venerable breadwinner for the food and beverage operation. Owners can laugh all the way to the bank for having the foresight in building a top notch offering of function rooms in the catering operation within their hotel premises. Read on...

Walker Lunn

Food sourcing is a fundamental to our industry as hoteliers, and food supply has developed to be a sophisticated machine subject to the influences of international politics, monetary policy, weather trends in local, international, and long-term climate change theaters, biotechnology, risk management, consumer perception and preference, and domestic and international regulations. How do transgenic foods fit into this symphony, and what does it mean for our industry? What is the impact if we require non-GMO foods, or if we accept GMO foods? Read on...

Adrian Kurre

There is much discussion surrounding new hotel openings, design enhancements, room upgrades, guest perks, etc., all of which contribute to the continual revolutionize of guest experience. The hospitality industry continues to evolve as new trends surface and hotels undergo continual changes not only to accommodate the changing needs and expectations of guests - but to set new standards in how we serve our customers. In this article, I will discuss the emergence of new trends, shift in consumer preferences, and opportunities for continuous innovation to drive results. Read on...

Brian Mitchell

The notion that diners go out with strict limits on their spending is a myth, but one that many floor staff implicitly accept. The cost of this is heavy. In reality there's a direct relationship between higher spend and happier diners. Diners want to have their choices informed, and they secretly want the pleasant dining experience to be an exceptional one. These desires are far more important than the moderately higher bill that accompanies them. The challenge is to ensure that all staff members recognize the many opportunities that exist to boost revenue and diner satisfaction simultaneously. Read on...

Werner Absenger

Color psychology is a relatively new field of scientific inquiry that aims to analyze the effects of color on human behavior. In this article, we will explore what color psychology is and how colors affect human behavior. Hint! Black might be a bad choice for wait staff, hosts and other hotel employees dealing with conflict resolution. People from various cultures have automatic (unconscious), negative emotions to the color black, such as evil, death, fear, anonymity, anger, sadness, remorse, mourning, unhappiness and mystery. Yes, there are positive emotions, as well. The article will weigh the pros and cons with personal anecdotes from my experience at The Amway Hotel Collection. Read on...

Larry Mogelonsky

As millennials blossom into a prevailing consumer group, it's vital that you understand their distinctive purchasing habits. Given that F&B is a central part of the overall hospitality experience, mastering this aspect of your operations and remolding it to cater to this demographic will play a large role in determining future occupancy and RevPAR figures. To this end, I interviewed Mike Whalen, the founder and CEO of Johnny's Italian Steakhouse, to extract five keys for hotel restaurants to better appeal to millennials. Read on...

Walker Lunn

In late May, people in 52 countries and 436 cities globally gathered in protest. Japan cancelled billions of dollars of purchases from the US. South Korea followed suit. The European Union may do the same. How is your hotel responding to this situation? Read on...

Emily Williams-Knight

Could 2013 be the farewell year to hotel room service? While the service may have been more glorified in generations past, hotels are now left considering their options: do they keep the service afloat and relevant for their customers or do they make they cut? The vice president of food and beverage for Omni Hotels & Resorts says that instead of doing away with the hotel service, it makes more sense to try and do it better. Read on...

Brian Mitchell

The role of sommelier is regularly misinterpreted, and far too often undervalued. This results in needless losses to establishments. More than just a wine expert, the sommelier is wine list tactician, professional salesperson, educator, and sales manager. The best of them move seamlessly between these roles - generating revenue, increasing profits, and building diner loyalty. They should be highly valued for what they bring to the business. When the sommelier's contribution is overlooked or taken for granted by management, you can be sure the bar is being set too low - with huge hidden costs to the establishment. Read on...

C. David Wolf

We all feel the driving force to buy local from community advocates and locavores. With food and beverage costs increasing dramatically over the past five years, we are searching for the perfect balance of sound economics and customer satisfaction for healthful, nutritious and flavorful foods. As we face this challenge, it makes sense to reach out to our local resources for products that serve these ongoing demands. Meeting these diverse expectations is like Olympic hurdling in a 400-meter race for achievement. Limitations of availability from supply and demand, invoicing and transportation are the keys factors. The future of our success weighs heavily on our supportive buy-in. Read on...

Skip Adams

Keeping hotel staff educated on the latest food and beverage offerings for guests is no easy task. Add in the high turnover rate in the service industry, and keeping new staff educated on an ongoing basis seems nearly impossible. At the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana, we work with staff collaboratively to ensure employees are not only educated, but also interested. By offering multiple opportunities to not just food and beverage staff, but to all staff across the hotel, we create a richer guest experience and the potential for employees to gain experience outside of their normal tasks. Read on...

Neal Cox

Do you feel frustrated by the need to constantly update your menus? Is it difficult to constantly be creative and provide fresh and new ideas for your customers? Do you think that your guests are happy with what you offer now and don't want to see changes? If you answered yes, then get ready for a wake-up call. As a Chef with 22 years of experience in the industry, I have seen and experienced numerous changes over the years and updating your menu is one of the most important elements to staying "new" and on the culinary radar. Your regular clientele want to see it and even more importantly, so do your potential clientele. Read on...

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Coming up in March 2020...

Human Resources: Confronting a Labor Shortage

With the unemployment rate at its lowest level in decades (3.7%), what has always been a perennial problem for human resource professionals - labor shortage - is now reaching acute levels of concern. It is getting harder to find and recruit qualified applicants. Even finding candidates with the skills to succeed in entry-level positions has become an issue. In addition, employee turnover rates remain extremely high in the hotel industry. As a result of these problems, hotel HR managers are having to rethink their recruitment strategies in order to hire the right talent for the right job. First, hotels have been forced to raise their wages and offer other appealing perks, as a way to attract qualified candidates. Secondly, HR managers are reassessing their interviewing techniques, focusing less on the answers they receive to questions and more on observable behavior. Part of this process includes role-playing during the interview, so that the recruiter can gauge how a candidate works through specific problems and interacts with other team members. Additionally, some HR managers are also creating internal talent pools as a way to address labor shortages. Instead of utilizing department resources to find new hires with specific skills for needed positions, hotels are cultivating talent pools internally and preparing their employees to assume leadership roles whenever the time comes. They are also placing greater emphasis on a company culture that is more performance-based, as a way to curb employee turnover, increase employee satisfaction, and assure higher levels of customer service. Finally, recognizing the importance of employee retention as a way to lessen the impact of a tight labor market, some HR managers are instituting generous reward programs in order to retain their top performers. The March Hotel Business Review will explore what some HR professionals are doing to address these and other issues in their departments.