Library Archives

 
Brian Mitchell

Any perusal of the literature will show how increasingly important Food & Beverage has become to overall hotel operations. Its influence reaches across marketing, finance, staffing priorities, guest satisfaction results, and overall positioning of a property. Yet for all its acknowledged significance the F&B function can easily fly under the radar when it comes to performance scrutiny. This series of articles examines the underlying mindsets and principles that ultimately determine F&B success - factors that won't be picked up in year on year performance measures, or even comparisons against other restaurant operations. It's entirely feasible for an F&B department to tick all the financial boxes, yet grossly underperform when measured against actual revenue opportunities available and ignored. The six articles, concluding with the accompanying one, provide a litmus test for management in evaluating the latent strength of an F&B operation. READ MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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 MORE

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Coming up in May 2020...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Creative Innovation

Being eco-friendly is no longer a fad. It is an urgent planetary need and hotels are actively doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint by implementing sustainable, green practices. In addition to the goodwill derived from doing the right thing, hotels are also realizing the benefits to their business. A large percentage of Millennials expect hotels to be eco-friendly and will only patronize those properties that are proudly conforming. Consequently, more hotels are realizing that sustainability is a key element in a successful branding strategy. In addition, going green can lead to a more profitable bottom line, as savings on electricity, water and cleaning materials can add up. Also, there are other advantages that come with being an eco-friendly business, such as government subsidies and tax and loan incentives. As a result, many hotels are finding innovative ways to integrate eco-friendly practices into their business. Geo-thermal energy systems, along with energy-from-waste systems, are being used to heat and cool the property. Passive solar panels, green roofs, natural lighting and natural ventilation strategies also assist in energy conservation. Low-flow water systems and plumbing fixtures make a contribution, as does eco-friendly hardwood flooring, and energy efficient televisions and appliances throughout the property. In addition, some hotels have implemented in-room recycling programs, and only provide all-natural, personal care items. One hotel has actually constructed a bee-keeping operation on their grounds. Not only is this good for the bees but the hotel also produces products from the operation which they sell. This kind of creative innovation also holds enormous appeal to guests. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.