Library Archives

 
Andrew Freeman

Reality Bites. Let's face it, most hotel restaurants aren't typically destination hot spots and in fact, many are still decorated as "garden terraces" and have the sort of vibe that is most attractive to the drowsy breakfast crowd. Yet, hotel operators know they have a real opportunity to create restaurants with destination caliber cuisine that are both social centers and culinary experiences. These operators are bringing in experienced restaurateurs, consulting/rising star chefs, mixologists, as well as public relations and branding experts to help them develop clearly defined (and appealing) concepts, create enticing menus and identify innovative ways to build the buzz, covers and revenue. By making their hotel restaurants sexy, fun and delicious, these smart operators are creating hot spots that entice both locals and hotel guests alike. READ MORE

Joanna Harralson

Whenever a bar is generating healthy gross sales it is most likely racking up equally healthy profits, right? Not necessarily. Much to the dismay of owners and managers of bistros, bars, lounges, nightclubs and restaurants -anywhere drinks are prepared and served - profits are the result of good sales volume plus a multitude of factors which need to be created and nurtured on an ongoing basis. If profitability is the goal, then control and constant diligence must be major components of the oversight provided by owners and managers if their establishments are to remain 'out of the red' and send profits spiraling upwards. READ MORE

Joanna Harralson

As every hotel manager knows, a good buffet can be a tremendous marketing tool for promoting a hotel's banquet and catering services, as well as being a magnet to attract a constant crowd of discriminating guests willing to pay for great food, attentive service and pleasant, relaxed surroundings. But what defines a good buffet? And how does one realize healthy profits while avoiding huge losses, including those suffered through employee theft or carelessness? READ MORE

Joanna Harralson

Whether your property has a morning coffee n' croissant cart or a more extensive food & beverage take-out venue, are you certain that the correct safeguards are in place to protect your profits? Here are some questions that could uncover weaknesses that can result in your venue's bottom line being compromised. READ MORE

Robert Trainor

You don't have to be very old to remember a time in the hospitality industry when baptism by fire was considered a rite of passage for kitchen staff. There were no training sessions, no orientation periods, and you were probably lucky if the top chef actually told you where the salt was. Too often, hazing and public humiliation were the "training tools" of choice. Many chefs thought: "Hey, I went through it and came out just fine. Why shouldn't my staff?" Today, that environment is fast becoming extinct. Kitchen employees and many in the top corporate offices of the hospitality industry have all arrived at the same business-building conclusion: Satisfied, motivated employees are productive, loyal employees. Today's cooks are not only concerned with the cuisine and what they can expect to learn from the chef; they are also interested in paying off student loans, health insurance coverage, 401k plans and a balanced personal life. So how does an executive chef attract and keep good people? How can we inspire, educate and motivate our staff while keeping true to our main objective of creating a dining experience and operating a profitable business? READ MORE

Robert Trainor

For a long time, the hotel industry's interpretation of "vegetarian cuisine" was a sad selection of scantily seasoned grilled or steamed vegetables, or ethnic dishes denuded of their spices to make them more palatable to an American marketplace. Vegetarian cuisine was perceived as a time-consuming specialty that really had little place in the high-volume, bustling kitchens of a busy hotel industry. Changes in Americans' awareness of healthful cuisine, as well as the industry's movement toward spas in hotels, are creating a need for better-tasting, interesting and cost-effective vegetarian alternatives. Raw cuisine is an ideal solution. READ MORE

Robert Trainor

Is there anything more universally loved by American eaters than a buffet? The love of the buffet is a great equalizer; from $100,000 weddings where guests feast on a caviar buffet, to Grandma's birthday bash where well-wishers chow down on barbecue and home-made potato salad. After a long, stuffy dry spell, the art of the buffet is back in the hospitality world and it's better, but not necessarily bigger, than ever. In the past, buffets were extraordinary displays of food used during banquets to feed vast numbers of people. The method was quicker and easier than plating a traditional banquet meal. Many culinary teams also viewed the buffet as a great opportunity to express their creativity; chef garde mangers and pastry chefs, along with their teams, really had the opportunity to shine. Not only was there an abundance of food, but the centerpieces and garnishes were considered equally important to the whole buffet. READ MORE

Robert Trainor

Recent issues of trade journals have explored the fresh importance being placed on strong sanitation practices. From outbreaks of Norwalk virus aboard cruise ships to fears over SARS as close to home as Canada, the media seems to report a new health scare almost every month. On a global level, proper sanitation can stop a number of these illnesses in their tracks. On a more everyday level, keeping a clean kitchen is just good business sense. Today, chefs and restaurant managers are not only more accountable for the quality of cuisine and experience presented to their guests, they are being held responsible for cultivating and maintaining a higher cleanliness ethic. This issue is so important that many operations are actually increasing their budgets to provide staff with both basic and leading-edge tools and training to achieve higher sanitation standards. READ MORE

Robert Trainor

Evolution equals success in the hospitality industry. The best restaurants and hotels are constantly refining, improving and evolving the product and experience they present to their guests. In turn, guests continue to elevate their expectations, becoming increasingly savvier and knowledgeable about food and wine. Banquet dining is no exception to the laws of evolution. Hotels that emphasize creativity and quality in plate presentation and ingredients will capture the lion's share of banquet business in their market. The industry is trending towards consumer expectations that they will enjoy a better banquet experience at a good hotel, than at an independent restaurant. It's a cyclical trend; in the past, consumers expected the best food to be found in hotels, where the owners and managers could better afford to hire, train and retain skilled employees. READ MORE

Robert Trainor

A diet low in refined carbohydrates is actually not new to many cultures. In fact, in some places in the world, the lifestyle has been around for centuries. Asian cuisines revel in the use of fresh vegetables and fruits. Very little white flour or bread is used. And even though rice is a staple, the most popular form used is brown rice, a source of the good, complex carbohydrates that nutritionist tell us are healthy. Mediterranean cultures also emphasize cuisine based on seasonal, fresh fruits and vegetables, and the great seafood that is so abundant in the region. I was reminded of this fact as my team and I were researching the cuisines of the Mediterranean countries - Spain, Italy and France - in preparation for a new concept for our menu in The Terrace, the Hilton Short Hills' more casual dining venue. READ MORE

Susie Ross

Statistics show that, instead of complaining to an organization directly, 96% of dis-satisfied customers will gripe to an average of nine other people. I'm sure our group fulfilled that statistic and then some! You never know whom you're serving. Appearances can be deceiving. When you're serving a party of 65 for the holidays, know who the host is, whether it is an individual or a company. Also remember that the rest of the people, nameless as they may appear, all have names, careers, influence on others, and many have reasons and means to pay for a party of their own someday. Bad hair or a cheap-looking suit should not be taken for a bad person who has no value or influence. Besides being extremely rude to someone who is a guest and doesn't deserve to be ignored, you may be quashing a future opportunity to make money and promote your business. READ MORE

Robert Trainor

Like clothing or hair styles in the fashion world, china in the restaurant business is ever changing. Twenty years ago when I participated in culinary competitions, judges told us the china would not make a difference in scoring. I disagreed then and still feel strongly about the effect china has on the presentation and overall guest experience. The table top, especially the china, is the herald of the dining experience to come, giving guests their fist hint of what to expect from the meal. In a 1987 competition in Boston, a connection at a German china company allowed me to borrow several different plates in exchange for promoting their product after the judging when the salon was open to the public. I finished in first place with a gold medal and high score. My menu and food were very good, but so were the entries of many of my competitors. It was the way the food was presented on this great line of china that gave my presentation that little extra touch that pushed me ahead of the others. READ MORE

Al Ferrone

As all of us know in the food and beverage industry, we are in a highly competitive and low-margin business. Most of our products are perishable, and providing top-notch service is expensive. Technology is becoming more important to making gains in productivity, in managing products to keep our inventories low, and in keeping products fresh. Technology is also helping us become more competitive by allowing us to manage CRM. And although technology is useful, we need to be careful when applying it so that we do not diminish the experiences that our guests expect. We need to apply it in areas that do not inconvenience or burden our guests when using it. It may make sense for guests to use a kiosk ordering system at an airport, but I would be reluctant to place that kind of technology in a full-service environment. In a full-service food and beverage operation, I feel that it would be a grave mistake to replace service with technology even though it is available. READ MORE

Susie Ross

Soft-selling is suggestive selling. No one likes to feel like they're being "sold" anything, including food. Suggestive selling is an art form. Guests should never feel like they're being pushed into buying the most expensive item on the menu. When done properly, guests never know the server is artfully guiding them toward a higher check average, which is actually excellent customer service. Quite possibly, the best marketing line ever created was, "Would you like fries with that?" Fries go with a burger; therefore it's logical to ask a guest if he would like fries to accompany his burger! It works the same in any kind of restaurant, burgers or steaks, fries or baked potatoes. We can learn a lot from the fast food chains... READ MORE

Al Ferrone

As our labor force increases and we evolve into more of a leisure society, many of our new-generation workers do not want to spend as much time on their jobs as employees of the past. This means that one of the key words we as managers, should keep in mind when seeking new talent is balance. We need to make sure that the people who work in our industry keep a balance between work, family and leisure time. The more balance, the more stability. The more stability, the more productivity and less turnover. If we are going to attract the new wave of talented managers, we need to measure a person's worth or accomplishments based not on how much time is spent on the job, but rather on the person's productivity. A highly productive 50-hour, gung-ho enthusiastic manager who gives 110% is much more valuable than a tired, half-conscious 70-hour manager going through the motions. READ MORE

Show Per Page
1 ... 4 5 6 7
Coming up in June 2020...

Sales & Marketing: Technology Rules

It is impossible for any hotel to develop an effective sales and marketing plan that doesn't include a wide-ranging digital strategy. Online platforms have impacted virtually every aspect of their business, due to major changes in how Internet users research, plan, and book their hotel visits. As a result, a successful plan includes generating traffic through the use of a hotel website, social media, email and a myriad of other digital marketing technologies. One such strategy uses data collection and automation technology to create personalized content to individual customers. The goal of personalization marketing is to engage potential customers by communicating with them as individuals - to establish a more personal relationship - as a way of encouraging them to visit a property. Video marketing is also extremely important. Showing someone authentic video from a specific location is immersive and engaging, and video is still the preferred way for customers to interact with a hotel brand. Voice and Visual Search are increasingly in demand, as consumers are moving away from typing queries into a search engine. Instead, they can simply speak their request into their phone, and find and book a hotel without ever typing a word. Similarly, other platforms allow consumers to search visually for almost any image, and find out pricing information, shopping comparisons and how-to-buy - all from the app. The adoption of Artificial Intelligence is also becoming popular. The ability of chatbots to answer simple questions or fulfill requests 24/7 is undeniably appealing. In addition, A.I. seems best positioned to qualify leads that can be later nurtured and closed by a human sales expert - all at a fraction of the cost of a traditional support team. The June Hotel Business Review will examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating these innovative technologies into their operations.