Important Things to Recognize for Establishing F&B Venues in Today's Economy
By Jim Holthouser Senior Vice President Brand Management, Embassy Suites Hotels | November 27, 2011
Co-authored by Beth Scott, VP Restaurant Concepts, Hilton Worldwide
Developing a concept for a new restaurant involves a certain amount of risk. Get it wrong, and you can end up with a lot of expensive square footage that will wreak havoc on a hotel's overall profit level. Get it right, and you'll trigger significant rewards, including a boost in profits and increased visibility for your property; in addition, your customers will enjoy an enhanced guest experience.
Market Intelligence a Must
Planning must be market-driven. Wise hotel developers will always invest in an in-depth study of the local market to determine which restaurants are attracting a steady clientele, and to identify the USPs of popular venues that contribute to a sustainable level of success. A few evenings of dining around locally will provide a bird's-eye view of the restaurant scene, and also a snapshot of the clientele at each venue.
Of course, awareness of new and emerging trends in the food and beverage arena is also key to planning. Even if the plan is for a traditional restaurant serving classic French or mainstream international cuisine, a developer should be sure to explore the food and beverage landscape in depth in order to create a design, presentation and menus in sync with guests' preferences today, and an ambiance that will encourage repeat visits. Right now, small plates are a great way to offer portion and price flexibility, and health and wellness-driven beverages continue to grow in appeal. Classic American dishes will always have a place on U.S. menus, and this season we're seeing these classic dishes prepared with innovative modern twists that add to both flavor and presentation. A smart approach can help advance a restaurant to rank among diners' personal favorites and to stay top of mind whenever dinner plans are under discussion.