Capitalizing on Your Food and Beverage Program: Let's Get Back to the Basics
By Sebastien Silvestri Vice President of Food & Beverage, The Venetian | November 13, 2011
When it comes to a hotel's food and beverage programs, there are studies upon studies on what contributes to the success or failure of one. While it is imperative to stay current with the trends – small plates, world cuisine, DJs spinning in restaurants – are becoming increasingly popular – it is equally, if not more so, important to remember the fundamentals of food and how they make or break your hotel's food and beverage plan.
While they dine, you must give them a great time
We are in the food and service business so let's get the basics right: food needs to look good (color, presentation, volume in the plate, etc.), taste good and then service needs to be very good. It's that simple! On top of this, everything needs to be consistent all of the time, over and over again and all of this needs to be served with a smile, sincerity and a warm sense of hospitality.
When I visit my favorite restaurant, I always ask for the quail farcie with fois gras with mashed or butter potatoes. I've jokingly complained to the executive chef that the menu doesn't change enough, but let's face it – they are so consistent and everything tastes so good, that it works for them, and they don't need to change a thing.
The same is true with beverage. Everybody orders a drink at a hotel bar or restaurant expecting it to be a pleasant change from the drinks served in other bars so your wine and cocktail list needs to mix well with the food and overall identity of the restaurant. The restaurants at The Venetian and The Palazzo understand this concept well – Carnevino offers the best Bellini; Fusion Mixology Bar presents a Pisco sour that transports you to Peru; and Dos Caminos serves an out-of-this-world margarita. We want to make sure our guests remember their drink and ask for it the next time as well as recommend to their friends.
When it comes to hiring your staff – do not compromise. Take the time to hire the best, and then train the team until the restaurant's standards are met and exceeded in order to deliver the experience and the attention to detail that is expected.