Catering to the Business Savvy
By Briane Smith Perez Director of Restaurants, Beverly Hilton | August 17, 2014
The day has just started, congratulations! We have yet another opportunity to do something great. In the amount of time it just took someone to read that first sentence, they may have received eight emails, three text messages, and missed two calls - and it's only 7:30am. They are debating if they will make it to the gym this morning or this evening, whether they should go to dinner with friends, or just disregard the invite so they can catch up on work. Decisions, decisions, decisions... They seem to be more difficult the older we get. Not difficult in the sense that we do not know what we want to do, but difficult in the sense of finding the 25th hour in the day.
In this fast paced world we have no choice but to adapt. We have started to see an increase in the hours we spend working or plugged in to work. It is fascinating to think of how many of us skip breakfast, skip reading the paper, or simply skip participating in an activity that we really enjoy. But why is that? Why do we put work before ourselves? Why do we allow work time to be greater than our personal time? The truth is that the world is moving quicker, and while smart phones, social media and constant connectivity put everything at our fingertips, that is not necessarily always beneficial. So the question has become, how do we, as business owners and managers, cater to this high-paced, "I want it now" movement?
What we need to do is to serve our customers, right? What we also need to do is make things seamless and easy for them. This is so that they want to return to our place of business because we have taken into account their busy schedule, and a customer appreciates that. So, how do we keep up, and why should we?
We are all used to the business traveler coming in for breakfast. But long gone are they days of people stopping to sit down for a smoothie while reading the news. Now we have a line outside the restaurant full of guests who just want to "grab and go." So, how does one adapt? Why does one adapt?
It was a Monday morning while I was on vacation, and I thought I should venture down to get some breakfast. I walked to the host counter and proudly said "just one please" when I overheard a gentlemen in a suit very upset on the phone. He kept stating that he couldn't figure out why the restaurant he was standing in couldn't figure out how to make coffee to go and make it quick, he wished he had gone to Starbucks on the corner, but since this was in the hotel where he was staying it made sense to him at the moment. It was "a convenient stop," or so he thought.
This made me step back, and made me ask myself "what if this restaurant had a to go coffee station?" It would probably enhance the average check, and allow gentlemen like him to easily come and go. Sure we may run into to spillage, but again, how much does it cost us to brew a pot of coffee? We are simply talking about beans here, and yes, coffee beans. LIGHT BULB!!