YOUR P’S AND Q’S FOR F&B
Question – Are you following your P’s to success?
Profit – Depending on your operation, your profit potential may come from conference activities, hospitality services, rental / lease income, product sales, merchandising / gift shop, loyalty / membership programs/gift dining cards, etc.
Publicity – Public relations for your restaurant should be qualified and quantified. Survey the results of your PR campaigns to ensure your advertising sufficiently impacts your public image in a positive and forward-thinking manner. [Are you current in your approach and communications with your market segment?]. Quantify the calibre of your media efforts to ensure your advertising reaches your intended audience [publications and radio ads].
Public – Know your public. Are you keeping up with your diners’ choices and preferences? You may need to retire your old menu and incorporate new F&B fare.
Pedestrian-Friendly – If you operate dining outlets which are accessible by sidewalks and or pool/garden loggia, make sure you have staff available to readily await such walk-ins. This gives an immediate welcome to those who may not recognize they may dine at your hotel property.
Projected Gross Revenues – Hotel F&B, Conference / Meetings / Special Events, etc. constitute the bulk of your revenue stream. Are you operating to meet your year-to-year projections, or do you need to eliminate certain programs which are no longer cost-effective.
Provisioning – Is your executive chef / F&B manager obtaining the best bulk prices available from your local purveyors?
Property Management – Update restaurant SOP to include regularly scheduled maintenance to your kitchen equipment, facilities, etc.
Permits – Ensure you have up-to-date operating permits; calendar tickler notes to remind when licenses are due to expire and modify your operating budget to account for any changes in fees and associated professional licenses.
Potential – Are you operating at your maximum potential? Meeting / exceeding forecasts on covers [modify your menu options for quicker cook times and improved turnovers; supervise and calibrate waitstaff to ensure diligence without sacrificing professionalism]. By comparing the number of covers for a given meal period against the potential maximum that could be served in that period, a restaurant manager can gauge the restaurant’s efficiency.*
*Recommended reading: “A Simple Measure of Restaurant Efficiency” by Christopher C. Muller, Cornell Hotel & Restaurant Administration Quarterly, June 1999.
Similar to the profit segment above, consider offering loyalty dining cards to repeat patrons. Whether you are a branded hotel or an independent, mine your customer database to identify prospects: mail them an imprinted loyalty guest card for use on future visits; email them a link to your website where they can print out their own card; include a temporary card for use on their current stay and have housekeeping place it in their room with a handwritten message from your chef de cuisine. This is personalized service and has limitless potential for increasing the likelihood of repeat visits to your restaurant and/or room service. The benefits are that you now have the opportunity to attract and retain dining patrons who might otherwise head out to another dining facility in the neighborhood.
Planning – Maintain this list of P’s and Q’s in your handbook to ensure you derive achievable success and best planning procedures.