Summer F&B: Promoting Bar Bites
Bars attached to hotel restaurants are no longer the "waiting room" for diners with reservations, but often the hub of F&B activity in a hotel--even for properties with a bona-fide destination dining venue.
One restaurant giving its bar/lounge a seasonal identity is 35 Steaks + Martinis at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The venue is one of the better known steakhouses in Vegas, but they understand their bar can attract additional customers during the summer months, especially when temperatures are over 100-degrees daily, and guests would rather have a cocktail and small plates than a 35-ounce tomahawk chop.
The steakhouse's "Summer of 35" promotion focuses on a bar bites menu ranging from $3 oysters to $8.25 Buffalo-style quail (the full menu is below.) There are nine items total, and they are only available in the bar/lounge--giving the room its own F&B exclusivity.
If a guest happens to enjoy some bar bites and a few cocktails, they may be more inclined to stay for dinner (which is the second part of the "Summer of 35" promotion--a prix fixe menu for $49) or return during their stay, as Vegas is a multi-day destination for business travelers, conventioneers, and vacationers.
To reinforce the separate identities of the bar and restaurant, 35 Steaks proclaims on its website: "Short on time or just looking for an intimate rendezvous? Grab a seat in the bar and lounge, which is the perfect spot for people-watching and a pre-concert bite & cocktail."
Other hotels can maximize shared bar/restaurant profitability by viewing the bar as important as its adjoining restaurant, and marketing it as an individual venue to take advantage of seasonal opportunities.