Hotel F&B Observer Blog

Hotel food and beverage professionals share experience, skills and commentary. These hotelier blogs reflect a variety of unique career perspectives and real-life workplace stories, observations and opinions.

Humble Pie

All too often I speak with colleagues in the restaurant or retail business baffled by the loss of customer base.  For the life of them they cannot figure it out. They add product, change advertising methods, and make numerous updates to get customers in the door, but the real problem is they can’t keep them—no return interest.

They either refuse to notice or they simply don’t see that the problem is closer than they think.  Truth is that it is often their greatest investment—the staff. While lack of training is the first thought that comes to mind, you will find there is another staffing issue that customers find offensive and reproachable.  So what is it? Arrogant behavior, too superior to serve, expressed with a haughty facial expression and lack of attentiveness. Read more of this >>


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Code of the West

I have lived up, down, in the middle, and on both sides of the USA, but I was raised in the West. I’m not a farmer or rancher, but as I was growing up I had a chance to spend some time “learning the ropes” from my relatives who were. You had to be hardy, smart, and tough to make it in either place. Savvy skill-craft was prized, and so was an even disposition. You had to hold up your end of the bargain or you were sent packin’.

There was also a code, an unwritten agreement that bracketed your conduct. Lying, cheating or stealing were absolute no-fly zones, and you had to offer the other guy a “fair chance” in just about everything you did. I know some people will pass off my code recollections as myth, but I was not hanging out in Hollywood with A. Ladd, G. Cooper or J. Wayne—just with real people living real lives. In fact, responsible conduct was a major contributing factor to their sense of community and stewardship of the land. Read more of this >>


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Stay Tuned

What do you get when you challenge a foodie to create something outside of the box for an inside of the box kind of event? You get Gilligan’s Island, I Love Lucy, Kung Fu, Bonanza, Chips, Shirley & Laverne, Happy Days, Hawaii Five-0, and Green Acres.

When you enjoy a challenge, planning custom events can be exciting. Each one of the aforementioned classic TV shows channeled great food station, at the Wyndham Gettysburg hotel which proved to be a wonderful success for the Gettysburg Hospital Auxiliary Fundraiser this year.

Having previously worked with the client, I asked that they trust and allow me to provide something different. The client’s theme, a “Blast to the Past” gave the spark that ignited the fire.

Executive Sous Chef Andy Ernst and the Director of Banquets Gene Davis accepted the mission, and the three of us relived TV shows we enjoyed and produced food, service, and décor to heighten the experience. Read more of this >>


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Stop It! Stop it Now! Please!

Conversation today –

Seriously tired of calls like this!

“Hello, are you the person responsible for advertising and marketing?”

”Yes, how can I help you?”

“I am so glad I have finally connected with you! We have determined that your business would benefit greatly from our new TWOOTBLAST electronic marketing campaign! Business like yours are taking advantage of our new product and I wanted to make sure you did not miss out!! It is a lot like Groupon.com, but the ROI is much much better! What is a good day for our account manager Demetrius Salmonella to visit with you for a quick 45-minute presentation?” Read more of this >>


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Paper Preferred

We recently completed a telephone survey of Hotel F&B subscribers. During the call, people were asked if they wanted to receive the print (paper) version only, both the print and digital versions or only a digital version. Fully 70 percent of people wanted the print version only. Another 18 percent said they wanted both and 12 percent wanted digital only. With this time of transition for many media brands from paper to digital, we find it noteworthy that the print version of Hotel F&B is still highly preferred. Do you personally prefer reading from paper, computer or both?


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If You Can’t Stand Friction, Get Outta the Kitchen

In any workplace, change is inevitable. Constantly evolving business conditions are dim or bright realities for everyone in business. And some form of “friction” can usually be found riding shotgun whenever there are changes. Rarely are new locations, uniforms, menus, policies, standards, or designs met with little or no friction.

Frankly, no company has the resources to fix every crack, leverage all opportunities, fully satisfy all complaints and overflow everyone’s happiness cup. In business it has been, and will always be, about making choices—some from experience or market pressure and some best guesses. Hopefully, all choices are made with the intent to improve upon results, but still, few without friction. Read more of this >>


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Paying by Card at the Point of Service: Secure Your Reputation

In a previous Dr. Food Tech column, I wrote about the PIN and Chip payment method that was sweeping Europe. This device allowed the guest to control their credit card after receiving their check at a restaurant table. Among other things it would prevent an unscrupulous wait staff member from copying the credit account number or switching your credit card with another stolen card. The PIN (Personal Identification Number) and electronic Chip (imbedded in the card) allowed the guest to control the security of their credit card.

We have seen and heard the stories of lost or missing cards, mixed-up cards, identity theft, and card skimming at restaurants, hotel restaurants and lounges. Card theft continues to grow and the industry trend is moving towards better security of customer credit cards. Read more of this >>


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GroupWhat?

A good friend of mine, a regional F&B for a rather large, smallish hotel company on the West Coast called me recently practically screaming over the phone. Really loud, incomprehensible screaming. Here is how the conversation went. Note that I have eliminated a few of the words; I know how fragile you hotel f&b folks can be:

ME: “Dude (Yeah, I’m from So Cal. So what?) What is going on? Why so hot?”

F&B Dude : “Is the world made out of idiots?”

ME: “Yes, but you know that already. What’s going on?”

F&B Dude: “We just took a huge hit at XYZ restaurant at the ZYX hotel.” Read more of this >>


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