From the Board: A Smooth Entry

Core fundamentals for a successful property transition in the F&B department.

It’s a fast-paced hotel market, with the buying and selling of individual hotels, management companies, and even large brands on the rise. Property and company transitions are becoming the weekly norm for strategic management companies. With great growth comes great excitement, but it also demands a system and process around onboarding each property to ensure success.

There are many departments, individuals, and details involved in coordinating a successful transition, but the goal of them all is to immerse the property team in the management company culture and ensure the proper controls, resources, and standards are in place to drive revenue, control costs, and optimize guest satisfaction. It’s important to understand the market and employee culture when initiating the transition, but ultimately you need to assess and advise the property leadership considering these seven fundamentals:

Management Company Standard Operating Procedures: What are the key expectations of your management company surrounding communication, performance, guest satisfaction, and controls? How do these expectations tie to the company culture and opportunities?

Accounting: What are the opening inventories for beer, liquor, wine, and food? What is the condition of all major appliances and equipment? Start with a clean inventory number and understanding of property condition.

Guest Satisfaction: How does the property’s performance in F&B compare against brand benchmarks? What outlet has the largest area of opportunity? What is the trend in service scores, month over month and year over year?

Controls: What are the systems in place surrounding liquor controls, cash handling, and key controls? Is the purchasing system being maximized to control food costs? Are recipes present, costed, and being utilized? Are waste and loss being tracked?

Operating Supplies and Equipment: What are the current inventory levels for all china, glass, and silver, and how do those compare to requirements? What is the current specification for china, glass, and silver, and how does that compare to brand standards? What are the essential needs to maximize your revenues?

Operations and Brand Standards: Are the layout of the dining room, menu composition, food quality, and steps of service aligned with brand standards?

Personnel: What are the strengths and weaknesses of each F&B leader? What is the division of actual responsibilities among the F&B leaders? Where are the gaps in responsibility? What are their leadership abilities and team management skills?

Ultimately, the transition is about ensuring the property team is equipped to succeed and identifying the areas of opportunity to develop an action plan the team can be held accountable for. There is a lot changing throughout a transition, but the team is often seeking that direction. Implementing a prioritized action plan will focus the attention of the team and ensure clear expectations for success.

Katherine Kies

Katherine Kies
Member, Hotel F&B Corporate
Editorial Advisory Board,
and Corporate Manager of F&B,
PM Hospitality Strategies