Operations Planner
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P’s and Q’s for F&B

publication date: Feb 4, 2014
author/source: Meg McDonough

P's and Q's for F&B

By Meg McDonough          


- Are you following your P's to success?

- 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.

- 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].

- 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.

- 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.

- Is your executive chef / F&B manager obtaining the best bulk prices available from your local purveyors?

Management - Update restaurant SOP to include regularly scheduled maintenance to your kitchen equipment, facilities, etc.

- 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.

- 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.

- Maintain this list of P's and Q's in your handbook to ensure you derive achievable success and best planning procedures.

Meg McDonough, President of Luxury Hospitality Consultants, LLC in Florida, is a regular contributor for HospitalityEducators.com. 

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