Almost every hotel management company brand has specific guidelines regarding the design of all-day dining concepts. Usually, the size of the all-day dining outlet is proportionate to the number of rooms; therefore, a hotel with a greater number of keys will have a larger all-day dining area. In addition, the greater the number of rooms, the greater the linear length of 'buffet offering' is required to support those rooms. This can ultimately result in the space being underutilized, which in turn, leads to a potential revenue loss should the area be used for other purposes.
Conventionally, the function of an all-day dining is to support the rooms department, serving as a convenient F&B outlet for internal guests. As the industry gradually shifts away from this model, it is the hotel asset manager's responsibility to advise both their owner and appointed operator to revise the dining concept. This article addresses four key reasons.
Firstly, Hoteliers and owners should view it as an independent, concept substantiated, outlet and revenue generator. According to Deloitte Tohmatsu FAS, among full-service hotels in Japan, 34.3% of revenues are generated by the rooms department, and 60.5% originate from F&B activities.
Second of all, hotels should not be limited to solely addressing the needs of their in-house guests, and any F&B outlet including the all-day dining can be used to target the external patronage. Doing so requires considerable capital and time to be invested into executing a successful F&B concept and design that entices both internal and external guests, taking into account the tastes and habits of the local community. If these are done under proper and professional management, the lucrative returns will be immeasurable.
Thirdly, the all-day dining space is commonly underutilised and only optimised during breakfast, remaining empty for the rest of the day. From an asset manager and owner’s point of view, this is a loss of potential F&B revenue and waste of space. The outlet needs to be concept driven with market research that supports its cuisine and style. It will provide breakfast for in-house guests but more importantly it will be known for the cuisine and concept it trades under for both lunch and dinner.
Lastly, the buffet concept detracts from offering an enhanced dining experience. The food is produced in mass quantities instead of being tailored to specific client's needs, leading to mediocre food quality and increased wastage – an issue that is often reflected in online review websites.
As hotel asset managers, we have studied the trends and evaluated ways to maximise profitability for every revenue-generating space. It is important to be able to present alternative strategies and advices to our owners.
If you enjoy the fast pace of the food service industry and if you have the leadership skills to lead an entire team of culinary professionals, this is a great opportunity to earn a living and doing what you love.