Expert’s Voice: Top ten F&B revenue-management tips for hotel restaurants
Silvie Cohen and David Israel of hotelAVE suggest practical measures that hotel restaurants can adopt to boost their top lines and minimise the impact of spiralling costs.
As restaurants emerge from the Covid19 pandemic, operators remain challenged by nationwide labour shortages, the rising cost of wages and the increasing cost of goods.
To mitigate these bottom-line issues, just like hotels and airlines deploy revenue-management techniques to push sales, there are strategies F&B teams can deploy to optimise their top line as well. This article takes you through F&B revenue-management tips to help restauranteurs improve profitability.
Top ten F&B revenue-management tips for hotel restaurants:
- Prix-Fixe menus: Explore offering a fixed three-course menu for a set price, which will help drive average check. This is a popular option for weekday lunch as well as weekend brunch (bottomless brunch) or family / holiday meals.
- Dynamic pricing: Evaluate surge pricing based on demand levels or meal period to drive incremental revenue (weekday versus weekend, lunch versus dinner). Given the increased use of digital / mobile menus (eg utilising QR codes), this strategy can be implemented with minimal cost.
- Entrée additions: Highlight certain additions to entrées on the menu. For example, provide the option to get bacon added to a burger, a fourth taco (if the dish serves three) or egg-white substitutions amongst other combinations for an additional upcharge. If it is highlighted on the menu, guests are likely to order it.
- Time management: Consider the length of time customers sit at their table to maximise the amount of turns during service. Set table limits or provide express meal options (eg one-hour power lunch) to optimise the number of covers the restaurant does during certain meal periods. Offer additional points or incentives via reservation systems (OpenTable, Resy, etc) to motivate guests to book at off-peak hours. Allow guests to pay via mobile QR code to expedite the checkout process.
- Hotel cross-collaboration: Incentivise hotel guests to come to the restaurant via offering different benefits. Destination fees: If the hotel has a destination fee, include F&B offerings within the fee to encourage guests to come to the restaurant. Data suggests a modest discount or free drink / appetiser generates substantial incremental revenue from hotel guests when offered. Prioritise hotel guests: Offer guests priority seating and reservation access to drive covers.
- Competitive price shop: Complete a quarterly shop of comparable food, beverage and event prices within the competitive set. Be sure to evaluate if menu prices are too low or too high and adjust, as necessary.
- Find menu ‘stars’: Evaluate product mix (PMIX) and menu costing to understand which menu items are highly profitable and sell (eg French fries). Train servers to understand which items they should be selling in real time based on inventory and pricing (eg avoid guacamole if there is an avocado shortage). Eliminate loss-leaders during high-demand periods and eliminate menu items that take a long time to cook or require additional culinary / front-of-house resources to execute.
- Lucrative happy hours: Provide enticing happy-hour offerings to increase foot traffic in the early hours post-work. Another creative option includes offering a ‘reverse happy hour’, which is reduced pricing during later evening hours (starting at 9pm versus 4pm). Utilise limited menus with enticing offers (US$1 oysters, half-off cocktails, etc).
- Ancillary spend: Give guests the option to purchase their favourite restaurant items to take home (eg homemade cookies, make-it-yourself pasta kits, Bloody Mary mix, etc).
- Flexible seating: Evaluate flexible seating options to ensure four-tops can be turned into two-tops to mitigate lost revenue due to differences between party size and available seating.
Vice president at hotelAVE
With almost ten years of experience in the hospitality industry, Silvie Cohen is the vice president of hotelAVE and is in charge of managing lifestyle assets, many of which generate equal F&B and room revenue. She focuses on implementing value-added strategies.
SVP at hotelAVE
David Israel has worked for over ten years as a hospitality advisor and leader in hotelAVE’s asset management and advisory practices. He is responsible for day-to-day operations and client regulations, and has established the company’s presence in the Big Apple.
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