Hotel asset management for food and beverage

Area Directors often lack the skills set to analyze and critique a hotel’s asset management  program for food and beverage.Many just don’t have the experience or background, and many corporate food and beverage executives are more focused on bringing out group-wide programs or promotions, mostly of some meaningless importance, which could well be driven at hotel level, instead of focusing on areas where real difference can be made to an owner’s real estate asset value.

Given approximately 65% on average of full service hotels revenue comes from room sales, at around a 80% profit margin, and with that the majority of a management company’s fees , it is no wonder the focus is on the rooms department to drive profits, but this is barely partially correct.

Owner’s needs are therefore often neglected. Positioning a hotel’s food and beverage offering is critical to drive profits in both rooms and the food and beverage operation, lack of skills and ability at corporate level therefore affect profits and with that a hotel’s value is not maximized.

Lets take the UK here, and ok, some efforts at corporate level have been made by some, but let’s face it, they are few, and hotel restaurants on the whole are a dying breed. I blame corporate leaders and so called brand franchise standards.

Asset Managers are not tied to some corporate protocol and brand standard, and have the skills set to asses a food and beverage operation to bring in positive change. They can bridge the gap between owners and management, safeguarding the owner’s asset interests.

In food and beverage this is a detailed process, from understanding a hotel’s investment strategy, its type, positioning, asset hold period, and capital resources, to assessing the existing conditions, studying the hotel offering or what is termed the food and beverage program, the competitive set and local offering, doing a swot, and compiling a financial analysis.

Then produce a road map, putting it all together. For owners’ best interests.

Let’s take just the financial aspect of this process alone. No help here from external sources and industry reports, this involves knowledge and the ability to get down to the core of how the food and beverage department is operated. Scary stuff for some management companies!

An important key to this process is to breakdown the profit of each outlet within this department. Opportunities are so often lost because of management mostly just looking at the whole department’s net profit and not what outlet is drawing down profit potential within the whole department. A lazy approach at best.

I could talk all day on this, but let’s as an owner ask ourselves a few questions, in this small segment of financial analysis within this large area of expertise.

  • Do you know how each outlet is contributing to profit, that’s breaking down all costs including kitchen production cost?
  • Do you know if all your labor costs and labor production skills are in line with your average checks and service levels?
  • Do you know your group vs. transient per cover expenditure?
  • Do you know how your average check per seat compares throughout your departments, and with it the reasons and opportunities and the action plan you have to improve it?
  • Do you know your outlet loss leaders?
  • Do you have a detailed financial profile on each outlet and with that the issues and plan to improve performance?
  • Is your pricing focused on margins only, and not based around menu engineering and with that a focus on the amount you actually bank?? That’s an eye on $’s not %’s

That’s a few of many that need asking, just in the finance reality check.

For a reality check on your food and beverage department contact me at


Questions to ask your resort hotel management company

One of the most important questions an owner should ask his resort hotel management company is how does the food and beverage department perform compared to the competitive set; not that well most likely.

Are you a frustrated resort hotel owner, not sure which way to turn? Then rejoice, help is at hand!

Fenced in by bland corporate food and beverage management teams, branded or chained, who can not think out side of the box?! Tied into a corporate management culture of so-called “service delivery excellence” and those “ brand standard manuals” of meaningless trivia created by creative dead souls who haven’t lived out of the corporate environment  franchise belt?!

Does your 3% and 6% management company ( only 6% you may say) think that ensuring your 29% budget food costs are in line is more important a measure of management performance than ensuring the food offering is what the customer want at a competitive price to what your clients can get up the road? Measuring as a priority $ banked, not % margins?!!

Do you pay fees over a hundred thousand to stifle individuality, having to accept food and beverage concepts driven by the need to meet group franchise standards?

Attend that quarterly owner’s and management business review meeting to hear the  same old story. Cash flow not met, REVPAR below competitive set, food and beverage staff costs over 40% due to poor product demand?

Historically, hotel restaurants have fallen short of quality, creativity, service experience, they still do in general although major efforts have been made to improve this in top line brands and chains.

Fear not though, help is at hand!!

As a hotel business adviser we are not tied in to day-to-day operations, are more qualified and specialist than General Manager’s and most corporate reports, can stand apart from brand standard operators and the corporate protocol. We have a unique stand alone advantageous position in which to see opportunities to unlock value and introduce change, positive creative change, as the third-party support for hotel owner’s.

Sample questions to ask.

Operationally, do the outlets really work? 100%? Or is your hotel restaurant dead and antiquated in product offering, value, quality, ambiance, or all four?

Do the management know the competitive offerings and associated quality and pricing? When was the last competitive market review done?

Does your compete with the high street, those near by, or try to follow it? Market leader or  follower?

What’s more important, department profit or cost margins?

Menu with too many choices, not one thing or the other, trying to be all things to everyone and not something to someone? Tasty fresh food, value pricing, reflects your location?

12 month food and beverage marketing program, leveraged, in sales efforts, daily?

What’s redundant in the market, what’s offered in the extreme in the local market? Where does your fit?

Guest feedback on hand, lease opportunities defined, guest delivery issues sorted?

Capital plan with ROI in place for future use of available capital?

Hotel management stuck in a rut?

Plus “more and more”

For answers to these, the “more and more”, and assistance in unlocking value to your food and beverage operations, be it within boutique resorts or whatever, and for creative cost-effective solutions that question the status-quo of your resort hotel management company, contact

Resort hotel menus and what one can do with breads!

Resort owner’s and hotel management companies, please make sure you enable your chefs to surprise and delight with the bread offerings. If more hotels provided adequate bakery sections in their kitchen and if chefs were motivated to learn to produce, look at what surprises could be in store!

Breakfast breads:  Sri Lankan coconut breakfast bread, spelt breakfast bread, berry bannock, Scottish oatcakes.
Filled breads:  Georgian cheese boat breads, Potato-and-herb-filled bread.
Sweet breads: Aromatic festive bread, Date-bread morsels, Apricot and almond bread, Norwegian wrapping bread, Sweet bread rings, Buckwheat honey country bread.
Savory breads: Bulgur bread, Olive ladder bread, Uighur nan with cumin and onion, Three-colour focaccia, Pizza with rosemary and garlic, Lamb and tomato breads.
Mildly spiced breads: Ethiopian spice bread, Moroccan anise bread, Aromatic festive bread, Thyme bread, Afghan snowshoe naan, Fenugreek corn bread.
Strongly spiced breads: Chile bread, Xichuan pepper bread, Rajasthani salt and spice bread, Fresh coriander, Ginger, and Chile crepes.
Great breads for snacking: High-tech crackers, Sardinian parchment bread, Pueblo sunflower seed breads.
Crisp breads: Norwegian crispbread, Sardinian parchment bread, High-tech crackers, Crisp lentil wafers.
Flat loaves for slicing: Ethiopian spice bread, Tibetan barley skillet bread, Apricot and Almond read.
Breads used as wrappers: Bejing pancakes, Wheat-flour tortillas, Fresh rice papers, Norwegian wrapping bread, Rice and black lentil crepes, Fresh coriander, Ginger and chile crepes.
Bread used for scooping: Soft whole wheat skillet breads, Deep-fried whole wheat breads with cumin, Blue corn tortillas, Corn tortillas.
Breads used as a “Sponge” for other flavours: Ethiopian sponge breads, Rice and black lentil crepes, Fresh coriander, Ginger and Chile crepes.
Breads for dunking in soup: Afghan home-style naan, Moroccan anise bread, Ethiopian spice bread, Olive ladder bread, San’a sorghum breads, Apricot and almond bread.
Breads for appetizers: Pizza with rosemary and garlic, Lamb and tomato breads, Three-colour focaccia, Olive ladder bread, Georgian cheese-filled quick bread.
Best breads for beginners: Pita, soft whole wheat skillet breads, high-tech crackers.
Breads made using an interesting technique: Ethiopian sponge breads, Rice and black lentil crepes, Flung and folded griddle breads, Hunza sprouted wheat breads, Lacy coconut milk pancakes, Pebbled Persian bread.
Breads using a soured dough: Rice and black lentil crepes, Paperthin lavash, Turcoman sourdough bread.
Breads to make with children: High-tech crackers, Pizza with rosemary and garlic, Berry bannock.
Flatbread “classics”: Pita, Corn tortillas, Afghan snowshoe naan, Paperthin lavash, Soft whole wheat skillet breads.
Yeast-free flatbreads: (A small selection) Soft whole wheat skillet breads, High-tech crackers, Sardinian parchment bread, Bulgur bread, Hunza sprouted wheat breads, Unyeasted date rounds.
Wheat-free flatbreads: (A small selection). Ethiopian sponge bread, Rice and black lentil crepes, Fresh rice papers, Corn tortillas, Rye hardtack rings, Scottish oatcakes, Lacy coconut milk pancakes, Finnish barley bread.

Mouth watering! Taste bud tingling! But how often do we even see them in hotel restaurants?

Contact Mark for help with your hotel food and beverage department, pre-opening or operation phase.