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Food and Beverage Operations in Resorts

Although th e dinin g areas of re staur ants in a resort are p art of the front of the hou se w here guests are concerned, man aging and op erating th ese areas are re sponsibilities which are closely associated with the heart of the house. The food and b everage departm ent is responsible for all dinin g and bar services operated by th e resort, unless top man agement has determined otherwise . Many leadin g resorts have built th eir reputations on the quality of th eir restaurants . Indeed, the importanc e of food and beverage in resort operations cannot be over-emphasized . Today's trends in resort cuisine extend not only to p erpetuating the popul ar dishes of the past, esp ecially in histori c American re sorts, but also to cr eating new traditions in foods. The regional foods of th e Far West , the Southwest, the South , "Cajun Country," and New Engl and-newl y interpreted and refined -have found an important place on the menus of pace setting resorts through out the country. Excel lent food and outstanding service are essential in maintaining the resort 's reputation and attracting critical rep eat business. A recent survey b y Laventhol & Horwath revealed that 81 % of resort managers felt th e reput ation of their resort was based upon the service re ceived, and 68 % said food was an important component in making their reputati on. From th e standpoint of management, the major problems of oper ating restaura nts in r esorts are prima rily those of staffing and training , procurement, m enu planning, and food mer chandising . Resort gue sts, depending on length of stay, are usually concerned with food qualit y and menu variety - the longer the stay , the greater the problems of meal monotony . Managem ent must be creative in menu planning , food presentation , and develaping special dining experi ences . Since speed is only occasionally of concern to a resort guest, the ef ficiency of service i s second in importance to the attitude of the dining staff. Efficien cy at th e cost of pe rsona lized attention and courteous service has little, if an y, merit in re sort dinin g rooms. Staff training, ther efore, warrants considerabl e attention and effort on the part of management ? The Chef’s Department .

The executive chef and kitchen staff play a leading role in creating, merchandising, producing, and controlling all meals served in the resort. In larger deluxe re sorts, the kitchen i s typically organized according to European tradition with the chef de cuisine at the helm and the staff classified according to th e division of labor in terms of food preparation. such a s the sous chef, chef-steward , chef de partie, cooks (soup. vegetable, fish, broiler and fry station), garde-manger, pastry chef, butcher . Smaller seasonal resorts ma y emplo y a food production man ager and or ganize accordin g to chain r estaurant concept s, with food planning and production more or less following a standardized format . In many overseas resor ts, especia lly in Asia, separa te ethnic kitc hens are es tablishe d to provide for the cuisine of the country . Chinese ki tchens, for exampl e, are o rganized co mpl etely different ly from E uropea n kitchens in 1

From the foo d and beverage director's perspective. F urthermore. refi nemen t of standards. 2 . w hich may be dictated by circumstances of budget. not all Chinese ki tchens are a like they a re designed and equipped according to the vario us schools of Chinese coo kery (e. Until a few years ag o. Same resor ts have e mbraced the co ncept of du marche cookery . a co ncern for many guests today.2 is a portion of the me nu from Bo naventur e Ho tel & Spa which li sts ca lories instead of p rices and recommends a limi t on calorie i ntake per mea l. Menus are printed each day (and da ted) with the se lections of the chef . and co nstant trai ning of the resort's culina ry staff . cholesterol. tra ditional dining co ncepts and classica l buffets which are veri table "horns of p lenty" featuri ng dis hes f rom all over the wor ld. both of which barrowed heavi ly from Oriental techniques o f preparation and p resentation. In many dishes. equipment. Gua ngzho u). the diet-conscio us reso rt guest searchin g for lighter. whi le cuisine minceur presented alternatives that elimi nated the high -calorie bu tter.terms of s taffing. hea lthier cuisine wi th an emphas is on good n utrition. The Homes tead prac tices du marche planning fo r its table d'hôte menu (see Exhi bit 9. and even in the pr ocurement of food supplies. culi nary tre nds at resor ts moved eve n more decidedly towar d lighter. low-calorie meals had to settle for cottage c heese a nd fruit or a ligh t soup and salad (unless. Du marche cookery assu res g uests that theyar e getting only the freshest foo d ingred ients. of co urse.g. qu ality rather than quan tity. he/she was s taying a t a hea lth resort). t he kitchen s taff should b e as highly trained as possi ble. calories. seasona lity. B eijing. have created imag inative men us featu ring a variety of tas ty dis hes-of ten em phasizi ng the fres h ingredie nts and u nique flavors of the region -that fulfill th e special dietary needs of g uests. improvising menus according to the marke t availa bility of fresh ingredien ts. The exec utive c hef must ensure the co ntinui ng develop ment and ou tput of high-qual ity mea ls thro ugh re sear ch.have never lost their a ppeal or place i n the catering opera tion of grea t resorts. T he initial emph asis on in novatio n. and tables replete wi th ice carvi ngs a nd foo d sculptures. a nd starches found in th e rich sauces o f Frenc h haute cuisine and elaborate classical di shes. however. and f at have been grea tly reduced . At the sa me time. and diet in th e 1970s popularized la nouvelle cuisine and cuisine minceur. n atural ingredients. During the 1980s. Today's c hefs. Ex hibit 9. k itchen layout.health.that is. availability of personnel. so dium. cream. location. La nouvelle cuisine offere d new met hods of combi ning i ngredients and preparing tra ditional dishes. thi s type of dining co ncept provides flexibil ity and reduces monotonyand starage pro blems . Hunan. Regardless of the organizational s tructure. and other factors. While healthy c uisine co ntinues to increase i n popularity and has proven to be more than a p assing fa d. Szec huan. the best in fres h fruits and vege tables. bo th in food pre paration an d in th e ar t of food presen tation. and the use of fres h. size of o peration. rich pastries an d sump tuous desser ts. the chef must be ac utely awa re of the cos ts associated with th ese requirements. The chef and s taff must be fami liar with classical c uisine as we ll as i nternational cookery..1).

In m any resorts. To the food and b everage manager. A resor t that caters to convention and group meeting business. and warewas hirrg a re significantly affected by the menu. staffing. espec ially incentive gr aups wi th special requests. and eve n the ambi ence of the dining room . retention of qu ality i n holdin g f or service. for exampl e. the menu. Resor ts are usually masterplanned to off er a variety of facilities for dining. req uire alarger variety of equipmen t. and m erchandising co nsiderations. the menu m ay be further limited by the operating bud get given to the executive c hef or the food production manager. it is also the department's principal adv ertising medium and sales tool. The "s ignature. especially those o perated on the Amer ican plan." or iden tity. 3 . ma nagement. These co nsiderations must be t aken i nto acco unt during the ear ly plan ning and deve lopme ntal stages of the resor t. more space for a ll operationa l functions from storage t hrough cleanup. The menus offere d depend also up on th e guest markets that the resor t wants to attract and the amount of lo cal patro nage ex pected. are a n impartant p art of the total convention and mee tings sa les presentation of resor ts. menus for group s a re constrained by factors of timing in service a nd pr eparation. In turn. with di fferent t ypes of menus required for each one ( see Exhibi t 9. These a re genera lly offere d as plan ning guides in the for m of "ma keup" menus w hich p ermit buyers t o select menu compon ents by the price of entrees are included. The me nu dict ates w hich products need to be purchased. m ust meet the needs of both t ypes o f guests in food services planning (see Exhibit 9. the menu is a catalogue of the food and beverage department's pro duct lin e. As an im portan t guide to planning. While there a re few restrictions on m enus for individual guests.4). pre paration. Resta urants serving classica l cuisine. a nd service . and pr oduction. as well as to individual guests. dining. Master planning. marke ting. the menu i s influenced by sam e of these sa me factors. how they w ill be prepared and served. favori te dis hes that a ttract c ustomers to par ticular res taurants are often referre d to as "signat ure" menu i tems . marketing.The Importance of the Menu The menu i s the blueprint f or any foo d service o peration. for examp le. providing the basis for purchasing.as storage. Separate menus for convention and group business. and operation of the food serv ice facility all depend on. production. it affects the sales mix and profita bility. management. it is centra l to bo th day -to-day and seaso nal opera tions.3). means differe nt th ings to different p eople. The menu. and larger office an d employee wo rk areas t han do other types of restaurants servi ng the same numb er of guests. As a sales tool. universality of appeal. production. as wel l as influence. From a production and service s tandpoint. Indee d. the menu d eperıds on the availability of f ood suppli es a nd personnel needed to produce a nd serve the items within the standards es tablished by the resor t. The amoun t of space a nd equ ipmer ıt needed for s uch f unctions . therefo re. o f each resort resta urant is created by its menu. q uality corısiderations.

more than one option will be off ered to guests of a parti cular resort. Aside from th eir adv antage in pr eventing menu monoton y. from th e standp oint of mana gement and financi al accountability.As t he weat her c hanges w ith the seaso ns. 3. American pl an. the food and b everage department is better able to demonstrate its contributi on to the resort as a separate profit center under the European plan. Guests usually choose a meal plan when makin g their reservations. This term ind icates that meals are priced separately fro m rooms. 2. For exa mple. 4 . the mix of gu ests ma yaiso change. Oft en. and there may be a s hift in food prefere nces. Each time the c ycle is repeated. Originally. a la c arte. assume that the average length of sta y at a resort is seve n days. Purchasing and food in ventorie s are s impli fied through standardization. and continental plan. Exhibit includ es s ome of the menus from the Regent of Fi ji's cyclical m enu set. Food co sts are highl y predictable. cyclical m enus have these featur es: 1. European Plan. then seaso nal cydical menus should b e used. Cyclical Menus : One of the better ways to avo id menu monotony in resor ts is to make use of cy dical menus. However. From an economic standpoint. American Plan. The ideal menu cycle covers a period which is slightly longer than the ave rage length of stay a nd plan ned for an odd number of days . Meal Plans There are four ba sic types of meal plan s: the Europe an plan. The menu and food service faci lities m ust be f lexib le enough to let these changes be made. A nine-day cycle (or l onger) may be planned as illustrated: WEEK 1 2 3 SUN #1 #8 #6 MON #2 #9 #7 TUES #3 #1 #8 WED #4 #2 #9 THURS #5 #3 #1 FRI #6 #4 #2 SAT #7 #5 #3 If the resor t operates on a year-round ba sis. Early innk eepers ac cepted the responsibility of providin g meals as we ll as lodging for th eir guests for a fixed char ge. menu s may b e improved b y eliminatin g unpopular items and substituting n ew items. all resorts operated on an American pl an basis. or a combination o f both. eve n when mult iple entree se lections are offered. the Europ ean plan offer s no advanta ges over the Americ an pl an. modifi ed Amer ican plan. These menus are print ed on d elicate tapa cloth in k eeping with th e resort's Polynesian ambience . Well over half of the resor ts in the Uni ted States today operate under a European plan. As in th e case of ind ependent restaurants. menu s may be pric ed on a basis of table d'hôte. Guests are bill ed only for the m eals they actuall y consume. This term means that the daily rate quotation includ es bo th room and board .

the modified version appeals to guests who do not want to be confined to the resort premises for all three meals. Continental Plan . fruit or juice. tea. an additional charge must be made. an allocation is given to the restaurant manager on a per capita basis. but are composed of many submarkets whose wants and needs may be met to different degrees by the particular meal plan they specify on their reservations. The excluded meal. Modified American Plan . For example. and bread. permits the guest a degree of flexibilityover his/her own daytime schedule. In some European countries. rolls. the recreational areas. 2. Merchandising to these submarkets will become increasingly important as food and beverage departments seek to realize their full potential sales volumes. are included in the daily rate quotation. some guests will miss or choose to skip a percentage of their prepaid meals. This plan is similar to the full American plan. That is. if the guest has lunch at the resort." Market segmentation It should be emphasized that the guest markets for various meal plans are not homogeneous. in the case of lunch. cocoa. lunch . 5 . This plan is sametimes called "bed and breakfast. The kitchen and dining room staff know in advance how many guests to prepare for at each meal. The modified plan offers same of the economic advantages of the full plan as well as marketing advantages not present under the full version. The two distinct advantages to the resort in operating on an American plan: 1. When room rates include breakfast and lunch or dinner only. the continental breakfast mayaıso indude cheese and cold meat or fish. or toast (Americans often substitute pastry for rolls). It is then up to the food and beverage manager to plan the daily menu within an average budget of $50 per person per day. The unearned income from missed meals may either accrue to the overhead contribution of the dining room operations or be used to upgrade menu selections. except that only two meals. Inevitably. Planning is simplified. Resorts operating on the this plan indude a continen tal breakfast in their rates. Examples of these submarkets are: • Sports enthusiasts who want only a light lunch that will not interfere with their game. These guests may be served by locating fast-food and health food bars in. If the menu is fixed (i. a resort charging a $200 daily rate may allocate $50 per person per day to the dining room. The continental breakfast is traditionally simple. Meals are paid for. whether or not they are consumed. the majority offer a modifi ed version. For resorts using the American plan. a set menu) or very limited in selcetion. or milk. the meal plan may be termed demi-pension. say. usually breakfast and dinner. and dinner are included. or adjacent to. there is practicularly no waste from over production of food. consisting of a beverage -coffee.e.While m any resor ts still operate under this meal plan. A fu l American plan indicates t hat breakfast.

To cater to s uch t aste as we ll 6 . c hildren. the Ma una Kea Beach Hotel in Hawaii decided to add t wo new dinin g concepts to its existi ng two: a [apanese teppan -yaki style res taurant. a nd vending mac hines serve thei r needs. '' buffeteria. business a nd commercial travelers. and f ood and b everage presen tation s hould all focus on producing a d ining ex perience that g uests will find sa tisfying a nd want t o repeat. and vaca tioners staying in n earby transient hot els. manageme nt felt it was unwise to eliminate any of its popnl ar. conventioneers. es tablished restaurants. Decisions to improve up on m eeting the needs of these s ubmar ketsby introdueing sp ecialty foods. • Guests who prefer to ea t at the hour of their choice rather than at estab lished meal times . Room ser vice. despite the fact that the new a dditi ons meant inc rease d dinin g capacity in a relatively limit ed marketplace. In so me resar ts. making changes in in-house a nd external ad vertising. In some resor ts. ex tending operating hours. Because of new food and beverage trends. motel s. for examp le. which appeals to [apanese a nd Am erican guests alike. food and b everage m erchandising is esse ntial to buildi ng g uest volume and h igh levels of re turn bu siness. but a po licy may be needed to ensure that resor g uests have prefere ntial seating or are accor ded priori ty reserva tio ns. • Senior c itizens. Because Mauna Kea ca ters to a large perce ntage of repeat guests. pricing a round smal ler portions. Late s leepers and honeymooners are pr ime examp les. 24-hour room service. Th ese submarkets may be served in food and b everage o utlets throughout the resort . • Local resi dents d ining socially or o n busin ess. and coffee shops serve these purposes . a nd another res taurant t o serve lighter meals in a faster pace d and l ess formal a tmos phere . dieters. main dining room s a nd spec ialty • Non-guests coming from near by ac commodations-tourists. and other tactic s-will receive incr easing attention in m any resorts as cost s of operatio n conti nue to rise . menu. a tmosphere. c reating new food o utlets. these guests are se rved by offering s uppl ementa l menus in the mai n dining room and provi ding o ther o utlets such as hea lth foo d bars. Resor t guests have become increas ingly so phisticated in th eir tastes.• Conven tion or meeting atte ndees who wa nt a quick breakfast or mid mor ning coffee break . a nd in order to sa tisfy the needs of ide ntified submarkets such as those sp ecified above. In most resorts. Food and Beverage Merchandising In t oday 's co mpetitive reso rt market . and other groups w hose die tary needs differ from the norm. a nd campsites. service. The g reeting. coffee s hops. this subma rket i s serve d in th e restaurants.'' fast -food ou tlets. desig ning se parate menus. many o f them being seaso ned world t rave lers. people on restricted di ets.

reso rt food an d b everage departments should consta ntly develop n ewand u nusual menu i tems w hile pro moting those house specialties that are favorites with guests and are associated with the resorts tradition. Mardi Gras. To stay current with international food trends. ambience. Effective restaurant merchandising brings together all elements of personnel and training. Special Promotions: Parties and Special Functions . drinks. etc.) 7 . monthly features. Patrick's Day. Merchandising drinks means ac tively promoting them through service personnel. the resort may offer variety to guests through the promotion of food-related special events or themes. Valentine's Day.) • Wine and cheese parties • Casino nights (Las Vegas." And personnel throughout the resort should be familiar with the "signature" items and menus of all restaurants and lounges within the resort so that they can respond positively to guests whenever they ask for recommendations on food.as to build reputation. Table settings and the careful selec of china. and napery are an essential part of food and beverage merchandising. Servers must be trained to answer questions on ingredients and methods of preparation use d for particular "specialties of the house. Many resorts have created a vast array of mocktails and low-alcohol drinks which have exotic names. such as: • International food festivals • Texas barbecues and outdoor chuck wagons • Hawaiian luaus • Oktoberfests • Seandinavian and English hunt breakfasts • Smorgasbords and buffets • Holiday menus and parties (St. elevator posters. presentations. flatware. Resort food should be of high quality and should be served in an imaginative and attractive manner. and flavorful ingredients. tion In addition to planning for regular operations. Halloween. ete. New Year's Eve. resort management must consider the creation of new dining concepts and restaurants when older concepts fail to attract or when volume warrants. marketing. Monte Carlo. production planning. and also provide a healthy profit margin for the bar. and other important aspects of restaurant operation to create a memorable dining experience for guests. and other means of suggestive selling. Resorts today also aggressively promote wine sales and higher quality or brand-name liquors to counteract the overall drop in alcohol sales. and places to go. table tents. Easter Egg hunts. The current trend toward less alcohol and lighter beverages and wines offers ample opportunities for the beverage department to exper iment with and produce new alcohol-free cocktails (sometimes called "mocktails") and fruit-based drinks.

it is not profitable and i s offered as a subsidized guest conveni ence. In pl anning an int ernational dinn er. and guest activities. to specify the numb er of p ersons. room s ervice may account for 12 % or more of the tot al volume of food and b everage sales. Guests place orders e ither t hrough a telephone order-take r or th rough d oorknob menu s (which will be discu ssed later) . Room ser vice demand varies throu ghout the d ay. it should b e kept in mind that airlines and t ourist bureaus are interested in pr omotin g the c ountri es they se rve o r represe nt. Do orknob card s are usually collected af ter midni ght b y a bellp erson or room service e mploy ee a nd t aken to the kitch en so that the order can be processe d th e following morning. guest relations. In same re sorts. the food service s taff ha s an opportuni ty to participate i n a non-routine project and b ecome involved in p lanning appropriate room d ecoratio ns. Two things are esse ntial i n any successf ul r oom servi ce opera tion 8 . Most ca n pro vide travel posters and d isplay materials. Room service is perha ps the one d ining ser vice t hat is opera ted entirely from th e hear t of the house . Many resorts offer special food and b ever age promoti ons that tie in with regional and l ocal festivals. in the majority of resarts. on which guests may order their breakfasts before retiring. entertainers. and to indicate the breakfast item s they wish delivered.6 s hows menus used in pl annin g theme par ties for groups at The Broadmoor. Room Service. I f the breakfa st menu i s not printed on the order cards. the de partmen ts that are most heavi ly involved are fo od and b everage. Doorknob request forms. Room ser vice is offered almo st round th e clock in d eluxe resarts. Two type s of ser vice are usually provided -full breakfast and contin ental br eakfast. and ch efs from th e co untr y which is be in g featur ed. the room ser vice operation i s considered a profit center. costumes.• Picnics • New England clambakes Besides pleas ing g uests. but. but br eakfast remains the bu siest time in mo st resorts. a nd entertainment for the spec ial event. T his is es pecially true if the r esort i s hosting an event within th e festival or is a spon sor of th e festival itself. Al though th e entire resort is of ten in volved i n accommo dating and serv ing guests who have co me to attend such even ts. it should be available in th e guestroom. Guests are asked to check th e desired time for service. Similar dinin g concepts can be plann ed for a ll resort guests and used to draw l ocal p atrons. Some resor ts have invite d int ernational air carr iers to serve as co-sponsors of international festivals and to assist in making the eve nt more authentic by flying in f oods. The breakfast request forms often combine the features of a menu and an order c ard. E x. may be used to facilitate breakfast service. Dependin g on the cli entele and the amount and quality of promot ion.9. The only face-to-face contact the guest will have with an emplo yee is when the latter deli vers food to the room or remove s soiled dishes and tray s or carts from the room at the guest's request.

portable se rvice carts. containing heating a nd refrige ration un its f or bread. co mpl ete with lin en. they might also i nclud e between-meal snacks. Labor cos ts are muc h hi gher i n room service tha n in the di ning roo m and should be ref lected either i n the form of higher prices on individual items or a service surcharge. beverages a nd h ors d' oeuvres for i n-room entertaining. Room service menu s in deluxe resorts may cove r a wid e range of guest needs. Contin ental br eakfast service in n ewe r hi gh-rise hotels is so metimes operated directl y out of service elevators. In low-rise hotels. supervision over room service s taff is remo te) Pricing Room service sales o ffice re quirements. but the logistics of service and deliv ery. In addition t o stand ard meals. and silver. for exam ple. and remo val of dirt y dishes must be carefull y planned to avoi d possible adver se impact s on other pha ses of r esort operations. In same cases. Orders are prepared in the service e levator a nd d elivered directl y to the designated fl oors . 9 . Anoth er option i s a food p antry on each floor or one to serve a couple of floors. Room service delivery systems usually empl oy car ts which may indude h eating unit s and plug-in toaster a nd c offee pot unit s. china. such as before an d following regular meals The holding quality of food it ems after preparation -delicate souffles. return of equip ment. and b ox lunch es for g uests who wish to picnic or sightsee. with tables set prop erly. wo uld n ot survive t he trip from kitchen to rooms. i t is ex pensive to operate and m aintain even a sma ll kitchenette on more than one floor. The most d ifficult operational room ser vice probl em is forecastin g. condiments. it should al so be as e legant as a f ine dinin g ro om. Fresh flowe rs on the table and pampered service en hance the prese ntation. Temperature contr ol and d elivery eq uipm ent Ease of asse mbl y in prepara tion for delivery Kitchen asse mbl y an d storage s pace for room serv ice functions Skill of room service staff ( unlike the superv ision of servers in the dining roo m. In thi s operation.getting the food into the roo m as q uickly as possib le and keeping hot food as hot as possible. Consideratio ns to keep in mind whe n planning roo m serv ice menus are : • The ability of th e kitch en to produc e foo d items when th e full kitchen • • • • • • • may not be in op eration. the ca rt system is usually adequate to del iver a ll orders. a nd space for delivery trays a nd lin en. i ncluding billing to guestrooms Room service fa re should b e of t he same quality as that served in the reso rt s dinin g rooms. earts may have to be mecha nized to s peed delivery. g uests can even phon e orders to th e elevator dur ing hours of the mornin g operation. A s ervice surcharge is common in resor ts operating on the full or modi fied American p lan for room servic e orders . especiall y during peak hour s of demand. and b everages. ro lls. if guest quarters are w idely seattered. However. Room service is one of th e most impor tant amenities for guests in fine resorts. are wheeled int o the elevators. Trays may be se t the night before w ith nap ery and u tensils.

Var iables affecting room service reques ts are n umerous.Predicting how many gue sts in aresort wi ll request room service is extremely diffic ult to do with a high de gree of acc uracy. the types of functions goi ng on in the com munity. the day o f the week. Room se rvice requires ex tensive in-room merchandising to realize its full sales po tential. and indude such factors as the type of g uest staying at the reso rt. The process re quires evaI uating past experience an d weighing seaso nal trends and var iables. and-more of ten than not-the television schedule. 10 . weat her.