Take it or leave it? Grab and go food and beverages increase revenue

Grab and go F&BToday’s hotels offer grab and go food concepts, providing more convenience to guests.ÊIt is important to have food options more readily available, enabling guests the choice to eat in public, the privacy of their room, or take it with them to wherever they go.

The a la cart menu of a grab and go may seem limited, when in fact it actually offers the guest more options then a restaurant menu.ÊThe guest can choose whether he or she wants to purchase a side with the sandwich or not, and the side could be a piece of fruit, bag of chips, or a cookie; those choices are usually already decided and included in the menu item.ÊNow that the guest can easily take the food where ever they wish, it also saves the guest money on costly room service fees. With all of the additional service charges, including a room service fee, increased menu pricing, etc. the guest may be paying upward of 25 Ð 30 per cent more for traditional room service.

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A terrific example of a grab and go type outlet, is the Marriott Courtyard Bistro concept which rolled out six or seven years ago.ÊGuests can grab some light food, and/or beverage, and the bistro offers a few hot items, such as pizza. There is seating, as this concept occupies the old restaurant space of the Courtyard hotels. Our clients realized about a 20 per cent increase in revenue as compared to the standalone restaurant.ÊAverage checks remained constant, but volume increased, labor was reduced Ð all resulting in increased profitability.

Another example is the Hyatt Place’s grab and go, integrated with the front desk. This means no additional staff is required to facilitate the grab and go. This concept provides guest with food choices, while minimizing cost to the hotel by cross-utilization of existing staffing. And the hotel gift shop is becoming a thing of the past, in many cases replaced by a combination food grab and go offerings and a convenience store.

In addition to the cost saving to hotel owners due to efficiencies and cross utilization of staff, owners benefit from the (minimal) dedicated lobby space required to house the grab and go, resulting in higher revenue per square foot of lobby space.

One could argue whether this what the traveling public wants. I say Ôyes’. Just look around your local community and you will see an onslaught of healthier fast food and grab and go concepts sprouting up.ÊEven most grocery stores today have a substantial grab and go pre-cooked meals section. Grab and go is the way to go for the future.

By Gary Isenberg

GGary Isenbergary Isenberg currently serves as President – LWHA Asset and Property Management Services. With more than 30 years of diversified hospitality experience in hotel management, finance and asset management, Gary’s expertise includes third party asset management, serving as an owner’s rep, due diligence for real estate investors, and development services to negotiate management or franchise agreements. His asset management specialties include, among other services, capital budgeting and PIP costing as well as internal control and accounting.

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