On the surface, managing a hotel restaurant seems similar to managing a standalone food-service business. After all, both businesses are restaurants that focus on serving food and hospitality. However, hotel restaurant management is an artform in itself.
In this guide to hotel restaurant management, we’ll cover:
- What makes hotel restaurant management different from managing a standalone restaurant
- 9 simple hotel restaurant management tips
What makes hotel restaurant management different from managing a standalone restaurant?
Hotel restaurants have all of the responsibilities of standalone food-service restaurants, plus several more considerations, including:
- Managing room service operations and fulfilling room service orders. Thirty-one percent of hotel guests expect 24-hour room service.
- Serving diners from multiple points, like the dining room, lobby or resort pool deck.
- Managing food and beverages tabs and giving guests the ability to charge tabs to their rooms.
- Giving travelers what they’re craving. According to SevenRooms research, hotel guests want multiple dining options, food and beverage (F&B) venues that are open late and hotel restaurants that feature locally sourced ingredients.
- Appealing to locals, as well as visitors. One in four Americans thinks hotels should engage with more locals through their bars and restaurants. After all, when locals become regulars, they also become brand loyalists for when they travel and help you maintain F&B revenue during shoulder seasons when room revenue is lower.
- Collaborating with hotel operations to meet mutual business goals, like generating revenue, maintaining a high standard of hospitality, competing with vacation rentals or increasing brand awareness.
9 simple hotel restaurant management tips
Hospitality management teams have a lot on their plates. These tips can help you streamline operations, turn guests into brand loyalists and maximize revenue.
1. Make hotel guests feel like VIPs…
While all hotel restaurant guests should receive the same courtesy, you need to make hotel guests feel like VIPs because they’ve already spent a considerable amount at the property. Providing the star treatment starts with knowing which restaurant guests are also hotel guests.
Use a customer relationship management (CRM) platform that identifies hotel guests as such when they check in for a table. Your team can thank them for staying at the hotel, see their dining preferences and roll out the metaphorical red carpet.
2. …and give regulars and VIPs special treatment
This same hotel restaurant management system helps you identify your most loyal and important guests, like local regulars and celebrities, and anticipate their needs.
Guest profiles show preferences (such as favorite table and dietary restrictions), spend history and more, so every employee can accommodate – without being asked. This tool can also alert key staff members on their smartphones or Apple Watches when a VIP walks in, so they can jump into action.
When locals get the special treatment, they’ll come back more often, carry you through the shoulder season and will be more likely to be loyal to your brand when they travel.
3. Deliver a consistent experience
An important part of hotel restaurant management is delivering a consistent experience across properties and F&B outlets. The food service level at your restaurant should match the hotel’s level of service.
In fact, 17% of locals expect hotel restaurants and bars to have a higher level of service than standalone restaurants in their area. And, 26% of hotel guests would reconsider booking with the brand in the future if they experienced poor service at the hotel’s restaurant or bar.
When your CRM shares data instead of siloeing it, you can instantly know someone’s loyalty status if they’ve visited your property in Santa Fe and are now visiting you in San Antonio. And when your F&B CRM integrates with your hotel CRM, data sharing can help housekeeping ensure that in-room amenities don’t include nuts if the guest has a nut allergy, for example, and anticipate other needs.
4. Leverage direct reservations
Just like they’re beneficial for hotels, direct reservations are great for restaurants.
When you use a direct reservations platform, you can collect guest data to own your guest relationships and market to customers directly. Plus, direct booking tools don’t charge commission, so your costs will be more predictable than if you were using an online travel agent.
5. Make business decisions based on data
When hotel management can access data from all revenue streams – including rooms and F&B outlets – it’s easy to unlock powerful reporting that can help you reach the right business decision faster.
Look for a F&B CRM that makes it easy to access your data and integrates with the rest of the tools in the hotel’s tech stack, including your POS, hotel CRM and PMS.
Check out our Buyer’s Guide to Hotel F&B Software for more insights.
6. Save time without sacrificing hospitality
The labor shortage in the restaurant industry means you have to do more with less. Look for ways to automate manual tasks.
Mobile order and pay technology lets guests order food and drinks from anywhere on the property without a server needing to approach them. With this tool, you can increase revenue without adding labor costs.
And, auto-tags in guest profiles help you learn more about guests without staff having to manually enter data.
7. Pay attention to guest feedback
Managers can’t make it to every table during every shift to ask guests how they enjoyed their meals. Post-visit feedback surveys and online review aggregation tools help you keep an eye on guest sentiment without taking up all of your time.
They send you daily digests and link feedback to guest profiles so you can identify fans when they walk in or try to make things right with a less-than-satisfied guest.
8. Find more ways to extend your hospitality
Upsells and add-on experiences expand your hospitality and double as opportunities to generate incremental revenue. Introduce upsells, add-ons and experiences to the booking process.
You could, for example, sell tickets to a New Year’s Eve party at your hotel restaurant or let guests pre-purchase a cake for a birthday celebration.
9. Send the right promotions to the right people at the right time
Marketing is a critical part of hospitality management. After all, you need to keep the restaurant and the hotel top of mind for both out-of-town visitors and locals. It’s crucial to target local restaurant guests and hotel guests with different offers, but doing so manually can be difficult.
Marketing automation tools can segment these customers and use artificial intelligence to send the right offer at the right time. For example, it could send a “we miss you” email to a local diner two months after their last visit. Or, it could send an F&B credit offer to an out-of-town customer on their next hotel stay.
When you own your guest data, you can use it in automated marketing to drive repeat visits to every property in your portfolio.
Wrapping up: Hotel restaurant management tips that wow guests and boost efficiency
Hotel restaurant management involves striking a balance between appealing to locals who can sustain your food-service business and making hotel guests feel like VIPs. With the hospitality industry facing an unprecedented labor shortage, it’s more important than ever to focus on streamlining operations and doing more with less.
A hotel restaurant management system like SevenRooms can help you improve operational efficiency while delighting guests at scale. Book your demo today.