Let’s face it, hotel breakfast buffets are often the best part of staying at a hotel for many guests. In fact, lots of research has suggested that the service during breakfast is often the key to a successful overall hotel satisfaction survey score. Today, we are going to focus on improving buffet service by re-training your Omelet Chef.
Decades ago, someone came up with the idea to add a Chef to the buffet so guests could get eggs and omelets prepared to their liking. Eggs and omelet creations are typically low-cost, very filling, and loved by guests. Unfortunately, over time, the Omelet Chefs began being replaced by employees who spoke very little English and did little more than just stand there and wait for you to point at the ingredients you would like in your omelet. For some reason, we all started hiring people who rarely smiled, said very little, and always seemed very bothered to have to make an omelet for a guest. Nothing makes that 3-minute wait for your omelet more uncomfortable than knowing the person cooking the omelet does not want to be there. Also, good luck if you need someone other than an omelet. I can’t tell you how many my request to have a buffet item refilled was just met with a shrug.
Omelet Chefs are in a key position when it comes to guest interaction and they should be held accountable to the same service standards as a Guest Service Agent. At a minimum, a good Omelet Chef does the following: Continue reading →
A really good article from USA Today about hotels struggling to survive. Check out the full article on USA Today’s website.
The article features some high-profile hotel closures such as the W Hotel in San Diego and the Ritz-Carlton in Las Vegas. The article also mentions how 76 California hotels have already fallen into foreclosure and that 330 out of the states 10,000 hotels have defaulted on their mortgage payments in the last year.
As far as the cuts, the article really only mentions that Concierges are being replaced by lower-cost employees and some hotels are changing their approach to food and beverage.
We have noticed quite a few changes at hotels over the last year or so to cut costs or drive revenues. A few of the changes we see:
Many hotels have closed restaurants and bars. Instead of having 2 or 3, many have closed all but one restaurant and one bar.
Hotels have cut costs and gone green by eliminating newspapers and printed folios.
Parking rates are on the rise. Many hotels have increased the parking fees for both self-parking and valet parking.
Breakfast buffets have really been changing. The prices have increased and the quality and selection of food have decreased.
Overall staffing has really decreased. Many hotels have eliminated positions like bellmen or concierges. Also, we see longer lines at check-in because the hotels have fewer GSAs with similar occupancy as in the past.
What are you doing to survive? Please post in our comment section!
It never amazes us to hear about all of the ways our Mystery Shoppers see servers and bartenders stealing from their hotels. With the advancement in technology, especially point of sale systems, you would think that it would be harder for servers to steal. However, in many ways, it actually makes it easier.
With the advancement in technology, a server can make a guest check-in seconds. That means they can easily manipulate a guest check-in seconds. Here is one example our Mystery Shoppers see. A server serves 2 breakfast buffets and presents check number 101 to a customer. The customer pays $40 cash. Instead of closing the check to cash, the server pockets the cash and goes back and splits that check, and creates check number 102 for 1 buffet and check number 103 for 1 buffet. Now the server has two open checks for very popular items that he/she can do many things with. He/she can present a check to their next customer who orders a buffet or they can add additional items to the buffet or transfer it to another guest check. The opportunities are endless.
This not only works with buffets but with any items that are not prepared by the kitchen such as beverages, desserts, and especially alcoholic drinks.