F&B strategy for 2022 should be simple

Operations continue to be erratic as we forecast the year ahead. Besides new variants scaring guests away, two other big concerns that are more specific to your restaurants are global supply chain issues and the ongoing labor shortages. Together, this all makes for a headache when trying to keep an F&B outlet open and still turn a buck.

There’s a phrase that we adhere to and apply to many of our consulting assignments that also works in this particular situation: “It’s often better to do one thing great than many good.”

Much like how many hotels navigated their way through the 2020 lockdowns and erratic occupancies since reopening, 2022 will be a year of minimalism. On the one hand, that means automating wherever possible to minimize labor requirements for repetitive tasks. On the other hand, it means rethinking your menus so as to minimize carrying costs and possible service disruptions.

Oftentimes, the aim of hotel F&B operations is to have something for everyone, and this ends up creating a bit of ‘scope creep’ – an advertising term denoting increasing costs. Instead, a minimalist approach can be an opportunity to only serve your top sellers along with those prestige items that the executive chef slaved over to create. Simultaneously, you can trim costs, streamline service and heighten customer memorability.

This last point deserves a bit of clarification. Narrowly focused F&B offerings increase customer memorability – and in turn satisfaction – by reducing the ‘paradox of choice’ whereby giving patrons manifold options means they remember none. Focusing their attention gives them a clear target and, fortunately, increases the speed at which you can turn a table because the decision-making process is made that much easier.

Ultimately, this depends on each hotel’s market positioning and must be approached on a case-by-case basis. Regardless, consider how you can minimize to achieve the benefits listed above.