A 3-star manor house hotel, whose history dates back to the 1600s, was struggling to meet its forecasted food sales profits for its AA rosette standard restaurant. Venners Consulting stepped in to help the proprietor get back on track with a projected £20K saving in the year that followed and further deliverable benefits to come.
Achieving annual food sales of £500K per year the hotel proprietor was convinced that the hotel’s restaurant kitchen had been significantly under-performing. When he had tried to challenge the hotel’s experienced head chefs in the past, they had been incredibly difficult to challenge about costings, processes, as well as on their loyalty to the hotel’s historical supplier network. Following an internal promotion it became possible for a fresh start and that’s when the proprietor decided to call Venners for help.
Our consultants met up with the proprietor and agreed to perform a food sales diagnostics project which aimed to benchmark the hotel’s entire food sales process against those of its local competitors. They also agreed to perform a comprehensive review of the hotel’s supplier network, supplier cost prices and menu price points.
Prior to full analysis of the food sales, a covert dining visit was set up to gather essential insight about any underlying operational issues that occurred when the head chef was not on duty. This was followed by a kitchen production visit, during which the consultant examined kitchen controls and processes and conversed with the team to identify potential areas of improvement.
When full analysis had been completed it became clear that there were significant improvements to be made. The supplier network was not being used to its full potential. Purchasing protocols were inconsistent. Cost prices for some core ingredients were 25% higher than typical benchmark comparisons. Price points were not set at appropriate levels, leading to lost margin potential. And lastly, poor POS data management was negatively affecting their stock management control and the additional benefits that this could have on their operation.
The lack of knowledge in the team was also resulting in missed sales opportunities. Staff were not well versed in up-selling and hence were not encouraging additional sales. The dish sizes that were served were larger than typical benchmark comparisons, reducing these could significantly improve margins. An over-complicated menu layout and navigation was restricting customer choices, again leading to missed sales opportunities.
Our consultants decided to broker and chair meetings with some of the hotel’s current suppliers. As a result they managed to negotiate additional savings on up to 58% of the product range offered by suppliers. Our consultants then forecasted potential savings for each supplier to assist the owner and head chef in their decision making process of selecting preferred suppliers. They also provided special methodology training to implement a new recipe costing tool and system and carried out menu engineering to reduce pressure on the kitchen during peak trading. An overall action plan was introduced for the hotel to improve each area of concern, which would result in a projected saving of £20K per annum.