A seamless F&B experience

Founder and managing director of The Cutting Edge Agency says it doesn’t matter what time of the day guests come in to an F&B outlet — it’s time to break barriers.

Can we break down the barriers of breakfast, lunch and dinner? Maybe it’s just my offbeat schedule, but I have noticed a distinct blurring of the lines occurring around when and how I eat on a daily basis. I find myself having breakfast at either 6am or 11am, then another meal around 3pm.

And dinner? Well, who knows, anything between five and 10pm is possible. This got me thinking: could this potentially be happening with others?

Some simple research (several phone calls to industry types) produced the same result. We seem to be shifting away from our established meal periods, and as such, perhaps restaurants should look at doing the same.

The huge success of brunches in the region goes some way to supporting my theory given that once a week, up to
4pm in the afternoon, we can all enjoy devouring a plethora of delicacies from an abundance of offerings. I have more to say about brunches, but that will come in a later piece.

Back to the core and my subsequent revelation: food and beverage outlets need to stop segregating breakfast, lunch and dinner and morph into continual food service operations. Not only do I believe that there are substantial additional revenue opportunities, but this is also a step towards providing an additional experience for our guests to fit meals into their ever expanding busy schedules.

We frequently refer to ‘all-day dining’ outlets as those that exist to cater to the flexible needs and wants of hotel guests. It’s not, however, just hotel guests that have flexible needs and wants; we are all living a much more hurried and yet engaged lifestyle whereby we need things to fit around us, not the other way around.

Subsequently on several recent projects I have begun looking at the lifecycle of an outlet throughout the course of a day, not so much as a two- or three-meals a day experience, but rather, a holistic all-day approach.
Even when it comes to cover count, looking at the number and spend per cover over the course of a day gives a much greater view of the performance of your business.

Don’t get me wrong; I am not suggesting that you run a full à la carte menu right from midday to midnight.
I am, however, suggesting that a menu can be created between the hours of, say, 3-7pm that allows people to eat something substantial.

The continuing trend in creating shared dining experiences also allows us to create menus that are flexible throughout the course of a day.

Rather than expressing cuisines through entrée, mains and dessert, it can be reflected through small and large items. Perhaps the small items are available from opening to closing as a simple solution.

This is not about radical rethinking or re-imagining, but more a shift in focus outside of the norm, to allow for those of us who really want to experience your food another potential opportunity throughout the day to do so.

As featured on www.hoteliermiddleeast.com on May 20 2015

Duncan Fraser-Smith is the founder of The Cutting Edge Agency, which specialises in developing and creation of benchmark F&B concepts through conceptualisation and training, as well as sourcing and partnering with international brands and high profile chefs to successfully establish their presence in the Middle East. Visit www.thecuttingedgeagency.com 

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