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Would someone be impressed if you posted a $500K growth in beverage revenues in the coming year, or dropped your beverage costs by 3 points? Most hotel F&B operations are “hold position” budgeted, which means the numbers goals for next year are often the same as the numbers achieved for last year. The Edgewater Hotel in Seattle, WA found a way to break out of that status quo cycle. It started with an Assessment in January 2016. One year later they were looking back at a $400K beverage business growth, and a 6 point drop in liquor costs. Here is their story…

In the spring of 2015, Noble House Hotels & Resorts decided to move forward with a partnership with Strategic Beverage Solutions (SBS). The goal was to explore bar performance improvement opportunities at all Noble House properties with managed F&B operations. The consultant team at SBS fanned out in a plan to do the initial assessments. In January 2016 an assessment was completed at the Edgewater Hotel, an iconic centerpiece of the Noble House portfolio tucked on the edge of Elliott bay in Seattle, WA. Six | Seven was a major Seattle destination restaurant with a reputation for fantastic dinners while soaking in gorgeous waterfront views. But the bar side of the business was also rapidly evolving into a popular end of business day and transient visitor hangout spot for great cocktails and small bites.

The goal of the Assessment project was delivering feedback on opportunities and ideas to both grow the business and improve profitability. The process involved looking at all aspects of the product; venue setup, menus, service strategy and execution along with marketing strategy. Dozens of ideas were developed including implementation of an SBS Beverage Watch Plus solution to help the business improve beverage profitability.

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Living Room Bar Concepts – A Winning Formula For Hotels/Resorts

Hotels & Resorts have always faced the challenge of targeting the needs of a hotel guest for a place to relax at the end of a long business or travel day – and yet still be able to pull non-hotel guests into their bar/restaurant venues.

It’s Not a Restaurant/Bar Strategy Any Longer – Its Bar/Restaurant?

There are plenty of success stories in the Hotel/Resort F&B world where world class destination restaurants and or high volume active lounge venues are pulling the majority of their customers out of local nonhotel guest markets. There are operators who execute those business venues/models very effectively – such as Sbe, Noble House, Kimpton, Sage and others. But the vast majority of hotels and resorts are missing the business wave which comes when your bar is a living room bar.

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Is Your Hotel Bar & Restaurant Missing The Non Hotel Guest Opportunity?

Strategic Bar Solutions (SBS) travels the United States visiting hundreds of hotels performing F&B Assessments.  The goal of these visits are to bring an experienced bar business eye to a hotel bar situation and deliver feedback to property GM’s and F&B leaders.   Every property situation turns out to be different.  Opportunities are not consistent and the strategy to go after an opportunity is often driven by the specifics of a local situation.   We don’t look at blowing everything up and starting from scratch.  We aren’t fixated on creating perfect cocktails and the world’s best flatbread.  We focus on spotlighting available chess moves that will move F&B revenues up and costs down. One chess move we continuously find that makes sense for F&B within the hotel is the execution of an inbound marketing strategy.  The need for executing a bar inbound marketing program is dictated by two factors:
  • Its tough to compete against all of the bar options in your local market, but Living Room concept bars are proving to not only be preferred by your hotel guests, they are a unique and preferred choice of a lot of potential local and transient customers.
  • Hotel marketing programs are often world class, but the bar in the end is just an amenity.  When you have a bar and a market situation which can pull in nonhotel guests, the lack of inbound marketing limits the connect potential with a customer constituency that could double your F&B revenues.

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