Playbooks – A Strategy and Tool for Driving Comprehensive Change in a Hotel Bar Operation

Driving Comprehensive Change in a Hotel Bar Operation is Like Climbing Mount Everest

So you have a scorecard typical scorecard project www, that is spotlighting huge changes in venue setup, menu, service strategy, pricing, marketing, and production strategy. The projected business improvement reward is huge, the proposed changes make sense, but the kind of change being defined seems impossible to execute comprehensively in a short period of time. The consultant is saying it has to be “all or nothing”, and to the local management team being asked to commit to a plan, it looks more like “nothing” is the only possible path. In most hotel situations F&B managers are already working extended hours. The tasks which fill those days are not easily peeled away because some are dictated by corporate task mandates and the rest all seem critical to stay focused on. F&B managers are not typically change project experts, nor do they have the tools and or time to learn how to use project management tools for a one time comprehensive change project. They really have no idea how to even start.

Playbooks are in effect a change plan. The plan is detailed in in a simple Excel workbook. Nothing to buy. Nothing to learn. The plan starts with a high level change tab where you list the primary change tasks. Then detail tabs define the specific action steps implied for each task. It’s easy to pencil in and model timelines for completion. It allows you to recognize dependencies which help the team define the order of attack and set rational completion dates for tasks. Outside consultant resources may be required, or perhaps a task force team that parachutes into the property to support the project. A Playbook plan insures you can keep everything organized and motivates the team members to hit their task completion dates.


The key to success is breaking the big task down into smaller pieces and getting those pieces organized for completion. All of sudden what seems impossible, starts to look doable. When the team sees that something looks doable, the team is ready to make the effort and sacrifices. The executives become willing to fund the capital components, additional resources and experts it will take to achieve the plan. The short period of time character of these Playbook plans means progress is going to be visible quickly and progress builds momentum, confidence and enthusiasm in the targeted final result position.

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