One of the most traditional and prestigious 5 star hotels on the Adriatic Sea in Dubrovnik, Croatia. 165 deluxe bedrooms hotel with 3 restaurants, two bars and conference & banqueting facilities.

Objective

Upgrade breakfast service to a higher dimension of quality and food experience. After a thorough benchmarked research project, we defined goals and expectations, “Offer a high quality breakfast experience with wide range of fresh products and variety of dishes” The challenge was to keep food cost in line with budget, 24% food cost as planned for the year.
With breakfast being the first main meal for any guest in a hotel, it was paramount to make  it memorable. With this in mind, the food and beverage products in the hotel will have better chances to be seemed as a high quality service and the potential to increase number of covers and food average spend.
Our philosophy was simple; a good quality and prompt breakfast service highlighting a serious and professional F&B operation.

Team behind the Project

Sergio Foti and Zdravko Peric embarked this project. Senior team members of the hotel were also involved on project, including Financial Controller and Corporate Purchasing Manager.

Methodology

We started the project with an exhaustive breakfast cost analysis; we worked closely with the F&B controller and procurement team who assisted us in keeping daily and weekly food cost statistics.

We came to the conclusion that food cost was hitting an average of 20%, giving us a margin of 4% food cost to reach our target. Simultaneously to this first activity, we assessed and analyzed data from GSTS (Guest Satisfaction Tracking Survey) including guest’s comments cards implemented during breakfast times.

We clearly saw results showing “good quality of food” and “good range and variety of food” The “Good scores were not enough to achieve our goal.

We went into a very extensive deep dive in understanding the components of breakfast, what worked, what did not and variables affecting guest experience.

As a tourist destination hotel, we then analyzed guest’s segmentation, guest’s ethnic origin, we analyzed likes and dislikes, breakfast preferences from each distinctive ethnic group.

As a result of this, a unique standard buffet was in place for the whole year, including food variation / stations depending on season.  Planning, organization, coordination and cost control were key factors to success.

Food production was cooked in fewer quantities to protect quality of product and portion control, this standard made possible to chefs to achieve great financial results and equally protecting the guest experience.

Visual impact had also played its part; we incorporated new chinaware which helped to enhanced visual presentation and food image.

We standardized the entire food buffet including beverages; we kept a traditional food corner featuring local products (always protecting what is autochthon from the region) and widely enhanced variety and range of products with strong focus on freshness and quality, strong negotiations took place with suppliers and deals were made assuming a long term working relationship.

Results

After six months, positive results were appearing, 15% guest satisfaction increase on GSTS breakfast scores, more positive reviews accounted on Trip advisor mentioning breakfast service, a more general positive perception from repetitive guests, we achieved a food cost overall of 23.5%, (although first theme buffet menu went up by 0.5% over plan, second buffet choice for spring was below plan by 1.5%)

Positive results achieved had also helped breakfast team to improve their product knowledge and motivation. Higher morale and participation within the team was seem immediately. (labour retention/engagement)
As a result of achieving a better quality breakfast buffet, breakfast take up ( % of guest having breakfast) increased by 5% with an increase in breakfast average spend of 15% worth 15 Euros