Hotel Management February 2012 : Page 28

28 HOTEL OPERATIONS Feb r u a r y 2012 | HotelMana g ement . net The cost of quality BREAKFAST SPECIAL By C. Elliott Mest ASSOCIATE EDITOR F or hoteliers, serving breakfast for a consistent cost throughout the year can be diffi cult. Breakfast staples are comprised of products like eggs and bacon that rise in cost during summer. Breakfast foods are also especially perishable, limiting the options ho-tels have to stock up on these goods. Th e key: Know your budget, know your guests’ pref-erences and plan ahead to account for seasonal pricing fl uctuations. “Th e cost varies so much, it really does,” said Jim Milkovich, direc-tor of purchasing for Hyatt Hotels Corp.. “Last year we moved our services to K-Treat shell eggs and there is a defi nite cost attached to that. But we feel our customers appreciate the higher-end goods, which is why we make sure to off er them.” Milkovich says breakfast is a diffi cult meal period to serve a quality product due to the large variance in the categories of food and costs that are paid for quality. “Commodity bacon can be bought for $2.50 a pound, something you might fi nd in your home, but a high-quality bacon product can go for $4 to $6 a pound,” he said. “It is very easy to triple your costs for just one ingredient. We serve large cage-free shell eggs for double the cost of commodity eggs, and it all adds up very quickly.” Rich Warren, VP of business development at Buy Effi cient, says products that seem to be identical can off er a large cost diff erence. Buy Effi cient works with hotels to foster Rise and shine: One Hyatt breakfast menu offers eggs Benedict served with vine-ripened tomato and roasted Yukon Gold potatoes. better buying practices for meals, advising properties on what products to buy based on their customer base and overall budget. For Warren, the expensive item isn’t always the better item. Milkovich commented that opportunities have come up to lower costs at Hyatt, but in the end they decided not to. “I get a lot of vendors calling me about cost-eff ective products, and we have to do our due diligence and take a look at what is out there,” he said. “At the end of the day, though, you pay for quality. I know how tough it is for manufacturers to provide HM the quality we want at a low cost, so when I hear about it I’m always a little skeptical.” ■ emest@questex.com A good morning start: Providing a quality breakfast goes a long way $4-$6 a pound The breakfast spread at the Best Western Dulles Airport Inn in Sterling, Va. understanding how customers eat breakfast. Breakfast is often regarded as the most important “Unlike other meals, people’s habits at meal of the day. Because of this, there are certain breakfast do not typically change when they aspects of the meal that a guest expects to be travel, outside of over-indulgence,” Pohl said. available without exception. Ron Pohl, SVP of “Travelers want the same brand management and member foods they can get at home, services at Best Western, with the exception of business recognizes the importance of ➔ ■ travelers, who want to eat fruit offering guests a complimentary The average cost for high-and muffi ns to take on the go.” breakfast. quality bacon products, which Cooking techniques are just “This year, we included is more than twice the cost of as important as the service breakfast across all Best Western commodity products. and available food. “Breakfast Source: Jim Milkovich, director of hotels,” Pohl said. “With lunch purchasing for Hyatt items must be cooked to order and dinner there are so many for quality,” said Jim Mikovich, better restaurants that tend director of purchasing at Hyatt. to exist outside of hotels; it “Pre-cooked items are not very dense and don’t is diffi cult to compete. We’ve had much more keep a temperature. You can tell right away when success with customer satisfaction through a meal has been pre-cooked—the temperature offering a good breakfast and guests want to HM gives it away.” ■ stay in-hotel for breakfast.” According to Pohl, the key to offering a quality morning meal is emest@questex.com BEST WESTERN HYATT

Hotel Operations

C. Elliott Mest

The cost of quality<br /> <br /> Breakfast Special<br /> <br /> For hoteliers, serving breakfast for a consistent cost throughout the year can be difficult. Breakfast staples are comprised of products like eggs and bacon that rise in cost during summer. Breakfast foods are also especially perishable, limiting the options hotels have to stock up on these goods.<br /> The key: Know your budget, know your guests’ preferences and plan ahead to account for seasonal pricing fluctuations. <br /> “The cost varies so much, it really does,” said Jim Milkovich, director of purchasing for Hyatt Hotels Corp.. “Last year we moved our services to K-Treat shell eggs and there is a definite cost attached to that. But we feel our customers appreciate the higher-end goods, which is why we make sure to offer them.”<br /> Milkovich says breakfast is a difficult meal period to serve a quality product due to the large variance in the categories of food and costs that are paid for quality. “Commodity bacon can be bought for $2.50 a pound, something you might find in your home, but a high-quality bacon product can go for $4 to $6 a pound,” he said. “It is very easy to triple your costs for just one ingredient. We serve large cage-free shell eggs for double the cost of commodity eggs, and it all adds up very quickly.”<br /> Rich Warren, VP of business development at Buy Efficient, says products that seem to be identical can offer a large cost difference. Buy Efficient works with hotels to foster better buying practices for meals, advising properties on what products to buy based on their customer base and overall budget. For Warren, the expensive item isn’t always the better item. <br /> Milkovich commented that opportunities have come up to lower costs at Hyatt, but in the end they decided not to. “I get a lot of vendors calling me about cost-effective products, and we have to do our due diligence and take a look at what is out there,” he said. “At the end of the day, though, you pay for quality. I know how tough it is for manufacturers to provide the quality we want at a low cost, so when I hear about it I’m always a little skeptical.”<br /> <br /> A good morning start: Providing a quality breakfast goes a long way<br /> <br /> Breakfast is often regarded as the most important meal of the day. Because of this, there are certain aspects of the meal that a guest expects to be available without exception. Ron Pohl, SVP of brand management and member services at Best Western, recognizes the importance of offering guests a complimentary breakfast. <br /> “This year, we included breakfast across all Best Western hotels,” Pohl said. “With lunch and dinner there are so many better restaurants that tend to exist outside of hotels; it is difficult to compete. We’ve had much more success with customer satisfaction through offering a good breakfast and guests want to stay in-hotel for breakfast.” According to Pohl, the key to offering a quality morning meal is understanding how customers eat breakfast. <br /> “Unlike other meals, people’s habits at breakfast do not typically change when they travel, outside of over-indulgence,” Pohl said. “Travelers want the same foods they can get at home, with the exception of business travelers, who want to eat fruit and muffins to take on the go.”<br /> Cooking techniques are just as important as the service and available food. “Breakfast items must be cooked to order for quality,” said Jim Mikovich, director of purchasing at Hyatt. “Pre-cooked items are not very dense and don’t keep a temperature. You can tell right away when a meal has been pre-cooked—the temperature gives it away.”

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