INDEPENDENT, LUXURY RESORT & CASINO – EMPLOYEE DINING ROOM
After successfully collaborating with Carpedia Hospitality on multiple projects, the management of a luxury resort and casino in Las Vegas requested a review of their employee dining room’s operation to identify potential improvements and efficiencies. Carpedia Hospitality connected with the outside food service company that was contracted to manage the venue and planned a 12-week project to optimize the operation and better serve its captive audience of 3,500 daily resort employees.
The food-hall style dining room served as a primary benefit for the resort’s employees, but despite its complexity and importance there had been a historical lack of focus on continuous improvement given its lack of revenue generation. Though the nature of the operation led to consistent daily volumes, the employee dining room experienced difficulty determining when to anticipate peaks, as the 24-hour operation saw lunch breaks scattered throughout the day. There was also limited structure around menu planning as there was only informal tracking of consumption, waste, or item popularity. Communication was inconsistent between the overnight prep team and the day shift leaders, resulting in regular shortages and surpluses. Managing labor also proved complicated due to disorganization in the payroll system. Overall, the lack of visibility to important operational metrics left the dining room’s leadership unable to manage proactively, which resulted in breakdowns and bottlenecks that detracted from the dining experience.
Carpedia Hospitality conducted observations of all front- and back-of-house positions across all shifts to establish productivity standards based on the volume of resort employees dining. In order to optimize schedules using these new standards, a forecasting tool was built which allowed the dining room managers to deploy appropriate labor across the likely peaks in volume. The dining room’s employees were also cross trained to improve flexibility of scheduling and to better manage peaks and minimize bottlenecks at specific stations.
Carpedia Hospitality also reviewed data that indicated that certain stations and seasonal offerings were not selected frequently enough by diners to warrant the associated cost, so resources were diverted to increase production of more popular selections. This analysis also provided guidance to ensure daily menus were of equal complexity and did not require labor hours beyond established goals. Consumption tracking tools were installed to more effectively manage food cost and inform prep lists, which were also updated to flex with forecasted volume and consumption.
In addition to providing standards and updated reporting around labor utilization, Carpedia Hospitality worked with leadership to clean up coding in the payroll system, allowing for closer analysis of actual performance relative to standards. The dining room’s management team met weekly to review results and adjust future schedules to align to volume.
By providing the employee dining room’s management improved tools and visibility to actively manage every aspect of the venue, Carpedia Hospitality was able to guide the team to achieving over 100% of their planned annual improvement in only 10 months of tracking. Dining employees enjoyed more expedient service and increased availability of their preferred items, while the resort’s leadership appreciated that expenses were reduced without impacting their team’s satisfaction.