News for the Hospitality Executive
Hotel Restaurant Management
Embassy Suites Seattle-Tacoma
International Airport, Converts Restaurant to
SEATTLE, March 4, 2010 -- Officials of The Dow Hotel Company, LLC, a hotel ownership investment and management company, today announced that it has launched a third-party hotel restaurant management division. The company's first third-party contract is for the restaurant at the Embassy Suites Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. DHC has converted the former restaurant to DHC's proprietary Basil's Kitchen brand, one of four brands the company has created specifically for the hotel industry.
"Historically, most hotels consider food and beverage as little more than a loss center. If the restaurant can break even, many operators consider it a success," said Murray Dow, president of The Dow Hotel Company. "We don't subscribe to that philosophy. Hotel F&B typically accounts for between 25 percent and 35 percent of total revenues. Not making a profit on that revenue just doesn't make good business sense."
Dow noted that the senior management team's roots are deeply imbedded in restaurant operations. "Food and Beverage operations is a core competency at DHC," he said. "We enjoy the challenge of putting an operation together that generates substantial profits.
"We have created proven concepts for upscale hotels that can be adapted to local markets, from casual dining to upscale," he added. "The concepts were created based on requests and suggestions from customers and hotel managers. We also can create new concepts that match up well with a hotel's positioning in its specific market."
The division will operate both restaurants and catering operations in hotels. "Hotel restaurants are different from free-standing facilities and require specialized management, marketing and systems. The division will focus on operating restaurants in hotels owned and/or operated by others, as well as in properties we own and operate," he said. "To our knowledge, we are the only hotel company that also is a third-party operator of hotel restaurants."
In addition to traditional restaurant operations, the Dow Restaurant Division brings in-depth expertise to banquet, catering sales, bar/lounge, coffee service, room-service, and meeting- required brand standards. "Operators have to look at the total Food and Beverage offering," Dow said. "Menus, labor scheduling and purchasing, coupled with high guest satisfaction for service and food quality, are critical elements that make the difference between profit and loss."
DHC recently took over management of the restaurant and catering at the 238-suite Embassy Suites Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and converted it to Basil's Kitchen, a Dow Hotel Company signature restaurant concept. Basil's Kitchen features fresh casual fare geared to the local market. With an independent outside entrance, the restaurant is quickly becoming popular with local residents, as well as business and leisure travelers. Previously known as Ring's, DHC oversaw the conversion process to Basil's Kitchen in less than two weeks.
Dow noted that creating a restaurant concept, from menu to uniforms, table settings to advertising, is costly and time-consuming. "We now have the systems, graphics and marketing materials, even the music selections, which makes for a speedy, cost-effective turnkey operation. We also are able to keep hotel owners in brand compliance, which is a critical step not readily available in the traditional lease model with a local operator."
Within the first 30 days of operation, revenues rose 15 percent. "We're still in the start-up phase, but have gotten very positive feedback from guests about the new menu and the restaurant's ambiance. Because we have done all the development work on the Basil's Kitchen concept, we were able to quickly convert. The hotel's sales team and market are favorably responding to the immediate impact to operations created by an experienced hotel operator."About The Dow Hotel Company
Seattle-based The Dow Hotel Company is a hotel owner/investor and operator of first-class, full-service hotels with properties throughout the United States. The company's portfolio of owned and managed properties consists of institutional-grade hotels, under such brands as Marriott, Hilton, Embassy Suites, Sheraton, and Crowne Plaza. The company aggressively seeks to acquire, co-invest with joint venture partners and/or manage mid- to large-size, first-class, full-service hotels, especially those with extensive food and beverage capabilities.
The company's Restaurant Division currently operates fourteen F&B facilities, ranging from casual dining to upscale, bars/lounges and in-lobby coffee profit centers. In addition to Basil's Kitchen, the division's restaurant concepts include SunSpot, BC Bistro, and Basil's Bistro. Additional information about The Dow Hotel Company and its Restaurant Division may be found at www.dowhotelco.com.
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