As restaurant footprints shrink, staff is harder to come by, wage pressures increase and the economy poses an ever-changing set of challenges, success will go to those who are the most resourceful — who maximize every square foot, employee and morsel for unforgettable experiences. No matter the size of your venue, here are some ways to seize the most from every opportunity and keep guests coming back for more.
Maximize Your Space — From Storage to Showpiece
As Nicholas Murray, Director of Beverage and Food at Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel, points out, it’s more critical than ever to maximize every square foot of a venue — ensuring the entire guest space is picture-perfect.
“Wherever any guest is sitting, their view needs to be 100% Instagram-able. Everything is organized, stacked and photo-ready,” he says.
Will Lee, Partner and Beverage Director of Second Best in Detroit, also emphasizes efficient use of space, with an eye to the bottom line.
“We maximize the area where we generate revenue,” Lee says. “You’ll notice in Second Best the kitchen is smallish, storage is minimal so that we can maximize the square footage in the dining space.”
One great way to accomplish that is utilizing tableware that can turn into part of the décor when it’s not in use — getting more eye-catching use out of your collection while minimizing its storage footprint. Stackable additions to Libbey’s top-selling World® Porcelana can turn a stack of dishes into a display featuring a clean, modern aesthetic — ideal for exposed storage. It’s also great for elevating the start of a “serve yourself” station or buffet line. Plus, versatile sizes help flexibly accommodate everything from full meals to apps and shareables, across multiple dayparts.
Give your bar spaces the same treatment, with new stackable glassware options that deliver performance with flair. The reality is glasses always end up getting stacked by waitstaff and bussers — whether they’re designed to or not. That’s why Libbey has designed several new patterns specifically made for consistent, durable stacking that creates a more pleasing, uniform look while helping avoid unneeded wear and tear and replacement costs. One example, Libbey’s new retro-themed Gallery pattern, also wins style points for its unique faceted design, which looks just as good stacked on the bar it does on its own.
The Premium Batch
No matter the headcount, making the most of staff’s time is critical to the bottom line. But faster means worse, right? Not according to Lee. He is well-known in Detroit for being one of its most masterful mixologists, and he’s figured out how to take that level of finesse and expertise to scale, batching premium cocktails ahead of time without loss in quality control or presentation value — so they still command premium prices.
“We found batching the cocktails was a great way to facilitate high volume and high quality at the same time, without having to hammer in training with every single bartender.”
However, putting these top-shelf masterpieces on tap has added additional considerations to the process, Lee says. Portion control becomes all the more critical. These aren’t pilsners, after all, but high-proof drinks.
“Controlling consumption is always a super important thing when serving alcohol, but batching makes it even more important,” Lee says — noting both safety and price considerations. “Everything is batched so I have to consider the end cocktail that’s getting served, the total volume that’s in the glass.”
Lee says he looks to Libbey to offer the breadth of styles and capacities to serve these varied needs.
“Every single piece of glassware we use is Libbey. We have the Collins glasses to serve our high-balls. We do the DuraTuff Gibraltar rocks glasses for our low-balls. We serve our Miller High Life 40s in Libbey champagne flutes. We serve our cocktails in the Libbey champagne coups. We serve shots in the fluted whiskey glass. Libbey hits every point that we need in here.”
Mind the Fine Details
It might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but the flatware on the table is shown to have a significant impact on the perception of your presentations — the undeniable impression it leaves with its feel, weight, design and finish. In fact, a study by Oxford University found that the size, weight, shape and color of flatware have a tested and proven influence on diners’ taste perception. And a Libbey survey finds that it is actually the weight and hand feel, more than style alone, that ranks highest in importance to guests.
Libbey’s Master’s Gauge™ collection of 18/10 flatware helps you make the most of the impression flatware can make in both the aesthetic and tactile. Its varied selection of unique colors, textures and profiles represents Libbey’s highest level of craftsmanship and design. It’s an ideal way to add to an elevated experience that can be seen and felt with each bite.
Create More Versatile Experiences with Less Effort
Serving up engaging, unique interactive experiences for guests doesn’t have to add significant demand for your time-strapped staff.
Instead, you can embrace guests’ desire for more flexibility with trend-forward, serve-yourself stations providing them new, convenient options. According to Technomic, 62% of consumers value the ability to customize their meal. They often enjoy the opportunity to participate in the process.
Serveware additions to Libbey’s popular Infinium® Wake™ premium plastic tableware are an ideal way to help you go big and bold with “make your own” bars and “family-style” dining that put guests in control of the experience. The new selection includes large and lightweight bowls and platters that are easier for waitstaff to carry, and they also nest for easy, compact storage.
Libbey Offers a Full Spectrum of Creative Options
Libbey® knows how much grit, gusto and ingenuity it takes to transform a vision into success. That’s why they support you with forward-looking, insight-driven solutions that seize the opportunities of today and tomorrow. Libbey helps you blend your venue’s unique character with current and future major culinary trends — keeping your guests coming back for more. For more inspiration, visit foodservice.libbey.com.