Top 10 Buffet Restaurants
Buffet businesses are rife with secrecy: Hard numbers about profit margins are extremely hard to come by, and many business are scared you want to talk health safety or whom they get their raw materials from, and at what price—information they regard as trade secrets.
But the basic economics of a restaurant are like those of any regular business: The cost of inputs must be less than what customers pay for the outputs. The difference between the two is the profit margin. Full-service restaurants have to balance sales with what they spend on food and alcohol, labor, rent, and incidental costs.
The variables at an all-you-can-eat (AYCE) buffet are different from those at a traditional restaurant. The demand for waitstaff is usually greatly reduced: Customers line up to serve themselves. The kitchen staff cooks from a prescribed menu daily, and at places like AYCE shabu-shabu or Korean barbecue places, businesses save further on cooking costs as customers cook their own food as part of the experience.
Though buffet operations don’t have to deal with finicky guests sending their orders back to the kitchen (log that under incidental costs), they do have to deal with another kind of tough customer: the kind who want to bankrupt them with their stomachs.
“We specifically refer to our ‘all-you-care-to-eat’ items in this way because we do not want to encourage our guests to intentionally overeat,” says Kerry Kramp, chief executive of Sizzler. “Sometimes guests misperceive these types of promotions and they take it as a challenge to potentially overconsume. That is not what we hope for and the majority of our guests greatly appreciate the flexibility to have a little more of their favorite menu items. We never create ‘consumption challenges’ and that is why we basically refer to these as ‘all you care to eat’ versus ‘all you can eat.’ People can eat a lot of food if they are not feeling like there is a value to the actual item.”
Sizzler, once a buffet-focused chain, has moved away from that model since the 90s. But its salad bar remains AYCE, and Sizzler continues to offer special items such as steak and riblets that can sometimes still be purchased as AYCE. As far as dealing with those customers trying to “beat the buffet,” the maxim is this: It’s all about the average.
For every big, hungry guy or gal who can really eat his or her weight in crab legs, buffets count on a few who won’t. It helps that buffets appeal to groups: A big family might have one super-eater, but Grandma or your toddler brother will probably under-eat.
All-you-can-eat Buffet is becoming increasingly popular and related concepts are adopted to operate in either hotel restaurants or buffet restaurants. Since catering experiences are highly affected by surrounding atmosphere, its service facilities have an essential impact on its overall customer satisfaction. However, there are no previous research studies on servicescapes and their relationships with customer satisfaction. This research is first to investigate if Buffet servicescapes affect customer satisfaction. The purpose of this research is to verify the relationship among Buffet servicescapes and customer satisfaction. Apart from this, which dimensions of servicescapes affect satisfaction the most are also examined. We have selected Park Lane Hong Kong Hotel Buffet Restaurant as an example because of its popularity and it is awarded as the best buffet restaurant in Hong Kong by a renowned Dining Magazine. Furthermore, we have also further studying on their effects on positive word-of-mouth since it results from the dining experience and it greatly affects others’ purchase decisions. The results discover that all dimensions of servicescapes have a positive effect on customer satisfaction where Cleanliness has the greatest impact. Finally, implications and recommendations are discussed base on the findings for further improvement to buffet hotel restaurants on various dimensions of servicescapes to enhance customer satisfaction and help spreading positive word-of-mouth under keen competition. Most importantly, this study is a starting point for further research on Buffet Restaurants’ servicescapes.
The catering industry in hotel-all-you-can-eat buffet
Recently, many catering businesses offer buffet as a strategic decision to be more appealing to the customers. The revenue from catering is more and more critical in comprising another major source of profit to hotel industry apart from room services. Consumers prefer to have a buffet in hotels instead of having dinner in normal restaurants, out of comfort atmosphere, high quality food varieties and enhanced selfesteem. Thus hotel management has altered their strategy to respond to customer needs and the competitive catering market. In addition, buffet can bring a positive effect to other catering units within the same hotel by attracting buzz in a positive word of mouth.
PROBLEM DEVELOPMENT AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
Due to the characteristics of food choices in buffet restaurants, the main consumer decision criteria would be service and price. As a buffet restaurant in hotel, superior service to fulfill customer expectation and consistent with the luxurious image is ultimately important. For a buffet restaurant, services are huge investments, which included its surrounding physical environment as well as its service delivery by the employees.
Catering industries are becoming more challengeable due to the increasing competition and rising customer expectations of quality. Service quality and customer satisfaction have long been described as essential role for success in competitive market. Many researches showed that quality and satisfaction have been linked to customer behavioural intentions like loyalty intention, reducing complaints, willing to referral and spread word of mouth. These findings highlight the important relationships between customer service effectiveness and organisational success.
Services cape has a high overall effect on perceived service quality. And it also has a great importance in determining customers’ evaluations of the expected service quality, in terms of influencing the evaluation of the intangible dimensions of service quality.
A widespread meal-serving system commonly blamed for contributing to the obesity epidemic is the all-you-can-eat buffet, where customers can help themselves to as much food as they wish to eat in a single meal for a fixed entry price. We set forth the hypothesis that buffet restaurants’ practice of collecting the price in advance, rather than at the end of the meal, encourages overeating. Viewing advance payment as a token of disrespectful treatment, we first establish this result theoretically by extending two recent and competing models on buffet behaviour to take account of the customer’s treatment experience. We then report the results of two experiments conducted in a sushi restaurant which support our hypothesis. The experiments reveal, ceteris paribus, that paying for the buffet meal after eating reduces sushi consumption by about 4.5 units, as compared to paying before eating. The result bears a straightforward and simple policy implication: To help reduce obesity, buffet restaurants should be banned from collecting the price in advance.