The Challenge:

The Borgata Casino is a 2,000 room, luxury casino just off the boardwalk in Atlantic City, NJ. With over 25 f&b outlets, it offers a diverse mix of food & beverage from bars, to room service, to pools to full-service fine dining outlets. These outlets include celebrity chef Bobby Flay’s steakhouse and the popular MIXX nightclub. The property also boasts a high end selection of other services, including a spa and entertainment venue.

RoseAnn Gotta has been a chef for over 30 years and has worked in the Atlantic City market for over 26 years. She has worked at some of the largest casinos in Atlantic City and even owned a catering company for 7 years. She has a wide variety of experience and talent that she brings to every kitchen she enters. RoseAnn joined the Borgata team in the busy summer months of 2013. When the property was busy food costs maintained the budgeted amount of 31%, but as the busy season slowed down, food costs rose as high as 36%. RoseAnn knew they needed to get food costs under control.

RoseAnn had heard her team mention a tool they had to help with ordering, prepping and menu insights, but had not yet been introduced to it. A co-worker on property got her set-up with access to Avero’s cloud-based restaurant software and showed her a few of the core solutions, including item sales solutions and Avero’s communication solutions. She had never worked with Avero in previous jobs, but quickly saw its power. She knew it could help her tackle her goal of optimizing food costs and worked to put a plan in place.

 
Time to Take Action:

RoseAnn jumped right into Avero and started setting standards and procedures leveraging Avero’s solutions. Her plan was three-fold:

1. Drill down into recent historical trends of like days to help forecast with Avero’s item sales solutions. By understanding how past Mondays compared, she could make sure the right product was ordered and prepped for the volume and dining behaviors of the guests they would see. Tuesdays’ typically drew in an older crowd primarily for gambling, while Saturdays brought visitors from NYC and Philadelphia that were looking for a higher-end meal on weekend getaways.

2. Understand the full picture with Avero’s communication solution, the Avero logbook. RoseAnn was new to the team, so she did not have a lot of experience with the seasonality of the property and the effects that various entertainers have on restaurant businesses at the Borgata. With the Avero logbook, RoseAnn was able to dive into details of past events such as concerts and festivals to understand what to expect for future similar events. The logbook gave the full story in the words of the Borgata team as well as the hard numbers of what meal preferences and spending behaviors a Beyoncé concert might bring versus a country music concert. The events were easy to search and gave her the additional insight she needed for more accurate forecasting.

3. Easily monitor precisely what was sold in the previous week with Avero’s item sales solutions to know what menu staples were depleted and needed to be replenished. There are certain dishes that are always on the menu and always fairly popular, so RoseAnn did not need to worry as much about on which days these items were selling, but more about total sales so that appropriate supplies could be ordered. The quick summary of the week’s performance provided just the right insight to limit food waste while avoiding having to 86’ items.

RoseAnn worked with her team, specifically, sous chef Jeff Seckinger, to make each of these steps part of the regular ordering and prepping procedures. She was even able to automate some of the steps through Avero’s emailed reports to save her team time.

The Bottom Line:

Just 4 months on the job, RoseAnn and her team were able to reduce food costs by over 4%. She even got food costs below the budgeted range of 31% to 30% for a couple months!

 

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