I am currently negotiating menus at a downtown property and my client is doing lunch buffets. What a buffet is all about is choices, that is why many clients prefer this option of food instead of plated. Here is my problem: This particular property has a hefty price buffet with only ONE choice of dessert.
I said to the catering manager, “Hey, where are my choices of desserts? Your price reflects choices, but the menu doesn’t.” This person came up with an answer that isn’t even fit to print, and I walked away extremely disappointed at the arrogance of it all.
Hotels, what is disappointing to me as a buyer is that I can go work anywhere else in the world and the buffet menus are LOADED with choices and options, some of which are off the charts. It is NOTHING for a Four-Star property in China or Brazil to have 30+ options on a buffet. Yet in the States, hotel catering departments act like they are the culinary end-all by offering one soup; two salads, two entrees, one vegetable, one starch and two desserts for a pretty healthy price point.
What may come as a surprise to many of you is I don’t mind the price point. What I mind is the lack of value offered for the amount of money they’re asking my client to spend. If you are putting buffet options on your menus, honor what the word buffet is all about … CHOICES.
That is my story for now and I am sticking to it.