by Mike Holtzman
In order to make a splash in waterpark food you must follow a simple recipe. The three ingredients are quality, presentation and organisation.
Finding the best ingredients at the lowest cost is vital if you are to exceed your guest’s expectations. From the moment they bite your juicy burger, the quality and presentation are being judged. We all want and expect food to look, taste and smell good. The smell of the barbecue will lead your guests straight from the pool to your concession area. Fresh and colourful ingredients such as a ripe tomato and crisp lettuce are pleasing to the eye, buttaste is the key component, so make sure it tastes as good as it looks.
Remember to “do it simple – do it right!” A simple menu with one or two quality burgers will benefit you more than a large and confusing variety. Seasonal staff will be able to learn and perfect a well-planned menu. Be certain to let the customer know you care. Promote low calorie, no trans-fat and healthy items. For example, fresh fruit juices and smoothies are a great alternative to traditional soft drinks and sodas. With a high quality product you will earn repeat business and customer loyalty.
Organisation starts at the top. A well-designed kitchen enables you and your staff to work efficiently. Take time to teach the staff where items are kept, inventory is stored and make them aware of standard operating procedures. Keep it clean and organised at all times. Be sure to track you inventory throughout the day. Simple tasks such as replenishing napkin containers and condiment areas will enhance the presentation and efficiency of service. Cleanliness is a must!
When producing large quantities of a quality product, spills must be taken care of right away. Take a few extra minutes to clean throughout the day. Your staff will work more efficiently in an organised environment. Customers expect and deserve to see a clean work area. A clean kitchen will also reduce safety hazards for you and your staff.
Audit your team regularly throughout the season. Cleanliness, quality and speed of service should be constantly monitored by management. This will allow you to see and experience your staff’s performance through the guest’s eyes. An organised staff will have a short wait time because they have been trained to consistently deliver a quality product in the most efficient manner and this in turn will lead to a profitable facility.
When quality, presentation and organisation are mixed together, you will deliver superb customer service. By paying attention to all of the above, you can consistently create a great cheeseburger all summer long.
Mike Holtzman is president of Profitable Food Facilities, a hospitality design and consulting firm to recreational and family entertainment operations for the last 15 years. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org