Owning or managing a restaurant is a challenging prospect in today's competitive food service environment. To increase your chances of success, you need a proven system of data-driven tools focused on profits, not just costs.

In this course Professor Kimes will guide you through the restaurant revenue management process, providing real-world examples, strategies, and techniques that will help you apply these tools to your own restaurant. You will explore the key inputs of space, time, and price to determine how you make appropriate trade-offs to maximize restaurant revenue. Using spreadsheet tools, you will calculate critical metrics and establish baseline performance levels. Based on these levels, you will identify the most significant challenges and determine which strategies will be most effective in overcoming these issues and optimizing your restaurant's revenue and overall performance.

According to recent research, customers spend only one or two minutes reviewing a restaurant's menu. This provides you with just a small window of opportunity to capture your customers' attention and help them find just what they are looking for. In this course, Professor Sheryl Kimes will present you with proven strategies and techniques that can help you optimize your menu and increase the revenue it generates for your restaurant.

Through the process of menu engineering, you will explore a unique approach to categorizing menu items based on profitability and sales volume. Using this categorization, you can implement a variety of strategies to increase the overall profitability of your menu. You will also explore several effective menu design techniques that will help you improve how you name and describe menu items and organize and highlight them to showcase your most profitable, best-selling dishes. Critical to your restaurant revenue management program is your approach to pricing, and you will determine the strategies that make the most sense for your restaurant. You will walk away from this course with a set of practical tools you can use right now to maximize your revenue, whether your restaurant is slow, busy, or somewhere in-between.

When your restaurant is busy, you might think that you can't possibly generate any additional revenue. However, in this course Professor Sheryl Kimes will provide you will a set of tools you can use to optimize your table mix so it better reflects the mix of parties you have coming in through the door. You will also learn how to select and place tables, assign guests to tables, and set the ambiance of your restaurant to grow your revenue. Finally, you will devise pricing strategies that are most effective when your restaurant is busy.

When your restaurant is busy, every minute can count towards increasing your revenue. Professor Kimes explores how reducing meal duration, even by a single minute, can increase revenue potential. You need to consider the style of your restaurant and your customers when thinking about what an appropriate meal duration is. Then you can analyze the six stages of meal duration to determine where you can reduce time while maintaining a pleasant dining experience for your customers.

Additionally, the way you manage reservations is crucial, especially during busy periods. There are several things you need to decide when it comes to how you are going to take reservations in your restaurant. You will examine the different approaches to taking and managing reservations, whether by phone, online, or mobile. You can use a dedicated website for the restaurant, a third party website, or a third party app.

Professor Kimes will give you practical strategies to determine how you can improve your meal duration and your reservation systems, which are critically important to increasing revenue when your restaurant is at capacity.

How can you increase your revenue when your restaurant is slow and not performing to capacity? In this course, Professor Kimes will discuss several revenue management tools and techniques you can use to improve your restaurant's performance when it is slow.

First you will consider how to maximize your distribution channels and consider the costs of online reservations and ordering systems and how to balance the costs with the benefits. How can you make it easy for customers to come to your restaurant? Another important tool you can use is promotions. You will explore different strategies such as happy hours, special events, and other options that can entice customers to come to your restaurant. Finally, you will consider pricing and determine what approaches are most effective when your restaurant is slow.

Symposium sessions feature three days of live, highly interactive virtual Zoom sessions that will explore today’s most pressing topics. The Hospitality Symposium offers you a unique opportunity to engage in real-time conversations with peers and experts from the Cornell community and beyond. Using the context of your own experiences, you will take part in reflections and small-group discussions to build on the skills and knowledge you have gained from your courses.

Join us for the next Symposium, in which we’ll discuss how both day-to-day operations and strategic goal setting in the hospitality sector have rapidly evolved over the past two years, opening up new space for real-time conversations about the future of the industry. You will support your coursework by applying your knowledge and experiences to various areas of the industry, examining the innovations and accommodations you have all had to make throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and strategizing on future directions. By participating in relevant and engaging discussions, you will discover a variety of perspectives and build connections with your fellow participants from across the industry.

Upcoming Symposium: June 27-29, 2022, from 1:00-3:00pm ET

All sessions are held on Zoom.

  • Monday, June 27: Enhancing Your Leadership Style
  • Tuesday, June 28: Optimizing Meal Duration in Hospitality
  • Wednesday, June 29:  The Prisoner’s Dilemma in Pricing

Future dates are subject to change. You may participate in as many sessions as you wish. Attending Symposium sessions is not required to successfully complete any certificate program. Once enrolled in your courses, you will receive information about upcoming events. Accessibility accommodations will be available upon request.

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