Managing a restaurant is a challenging task in Virginia as issues of law, competition and personnel have to be considered. Computerization tried to simplify some of these tasks; however, it caused an adverse impact. The independent sectors of food services, lodging and meetings can interact for better marketing. In addition, other industries like gaming can be of great influence on the hospitality sector as a whole.
Challenges of Restaurant Management in Virginia
Managing a restaurant is a hard and expensive task. To ensure success in running a restaurant, the management needs to have experience in working in it as an employee. This gives tips on marketing, payroll, developing a menu and other important activities. One has to know their target customers in order to determine the right menu (Wentz, 2007). One also has to consider service style that would interest them, for example, dinners for those who like night hours and breakfasts for those who prefer morning hours. The management should also consider whether fast foods or full service meals are to be served.
Unpredictability of the market is a huge challenge, as one cannot predict with absolute certainty whether the customers will take the meals offered. This can cause problems in setting strategies and goals. As a manager, one needs to be aware of their target market. This helps in solidifying the menu, determining the location and atmosphere of the restaurant (Wentz, 2007). For effective management, a concise business plan should be developed. It should contain the general goal and the concept of the restaurant as well as the financial projections and information, target market, menu and pricing, marketing plan, employee details, an exit strategy, and details on the target market. When creating or modifying the menu, the manager should ensure it is within the set budget, attracts the target market and brings out the design concept of the restaurant.
The legal requirements also pose a challenge in restaurant management in Virginia. Failure to meet any of them can lead to closure, a fine or imprisonment. Hence, as a manager, one has to familiarize with the legal regulations and ensure that they are met. There is a huge challenge in hiring qualified employees. This makes it necessary to outline the duties and responsibilities required from them. Sometimes new employees may need training before applying for a job.
Impacts of Computerization on Food Service and Lodging Operations in Virginia
Computerized systems are in use in lodgings and food services to enable storage and distribution of hotel information (Kasavana & Cahill, 2011). In Virginia, such systems are already in use. They have even brought about several effects. Firstly, they have eased the managers' work by assisting them in monitoring online sales and marketing. Computerized systems have also simplified the booking of lodgings, so the clients can contact service providers any time to confirm their booking.
The technology used in Virginia is of high quality. Moreover, some award-winning companies like SyCom assist in improving the technology used in the hospitality sector and other sectors. Most restaurants in Virginia use computerized systems for sale transactions. These systems control checks received from the guests, guest payments and kitchen orders, hence they save time in providing services. Computerized systems have also helped in storing large amounts of information, which is especially useful in providing a variety of ratios and averages that are used in inventory control and sales analysis. This has been simplified by companies such as QTS Data Centers that offer flexible infrastructure that handles redundancy services. Another positive impact is the accuracy and speed of the systems in providing evaluations of cost control, menu costing and budgeting. These systems increase productivity and efficiency of operations by assisting in safeguarding assets, maximizing profits and controlling costs.
In managing personnel, technology creates both positive and negative impacts. One of the negative impacts is the fast pace at which technology changes, which requires employees to constantly strain to keep up with it. Then, unions have to assess whether these changes will lead to job losses or training for the employees. The integration of new technology in the food and lodging sector in Virginia results in changes in job quality, an increase in intensity of work and greater control over workers. This is because technology is more efficient and time-saving than manual labor (Greenfield, 1999). The new technology has a positive impact on management, as it gets a clear control over the restaurant activities through surveillance. This means that inconsistencies of any work can be identified in time and corrected. The technology that improves customer satisfaction such as electronic door locks are also of great help in the hotel sector.
The technology used in the accounting sector of lodging operations and food services has various impacts. To begin with, using a post machine ensures that legal requirements are met automatically by printing guest checks that have met the legal standards. Secondly, automated systems ensure availability of online information at all times, hence constant information flow (Greenfield, 1999). Customers can easily access online information regarding a restaurant they are interested in, which facilitates their decision-making on where to get what they need. Another effect is the minimized control requirements as the systems have programs that constantly check themselves to detect faults in their operation. Data entry is also minimized because once the system reads the checks, they are automatically saved. Technologies provided in Virginia hotels are of high quality. For instance, customers get access to new products such as Windows 7 and 8. Considering most customers own mobile devices, it has become easy for them to find trustworthy accommodations through their social networks. These social sites enable customers to connect with boutique hotels based on their mutual interest, thus boosting loyalty among them.
Interdependence of Food Service, Lodging and Meeting Segments in the Hospitality Industry
The food service sector is the largest section of hospitality industry that involves preparing food for customers (Wentz, 2007). It includes commercial food service, full service restaurant or a quick service restaurant. The lodging sector provides a sleeping place during the night. It can be a campground, youth hostel or fancy hotel. The meeting segment provides halls and rooms for holding conferences and meetings. In Virginia, all the three sectors correlate as one of them cannot fully satisfy all the customer needs. A good example is when meetings are held at distant places, which may require one to sleep over at lodging and eat at a food center. At times, each can serve its purpose independently, but in the long run, they are all crucial to the success of the industry.
The relationship of these three areas can be improved through trade unions and cooperatives like the Virginia Hospitality and Tourism Association that creates value within its members by protecting free enterprise and providing cooperative marketing. The association acts as a unification center for restaurants and lodgings. These sectors can also improve their relationship through signing agreements of service exchange so that a recipient primarily receives services from a certain vendor.
Ways to Improve and Combine the Lodging Sector, Food Services and Meetings
The lodging, food service and meeting sectors can be improved by organizing conferences that encourage partnership and provide a wider market for the sectors. In Virginia, City Convention Bureau helps in fostering partnership between meeting and lodging. These sectors can also be improved through better transactions. For example, lodgings could provide accommodation in exchange of some service from another sector. This would foster good relations between them. The three sectors can combine their services so as to be more marketable through collaboration in service provision. For example, during the meetings, the food sector could be requested to provide beverages and some food.
Gaming Entertainment in Virginia
Gaming entertainment is amusement attained from playing a game or watching a performer. It is a diverse sector that ranges from architecture, information technology to hotel management. The sector is expanding to various countries and continents. It provides jobs to various people in addition to international opportunities. Virginia encourages the gaming industry as it provides a means of entertainment, excitement and possible enrichment. West Virginia is a host to four gaming centers that provide horseracing, table games, slots, sports events and others.
Gaming has several economic impacts on other sectors in the hospitality industry in Virginia. To start with, it provides very high salaries to employees, thus encouraging them to work harder. It also gives them several benefits that range from health care and training programs to paid vacations. This helps to improve employees' living standards. In addition, the sector contributes to social development through donating to charities and offering volunteer services. The sector is known to value its employees by ensuring that they get job satisfaction at all times. Virginia also benefits from taxes levied on the gaming sector profits. These taxes are used in developing the state, hence promoting its infrastructure development. However, gaming can affect the economy negatively while it causes unemployment to individuals who get addicted to it (Sublette & Mullan, 2012). The gaming industry has a direct impact on the hospitality industry as well. This becomes evident from higher earnings received in areas that have casinos compared to the areas without any gaming facilities.
It is evident from the research that managing a restaurant in Virginia is not an easy task. One has to look into the problems faced in hospitality industry and be able to solve them. It is also obvious that computerization of lodging and food services has more positive than negative impacts on the industry. In addition, interrelation between lodging, food service and meetings can offer benefit for all of them. Lastly, gaming has proved to have the most beneficial impact on the economic growth and other economic activities.