Increasing Food Service Earned Income

Report
Planning Food Services Spaces in a
Museum Environment
Benefits of Food Service
• Is an expected amenity
• Can increase length of stay
• Can positively impact gift shop sales and
membership
• Employee/volunteer convenience and morale
• Events can introduce individuals to the facility
• Can generate significant earned income
Visitor Food Service
o May be a café, restaurant, or kiosk, or a
combination thereof
o Serves museum visitor, employees, and
potentially outside patrons
External (Third Party Catering)
• Food and beverage supplied to groups of
diners in conjunction with an event
• Frequently occurs when the facility is closed to
the public
• Is generally the economic driver of the food
service equation
Planning Visitor Food Service
• Level of service (kiosk, café, restaurant) is
frequently dictated by annual attendance
• A museum with attendance of less than
50,000 may get by with a kiosk or small coffee
bar
• A museum with attendance of 1.5 million will
likely have several outlets with different price
points
Factors that Impact Demand
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Length of Stay
Presence of Children
School Groups
Good Wayfinding Signage
Competitive Establishments
Ease of Re-entry
Member and Employee Discounts
Production Methods
• Commissary Support
• Full Cooking or Production Kitchen
• Catering Pantry – different from a Café
Production Kitchen
• Production may be different for visitor food
service and catered events
Factors Influencing Production
Choice
• Space Availability – if space is limited a
commissary support approach might be best
• Menu Concept – a menu with grilled or fried
items will require a full production kitchen
• Operating Hours – an operation serving dinner
or seeking to be a destination will likely need a
full production kitchen onsite
• Catering Community – is commissary support
approach supportable
Café Size (Seating Capacity)
• Visitation is frequently seasonal, weekend
oriented, or exhibit driven
• Size to average (non blockbuster) peak day
• Determine average number of visitors arriving
from 10 am to 1 pm
• Consider outside visitors and museum
employees
Café Size (Seating Capacity)
• If peak attendance is 3,000 visitors with 50%
arriving between 10 am and 1 pm assume
15% - 30% of the 1,500 visitors will dine for
lunch in the facility
• This translates to 225 – 450 diners which
requires seating capacity of 75 -150 (three
turns for a café)
• Assume 12 – 15 square feet per person for
seating depending on local fire code
Space Requirements - Kiosk
• Limited to kiosk space and some storage
• Average kiosk 10 – 12 feet long and requires 6
feet of depth
• 60 – 100 square feet with electrical access is
generally sufficient
• Dry and refrigerated storage and hand
washing sink are required nearby
• No food is prepared on site
Kiosk
Space Requirements – Small Cafe
• Small café with front serving counter and back
service counter could measure 20 feet long
with 10 foot depth = 200 square feet
• Assumes primarily ambient temperature items
with limited re heating
• Additional storage of 60 -100 square feet
needed
Small Cafe
Space Requirements – Larger Cafe
• Full service scatter servery (multiple stations)
allocate 16 square feet per person front and
back of house
• 6 square feet servery, 5 back of house, 5
storage
• Café seating 200 would require 5,600 square
feet total (3,200 BOH/Servery, 2,400 seating)
Larger Station Cafe
Support Spaces to Include
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Managers Office
Cash Room
Secure Liquor Storage
Lockers and Changing Rooms
Other Considerations
• Will café or restaurant be located in a free
zone?
• An outside entrance to a free zone café or
restaurant can double sales
• Identify space for school children with bag
lunches – do not want them sitting in cafe
Additional Destination
Requirements
A separate dedicated ground floor entrance
with street presence (signage)
The ability to be open for lunch and dinner
and operate independently of museum hours
Activity generators in the near vicinity
Operator needs full control over the
environment (hours, pricing, menu, décor)
Sample Destination Space
Requirement
• Restaurant seating 100 open for lunch and
dinner
• Seating
1,800 square feet
• Back of House/Kitchen 1,100 square feet
• Hostess/Bar/Entry
400 square feet
• Restrooms
200 square feet
• Office Lockers
200 square feet
• Total
3,700 square feet
External Catering
• Museum generates income from venue fee
and percentage of catering food and beverage
• Includes corporate, social (weddings, bar
mitzvahs) and not for profit
• Each type of event has different space needs
Planning Considerations
• If event space is dedicated a slightly off the
path location that allows early set up is ideal
• Consider type of events and plan accordingly
• Social events typically require a separate pre
function space
• Weddings need a small bridal suite with
adjacent restroom
• Conferences need breakout space
Space Requirements
• Cocktail receptions generally require 7 -8
square feet per person depending on fire code
• Seated dinners generally require 15 square
feet per person depending on fire code
• Sight lines are important for a seated dinner
• A 3,000 square foot lobby with no permanent
exhibitions could accommodate about 400
people for a cocktail reception or 200 for a
seated dinner
Sizing Event Spaces
• Research capacities of other cultural
institution event spaces
• Find the hole in the market and size
accordingly if possible
• Sizing to the Museum Gala may not be
realistic
Support Requirements
• Most caterers will produce off site
• Catering pantry requirements are 15-20% of
net front of house
• A 6,000 square foot event space requires a
900 - 1,200 square foot catering pantry
• Space cannot be laden with equipment
• Support for each event space should be
identified along with transport routes
Other Considerations
• Identify the serving path and confirm it does
not conflict with guest path
• A busy catering pantry needs two doors (in
and out)
• Ideally restrooms are located in sufficient
quantity on the same floor as the event
• Will the museum purchase tables and chairs?
If so allocate 12% of net front of house space
Other Considerations
• A dedicated event space can significantly
increase demand and earned income potential
• If earned income is important be sure there
are appropriate spaces for simultaneous
internal and external events (inventory)
• If the caterer is exclusive and does significant
business add a meeting/tasting/conference
room
Final Thoughts for Success
• Prepare a feasibility study/business plan
before beginning schematic design so the
range of possible outcomes is known during
planning
• Gain consensus among stakeholders regarding
concept early on
• Develop institutional policies that support
food service goals
Questions

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