Yesterday evening, I was invited to a restaurant in the neighborhood of Shrewsbury in the English Midlands (UK, Europe). Nice place. Good food. Good company. But. One big issue. The venue is in doubt with its own mission, and try to combine too many activities into one space.
They are both a hotel and a restaurant. That’s okay. The combination of a hotel with a commercial restaurant should even increase the quality of the kitchen for the hotel guests, since the restaurant attracts a more steady flow of clients, which creates a steady flow of fresh food and a more steadily occupied professional kitchen staff.
But they also rent a little event space in the back of the restaurant. And that’s not okay, since they did not provide the right acoustic insulation between the restaurant and the event space. The bar was shared so the event guests had to cross the restaurant to buy their drinks. And their was only a light flexible wall between the restaurant and the event space.
When we arrived the waiter was showing us a table against that thin wall – and the sound of the disco bar was already too loud to clearly understand the waiter. We immediately got another table far away from that place, closer to the bar. That was better, but even there, the sound of the marriage was too annoying to enjoy the dinner. And the waiters were all the time saying “sorry for having to wait a little while” because the staff had too many little tasks going on at the same time.
So if you own a hotel or a restaurant, or both, think twice before you add an event space too. And if you do, think again about the client’s experience. You might increase the income per square meter or per kitchen infrastructure, but be careful not to loose on the most precious asset of your business – the client who wants to enjoy a nice evening dinner or a restful night at your place. Most of them will not tell you, will endure the situation, and not come back again.