Re: [boardgames-379] We've got a bit of a situation with Holiday Inn

From: Keith
Sent on: Monday, July 6, 2009 3:59 PM
I agree with Amanda.  I think that when we first started, there was the "newness" of being there, so people were ordering more.  But I have always thought it made for an expensive night, so I limited us (Rachel & I) to one item, say a dessert or an appetizer.  Times are tough and I don't need an excuse to spending more money.

I have also not seen many people walking by.  Monday nights are not the big night for any restaurant.  The weekend is over and if any one is staying there, they're probably business travelers, and I cannot believe they got even close to $170 for the night prior to arrival.  That would require a lot of people eating in; this is the Holiday Inn, they're not exactly known for their food in Nashua, no offense intended.

Robert, I think you should start looking around, as I don't see a simple solution to this.

Keith

----- Original Message -----
From: "Amanda" <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Monday, July 6,[masked]:15:04 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Re: [boardgames-379] We've got a bit of a situation with Holiday Inn

Perhaps I just haven't been paying attention, but I don't remember seeing any families eating at those back tables other than once or twice the first few weeks we were there. I'm not sure which came first, the gamers or the slow Monday nights, but I'd be willing to bet they make more money with us there than with us not there. Just because we're spending less as a group doesn't mean we are spending less than their typical Monday night diners.
 
I agree with Robert that they should reserve certain tables for other guests and probably put a sign in the hallway area with an arrow pointing to the special section of tables or something. However, I'm trying to put myself in the shoes of a hotel guest walking past the restaurant area, and I'm not sure I'd be thinking, "Are there any tables available for me?" I'd probably be thinking, "I'd rather not eat my dinner in the middle of a weirdo convention." Nothing makes a family dinner more special than having your conversation interrupted by a grown man yelling, "I've got wood for sheep!" (Those of you who have not played Carcassone, pardon my French.) Twenty people playing Catch Phrase doesn't exactly make for a fine dining atmosphere either. My point, and I do have one, is that the availability of tables might not really be the issue.
 
Lastly, I agree that Paul does a wonderful job, but leaving extra tips for him will not increase the restaurant's sales, so I'm not sure I get the point of that. Any other thoughts?
 
Amanda

--- On Mon, 7/6/09, Tom D'Alimonte <[address removed]> wrote:

From: Tom D'Alimonte <[address removed]>
Subject: Re: [boardgames-379] We've got a bit of a situation with Holiday Inn
To: [address removed]
Date: Monday, July 6, 2009, 2:18 PM

I don't remember that many for the 1st week, since we phrased it as a 'bar' at first.  (remember folks stayed away at first because of that?)  So I think we were only 20 1st week, 28 2nd after saying its a 'hotel'. :-)  They have had 2-3 families in a night there, that I've seen. (not all at the same time in a night, but in the same night) 

But the point is we're so big now we're cutting off the place to others.  That would be fine, but only a few are ordering food any more.  I've seen the lots of water glasses and only say 1/2 a dozen plates of food now-a-days.  I think Paul was suggesting those that don't buy food toss in a couple of bucks.  I take it as tipping him for his time taking care of us (my words, not his :-) so well.  Just leave the money on the table when you leave, doesn't have to be a kitty.  Seems reasonable to me.  Isn't he worth it? :-)

The problem with what we use is we 'need' the big tables against the far wall for our large games.  We only used to use the back table some of the time.  And usually just 1.  Now we use all 3 almost all the time.  People see those tables walking by.  They can't see those 'booth' tables we never use, they're hidden by the raised deck and poles, so folks don't think there are any tables free and walk out.  He's right about no one on a Monday.  I haven't seen anyone else eating there in weeks when we are overwhelming the place.  I have seen folks walk thru, look around and leave.

I wonder if the booths could be swapped in position with the big tables?  Then that would 'expose' those to their dining customers eyes, yet let us use the big tables.  Or we could consciously try to use the booths and leave the back wall tables alone.  Then I think the management would have no problem.

I'll try to show up early tonight (yeah, right! ;-) and see what engineering magic I can work. (do you think they'd be upset if I brought a hammer and crowbar? lol)

The problem with success is success. ;-)

--- On Mon, 7/6/09, FAN_Alliance <[address removed]> wrote:

From: FAN_Alliance <[address removed]>
Subject: Re: [boardgames-379] We've got a bit of a situation with Holiday Inn
To: [address removed]
Date: Monday, July 6, 2009, 8:22 AM

What I see is revisionist history by the management, looking to maximize their profits.  First, I spend $15 - 20 a night and don't intend to throw more into a "kitty".  Now for the facts.  The first week we had 28 people show up.   The second week, we had 36 and then it dropped back down 30 where it has been consistently since.  From the first week we were taking up the middle section and the outer tables opposite to the bar.  I have noticed that people have started to creep into the other outer section, which I will do a better job keeping people out of so there is room for the family diners.  Speaking of the family diners, there have been at most one table used since we've been there, so 2-4 were right at best.  I seriously doubt those 2-4 people were spending a couple hundred dollars a night.
 
I can't speak about their total take.  Guess what, if 30 people just bought the appetizer, it would come out as $150.00.  What I recommend is that they put signs up reserving one section for hotel guests.  Also if you enjoy using this space, then buy something.  If they even try to implement a room fee, I will be searching for another place the same day.  The next location may not be as enjoyable.
 
Robert      

Sent: Monday, July 06,[masked]:39 AM
Subject: [boardgames-379] We've got a bit of a situation with Holiday Inn

Hi, this is Tom,

A couple of days after last Monday night, Paul took me aside and said we had a bit of a problem with the hotel management.  Apparently, when we started, we were say 20 folks in the middle part of the restaurant.  On a given week, with 20 folk, they were doing about $350 worth of business with us.  In addition, they had 2-4 family dinners per night, in the outer tables.

Lately, we've ballooned to 35-40 people per night.  Yet the take per night has shrunk to around $170.  So we've almost doubled in size, but we're buying about 1/4 what we were per person.  Paul said a lot of folk would just ask for a glass of water or a bucket of free popcorn.

Now they've never asked us for an amount-per-person, like Pizzeria Uno wanted.  And they don't now.  And they love having us!  But the problem is, with us so big now, we're totally cutting off their dinner business on that night.  We just take over the whole place, so they noticed no guests were having dinner any more, only on Mondays, since they don't think there is any place to have it there. (we kinda cover it up)  Guests are leaving the building and going elsewhere, only on Mondays.  That's a couple of hundred bucks to them, and with us buying so much less now, the management is feeling the hit twice as much.

Paul was saying they were talking about having to have a room charge, like they do for other rooms.  Paul and I were thinking we might be able to head this off if we just had a nightly kitty that everyone could toss 2-3 bucks in.  I thought of the kitty, becuase unlike a room charge that the hotel would get, it'd be considered a tip.  Paul DOES put a LOT of effort into taking care of us.  He came up with and made the number cards, gets out the banquet table for the games and rearranges the room for us and runs ragged keeping us happy, even when we're not buying anything and cleans up after us. (we are NOT neat! ;-)  A couple of bucks from each of us, would probably allay the management that we're not abusing their kindness, but not nearly as much of a hit as a room charge would be each week.

Yeah, I know the economy is hard and that's a lot of why everyone is buying less.  But I can pretty much guarantee I'm earning less than everyone else, being technically unemployed, but I like game night, so I spend my tiny amount of mad money there on that day, on a $4.99 special, fries and a beer or 2. (I gotta eat anyways, food isn't free at home either ;-)  And I gave up on Tue or Thurs out to compensate.  And Paul REALLY does take care of us there, when no one at Borders would bother for us at all.

Just thought everyone should know, what they're thinking.  They love having us, but we don't want to abuse it either, since we have such a great time there.






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