kewlj
kewlj
Joined: Apr 17, 2012
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March 5th, 2021 at 1:52:50 PM permalink
In January, Wicked Spoon buffet shutdown at Cosmo. That was the last remaining buffet on the strip. Now 1 single buffet remains in all of Las Vegas, at South Point. I haven't been, but I believe servers serve you rather than patrons serving themselves.

So 1 buffet remains out of more than 40 last March (pre-covid). That is sad to me, a guy who since I moved to Vegas in 2009, have eaten at a casino almost every day (free of charge), split between the non-strip moderate type buffets (think Stations and Boyd) and the cafe type places. This has actually amounted to hidden compensation from my advantage play.

So I am not going to make it a poll, but would like to hear thoughts on whether the buffet era is over, or will return to the way it was pre-covid, or maybe just a handful of higher end strip properties buffets will return, which is what I am thinking, while the local places move in other directions.
gamerfreak
gamerfreak
Joined: Dec 28, 2014
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March 5th, 2021 at 2:10:31 PM permalink
I think most things, including buffets, and going to return to mostly normal within a year of everyone (who wants one) getting a vaccine.
Zcore13
Zcore13
Joined: Nov 30, 2009
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March 5th, 2021 at 4:03:53 PM permalink
Buffets will be back. I've gone to a Chinese buffet, Brazilian Steakhouse and Shabu all you can eat in the last couple months. They make you wear gloves and a mask when serving yourself for now, but I'm sure that will disappear sometime as well.


ZCore13
I am an employee of a Casino. Former Table Games Director,, current Pit Supervisor. All the personal opinions I post are my own and do not represent the opinions of the Casino or Tribe that I work for.
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
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WTflush
March 5th, 2021 at 4:27:24 PM permalink
In a recent earnings call, the CEO of Caesars said that their buffets lost $3million per year. The implication was, each buffet, $3m.

If true, Covid is a perfect excuse to not bring them back.

But I gotta wonder two things.

First, Is that number accurate?
Second, are they doing bad accounting?

I.E. Does a buffet comp mean zero income for the buffet?

What I mean is, if every section of a resort is it's own independent profit center, shouldn't the casino be paying for the comped buffet? At least on paper?

If they aren't doing the right kind of accounting, then compare a patron that has a $15 comp and uses it for get the $15 buffet for free, vs going to the coffee house and getting a $15 discount on a $25 bill.

In such a scenario, which looks better, on paper?
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/ 覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧 Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
DRich
DRich
Joined: Jul 6, 2012
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March 5th, 2021 at 4:42:53 PM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear

In a recent earnings call, the CEO of Caesars said that their buffets lost $3million per year. The implication was, each buffet, $3m.

If true, Covid is a perfect excuse to not bring them back.

But I gotta wonder two things.

First, Is that number accurate?
Second, are they doing bad accounting?

I.E. Does a buffet comp mean zero income for the buffet?

What I mean is, if every section of a resort is it's own independent profit center, shouldn't the casino be paying for the comped buffet? At least on paper?

If they aren't doing the right kind of accounting, then compare a patron that has a $15 comp and uses it for get the $15 buffet for free, vs going to the coffee house and getting a $15 discount on a $25 bill.

In such a scenario, which looks better, on paper?



Most casinos do offset the comp cost with a value charged to the department issuing the comp. Eg. The table games department will get charged an amount like $10 for the $30 buffet comp.
Order from chaos
Zcore13
Zcore13
Joined: Nov 30, 2009
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March 5th, 2021 at 5:45:07 PM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear

In a recent earnings call, the CEO of Caesars said that their buffets lost $3million per year. The implication was, each buffet, $3m.

If true, Covid is a perfect excuse to not bring them back.

But I gotta wonder two things.

First, Is that number accurate?
Second, are they doing bad accounting?

I.E. Does a buffet comp mean zero income for the buffet?

What I mean is, if every section of a resort is it's own independent profit center, shouldn't the casino be paying for the comped buffet? At least on paper?

If they aren't doing the right kind of accounting, then compare a patron that has a $15 comp and uses it for get the $15 buffet for free, vs going to the coffee house and getting a $15 discount on a $25 bill.

In such a scenario, which looks better, on paper?



I knew a guy back in the 90's. He was hired at the Flamingo as the Food and Beverage Director. His job was to reduce F&B losses by $1,000,000 in his first year. Not make a profit. Not break even. Reduce losses.

The buffets may try and stay closed for a short time, but then someone like the M or Red Rock will start offering one and it will force strip properties to bring it back or lose gambler's.


ZCore13
I am an employee of a Casino. Former Table Games Director,, current Pit Supervisor. All the personal opinions I post are my own and do not represent the opinions of the Casino or Tribe that I work for.
AlanMendelson
AlanMendelson
Joined: Oct 5, 2011
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March 5th, 2021 at 10:11:26 PM permalink
I discussed this today with a marketing manager at an off strip casino. He said they'd like to bring back buffets but he doubts they will be like pre Covid buffets.

He expects some kind of limitations on guests serving themselves. It may mean servers or prepared plates, or simply table service which has already been tried but failed.

From what I understand all buffets are a loss leader, but an essential loss leader. That simply means casinos lose money on them but must offer them to bring in players.

Personally I miss them. I milked them and used every free buffet offer I ever got. Pre Covid I had at least four free buffets a week.
TomG
TomG
Joined: Sep 26, 2010
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March 6th, 2021 at 8:10:29 AM permalink
As much as I love the buffets and have missed them as much as anything this past year, they do not make much sense to me. The value the offer to the casino is limited to people who will only come through the doors if there is a buffet, and while they are there will also gamble. Most people who gamble aren't going to a place because it has a buffet. Diner or food court should be fine. Let them use their points and coupons at those places. There is also the opportunity cost. It is a huge area that could be used for more profitable restaurants, stores, more gaming space, etc.

I do predict they are coming back. The casinos haven't touched them from what I can tell, they look like they can re-open as soon as it is safe. Mostly it is that no large casino wants to be the only one that doesn't offer them. The other possibility of all-you-can-eat with a waitstaff bringing everything might have a place. Not good for me. The strip could charge $55 per person, plus drinks; Gold Coast might be $25. That would use up my points pretty quick.

Coronavirus may never go away, but I don't see it being a deadly pandemic or epidemic after enough people are vaccinated.
Zcore13
Zcore13
Joined: Nov 30, 2009
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March 6th, 2021 at 9:10:16 AM permalink
Quote: TomG

As much as I love the buffets and have missed them as much as anything this past year, they do not make much sense to me. The value the offer to the casino is limited to people who will only come through the doors if there is a buffet, and while they are there will also gamble. Most people who gamble aren't going to a place because it has a buffet. Diner or food court should be fine. Let them use their points and coupons at those places. There is also the opportunity cost. It is a huge area that could be used for more profitable restaurants, stores, more gaming space, etc.

I do predict they are coming back. The casinos haven't touched them from what I can tell, they look like they can re-open as soon as it is safe. Mostly it is that no large casino wants to be the only one that doesn't offer them. The other possibility of all-you-can-eat with a waitstaff bringing everything might have a place. Not good for me. The strip could charge $55 per person, plus drinks; Gold Coast might be $25. That would use up my points pretty quick.

Coronavirus may never go away, but I don't see it being a deadly pandemic or epidemic after enough people are vaccinated.



You premise on the value and who comes through the door is wrong to start. If that was the value, do you think casinos would choose to lose money, sometimes millions?


ZCore13
I am an employee of a Casino. Former Table Games Director,, current Pit Supervisor. All the personal opinions I post are my own and do not represent the opinions of the Casino or Tribe that I work for.
TDVegas
TDVegas
Joined: Oct 30, 2018
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March 6th, 2021 at 10:08:50 AM permalink
If they are brought back..I highly doubt it goes back to personal, communal serving.

My guess is the buffet era is over. There might be some hybrid version. Pre covid buffet is gone.

Living in Vegas, buffets never really appealed to me. The food quality is generally sub par (especially lunch and dinner) and I don稚 need a smorgasbord of things on my plate. I致e had a breakfast buffet...but it痴 just French toast, bacon and coffee.

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