TomG
TomG
Joined: Sep 26, 2010
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March 7th, 2021 at 9:35:49 AM permalink
Quote: Zcore13

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?



Could you explain where it is wrong? If someone comes into a casino and only uses the buffet and does not gamble, what is there value to the casino? If someone goes into a casino to gamble, but doesn't use the buffet, what is their value as a customer? What is the percent of customers who do both, gamble and use the buffet? What is their value?

I estimate that the people who come only for the buffet have very little value. If it is a typical off-strip place, it might be $8, minus operating costs -- close to nothing. If it is on the strip, and it costs $60, those visits might be worth something to the casino; but I also estimate that only a small percentage visit the Las Vegas Strip and only spend their money at the buffet, like some people might have done at Fiesta.

At some places, there may be a sufficient number of people who do come and gamble and visit the buffet and would have stayed away if they only had food court or wait service restaurants. For that, I'm thinking Stations, Boyd, Laughlin. At other places, I doubt there are many people like that. If there is not much competition around, then any decent value eating options should have the similar benefits as a buffet. If the place is selling luxury, like the strip does, a buffet is not going to be what brings people in.

If any premise is wrong, it could be the idea that casinos lose millions. Here is one source saying that is not true: https://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/question/buffet-loss-leaders/
Yet here is Fertitta saying they are loss leaders: https://www.reviewjournal.com/entertainment/food/buffets-in-las-vegas-casinos-might-have-had-their-day-2031935/

That fits what I said above, about how Stations would have the type of customers that do come for the buffet and gambling, while the strip does not.
kewlj
kewlj
Joined: Apr 17, 2012
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March 7th, 2021 at 9:48:30 AM permalink
I am thinking tat the cafeteria style, with a server serving patrons rather than patrons serving themselves might actually be cost efficient. The servers would be serving single portions, which should cut down on the waste. When patrons serve themselves, there is ALOT of waste.

At the risk of stereotyping, check out the Asians at the casino buffets. These people often, slimmer folks, heap their plates to overflow (literally) and then eat half. Lol.
terapined
terapined
Joined: Dec 1, 2012
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March 7th, 2021 at 9:54:48 AM permalink
Quote: kewlj

I am thinking tat the cafeteria style, with a server serving patrons rather than patrons serving themselves might actually be cost efficient. The servers would be serving single portions, which should cut down on the waste. When patrons serve themselves, there is ALOT of waste.

At the risk of stereotyping, check out the Asians at the casino buffets. These people often, slimmer folks, heap their plates to overflow (literally) and then eat half. Lol.


I see everything on small individual plates
Want a big portion, take multiple plates
"Everybody's bragging and drinking that wine, I can tell the Queen of Diamonds by the way she shines, Come to Daddy on an inside straight, I got no chance of losing this time" -Grateful Dead- "Loser"
kewlj
kewlj
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March 7th, 2021 at 10:06:38 AM permalink
Quote: terapined

I see everything on small individual plates
Want a big portion, take multiple plates



Why take multiple plates initially and then only eat half? You CAN go back for more ya know. :/
terapined
terapined
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March 7th, 2021 at 10:25:08 AM permalink
Quote: kewlj

Why take multiple plates initially and then only eat half? You CAN go back for more ya know. :/


I dont
Just mentioned that for those that like to pig out
My buffet strategy is to take a tiny portion of anything I'm interested in
"Everybody's bragging and drinking that wine, I can tell the Queen of Diamonds by the way she shines, Come to Daddy on an inside straight, I got no chance of losing this time" -Grateful Dead- "Loser"
IndyJeffrey
IndyJeffrey
Joined: Feb 10, 2013
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March 7th, 2021 at 10:45:52 AM 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, the folks at Caesars are morons. More than likely, they are using 'selective' accounting to come up with the $3 million loss number.

It could be true the expenses of operating the buffet is $3mill more than the 'revenue'. But are they really reporting all of the revenue in this calculus? I doubt it.

Someone will correct me if I'm wrong, the history of the Strip Buffet, goes something like:
+ offer low to no cost buffet to entice visitors (gamblers) to their properties
+ offer higher quality, higher priced buffets to entice visitors to their properties
+ offer other amenities to entice visitors to their properties, buffets become deemphasized or just another amenity
+ buffets become viewed as a "we have to have one" even though it's a pain in the ass or the visitors are going somewhere else; though there is no data to back this up
+ buffets are 'temporarily' closed due to public health crisis

Personally, I cannot see Strip Buffets returning in the short term, if ever. Frankly, the only way I see a buffet returning on the Strip is if one property opens their buffet, and it becomes perceived that visitors are flocking to that property for the buffet. Then a second will open, then a third...

Strip Buffets...have they really been around since they changed in the late 90s?
TDVegas
TDVegas
Joined: Oct 30, 2018
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March 7th, 2021 at 10:56:45 AM permalink
Quote: Calder

No, we're not.


I’m not a germaphobe...but I’m definitely more conscious of communal anything these days. My guess is the majority have taken some precautions since this all started that makes them pause and think.

I still think any “buffet” that comes back will not be under the old guidelines of serve yourself.
Gundy
Gundy
Joined: Feb 25, 2021
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March 7th, 2021 at 11:58:38 AM permalink
I think buffets will operate exactly as they did before COVID, eventually.

Buffet customers should be concerned with heart disease and diabetes, not COVID.
jpfromla
jpfromla
Joined: May 2, 2019
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March 7th, 2021 at 11:59:18 AM permalink
Quote: IndyJeffrey

If true, the folks at Caesars are morons. More than likely, they are using 'selective' accounting to come up with the $3 million loss number.

It could be true the expenses of operating the buffet is $3mill more than the 'revenue'. But are they really reporting all of the revenue in this calculus? I doubt it.

Someone will correct me if I'm wrong, the history of the Strip Buffet, goes something like:
+ offer low to no cost buffet to entice visitors (gamblers) to their properties
+ offer higher quality, higher priced buffets to entice visitors to their properties
+ offer other amenities to entice visitors to their properties, buffets become deemphasized or just another amenity
+ buffets become viewed as a "we have to have one" even though it's a pain in the ass or the visitors are going somewhere else; though there is no data to back this up
+ buffets are 'temporarily' closed due to public health crisis

Personally, I cannot see Strip Buffets returning in the short term, if ever. Frankly, the only way I see a buffet returning on the Strip is if one property opens their buffet, and it becomes perceived that visitors are flocking to that property for the buffet. Then a second will open, then a third...

Strip Buffets...have they really been around since they changed in the late 90s?



A couple of points...
The management at ElDiablo are idiots. They are worried about losing three million at the buffet, when they in debt for 15 billion.
Also, on paper buffets can be loss leaders, how many ploppies have drop $500 on a slot machine on there way to/from a buffet. That’s why buffets are deep in the bowels of the casino. This is old school Vegas 101.
TomG
TomG
Joined: Sep 26, 2010
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March 7th, 2021 at 3:31:54 PM permalink
Quote: jpfromla

Also, on paper buffets can be loss leaders, how many ploppies have drop $500 on a slot machine on there way to/from a buffet.



Playing a machine with a 10% hold would mean they would have to make $5,000 in bets to give the casino that much value. To answer your question, very few will ever go into a casino only because it has a buffet, then end up playing a machine that costs $7.50 per spin for 45 minutes. Even without a buffet, those customers can be targeted with dining comps to other restaurants, gift cards, bottle of wine, etc. The costs to the casino are specific to players who gamble. With buffets, the casino would take a loss on everyone who eat there. (assuming your statement on being a loss leader is correct).

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