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When a Barrier Is Not an Obstacle – Part 2

Salty’s at Redondo, a popular waterfront restaurant in a small beach community between Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, created dining/meeting space for private groups by simply installing heavy curtains in the dining room that can enclose enough space for groups.

As I said previously, I went to the management at Salty’s to ask for comments about how it has worked out for them.

Glancing over at Derrick Griffin, the establishment’s Operations Manager, General Manager Terianne Broyles said, “I will defer to Derrick about the economic impact of this for us. I like the fact that the curtains add a sound barrier and a perfect amount of space that doesn’t interfere with other guests for the many events the property hosts throughout the year; brew master dinners and cocktail classes to name just two.”

Speaking of Operations Manager Derrick Griffin, he is smiling a lot these days as well, adding that, “the economic impact has been more than noticeable. As word spreads, our banquet sales have been steadily increasing over previous years. In fact, we see that number doubling over last year.”

"Salty’s at Redondo was losing revenue that they believed they would be receiving if they had a space to accommodate groups more privately. So, they created it… right there in the main dining area… with the clever use of curtains."

“Salty’s at Redondo was losing revenue that they believed they would be receiving if they had a space to accommodate groups more privately. So, they created it… right there in the main dining area… with the clever use of curtains.”

When I asked Gabe Cabrera, Redondo’s Executive Chef, about the difference made by the classy room dividers, he said that he enjoys going into the dining room to greet guests and to ask about their experience at Salty’s. Actually, I knew that to be the case personally as Chef Cabrera paid a visit to our table at the birthday dinner I attended just the week before. He told me, “One of the areas we are famous for is brunch. The curtains now provide our guests with a choice of a buffet or a plated meal, which has been a hit.”

I also spoke with Nems Scarim, Salty’s PR Manager for both their Alki and Redondo locations. I asked if she would mind giving me an actual number that speaks to the impact of the curtains in terms of the real bottom line. She told me that the dining room’s nominal modification has boosted their banquet revenues by 30% and that it has shown no apparent downside.

In short, Salty’s at Redondo was losing revenue that they believed they would be receiving if they had a space to accommodate groups more privately. So, they created it… right there in the main dining area… with the clever use of curtains. And they were right. The increased revenue doesn’t lie.

To be continued…

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Author Jim Aitkins

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