MacGregor?s Market Offers Restaurant Solution

GREEN BAY, WI? What hotel owners should be looking for when it comes to food service in their hotels was the topic discussed by attendees at a recent meeting at the Ramada here . The meeting was sponsored by Orion Food Systems to promote its MacGregor?s Market fast-food restaurant brand to hotels. ?What you want for your hotel is a branded restaurant with to-go capabilities,? said Vincent Bucci, corporate director of f&b for Horizon Hotels Limited. ?You also want something that has fast service, good food and is reasonably priced,? he said. ?Consistency is very important in the restaurant industry,? said Kostas Kalogeropoulos, senior executive vp of Meyer Jabara Hotels. He noted that the restaurant industry is one of the hardest in the world to get into. ?A restaurant has to be perfect every time,? said Lee Dushoff, consultant for Orion Food Systems, parent company of MacGregor?s Market. ?If you get a hotel room where the bed isn?t made, you get a new room at the same hotel. With restaurants, even if you?ve eaten there a thousand times before, one bad experience will ruin it. There won?t be a chance to correct the mistake.? Orion Food Systems has nine different franchise brands with a total of approximately 1,500 locations worldwide. ?We think that MacGregor?s Market is a pretty good idea because it offers consistently good food in a very short time,? said Mike Welch, regional director of franchise development for Orion. He explained that the food is all prepackaged and distributed by Orion; very little prep time is needed. The food is ordered one week and delivered the next, he added. ?There is a $4,950 initial franchise fee and it costs approximately $7,000 to open, but there are no ongoing royalties for Orion. Our profit comes from packaging and distributing the food,? Welch said. ?Every 21 days we send in a representative to make sure that things are going well and that training is up-to-date,? he continued. ?It?s usually more like every seven to 14 days but if no one comes by after 21 days we?ll cut a check to that property for $1,000.? In addition to visits by representatives, hotel employees are trained on-site rather than having to travel to a corporate site or ?university? type setting for training. Gerry Lintz, managing partner of the Ramada Inn in Green Bay, noted that the MacGregor?s Market at his hotel was up and running quickly. ?We started construction of the restaurant around Thanksgiving and were open for business on Jan. 15,? Lintz said. According to Steve Leipsner, executive vp of Orion, there are currently 10 to 12 MacGregor?s Markets open at military locations, hotels, and golf courses. ?We hope to have between 40 and 50 open within a year though,? Leipsner said. ?We?ll go and take the f&b burden off of the owner so that they can concentrate on rooms,? he added.