Upgraded food and beverages a focus for the casino industry
Savvy casinos across the country are escalating their foodservice programs to enhance their existing customers’ experience and attract new patrons, all while increasing their bottom lines. The American Gaming Association specifies that the gaming industry supports 1.7 million American jobs, in many departments, including foodservice. According to this association, “the industry is on track to add more than 62,000 well-paying jobs in the next decade”. Starting a career in the gaming industry could be a jackpot decision.
Casinos up the ante with food and beverage experiences
Clever casinos have created destination food and beverage programs that offer their guests unique experiences. These programs are designed to draw patrons back to their casinos for these premiere experiences, with the added benefit of supplemental gambling. These experiences can focus on alcohol pairings, live entertainment and even tableside dessert preparation!
The Pala Casino Spa and Resort (San Diego, CA) is a perfect example of a casino differentiating themselves from the other local casinos with a unique wine experience, with an underground wine cave. This wine cave features 70 seats in an intimate cave, offering 480 labels from California, France and Italy, as well as top-shelf spirits and craft beers. In addition to the beverages, the cave features live entertainment, music and a four-course Gallo Family Wine Dinner. On Thursdays, the cave features a new show – “Men of Cave” – for a ladies night experience for $30, which includes 10% off dinner in the Cave Restaurant.
Other casinos offer epicurean pairing dinners, with prestigious alcohol and gourmet food. Seminole Casino Coconut Creek (Coconut Creek, FL) offers a Caymus Vineyards Wine Pairing Dinner, with four courses, for $249 per person. This pairing dinner starts with Butter Poached Cold Water Lobster Tail, followed by Bison Carpaccio, with an entrée of Pan-Seared Wagyu Tenderloin and finishing with a Molten Chocolate Cake. Not all casino pairings feature wine. The Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park (Northfield, OH) is featuring a BushMills Whiskey Pairing Dinner for $75 per person, with five delicious courses of Irish food.
Turning Stone Resort Casino (Verona, NY) is truly an innovator for extraordinary casino experiences at their fine dining restaurant, the TS Steakhouse. This steakhouse features a “menu to dine for”, plus several innovative programs. Their dessert menu offers a selection of ports, plus a “Grand Flight” for $22, consisting of the original Grand Mariner, Peach Raspberry Grand Mariner, and 100 Year Grand Mariner. The steakhouse also features an intimate smoking parlor with a cigar menu that also features sipping spirits, such as Casa Dragones, a premium sipping tequila for $25. Wildflowers, another restaurant within the casino, continues to amaze guests with their newest dessert item, Tableside Churned Ice Cream. This artisan ice cream is prepared tableside, allowing guests to watch the process firsthand.
Blue chip side dishes
In the past, high-end restaurants in casinos offered steaks paired with traditional side dishes, like creamed spinach, brussel sprouts and mashed potatoes. Boring! Side dishes now sizzle, with gourmet ingredients, to match their innovative main dish.
Lobster is a premium ingredient that casinos are adding to side dishes, to add star power to the item and increase the check average. Beau Rivage Casino (Biloxi, MS) offers a Lobster Mac and Cheese, for a gourmet comfort food side item. Realizing that mashed potatoes are a dime a dozen at fine dining establishments, Hollywood Casino Kansas (Kansas City, KS) topped their loaded potato mash with lobster, for a winning side dish. Palms Casino (Las Vegas, NV), is home to the newly remodeled N9NE Steakhouse, which features both Lobster Mashed Potatoes and Maine Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese as decadent side items.
The bacon explosion has impacted casino side dishes, adding flavor and indulgence to many types of dishes, causing casino patrons to go hog wild! Turning Stone Resort Casino (Verona, NY) added bacon to traditional greens, with their Bacon and Maple Glazed Brussel Sprouts. Mashed potatoes received a bacon make-over at the Silverton Casino (Las Vegas, NV) with their mashed potatoes with blue cheese and bacon. Treasure Island Resort and Casino (Welch, MN) home to the Tado Steakhouse, menus Pecan smoked Bacon Potatoes Au Gratin and Brussel Sprouts with Bacon as premium side dishes.
Adding full guest experiences and high-end ingredients to existing casino food and beverage menus is a sure bet! And working for these innovative casinos, in foodservice or in any other capacity, can be a lucrative career with growth potential.