The Business of Food & Beverage

On September 13th, members of the northern Nevada business community gathered for the Northern Nevada Business View’s Business & Breakfast. The topic for the day was the Business of Food & Beverage.

With the many opportunities in the growing food and beverage business in northern Nevada, the industry needs to stay on top of the growing needs to market specifically to the Millennial and Generation Z preferences, the growing world of Yelp! and social media reviews, embracing farm-to-table and buying local, and implementing new innovations and technology — which will all be essential in this marketplace.

Panelists included:

  • Denise Barcomb, owner, Urban Market and moderator of the discussion
  • Bryan Davis, Bently Heritage Estate Distillery
  • Rick Lattin, owner, Lattin Farms
  • Ann Louhela, president, Board of Directors, NevadaGrown
  • Chira Pagidi, corporate director of Food & Beverage, Atlantis Casino Resort Spa
  • Colin Smith, owner-chef, Roundabout Catering & Party Rentals, Roundabout Grill, Tannenbaum Events Center
  • Michael Tragash, community director, Yelp! Reno

Chef Colin described Roundabout as a company run a bit differently than other catering and restaurant companies due to that fact that they allow their employees to lead each business unit as a division of the company. “We are built on core family values, and many of our key staff have been with us for a long time. Twelve of our employees have been with us for more than eight years. They take ownership, and we give them the autonomy to make decisions quickly.”

Not only does Roundabout have its core catering business and its restaurant, but it also runs a Cafe at the Telsa campus at Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center (TRIC); provides a daily Japanese breakfast for the Panasonic and Telsa team at Roundabout Grill, inside the Whitney Peak Hotel; runs a full-service, healthy Roundabout Meal Prep line; and has recently acquired Tannenbaum Events Center. Chef Colin also curates the menu at the Escape Lounge inside the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

When it comes to the customer, Chef Colin believes patrons have gotten smarter. “We watch them being more savvy and we need to be micro-focused on what they need. If we go too trendy in this market, it won’t succeed. We do comfort food that is edgy at Roundabout Grill. Most people want to understand what they’re eating. We stay approachable and understandable, yet keep a keen eye on trends.”

On the topic of sustainability, Roundabout has made a conscious effort to put this into practice. “Our waste expenses were high, so now, our food waste is provided to farmers as a holistic system,” said Chef Colin. “With Tesla, we’re using 100 percent biodegradable products, which is expensive, but a commitment to go that extra mile to be a good steward in the community.”

Lastly, on the topic of marketing, “As a small company, you don’t necessarily have all the marketing tools you need,” said Chef Colin. “We added the expertise we needed to be more successful. We’ve moved to almost an entirely digital strategy, and we now look at our analytics regularly, in addition to our messaging. This allows us to adjust our strategy quickly.”

The breakfast was sponsored by Nevada State Bank, Title Sponsor, and Piercy, Bowler, Taylor & Kern.

Need a little help with your corporate event? Give Roundabout Catering & Party Rentals a call at 775-747-2090. From creating your event’s signature cocktail to table and linen rentals, we’ve got you covered. Located in Sparks, Nev., Roundabout Catering & Party Rentals serves Reno, Tahoe and surrounding areas.