Casino dining is no longer all-in buffets and fancy restaurants with delicious steaks. To make it in the world of casino dining, F&B experts – and experience curators – are now upping their game. A new era of casino dining is upon us.
Tailored experiences are our new expectation
Much like social media marketing and our news feeds are tailored specifically to each individual, we’ve also started to expect these types of experiences in real life.
We want to visit a bar that fits us to a T, down to the decor, drinks, and even the bathrooms. We want a curated experience on our holiday, whether it’s the Wellness Vacation package or Deluxe Dining for Two.
The casino dining industry is no fool when it comes to consumer trends. To be able to succeed in a high-stakes market, casino dining establishments need to stand out. And they’re doing this by tailoring experiences to specific market segments.
A new focus on F&B
The casino industry has pivoted to a more rich, full-experience ecosystem, rather than a large concentration on gaming – although this is still their bread and butter. With competition from real money online casinos, they need to stand out to get people in the door.
While we still might think of Michelin-starred restaurants (like Joël Robuchon’s at MGM Grand) or celebrity residencies with lavish theatre shows, this is old news in casino-land. There is now the demand to level up.
This is particularly true when looking at casino revenues shattered by Covid, or simply in trouble due to other circumstances. The 10-years-the-making Crown Sydney has failed to gain approval for its casino operations due to regulatory investigation, despite the rest of the business’s grand opening in December 2020.
With casino revenues down, there is a shift towards other business arms, including F&B. Covid reignited our love for painstakingly prepared dishes (that we made ourselves!) over fast food, and our tastes have diversified, branching our further and further into more regional cuisines from all corners of the planet. As the world turns foodie, we now expect more.
Casinos are now providing a full range of different dining experiences – all providing at least one option on the menu to capture the heart of each segment of the dining market.
A dining experience to remember
Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which new establishments are dazzling the diners.
Intimacy dialed up at Omakase, Nobu, Sydney
Omakase at Nobu in Crown Sydney is an example of the dining experience to remember. Set inside Sydney’s outpost of the world-famous Nobu restaurant, this 10-seating restaurant-within-a-restaurant involves sushi master Yoshii preparing a course-pared wonderland in front of diners’ eyes. And the menu is never the same twice, with Yoshii guided by his intuition and the guests on the night.
Old-world riotous entertainment at The Mayfair Supper Club, MGM, Las Vegas
Dinner and a show is so passe. Why not both? But let’s not make it cheesy. The Mayfair Supper Club at the MGM Grand Las Vegas redefines the modern speakeasy yet again, with opulence aplenty and old-world glamour and entertainment bursting out in style. The Mayfair Supper Club combines table-side cooking and service with quality cocktails and unbeatable entertainment in jazz, cabaret, fan dancing, and more. If you ever wanted to feel like you were actually in the musical Chicago, here is your closet to it.
Fusing small screen favorites into the dining experience at Hell’s Kitchen, Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas
Blue Team versus Red Team! Our love of binge-worthy TV shows has gained speed over the past year, fuelled by never-ending time and boredom. Hell’s Kitchen at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas is the ultimate dining experience by any fan of Gordon Ramsay’s TV show of the same name. Featuring set-style designs from the show, plus the famous beef wellington that contestants always seem to screw up, Hell’s Kitchen brings the entertainment factor by feeling like you’re experiencing the show – without Ramsay’s shouting.
Keeping up with the (vegan) times at Truth & Tonic, The Venetian, Las Vegas
As more and more people shift towards a plant-based, vegetarian, or vegan diet, it’s telling that the Las Vegas strip now has its first ever fully vegan restaurant – Truth & Tonic at The Venetian. While it’s hardly a fine dining affair, and only open breakfast and lunch, Truth & Tonic satisfies an ever-growing corner of the market that will need to be satisfied in their casino experiences. Delicious plant-based meat alternatives abound on the menu which covers salads, frittatas, wraps, and more.