By Lila Asnani, Foodable Contributor
Mention Las Vegas and almost everyone will say that they have either visited or want to visit this exciting tourist destination. One of the ways that Las Vegas has continued to retain and even grow its visitor base is by its willingness to adapt and appeal to visitors from all walks of life.
Las Vegas is on a strong road to recovery from the recession and one of the ways that the city has grown its business is by expansion into non-gaming revenues. Non-gaming revenue has now outpaced traditional gaming revenue according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board and one of the significant portions of non-gaming revenue is food and beverage.
Visitors to Las Vegas are willing to spend a considerable amount of their travel budget on food and beverage, so appealing to all budgets is and continues to be a priority for every casino. Food courts are one of the easiest and most familiar ways to introduce different dining options to budget minded visitors. Tourists that come to Las Vegas expect more because of Vegas’ reputation for fine dining and this applies even at food courts. In order to meet demands, casinos have embraced the trend towards fast casual eateries.
Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa Food Court
The upscale Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa, which is located about 11 miles from The Strip and two miles from the Red Rock Canyon, is a casino that has successfully incorporated this winning strategy of being all things to all people. The Red Rock Casino offers many dining options which range from gourmet award winning restaurants to a "Best of Las Vegas" food court.
Fast casual eateries are dining establishments that lie in the burgeoning space between fine dining and fast food. The advent of celebrity chefs, popular cooking shows and escalating awareness about obesity has paved the way to more educated diners. Today’s diners want fresher ingredients and higher quality options, and more importantly are willing to pay a little more for these features which in turn has contributed to the significant rise in fast casual eateries. Cappriotti’s, Fat Burger, Rubio’s and Ben and Jerry are some of the fast casual eateries that can be found at the Red Rock Casino food court.
Fast Casual Eateries
Cappriotti’s is a very popular local chain which serves made-to-order sandwiches featuring a number of fresh meats and cheeses. Their rolls and produce are fresh and are delivered daily. A high level of customization and great customer service are some hallmarks that differentiate fast casual from fast food.
Fat Burger is a hamburger chain from Southern California. According to the website, “Every meal is cooked-to-order, just the way you want it, every time. Using only the freshest ingredients, and traditional cooking methods (you won’t find heat-lamps or microwaves in our stands), we’re best known for our fresh-never-frozen, lean-beef, chicken, turkey and veggie burgers and sandwiches, our hand-scooped, real ice cream milkshakes, homemade-from-scratch onion rings and build-your-own-burger experience.”
The Fat Burger at the Red Rock casino also serves alcohol which is another factor that separates fast casual from most fast foods.
Rubio’s is a Fresh Mex restaurant chain which originated from San Diego. Their website lists their mission statement as serving "coastal food that not only tastes great, but that you can feel great about eating. It’s why we only source, slice and sizzle quality ingredients and have for years.”
Rubio’s anticipates this trend for higher quality fast food to continue and built it into their business plan. According to their website, Rubio's plan for 2016 is “to serve only all natural chicken raised without antibiotics and all natural bacon without added nitrates or nitrites, except those naturally occurring in natural ingredients. And by the end of 2017 our goal is to remove artificial flavors and caramel coloring from our food. But we’re not stopping there. We are also exploring the introduction of sustainable, wild-caught salmon, all natural beef raised without antibiotics and flour tortillas made with even simpler ingredients.”
Ben and Jerry’s ice cream shop is of course a pioneer in the better ingredients, better products food movement. They support local farms and businesses, use only cage free eggs, believe in fair trade policies and most recently on their website, have championed “the growing consumer movement for transparency and the right to know what’s in our food supply by supporting mandatory GMO labeling legislation.” All these values support the growing awareness and desires of the increasingly sophisticated American restaurant goer.
The food court at the Red Rock casino is next to a multiplex cinema, a bowling alley and kids recreation zone. The Red Rock casino is a one stop destination for families and travelers and food courts are a great option because of convenience and budget. Casinos and others in the food industry have discovered that fast casual eateries are one of the surest ways to meet consumer demands while reviving the American food court which has seen a decline in the past few years.