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In their discussion - Fast-Food Franchises: An Alternative Menu for Hotel/Casinos - by Skip Swerdlow, Assistant Professor of Finance, Larry Strate, Assistant Professor of Business Law, and Francis X. Brown, Assistant Professor of Hotel Administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, their preview reads: Hotel/casino food service operations are adding some non-traditional fare to their daily offerings in the form of fast-food franchises. The authors review aspects of franchising and cite some new Las Vegas food ideas.”

The authors offer that the statewide food and beverage figures, according to the Nevada Gaming Abstract of 1985, exceeded $1.24 billion. Most of that figure was generated in traditional coffee shops, gourmet dining rooms, and buffets.

With that kind of food and beverage figure solidly on the table, it was inevitable that fast-food franchises would move into casinos to garner a share of the proceeds. In a March 1986 review of franchising, Restaurant Business reported the following statistics:

“Over 60 percent of all restaurants are franchisee owned. This relationship is also paralleled in dollar sales, which has exceeded $53 billion.”

“Restaurant franchising expansion has grown at an annual rate of 12 percent per year for the past five years.”

The beginning of the article is dedicated to describing, in general, the franchise phenomenon; growth has been spectacular the authors inform you. “The franchise concept has provided an easy method of going into business for the entrepreneur with minimal business experience, but a desire to work hard to make a profit,” say professors Swerdlow, Strate, and Brown.

Lured by tourist traffic, and the floundering Chapter 11 afflicted, Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Burger King saw an attractive opportunity for an experiment in non-traditional outlet placement, say the authors. Although innately transient, the tourist numbers were way too significant to ignore. That tourist traffic, the authors say, is ‘round-the-clock.

Added to that figure is the 2000-3000 average employee count for many of the casinos on the ‘Vegas strip. Not surprisingly, the project began to look very appealing to both Burger King and the Riviera Hotel/Casino, the authors report. In the final analysis, the project did work out well; very well indeed.

So it is written, “The successful operation of the Burger King in the Riviera has sparked interest by other existing hotel/casino operations and fast-food restaurant chains. Burger King's operation, like so many other industry leadership decisions, provides impetus for healthy competition in a market that is burgeoning not only because of expansion that recognizes traditional population growth, but because of bold moves that search for customers in non-traditional areas.”

The authors provide an Appendix listing Las Vegas hotel/casino properties and the restaurants they contain.