One of the thorniest dilemmas in hotel operations is whether to have to a restaurant and then how to run and manage it, according to panelists at last week’s Hotel Operations Conference.

Speaking at a panel titled “How F&B makes money,” Jeremy Robson, owner of the Great Northern Hotel in London, said restaurants must never be ancillary to rooms if the hope is to make them a success. Rather, restaurants must add to the overall value of the hotel, and thus average daily rate, even if they are not a runaway success as stand-alone offerings.

Related: How boutique hotels build unique F&B programs