Previously we discussed how the weather and seasons affect your hotel operations and how hotels world-wide are shifting their focus to their on-premise food & beverage options.
Once upon a time, a hotel restaurant catered exclusively to the guests who slept in the bedrooms above it. Many followed the classic 3-meal service: a buffet breakfast, a quick business lunch, a nice dinner. With this business model, hotel restaurants provided the amenities needed but were nothing to write home about.
Until recently. The last several years have seen a complete overhaul of this stereotype in cities throughout the country. Suddenly, guests aren’t the only diners; locals flock to these spaces with the same fervor as to any famous standalone location. These institutions have gone from hotel restaurants to restaurants inside hotels: hotspots with name-brand recognition but that stand firmly apart from the building within which they reside.
Hear the CEO of F&B at Accor Hotels explain this major shift and its importance.
This change did not occur overnight. Innovation does not occur overnight. It takes vision and focus to bring change to life. Take into consideration these empowering ways to turn your hotel’s F&B into a culinary destination.
- Differentiate, differentiate, differentiate – Present your restaurant as the destination in and of itself. It should not just feel like a second lobby. Make it a separate experience, exciting to both hotel guests and local residents.
- Stay true to your locale – Many restaurants reflect the hotel destination. Instead of trying to please everyone, create a more focused menu and ambiance. As Jody Pennette, founder of cb5 Hospitality Consulting, put it, “What works well in Seattle, Miami, Dallas, and Vermont is all different.”
- Source locally – Reflect and showcase your locality by serving up the freshest, local ingredients. What’s more, as Bernd Liebergesell, executive chef and director of food and beverage at the Westin St. Francis, explains, switching from huge portions and assembly-line style food to smaller, more artful plates filled with hearty grains and local vegetables cut his food costs by over 6%.
- Get on the roof – Another way to attract locals and gain them as loyal regulars is to take advantage of the great outdoors. Everyone – local and traveler – loves a great view. Highlight your rooftop bar, seaside terrace, or cozy cafe patio and make it the place to be in town. As of 2012, hotel bar revenue averaged $120/square foot, so take advantage of this goldmine.
It will take dedication and meticulous focus to create a culinary oasis inside your hotel. But the payoffs are endless as the many hotel operators who have instituted this change already can tell you. Your hotel has much more to offer than just a place to sleep – show off your authentic, hand-crafted cuisine and leave visitors craving to come back for more.