Times change, styles change, places change. Yet some things remain. Over the last three hundred years we have seen the lodging industry morph from a smattering of mom-and-pop inns into multi-billion-dollar sector of the world economy. We've have seen the modest roadside pub give way to the grand hotels of the early 20th century, the business-class hotel, and sprawling resorts worldwide. Yet through all the changes there remains a constant; The Hotel Lobby, and with it the bar and restaurant. In this series, the design principles at O'Kelly Kasprak take a look at the evolving F&B functions of the hotel lobby. READ MORE

As we enter Q3, there is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted businesses worldwide. Hospitality has already been singled out as having notably suffered from travel restrictions and lockdowns, but one could argue that meetings and events have it the worst. The very definition, large groups of people gathering in a single location that is often indoors, makes it clear that the meetings and events industry has struggled a lot. READ MORE

When most people think about "project management" their first thoughts are generally not about the hospitality industry. Even though it is one of the largest industries in existence, there has not been a concerted industry-wide effort to embrace project management. However, hospitality firms from across the entire industry, from mom-and-pop operations to global hospitality giants, are planning and executing projects on a daily basis. READ MORE

Consistent and strategic branding can lead to a strong brand equity, which can add great value and credibility for hotels. Despite the challenges that have unfolded due to COVID-19, now is not the time to put off building a remarkable brand. In fact, it's quite the opposite. You should now be doubling down on your commitment to your brand. READ MORE

August FOCUS

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

The hotel food and beverage (F&B) environment has been impacted significantly by the coronavirus pandemic, leading to many chains being forced by circumstances to pivot to a new way of operating. In the short-term, many hotel F&B divisions have looked at repurposing their spaces, while others have simply stopped operating for the interim. As we move towards the post-Covid world, here's what I expect to see happening in F&B as hotels try to get back to the new normal. READ MORE

When COVID-19 hit, hospitality tech solutions went from a nice to have to a necessity for many hospitality operators who are working to stay open and keep customers and staff safe. However, with bars, restaurants, and hotels at limited capacity, now is the time for venues to look into tech that can also help them beyond the pandemic to see what tools they can use long-term and implement now while they have the time. READ MORE

Wine enthusiasts have started to consume and demand better quality wines during their business trips and holidays, prompting hotels to ramp up their wine-centric experiences. With so many lodging and dining choices, wine programs offer companies a way to stand out and reach a new target audience, especially as the world of hospitality gets back on its feet post COVID-19. Here are some hotels that have successfully implemented wine programs and forged the way for collaboration between the hotel and wine industry. READ MORE

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More from our online Library Archives...

Lori Crowley

With growing purchasing power and cultural influence, Millennials (and their Gen Z successors) are quite literally becoming important F&B "taste makers. Savvy hotel owners and operators and smart F&B professionals have already begun changing their menus and their strategies to appeal to younger diners. Understanding how the industry is evolving-and what kinds of demographic-driven changes will continue to shape F&B in the years ahead-begins with appreciating how Millennials and Gen Z diners (and employees) are influencing everything from menu design, to marketing and communications, to programming and facility layouts. READ MORE

Jocelyn Tolbert

Apprenticeships have been around for centuries. But as labor markets tighten and college costs rise, culinary apprenticeship programs like that of the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation are updating their curriculums and requirements to meet the needs of 21st century students and chefs. Mobile-friendly work logs and online classes, as well as options for quicker graduation timelines, have been implemented to make sure that students, no matter where or who they are, can become culinary apprentices and, soon, the chefs of tomorrow. With the rise of modernized apprenticeships, the future workforce will be more prepared than ever before. READ MORE

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.