August Focus     Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

Trending articles this week...

Vani Van Nielen

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. Many events from Q1 and Q2 were postponed to Q3 and Q4; however, the previously anticipated start of recovery now seems to be increasingly unlikely as resurgences of cases occur worldwide. READ MORE

Timothy Flohr

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. We begin our deep dive into the world of project management by discussing why project management is such an important – yet overlooked – facet in the hospitality industry. READ MORE

Mark Natale

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. In this piece, Mark Natale, the chief executive officer of the award-winning integrated brand development agency Smarthinking Inc., shares some of the risks of not incorporating proper branding, as well as the initial steps each company should take to successfully develop their brand strategy. READ MORE

Manny Dominguez

While the coronavirus pandemic paused travel worldwide, the crisis has not paused wanderlust or human needs for connection. As guests begin to resume travel plans – whether for business or leisure – they will bring new expectations for health and wellbeing with them, from the use of hands-free technology to a connection to the outdoors to a holistic approach to programming. Manny Dominguez, principal at global design firm Cooper Carry, outlines how design-oriented solutions and strategic modifications will usher in the next era of hospitality, where a strong commitment to wellness serves as a new gold standard for the industry. 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.