Eat, Drink and Boost Your Revenues

By Scott Acton CEO & Founder, Forté Specialty Contractors | December 04, 2016

Co-authored by Kimberly Trueba, senior leadership team at Forté Specialty Contractors

In recent years, the hotel industry has seen a shift in revenue streams that it is eating up. While gaming revenue was once king in Las Vegas, it has now been overtaken by the food and beverage (F&B) segment. According to Moody’s Financial Services, in Las Vegas specifically, non-gaming revenue has now easily surpassed gambling revenue, making up between 55 percent to 65 percent of total revenues with hotel, with F&B spending representing the largest non-gaming income streams. Thanks to millennials, along with growing numbers of more discerning consumers, a shift in consumer desires has affected the way those in the hotel industry think, build and design. Consumers now demand and expect a fully immersive and experiential outing when they eat, drink and “make merry.”

Due to this shift, the strategies the hotel and hospitality industry are using to attract said consumers are getting increasingly creative. From an all-senses-engaging dinner in a luxe restaurant, to an interactive evening involving tableside meal prep and cooking, the hotel industry is taking advantage of the F&B revenues to be had. By offering meaningful and engaging F&B options, hotels are cashing in on repeat guests and attracting more new visitors than ever. In Las Vegas, there is a sense of competition between individual F&B venues within the same hotel, providing customers with various experiences that add perceived value to their stay and address diverse guest and visitor expectations.

The best way for hotels to differentiate these F&B venues is through creating immersive, experiential concepts which leave guests coming back for more. All of this appeal starts with the façade and design of the venue itself. As a result, hotels are directing more attention toward the aesthetics, design, materials and scale of the venues, so consumers not only want to be there, but keep coming back. The growing number of unique and well-constructed F&B venues offering tactile, multi-sensory experiences through design is attracting greater numbers of guests and the general public, which translates directly into improved hotel earnings.

The Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas is a good example of a larger-scale property that has been highly successful in demonstrating this approach. Aria contains approximately 4,004 hotel rooms; however, through the careful selection of design materials and thoughtful placement of various dining and entertainment options throughout the resort, Aria still manages to feel intimate and personalized. Also, the wide and diverse selection of F&B choices add perceived value to guests’ stay, since one could avail themselves of anything from a coffee shop lounge, to a global fusion buffet, on up to a luxurious, tableside service dinner. Because F&B is such a competitive field with different expectations for every target audience, hotels are creating a variety of these options, each with their own custom concepts. Regardless of the F&B options presented – fast food, coffee shops, family-style sit-down restaurants, fine dining, lounges, pubs/bars and nightclubs – the key is to implement a concept that can be perceived by all of guests’ senses throughout.

Take Bardot Brasserie for example. Bardot is a French fine-dining establishment with a modern twist, located in Aria. Built by Forté Specialty Contractors, Bardot is an excellent example of an all-senses-engaging, foodie experience. With lighting inspired by early film noir, Bardot’s mix of low lighting and dramatic shadows sets the mood for guests. Whether you are simply walking by, or walking into the restaurant, there is no doubt Bardot’s striking bar with polished brass shelving and up-lighting is attention-grabbing. With a wall that opens to the hotel’s main second floor walkway, the bar creates a sense of social engagement among the guests and visitors walking through Aria, helping to draw additional guests in. Throughout Bardot, the use of textures, tactile materials, visual aesthetics and ambient lighting draws guests and casual visitors alike. All of these sensory tactics, paired with the restaurant’s exceptional menu and specialty cocktails, makes Bardot a one-of-a-kind experience.

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.