August FOCUS: Food & Beverage

August, 2022

Food & Beverage: Remarkably Resilient

In the wake of the devastation that disrupted every aspect of their operations, the hotel food & beverage industry is proceeding with cautious optimism and a measure of hope as it re-emerges from the pandemic's darker days. It is also bringing forward all the lessons learned from the challenges that were faced, and integrating them into their current, day-to-day operations. For example, new digital interfaces that minimize physical contact, including tableside ordering systems and QR code menus. Here to stay are also features such as packaged room service meals and cocktails; on-property, quick-service food options; a greater emphasis on outdoor dining and pop-up restaurants; gourmet home meal kits; live-streamed cooking classes; and virtual wine-tastings. Still, some challenges remain, such as coping with a persistent labor shortage and maintaining scrupulous sanitation standards. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on what some leading hotels are doing to integrate these changes into their F&B operations as they rebound with a remarkable resiliency.

This month's feature articles...

Shawn Tarter

In the wake of the devastation that disrupted all operations aspects, the hotel food & beverage industry proceeds with cautious optimism as it re-emerges from the pandemic's darker days, bringing lessons learned from challenges faced and integrating them into current operations. Challenges remain, including persistent labor shortages, scrupulous sanitation standards and recent global food shortages caused by the Russia-Ukraine war. READ MORE

Albert Rothman

EOS Hospitality's Vice President of Food & Beverage, Albert Rothman, shines a light on the need for thoughtful design in hospitality workplaces. He examines how physical challenges to the workplace create hardship for employees and how the industry would be better served to prioritize them in the design phase. Rothman champions the idea of considering the employee experience, from day one. READ MORE

Brian  Fountain

Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland, like much of the hospitality industry, faced unprecedented challenges in 2020 due to the pandemic. As the F&B Director for the top tourist destination in the state, Brian Fountain worked with his team, across the property's departments, and with Team Members and guests to navigate the changing landscape. Now, two years later, he shares lessons learned and innovations implemented. READ MORE

Cynthia Mejia

Before the pandemic, hotel pantries and marketplaces offered F&B flexibility and convenience for guests. Due to the current labor challenges in the hospitality industry, in addition to the increased demands of consumer travel, these self-serve marketplaces provide ongoing F&B opportunities for hoteliers. From small to large properties, guest facing F&B pantries and marketplaces bring convenience and personal touches, enhancing the customer experience. READ MORE

Elizabeth  Blau

With the immediate crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic in our rear-view mirror, the hospitality industry is adapting to a new normal. While many of pandemic-era industry best practices have dwindled, some have proven valuable and continue to remain as common procedures; however, through the last two years, the one constant throughout the hospitality industry has undeniably been the remarkable resiliency. READ MORE

Alexander Urrunaga

Hoteliers must think differently about food and beverage concepts and operations in the wake of the pandemic to ensure recovery. In addition to rebuilding trust with guests and diners, it is imperative to embrace creativity and big, bold ideas to unlock the true potential of F&B concepts as a necessary hotel amenity and an essential fixture within communities they serve. READ MORE

Jennifer Andrews

When The Schoolhouse Hotel opened its doors in White Sulphur Springs, WV, in May 2022, it marked not only the launch of the area's first boutique hospitality property and the first all-ADA compliant hotel in the world, but the staff also faced a post-pandemic climate in which every aspect of hospitality, food and beverage was impacted. READ MORE

Moneesh Arora

The return of guests to the hotel industry is cause for both celebration and concern for F&B departments as they struggle to overcome the challenges raised by workforce shortages. However, by turning to new technologies and approaches to human capital management, F&B managers can sidestep such issues standing in the way of running a successful business that serves the needs of both guests and employees. READ MORE

Andrea Grigg

Hotel food and beverage operations were hit hard during COVID due to limited capacity rules, which significantly impacted sales and revenue. As we emerge from the worst effects of the pandemic, Americans are once again making reservations, and the sector is well on a path to full recovery. Moreover, external patrons have rediscovered the excitement of dining at hotel restaurants and bars. The hotel industry must now reexamine and re-imagine its approach to food and beverage to navigate inflation, labor shortages, and changing customer expectations. READ MORE

Chris Martha

From COVID-19 to tense foreign affairs communities and industries across the globe are reeling as we emerge from prevailing crisis. In the food and beverage industry, owners have navigated shutdowns that, in some cases, completely halted business. Drawing from global partners and a dedicated food and beverage team, our team at Valor has identified key learnings while navigating the labor shortage. READ MORE

Gerald Fernandez, Sr.

Rebuilding with resilience includes committing to developing Cultural Intelligence. I resist the notion that it's "nice to have." Our employees and our guests have had two years for deep reflection. They are basing decisions on personal values and are not putting up with environments where they feel excluded or misunderstood. Cultural Intelligence in hospitality is a new core competency. READ MORE

Eric Matsui

Hotel food and beverage teams are taking several lessons with them to usher in a new era of service following the pandemic: the need to address strong demand for personalized dining services, the staying power of in-room dining amenities, the importance and desire for guest-staff interactions, and the value in supporting local producers. READ MORE

David Stange

Five-star service is no longer the exclusive domain of luxury properties. Today's traveler expects exceptional service without excuses and without compromise. Resorts must take advantage of modern mobile F&B POS solutions that breathe new life into legacy systems and reach the guest wherever they want to be on property. Improved service at your most coveted outdoor venues – the pool, the beach, the golf course and your outdoor event spaces – not only grows your revenue, but it can also help you retain your most talented staff members as your guests' delight results in higher tips for your team. READ MORE

Jorgan Von Stiening

President Jorgan von Stiening of Palisociety, one of the leading boutique hospitality brands in the country, shares how they embraced the pandemic-forced pivots that impacted their F&B business and used them to move into a new chapter of growth, stability, and forward-thinking momentum with a keen eye on the experience for guests, employees, and the brand as a whole. READ MORE

Steve Turk

The food and beverage industry has endured an unprecedented couple of years, and "new normal" seems to be an ever-evolving term. However, through staffing best practices and new technologies, many hospitality companies have learned to navigate these changes and enjoy success. READ MORE

Rece Hogerheide

Daxton Hotel's Executive Chef Rece Hogerheide shares his insight on some of the challenges for hotels and restaurants coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. He touches upon the supply chain and food shortages; the ongoing labor shortage across the industry; and how we as an industry can reintroduce our guests back to the experience that is dining out. READ MORE

Gloria Murillo

The COVID-19 pandemic of the past few years was an exceedingly challenging time for food and beverage programs in the hotel industry - especially for brand-new properties like The Clancy in San Francisco's SoMa neighborhood. But the innovative hotel managed to find creative ways to survive - and thrive - during this unusual era. READ MORE

Nikole  Halaka

While Margaritaville Hotel Nashville has always provided a paradise-like experience, the COVID-19 pandemic compelled us to become even more of an urban oasis for our guests. Our staff has found creative ways to customize meetings and events, bounce back from shortages by utilizing local food vendors and stay flexible according to the changing needs of our clients and guests. READ MORE

Steve Smith

At Eat.Drink.Sleep., careful consideration of the guest's perspective provides new answers to Food & Beverage challenges. Today's Hotel F&B operators must understand and respond to guest expectations, both systematically and in the moment, to successfully balance expectations with operational realities. Great hospitality is provided by individuals and supported by technology. READ MORE

Jeff Dover

Food service operators have always been resilient, and hotel food and beverage service is no exception. The COVID-19 pandemic was one of the greatest challenges for food service operations in living memory for hotel and food service operators, adapted their practices accordingly. As the recovery is underway, which pandemic food and beverage service practices should remain, and which should be discontinued? READ MORE

Adam Haverland

With sustainability as a popular topic in the food and beverage industry, seed-to-table dining initiatives are on the rise. Seed-to-table dining means a food and beverage program utilizes an on-site or nearby garden to source their ingredients. Led by Executive Chef Adam Haverland, the JW Marriott, Anaheim Resort's food and beverage program utilizes their onsite garden for ingredients in their F&B program. READ MORE

Court Williams

Hospitality has taken a severe beating over the past couple of years. Now, as we get deeper into the post-pandemic era, travel and tourism facilities are discovering new ways to implement the learnings from COVID-19. Outsourcing and the adoption of new technology in food and beverage (F&B) operations are two methods by which hotels and restaurants can overcome some of the challenges facing them, while also achieving significant savings and profitability. READ MORE

Robert  O'Halloran

Hotel food and beverage (F&B), like all of lodging, adjusted to the changes in operations over the last several years. Hotel F&B outlets have closed, or modified their menus and operating hours, adjusted their staffing and or dealt with labor shortages and increasing prices for F&B supplies. F&B outlets have adopted take out and sometimes participated in delivery options. The emphasis across the board also appears to be focused on casual settings and much fewer fine dining options. This article will discuss adaptations and changes in hotel food and beverage and new options and innovations in food service. READ MORE

Mary Tabacchi

Often CEOs or F&B managers in the hospitality industry believe healthful food items are salads, vegetarian meals, or similar concepts (consumers have called this "rabbit food"). This is likely a mistake. The menu must be all encompassing. Today's guests are inclined toward items on the menu that are as tasty or more so than any entree. The purpose of this article is to assist with that endeavor. READ MORE

Ryan McAndrew

This summer was supposed to be the season of revenge travel. With COVID-19 caseloads easing and consumers flush with savings built up during the pandemic, the travel industry was anticipating a robust season. But that was before a new risk emerged: stubborn, elevated inflation. Travel demand has remained undeterred, for now, and the volume of travelers has placed additional focus on labor issues for airlines and hotels. READ MORE

Rachel Fischbach

An elevated mountain aesthetic can marry rustic with refined, blend coziness and spaciousness, and deliver a sense of place and history through thoughtfully selected color palettes, accents, and materials. Two destinations – both based in Big Sky, Montana but showcasing distinctive designs – demonstrate how to create memorable environments for guests that redefine mountain living. READ MORE

Peter Halprin

Marriott International Inc. is making the headlines for recent data breaches and the hospitality industry should be concerned as cyber criminals continue to aggressively exploit vulnerabilities. While there are numerous security lessons to be drawn from the latest Marriott breach, it also serves to highlight the availability of insurance products which can provide both incident response assistance and bottom-line protection. READ MORE

Robert  Hood

Hotel food and beverage is entering a period of change that has not been experienced in living memory, firstly by necessity and lastly via the need for creativity and a drive to change the vision, guest experience and service elevation in ways that have not been achieved previously. Whether ready or not hotel operators are responding to a very different guest desire, in ways that were not imagined, which means all traditional strategies will change. READ MORE

Coming up in April 2023...

Guest Service: Exceeding Expectations

When guests check into a hotel, they have expectations of quality customer service. They expect to have their needs met in a professional manner, they desire a certain level of comfort, and possibly even made to feel a little special. This is important because satisfied guests are more likely to return and to become true brand ambassadors. But what if instead of merely meeting expectations, hotels created a culture of service that was intent on exceeding expectations in every conceivable way? What if frontline staff were trained and empowered to provide guest services that demonstrate a willingness to always go the extra mile in order to please their guests? This culture is exactly what some hotels are creating in their operations. From helpful, smiling, welcoming staff to the quality of  a room's comfort and conveniences. From discovering a guest's special needs and enthusiastically fulfilling them, to making some amenities free of charge and offering random upgrades. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to enhance and enrich their guest services.