Eat, Drink and Boost Your Revenues

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

Co-authored by Kimberly Trueba, senior leadership team at Forte 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 Forte 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.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.