Library Archives

Russell LaCasce

As more and more consumer dollars are spent on dining and drinking out, the competition has only continued to increase. Restaurants, more than ever, need to stay ahead of the game when it comes to being informed on trending ingredients, styles and experiences, and choosing which to incorporate into their unique concepts. From flavorful small plates and chef-driven dining experiences to menus that highlight digestifs as an integral part of enjoying a meal, Executive Chef Russell LaCasce of Hotel Valley Ho in Old Town Scottsdale, Arizona is sharing some of the top culinary trends to look out for in 2020. READ MORE

Chuck Kelley

Running a successful bar or lounge operation certainly has its challenges and pitfalls. Putting the right elements together in a package that appeals to your target audience and has longevity is in itself a huge challenge. If you can get this right, just enjoy the fruits of your labors and don't over think things. Chuck Kelley Partner, Cayuga Hospitality Consultants opines on experiences from his early days as a Lounge Manager and provides examples of what can make the operation successful in the eyes of all stakeholders and what are some of the pitfalls that can derail a successful operation. READ MORE

Brian Contreras

The food industry is experiencing a revolution where diners are demanding healthier options, transparency and accountability. Consumers want to be part of the experience and better understand the story of the food they're consuming – where did the cow come from, how was the cow raised, what breed, is the ranch engaging in sustainable practices, and so on. It's this curiosity that drives me explore new opportunities with local suppliers, reinvigorate how our guests are served and challenge everyone to do what's best for the business, consumers and the environment. READ MORE

Priyanko Guchait, PhD

Approximately 48 million people annually are sickened due to foodborne illness, which equates to roughly one sixth the population of the United States (U.S.), with128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths per year. The estimated annual economic costs related to foodborne illness are approximately $77 billion. Foodborne illness is an urgent problem that threatens the health of people and generates significant economic losses. How can hotels and restaurants take action to reduce the alarming numbers of food safety errors and violations? READ MORE

Eduardo Fernandez

The business of hotels is always in flux, consistently aiming to meet the growing needs of their guests, build loyalty and stand out from the crowd of competitors. With food expectations mounting, made popular via social media frenzy, the growing importance of food-rating apps and the heavy use of "top lists," providing round-ups of the best burger, ice cream cone or brunch in a state, city or neighborhood, travel destinations have had to tout their local food scene as a means to gain visitors. With hotels offering food and beverage options in highly-competitive markets, brands need to shift their restaurants to cater to the growing food culture. READ MORE

Simon Hudson

Après ski in ski resorts used to consist of a few pints of ale and plate of nachos, but increasingly the bubbly allure of champagne, beer and spirits is being packaged by resorts into beer and distillery tours, private in-room liquor tastings, champagne toasts on the slopes, and beverage and food pairings. This article takes a look at some of the ski industry's more innovative beverage-focused offerings, from North America's highest-elevation fine-dining in Telluride offering a choice of 400 wines 12,000 feet above sea level, to Pow Day, the Waldorf Astoria Park City's own custom craft beer. READ MORE

Julio Perez

The all-inclusive model has gone from a low-cost cookie-cutter to the cutting edge of hyper personalized service. Understanding and adapting to the needs and demands of today's niche-driven, segmented market where diverse subsets of experience hungry clientele is all searching for a comprehensive vacation comprised of equal parts value and authenticity is the key to successfully navigating the current and future travel and tourism industry. Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts' Julio Perez, Sales Executive Vice President, offers a unique perspective on how to survive and thrive today's ever-changing landscape. READ MORE

Armando Cabral

Philanthropy has recently mixed its way into the multi-billion dollar adult beverage business; and restaurants, bars, hotels and liquor brands are making marked impact on causes around the country. Customers are becoming "givers" with little to no effort, while businesses are building goodwill within their communities and among their beneficiaries. Armando Cabral, general manager of Ty Lounge at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara, explores establishments from Portland to New York City (with a stop in Las Vegas, of course) to see who is doing what, where, for whom and why. READ MORE

Paul Hancock

More and more food and beverage operations in hotels are having an active online presence by making their websites more mobile friendly, thus more accessible to smartphone users. Adding to that, social media also has a huge part to play in the food and beverage industry’s revenue. Also, apps like Open Table and Yelp now make it possible for customers to make reservations in the palm of their hand. Food and beverage operations aren’t just using technology to bring customers to them, many are providing their servers with smartphones to take orders. Smartphones are creating more efficiency within the food and beverage operation, which all means boosts in revenues. READ MORE

Alan Roberts

As F&B trends are constantly evolving, hotels and owners must collaborate to stay ahead of the curve and provide an elevated dining experience for guests and a high return on investment for owners. From utilizing smart, flexible design to understanding guest preferences and building a strong partnership between hotels and owners, these are the necessary ingredients for success. When done properly, incorporating innovative concepts can work in a hotel's favor by creating more in-house revenue-generating opportunities. Alan Roberts, global head, Embassy Suites by Hilton, shares insights on how the brand has followed this strategy through its E'Terie and Brickstones concepts and enhancements to its signature Evening Reception and made-to-order breakfast. READ MORE

Ray Chung

Hotels are learning to capitalize on their food & beverage offerings. No longer just a required, unprofitable amenity for guests, the hotel restaurant and especially the bar component are becoming proper revenue sources. People are spending more time—and more money—at these outlets. In some surveys, fully half of travelers report that they choose their hotel for its restaurant. And from the operator's point of view, hotels offer a number of advantages over freestanding restaurants, from not having to manage escalating rents to practical matters, such as having the assurance of a full-time engineering team on site. READ MORE

Gary Isenberg

If hoteliers want a lesson regarding how drastically dining trends have evolved over the past 40 years, they need to look no further than the history of Howard Johnson's. A welcome respite for vacationing families and interstate road warriors in the mid-20th century, those orange-domed waystations dotted nearly every highway across the country. At HoJo's zenith, the chain numbered than 1,000 restaurants and 500 motor lodges. READ MORE

John Armstrong

Over the past 25 years, the Sheraton Seattle's Gingerbread Village has become one of the most anticipated holiday attractions in Seattle, drawing more than 200,000 visitors each year while raising funds to help researchers end Type 1 diabetes. Since 1992, the Sheraton Seattle's expert culinary team has partnered with acclaimed local architecture firms and the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties to design, bake and delight crowds with intricate, larger-than-life gingerbread designs. The event is free to the public, but donations to the Northwest Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation are encouraged. As a tribute to the city, this year's theme embraces Seattle's past and future, prompting us to look back at how Gingerbread Village grew from a modest event to a beloved Seattle tradition as well as a highly effective sales, marketing and public relations tool. READ MORE

Larry Trabulsi

This article focuses on evaluating external service providers for optimizing Food and Beverage (F&B) Department profitability, and is the second in a series on outsourcing services at hotels. As my colleague, Michael Doyle, asked in the first article in this series: “Why should hotels outsource, or challenge a traditional operations model?” The most common answer is to maximize profitability. Industry-wide, F&B revenue represents over 25% of total hotel revenue, yet generating a meaningful profit margin in F&B (which is difficult to measure with accuracy) can be challenging. In many hotels F&B can be an integral part of the guest experience, and a large source of revenue for the hotel. READ MORE

Michael Barbera

Time pressure is a significant driver of human decision-making. Time pressure is both artificial and natural. Time pressure is popular with airlines, hotels and sporting tickets. When purchasing an airline ticket it is likely that you have encountered a message that stated, "time remaining to purchase", or "seats reserved for", followed by a clock counting down. Ticketing agencies such as Ticketmaster and online retailer eBay are known for their time pressure sales methods. The high time pressure used by airlines, hotels and ticketing agencies are overt and intentional; however, not all time pressure is overt or intentional. READ MORE

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Coming up in May 2020...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Creative Innovation

Being eco-friendly is no longer a fad. It is an urgent planetary need and hotels are actively doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint by implementing sustainable, green practices. In addition to the goodwill derived from doing the right thing, hotels are also realizing the benefits to their business. A large percentage of Millennials expect hotels to be eco-friendly and will only patronize those properties that are proudly conforming. Consequently, more hotels are realizing that sustainability is a key element in a successful branding strategy. In addition, going green can lead to a more profitable bottom line, as savings on electricity, water and cleaning materials can add up. Also, there are other advantages that come with being an eco-friendly business, such as government subsidies and tax and loan incentives. As a result, many hotels are finding innovative ways to integrate eco-friendly practices into their business. Geo-thermal energy systems, along with energy-from-waste systems, are being used to heat and cool the property. Passive solar panels, green roofs, natural lighting and natural ventilation strategies also assist in energy conservation. Low-flow water systems and plumbing fixtures make a contribution, as does eco-friendly hardwood flooring, and energy efficient televisions and appliances throughout the property. In addition, some hotels have implemented in-room recycling programs, and only provide all-natural, personal care items. One hotel has actually constructed a bee-keeping operation on their grounds. Not only is this good for the bees but the hotel also produces products from the operation which they sell. This kind of creative innovation also holds enormous appeal to guests. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.