Library Archives

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

Michael Barbera

The food service industry is volatile due to the low barrier to entry, high level of competition and significantly low-profit margins. Foodservice operators are likely to reduce expenditures and save money wherever possible. Additionally, food service operators are known for being creative to attain an advantage on the competition. Designing menus that are less taxing on the consumer's choice are a common approach to increasing revenue and enhancing the consumer experience. Furthermore, unique menus are likely to attribute to an improved consumer experience that carries an intangible value of word of mouth marketing between consumers. READ MORE

David Ashen

There was a time when a hotel restaurant was the place to be seen. A special anniversary or family celebration at a grand hotel with a formal meal was a real treat and something to look forward to. While that's still true to some extent, changes in lifestyles and the hospitality industry have had a major impact on the way most people celebrate special events and casually socialize, including those centered on an extravagant meal at a grand hotel. Often, today's festivities focus less on elaborate banquets than they do on a lively bar scene with local brews, spirits and traditional drinks, along with inspired dishes at a restaurant of note, including those located in hotels. READ MORE

Scott Acton

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, food and beverage 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." READ MORE

Brian Mitchell

Every task performed the same way, every member of the floor team on the same page, a place for everything and everything in its place. It's the surest way to make your patrons feel that they can relax back in the hands of true professionals. This enhances every dimension of their experience. It encourages the kind of word of mouth (and word-of-internet) that you most want. It keeps those guests coming back, certain of a reassuring constancy in meeting their needs and preferences. It keeps them bringing others with them, to bask in the glow of deft attendance. And, most importantly, it keeps increasing their spend, in all the best ways, for them and for your establishment. READ MORE

Michael Barbera

Here's why I admire menus: it's the only marketing content that's guaranteed to be read. Once the consumer is seated at a table, they are almost guaranteed to make a purchase. Less than one percent of patrons are likely to depart a restaurant after being seated. Therefore, 99 percent is an outstanding conversion rate that digital marketers would sell their first born to achieve. I would say congrats to all the restaurateurs for achieving this amazing feat of feasts, but we have to be forthright, your margins are miserable. The purpose for our research was to understand how consumers increase spending after viewing a menu, and we've discovered that creating an experience is the catalyst. READ MORE

Juliana Shallcross

Hyatt Regency Savannah is embracing the city's exciting foodie scene with a vibrant new restaurant concept that will give guests an authentic dining experience and an up close view of Savannah's riverfront, while at the same time, will meet the day-to-night needs of the modern traveler. For the past few years, hotels have begun modernizing their offerings for a new type of traveler—one that's readily plugged in (sometimes literally with their smartphone in hand) to the newest trends in design, technology, food, and experiences. This traveler expects far more from their hotel than just a comfortable bed at night. READ MORE

Lorraine Abelow

Food has become a magnetic force that steers people's travels and often dictates what hotel they choose. So, it is vital to get the word out through traditional and social media about your hotel's offerings. With the exploding culinary craze, travelers are making decisions on what destinations to visit based on the cuisine they see covered in the media. Preferences, such as farm-to-table, locally sourced produce, and the innovative creations of chefs, are what your property should be publicizing through feature stories in important media outlets and social media channels. It is more critical than ever to publicize the cuisine at your hotel to reach the burgeoning "foodies" market. READ MORE

Simon Hudson

As TV chefs have morphed into global celebrities in the era of TV reality shows, a new restaurant trend in Open Kitchen Dining has emerged. Although the concept is not totally novel - after all, sushi bars have been doing it for years - it is the polished level of performance, highbrow cuisine and the proliferation of the trend that is more recent. All around the world, restaurants are putting their executive chefs on display, cooking part, or even all, of a meal right in front of diners who often sit at counters, watching every move. Cooking has become a reality show, adding an extra cachet to the restaurant experience. This ascendance of culinary scrutiny has gone hand in hand with a heightened interest in farm fresh ingredients and a general food fetishism which encompasses new fads in organic, gluten-free, lactose-free, vegan and vegetarian eating. READ MORE

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Coming up in May 2021...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Now More Than Ever

One theory about the pandemic states that future viruses are more likely to originate and flourish due to global warming. If true, the urgency to accelerate the adoption of eco-friendly practices is greater than ever. Of course, there are many other reasons to create a sustainable operation, including reduced utility costs, savings on operational costs, healthier and happier guests and employees, and positive publicity, marketing and community goodwill. Many hotels are introducing innovative programs into their operations - from recycling bins in guest rooms to starting a roof top garden. Other hotels are using eco-friendly cleaning products, reusing towels and sheets, sourcing locally grown food, supporting the use of electric vehicles, and permitting guests to refill their reusable water bottles with clean, filtered water. Finally, some hotels are encouraging guests to get involved by making it possible for them to participate in local community clean-up projects. 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.