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Brian Mitchell

The best thing about Gen Y sommeliers and wine waiters is their enthusiasm. And the worst thing? Their enthusiasm. Youth has ever been a period of intensely romanticized responses. No one has ever felt a love like this - captured such a clarity of insight - no one has ever felt so angst-ridden and bereft - no one has ever tasted a wine like this with such purity of focus and appreciation.No one has ever loved/lost/felt/tasted as intensely as this. Youth has despaired through history over this self-evident (to them, at least) truth. With Gen Y, however, this attitude is through the roof, living as they do in a social media-created echo chamber that consists largely (perhaps only) of like-minded tastes. READ MORE

Yuriy Boykiv

Multicultural beverage marketing can be a difficult segment to break into — particularly for the travel and entertainment industries. Fortunately, there's a special on tap. According to a recent Pew Research report, Asian-Americans are the fastest-growing segment of the marketplace. Since the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, 51 percent of new immigrants have come from Latin America and a quarter from Asia. Asian-Americans are projected to eventually overtake the size and importance of the Hispanic market. READ MORE

Brian Mitchell

Hotel restaurants compete against performance standards that exist in their customers' minds. Dishes that have excited and inspired them, intriguing and challenging wine lists, on-trend cocktail selections and artfully designed dining interiors that they've experience in the past - these create benchmarks against which every new restaurant experience will invariably be measured. Performance standards in these first two dimensions of a restaurant business, the products on offer and the ambience of the setting, get all the buzz and so receive a great deal of attention from management and critics. A restaurant which consistently underperforms in these aspects of the business is unlikely to survive. READ MORE

George Fistrovich

Sustainability and farm-to-table dining have become synonymous with dining experiences. The expectation for a locally grown meal at fine dining restaurants has risen 87% over the past years according to the 2015 National Restaurant Association Industry Forecast. As the leader of a culinary team, we are dedicated to exceed those expectations while meeting our bottom line. This can be a challenge to hotels and resorts around the globe whose climate does not permit for produce to be grown year round. I am fortunate to lead The Ritz-Carlton, Naples culinary team, the first resort to work with CropBox, the solution to providing sustainable dining that is not contingent on climate year round. READ MORE

Brian Mitchell

"He may live without love - what is passion but pining? But where is the man who can live without dining?" These lines from the English statesman and poet Owen Meredith, sum up what most of us in the industry would like to feel about dining. But the experience of dining has many elements and how these come together will determine what's more important - how our customers come to feel. It's a truism that first impressions are hard to change. And the earliest impression for diners occurs in seating. Where they're seated and how they're seated. READ MORE

Larry Mogelonsky

Now that the locavore movement has become mainstream, locally sourced foods at restaurants have shifted from a value-add to an expectation for consumers. As such, to impress guests, more must be done in this regard. Indigenous ingredient sourcing offers one such solution as it serves to deliver as authentically local a dining experience as possible. Although not practical in all situations, the sourcing of foods that are native to a region can act as a clear point of differentiation to help grow a property's F&B revenues. READ MORE

Cornelius Gallagher

The cruise industry is constantly evolving and expanding, making headlines by introducing breakthrough innovations from top-of-the-line food and beverage to leading technology and environmentally friendly practices. The operations at the very foundation of a cruise line, like Celebrity Cruises, are composed of an abundant number of 'moving parts'. As a recent transplant from NYC's restaurant scene - one of the most highly respected, cutting-edge culinary arenas in the world - cruising is unlike anything I have previously seen. Sourcing produce in the cruise industry takes on a whole new meaning. READ MORE

Brian Mitchell

Any perusal of the literature will show how increasingly important Food & Beverage has become to overall hotel operations. Its influence reaches across marketing, finance, staffing priorities, guest satisfaction results, and overall positioning of a property. Yet for all its acknowledged significance the F&B function can easily fly under the radar when it comes to performance scrutiny. This series of articles examines the underlying mindsets and principles that ultimately determine F&B success - factors that won't be picked up in year on year performance measures, or even comparisons against other restaurant operations. It's entirely feasible for an F&B department to tick all the financial boxes, yet grossly underperform when measured against actual revenue opportunities available and ignored. The six articles, concluding with the accompanying one, provide a litmus test for management in evaluating the latent strength of an F&B operation. READ MORE

Jonathan Sullivan

What began as a trend in lager cities, the growing popularity of the craft beverage movement is taking the food and beverage industry by storm, increasing by 18 percent from 2012 to 2013. As defined by the Brewers Association, an American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional; has an annual production of six million barrels or less, no more than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or operated by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not a craft brewer and must brew beers using traditional ingredients, such as malt barley. READ MORE

Brian Mitchell

Generation Y dominates the ranks of floor staff in hotel restaurants - an area renowned for problems in performance and turnover. This is often attributed to stereotypical characteristics - such as poor work ethic, no interest in the job, inability to remain focused, weak communication skills… Our research into Gen Y however has revealed a balance of contrasting positive values. The key to motivating them is to target aspects of the job that make best use of these attributes. The selling and service of wine is the perfect vehicle. When used in conjunction with the technique of "wine bites" it encourages professionalism and makes for valuable contributions to diner service and F&B profits READ MORE

Larry Mogelonsky

The world of food is changing. People of all walks of life are starting to become more health-conscious and selective in their meal choices. As demand for healthy food options increases, it presents an opportunity for hotels to become F&B leaders in this area. One such area worth exploring is nutraceuticals - that is, supplements and functional foods that can be added to meals in order to enhance its nutrient content. Incorporating one or more of these augmented foods may be a more practical method of appealing to the wellness-minded crowd because it won't require a complete menu revamp. READ MORE

S. Lakshmi Narasimhan

The Catering operation is thus a different kind of food and beverage operation. It takes the normally prevailing low price high volume characteristic of the typical food and beverage operation and turns it on its head. It thus becomes a high volume high price operation with enormous boosts to revenues and profitability owing to the numbers it manages to pull. The high contribution margin it enjoys thus makes it the venerable breadwinner for the food and beverage operation. Owners can laugh all the way to the bank for having the foresight in building a top notch offering of function rooms in the catering operation within their hotel premises. READ MORE

Walker Lunn

Food sourcing is a fundamental to our industry as hoteliers, and food supply has developed to be a sophisticated machine subject to the influences of international politics, monetary policy, weather trends in local, international, and long-term climate change theaters, biotechnology, risk management, consumer perception and preference, and domestic and international regulations. How do transgenic foods fit into this symphony, and what does it mean for our industry? What is the impact if we require non-GMO foods, or if we accept GMO foods? READ MORE

Adrian Kurre

There is much discussion surrounding new hotel openings, design enhancements, room upgrades, guest perks, etc., all of which contribute to the continual revolutionize of guest experience. The hospitality industry continues to evolve as new trends surface and hotels undergo continual changes not only to accommodate the changing needs and expectations of guests - but to set new standards in how we serve our customers. In this article, I will discuss the emergence of new trends, shift in consumer preferences, and opportunities for continuous innovation to drive results. READ MORE

Brian Mitchell

The notion that diners go out with strict limits on their spending is a myth, but one that many floor staff implicitly accept. The cost of this is heavy. In reality there's a direct relationship between higher spend and happier diners. Diners want to have their choices informed, and they secretly want the pleasant dining experience to be an exceptional one. These desires are far more important than the moderately higher bill that accompanies them. The challenge is to ensure that all staff members recognize the many opportunities that exist to boost revenue and diner satisfaction simultaneously. 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.