Food & Beverage: Millennials Rule

The Millennial Generation has surpassed the Baby Boomers to become the largest living generation in America, and their tastes and preferences are being reflected in the Food & Beverage industry. In general, Millennials insist on more natural, healthier, less-processed food and beverage sources, and in part, this inspired the farm-to-table movement. However, now the trend is becoming even more pronounced and hyper-local. Millennials no longer simply want to know their food is farm-to-table, they want to know which farm, and where it's located relative to the community. As a result, hotel F&B directors are redesigning entire menus to feature area brewers, wineries, and family farms. Not only is this a proven way to satisfy Millennial tastes but it also opens the door for hotel guests to enjoy immersive experiences such as tours and excursions to local farms and breweries. Also, thanks in no small part to Millennials, coffee consumption is at an all-time high. In response, F&B directors are creating innovative ways to enhance the coffee experience for guests. Nitro-brewed coffee, cold brew, lattes on draft, and the introduction of unique milk options are part of this trend, as are locally sourced coffee beans where available. Millennial influences can also be found in the Craft and Artisan Cocktail movement where the same preferences for locally sourced and high-quality ingredients apply. One leading hotel even offers a drink menu featuring liquors infused with herbs recommended by experts for their health and well-being benefits. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will document the trends and challenges in the food and beverage sector, and report on what some leading hotels are doing to enhance this area of their business.

Library Archives

Lori Crowley

With growing purchasing power and cultural influence, Millennials (and their Gen Z successors) are quite literally becoming important F&B “taste makers. Savvy hotel owners and operators and smart F&B professionals have already begun changing their menus and their strategies to appeal to younger diners. Understanding how the industry is evolving—and what kinds of demographic-driven changes will continue to shape F&B in the years ahead—begins with appreciating how Millennials and Gen Z diners (and employees) are influencing everything from menu design, to marketing and communications, to programming and facility layouts. READ MORE

Katherine Kies

More than just a passing fad, experiential travel is the new norm. Whether it’s for business or pleasure, travelers today are seeking out authentic experiences that leave an indelible memory. In today’s world of #foodiegrams and followers hotels differentiate themselves by delivering culinary experiences that are delicious, delightfully memorable… and camera ready. Our Food+Drink Innovation team at PM Hotel Group is launching culinary concepts that break with the traditional “hotel restaurant” formula and instead creating foodie-focused experiences that activate our public spaces, attract locals and guests alike and deliver moments to remember. Hyper-local beverage programs mix with thoughtful activations to create memorable moments. READ MORE

Patrick Berwald

Before there were personal computers, the typical family in the U.S. sat around the dining table every night, chowing down together. With the advent of TV dinners in the late 50s and 60s, families still ate together, but they were glued to their favorite shows instead of involved in close conversation. Then along came all the fast food chains, enticing families away from the home-cooked meal. The eating-out habit took hold in the American consciousness, escalating over the years until now, for the first time ever, Americans actually spend more on eating out than they do on meals at home. READ MORE

John Greenleaf

Critical to the success of any hotel and as important as friendly attentive service and comfortable sleeping arrangements is food & beverage. That includes dinner of course but let’s not forget to mention breakfast, lunch, snacks and late night fare as well. Many years of experience in the hospitality industry tells me that the food & beverage portfolio of any hotel is a hugely important part of guest satisfaction and continued loyalty to your brand. In the midst of a culinary renaissance today everyone can benefit – guest and operator alike. This article will examine consumer demand for delicious healthy dining and operators need to be mindful of ever changing gastronomic trends. READ MORE

Paul Hancock

96 Billion dollars is being spent by Generation Millennial. The decisions and choices they are making are changing and rocking this industry. Millennials are armed with an arsenal of social media tools to quickly research and aid in their decision making process. Farm to table has much more meaning to the millennial than just a trend. It's a sense of place, a wellbeing, a shareable experience. From froze all day to the grass fed bresaola to the avocado toast Tuesdays that get 400 likes, the millennial generation choices are changing the landscape of Food and beverage in hotels throughout the US and the rest of the world. READ MORE

Sridhar Laveti

The millennial generation represents a significant portion of the population, making it necessary for restaurant owners to embrace the latest food trends and technologies if they are to grow their businesses. Consider the collective buying power and social influence of this generation, and it's easy to see why catering to them is a worthy endeavor. This generation and their habits have taught us a lot about the importance of taking the time to understand guests and their behaviors when planning the dining experience. It’s an experience that involves creative sustenance with a side of innovative technology. READ MORE

Dianna Vaughan

Millennials – a buzz word and increasingly important travel group that is breaking trends as fast as they set them. They are reminding hoteliers that the only constant in the hospitality industry is change. For the generation marked by continually shifting needs and wants, flexibility is key for any F&B program to remain relevant. High standards of quality must be met by equal parts imagination and adaptability. Dianna Vaughan, Global Head and Senior Vice President, All Suites Brands by Hilton, discusses how by remaining open to the changing influences of Millennials hoteliers can create dining experiences that appeal to guests of all ages READ MORE

Cornelius Gallagher

In a day and age when technology in our daily lives has become more of an expectation than a luxury, how we incorporate technology in the Food and Beverage guest experience onboard our ships at Celebrity Cruises has become increasingly important and a true focus for us. Our goal is to use technology in a way that will truly enhance the experience onboard for all guests. Richard Fain (Chairman of Royal Caribbean LTD) and Lisa Lutoff Perlo (President/ CEO – Celebrity Cruises) have been the driving forces behind this effort, not only in the food and beverage department, but our entire company. READ MORE

Todd Goldian

The National Conference Center is a Green Seal™ and Virginia Green certified property and takes its Farm-to-Table and BuyLocal program seriously. But how do you do that when you have to serve so many guests? Hotel restaurants usually serve a couple hundred people a day, so buying local is easy; just go down to the farmers’ market and get what you need. But when you need a large quantity of food to serve 1,000, you can wipe out a farmer’s inventory completely. Learn how Todd Goldian, food and beverage director at The National Conference Center, handles this task. READ MORE

Elizabeth Blau

As the fastest growing consumer group today, Millennials are becoming increasingly influential on the way we operate our business – for the better. They are making their purchasing decisions based on a holistic and lifestyle changing approaches to their wellbeing. One central theme that seems to have encompassed this generation is the need for healthy food and fresher options. Every generation leaves its mark on society and Millennial’s “you are what you eat” mentality has spread like wildfire, forcing society to re-think what it means to be healthy. We’ve been listening, and taking notes every step of the way. READ MORE

Jonathan Wilson

Luring Millennial travelers is a strategic requirement to fuel ongoing hotel revenue – yet it’s not always easy as home-sharing options tempt this generation. Research shows Millennials seek out experiences more than products. This presents hotels with both an opportunity and business challenge: How can we transform our offerings, down to the details of food and beverage services, into experiences that draw Millennials in and keep them returning for more? Successful approaches combine diligent research and innovation with an emphasis on creating photogenic local experiences that go well beyond the food and beverage products themselves, rethinking the way dining spaces are designed and used. READ MORE

Jack Bethel

The craft beverage movement has revolutionized the liquor and beer industry over the last several decades. This has been fueled in part by growing consumer demand for drinks that are somehow different than what has become the archetype of mass-produced beer, whiskey and vodka. With the millennial generation now a serious demographic affecting what new products come to market, and which brands thrive or fade in to obscurity, the old guard of category controlling brands is starting to shift. The once obscure sector of small batch drinks is now a primary influence in how brands market themselves in an all too baroque competition of an overcrowded industry. READ MORE

Jeffrey Coyle

Food and beverage outlets are oftentimes the leaders at your property (or should be!) in keeping up with the latest, coolest trends. Let’s face it, the latest food craze will come and go almost as quickly the next pop star and social media platform. And what group is leading the charge in those trends? The same group that is leading the technology trends - the Millennial! Millennials have shown that they are a force to not be brushed aside. And if you are not at least doing something to ensure their business, your property could be missing out on big revenues. One problem; how do you ensure those revenues show profits? READ MORE

Colby Brock

In 2018 the world is moving faster than we are and it is increasingly more difficult to keep up while still trying to enjoy life. Staying “present” is a challenge for everyone, but most especially for Millennials; now the largest group of people on the planet. The landscape of our everyday lives is impacted by this generation’s self-centric behavior. Something as simple as going out to eat in a restaurant is different today than it was yesteryear. Do we want to change it and if so, what would we change, and how? READ MORE

Robert Hood

The following article addresses the impact of the millennial menu’s impact on our foodservice culture and how it is going to change our industry moving forward. We will address how the course of how we view, buy and experience food will forever change as through this new concept food fully becomes part of our lifestyle rather than just becoming a function for the lives we lead. The millennial menu changes the format for foodservice, it’s here and we must be ready to embrace this new era. READ MORE

George Fistrovich

In today’s culture, unconventional venues and consistent development is imperative for success in the food industry. Expecting the unexpected is the new standard. Innovative fluidity that evolves with the new millennial consumer to give them something exclusive and different is critical for success. This article features how the development of the unconventional venue has progressed around the world, through the eyes of a hotel chef and how he continually seeks to transform what he offers and where he predicts the focus will shift to next. READ MORE

Dan Vargo

With the ever-changing culinary scene and demands from millennials for locally-sourced ingredients, the executive chef of Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, Chef Dan Vargo, discusses his role at the resort and how he’s managed seven on-site restaurants, from the property’s AAA Four-Diamond restaurant to its pool-side market. The resort’s culinary offerings have evolved drastically with the help of trend research and outstanding relationships with local farms. In this piece, Chef Dan will dive into challenges, best practices and new ideas for keeping up with the evolving culinary scene. READ MORE

John Signorelli

The generation which is shaping the current trends in the Food and Beverage industry, is the same generation who will somewhat dictate what “IS” and “IS NOT” in the kitchen, and in those around the world. These “Millennials” can also be blamed (slightly) for my graying hair! So what makes them tick? What drives the motivation to be “woke” social media foodie know-it-alls, instagramming all the “deets” of all we do, sometimes wreaking havoc with a Chef’s perception of what ought to be on trend, and what actually is? We must admit that they are shaping the framework of current food trends! READ MORE

Thomas McKeown

Much has been written about the changes that Millennials have brought us, like newspapers, shopping malls, taxis and even hotels. Traditional room service may also be on that list. If our guests are younger, busier and more food savvy than ever, why were we serving them the same old room service? At Hyatt Regency Atlanta, we threw out the old model of room service, from menu to delivery, to better reflect how guests are using technology to order food when they’re at home. The result has been a faster, fresher, more convenient room service that’s reduced cost and waste and been a hit with guests. READ MORE

Mike Nedeau

Here at Geneva National Resort and Club, and at the Inns of Geneva National, we offer that special touch, the extra feel, that…. “Experience “our guests deserve. Whether you stay at our Inns, Golf on our amazing courses, or simply want a Wisconsin lunch in our Grill Room, we have it. Enjoying the experience is just the beginning of being our guest. Creating an experience beyond a few nights in a hotel room is the key to staying competitive with millennials and all of our guests. READ MORE

Coming up in May 2019...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. 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.