F&B Biggest Challenges: In-Room-Dining

By John Brand Executive Chef, Hotel Pearl - Kimpton Hotels | August 26, 2012

The best service any hotel can offer is the ability to serve guests high quality food in their hotel room in a timely manner with excellent service. The mark setting standard from a three star hotel to a four star hotel is complimentary amenities for guest checking or upon turndown. A simple glass of fresh lemonade upon check in can make the all the difference for a customer and a customer for life.

At its simplest measure, the restaurant business plan of only one seating each service seems logical. We have one good chance to preserve the art of dining and create an experience without being rushed. Same with Private Dining, we have one room and one chance to impress, one service that hallmarks all the qualities of the hotel.

In room dining or private dining has not moved that far from the original Room Service as it once was called, or ‘room circus’ as not- so- affectionately termed by the kitchen. It is the Achilles heel of any full service hotel and restaurant. As refined and focused as the restaurant product is, the more difficult it is to measure in private dining.

Most often, unless in some exclusive luxury brands with a signature chef and restaurant (they are smart to have required separate kitchens when designed) the food for private dining comes from the same line as the equally diverse restaurant menu. This is the mark of a good chef, you are only as good as your Private Dining food. Anything you do, the legacy of this menu and deliverance will mark your success.

Three areas of Private Dining Culture we can comprehensively improve:

1. Cook

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Coming up in August 2018...

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.