Mastering the Art of Captivating F&B Patrons

By Tom Conran Principal, Greenwood Hospitality Group | August 24, 2014

In today's increasingly competitive landscape, hotel owners and operators must search for new ways to set themselves apart from their competition.

One of the areas that is emerging as a potential game changer is a hotel's restaurant. A quality restaurant with a creative concept and distinctive personality can "captivate" the customer, becoming a profit center by taking on a life of its own and serving a destination for not only the hotel's guests but also for people who live in the local community and are seeking a quality dining experience.

The restaurant can also serve as a great marketing tool for the hotel itself and a re-enforcement of its overall positioning. A visit to the restaurant may be a guest's first time through the doors of the property. A positive first impression and experience at the restaurant will enhance the reputation of the hotel.

Also, today, more and more customers who travel are seeking out new and exciting culinary experiences that they may have seen on TV, read about in a magazine or heard about from a friend. This trend has compelled hotel owners and operators to think more strategically about the restaurant and food options that they provide on property to attract and retain hotel guests.

With this is mind, the "restaurant" that I refer to throughout the rest of the article should be thought of as the restaurant that is located within the four walls of a hotel.

According to Miriam Webster, the definition of captivating is: "to influence or dominate by special charm, art or trait with an irresistible appeal. Among the synonyms are the following words: Charm, Enchant and Fascinate. Applying the definition to food and beverage, I believe we can separate the meaning into several categories of the dining experience. Additionally we can group attributes and detail different aspects of the experience under each.

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