Striking the Right Balance between Brand Consistency and Local Tastes
By Jonathan Sharp Director, Product Quality & Innovation, F&B, Focused Service Brands, Hilton Worldwide | August 16, 2015
Microbiologist Rene Dubois coined the phrase "Think globally, act locally," and that maxim certainly applies to the hotel industry today. Increasingly, hoteliers and especially their food and beverage operations, are seeking to retain brand consistency while adding local preferences. It's a delicate balancing act.
Why is this balance so critical? For hotel brands such as Hilton Worldwide, consistency signals that guests know what to expect from their stays, which helps establish customer loyalty. Underscoring this, a December 2014 American Express Global Travel Survey found that 78 percent of business travelers consider a hotel's brand to be the most important factor when booking a hotel because it promises consistency.(1)
Brand names deliver familiarity. Frequent guests know what to expect when they stay at a hotel chain, whether it's their room's layout and amenities, or its food and beverage services.
At the same time, guests increasingly want to experience the destinations they're visiting – whether sampling popular local dishes, enjoying a favorite locally brewed beer or eating fresh produce grown at a farm down the road, they are eager to be immersed in the local culinary culture.
So how do global hotel chains with hundreds if not thousands of restaurants maintain consistency across their portfolio while also highlighting local food and drink? Here are a few tips I've picked up from my work with Hampton by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn, two Hilton brands for which I oversee food and beverage operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Create Consistent Quality, Reliable and Friendly Service
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