Hotels Would be Wise to Meet Consumer Demands for More Casual Dining
By Jonathan Wilson VP Product Innovation & Brand Services, Hilton Worldwide | August 07, 2016
Consumer dining preferences are shifting and becoming much more casual at hotels across all segments of the industry, from grab-and-go and in-restaurant offerings at suite brands to fine dining options at luxury properties.
This change has created a void in the hotel industry for welcoming, casual dining experiences. You might think a large property that offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and room service has everything covered. But the new reality is that many guests now prefer to eat with friends and family in a more casual, social environment. In addition, independent travelers - who typically want to eat by themselves -also want to be surrounded by other people. This is what I call 'socially alone' - wanting to feel completely comfortable dining alone while being part of a bigger experience.
It's not just a matter of how or where, it's also a matter of when. As travel is changing, consumers want to eat outside of traditional meal periods. Casual food & beverage options allow hotel guests to eat dinner at 3:30 or 4 p.m. if it better fits their schedule, or to enjoy lighter eating later in the evening. This is another way the more casual programming of food & beverage environments can have a big impact on guest satisfaction and customer retention.
Hotel executives would be wise to consider a move toward more casual dining, and not just at budget traveler properties. This trend cuts across all price points.
Finding the Suite Spot in Casual Dining
We're staying on the forefront of this trend by developing food & beverage options at Hilton Worldwide brands that are less rigid, more scalable, and promote a greater social experience for guests. For example, approximately 60% of Embassy Suites' properties will undergo enhancements, including major renovations to bars, restaurants, lobby spaces and other areas, through 2019.
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