Four Keys to Installing a New Hotel Restaurant
By Jonathan Wilson VP Product Innovation & Brand Services, Hilton Worldwide | August 06, 2017
As hospitality professionals with nearly 5,000 hotels worldwide, we are always looking for ways to be more efficient, effective and cutting edge. It's what our guests expect from us, and it's what gives each hotel a competitive advantage. For us at Hilton, that means making traveling easier and frankly, more enjoyable, with our smart design, authentic hospitality, and innovative restaurant concepts. We know food and drink is an important part of any visit, so we set about imagining how we could help owners deliver creative restaurants efficiently and effectively and drive loyalty and repeat guests.
Last year, the team launched Hilton's Food & Beverage (F&B) Portfolio, an online platform that highlights restaurant concepts to current or potential owners. It started with the realization that we have exceptional concepts, but we could do more to ensure our owners and operators have the right concept for their hotels and the right tools to bring the ideas to market. We created the portfolio to house our concepts and be a comprehensive free tool for both the decision and implementation stage. We're proud of how valuable it is for everyone involved, especially owners. It allows them to get the look and feel for a design narrative before committing, as well as access everything from training materials to owner guides, kitchen designs and menus, all in one place. There's even a financial modeling tool that helps developers assess scaling options and ROI of various concepts over different time periods. With building the portfolio, there were some challenges and, more importantly, many lessons learned that will help any hospitality professional enhance their F&B offering, improve guest experience and drive revenue.
Here are our top four lessons:
1. Make it Digital, Make it Easy
We've been creating great restaurant concepts at Hilton for years, but the wealth of information lived on people's computers and in slideshows, making it hard to update and stay current. Historically, each and every restaurant concept was bespoke, meaning that every time a hotel was built or redeveloped, we created concepts from scratch. The intent was good, but the strategy was not sustainable. Not only does starting from scratch take substantially more time, it also makes it harder for any hospitality brand, Hilton included, to define who they are and consistently and credibly make their mark.
We knew we needed to modernize our concept process. What is the best way to optimize and streamline the process? Make it digital. Now, our online tool brings the food and beverage prototype concepts that we expect to be successful across a number of properties to owners in an innovative way. By creating a portfolio that is free and accessible anywhere, anytime, there is much greater ease of access and communications between internal concept teams and the owners that they work with. This upgraded technology benefits in-person interactions, as teams can look through the digital library together to see the restaurant prototypes that have already been vetted and developed through extensive market research and trendspotting. Training materials, owner guides, kitchen designs, menus and even Team Member uniforms are all built into every concept.