Experiential Food & Beverage Spaces

By Katherine Kies Corporate Director Food & Drink Innovation Group, PM Hotel Group | August 26, 2018

Food & beverage operations are no longer just about the food you plate, the drinks you mix and the decor you deliver. Today's hotel guests are seeking interactive culinary experiences that make a lasting memory. At the PM Food + Drink Innovation group we're dedicated to creating authentic experiential food and beverage moments. This approach has been addressed in two ways: 1) Through built-in design features; 2) Through ongoing and creative event programming.

These custom culinary activations range from intimate sips & samples to high production rooftop cinema nights under the stars…, regardless of scope, they each deliver a touch of surprise and delight, an experiential moment to be savored and shared-- with friends both real and virtual.

Through Built In Design

The launch of so many new hotel brands over the past five years has resulted in consumer confusion while simultaneously creating opportunity for creative hoteliers. The deceleration of RevPar and the increase in foodie-focused travelers in the era of Instagram and Pinterest obsession has resulted in an environment where F&B is increasingly an important hotel differentiator. We've seen these evolving tastes and are responding by developing unique concepts and designs that holistically interpret what's local in an authentic way for the hotel guest, in a style that works for both the busy business traveler or the laid-back leisure explorer.

Our team is passionate about creating a unique activation feature that helps create a memorable experience for the guest. By thoughtfully including these activations during the design phase, it helps ensure that regardless of the back of the house operational challenges, the activation is always delivered effortlessly.

At NYC's SkyLawn Bar & Lounge at the Embassy Suites Midtown Manhattan we created a unique outdoor oasis. Newly opened in June 2018, this four thousand square foot outdoor lawn and lounge delivers a delightful departure from the bustling cityscape below. Offering views of the Empire State Building, oversized lawn games like Connect Four and corn hole, The SkyLawn provides an unexpected and unmatched Manhattan experience.

SkyLawn Bar & Lounge at the Embassy Suites Midtown Manhattan
At the Hilton Knoxville we transformed a tired smoking patio into The Firefly, a true Tennessee whiskey bar and beer garden.
At the Hampton and Suites Washington Navy Yard, the hotel's rooftop offers the ultimate unobstructed view of Nationals Park, home of the Washington Nationals
Remaining authentic to the style is important; staying true to the neighborhood is similarly a priority at the Canopy Portland I Pearl District
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Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.