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 March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.