Food & Beverage
Robert Trainor
  • Food & Beverage
  • Hotel Food & Beverage: Keeping It Clean
  • Recent issues of trade journals have explored the fresh importance being placed on strong sanitation practices. From outbreaks of Norwalk virus aboard cruise ships to fears over SARS as close to home as Canada, the media seems to report a new health scare almost every month. On a global level, proper sanitation can stop a number of these illnesses in their tracks. On a more everyday level, keeping a clean kitchen is just good business sense. Today, chefs and restaurant managers are not only more accountable for the quality of cuisine and experience presented to their guests, they are being held responsible for cultivating and maintaining a higher cleanliness ethic. This issue is so important that many operations are actually increasing their budgets to provide staff with both basic and leading-edge tools and training to achieve higher sanitation standards. Read on...

Robert Trainor
  • Food & Beverage
  • The Art of the Buffet: Beauty is in the Eye of the Diner
  • Is there anything more universally loved by American eaters than a buffet? The love of the buffet is a great equalizer; from $100,000 weddings where guests feast on a caviar buffet, to Grandma's birthday bash where well-wishers chow down on barbecue and home-made potato salad. After a long, stuffy dry spell, the art of the buffet is back in the hospitality world and it's better, but not necessarily bigger, than ever. In the past, buffets were extraordinary displays of food used during banquets to feed vast numbers of people. The method was quicker and easier than plating a traditional banquet meal. Many culinary teams also viewed the buffet as a great opportunity to express their creativity; chef garde mangers and pastry chefs, along with their teams, really had the opportunity to shine. Not only was there an abundance of food, but the centerpieces and garnishes were considered equally important to the whole buffet. Read on...

Robert Trainor
  • Food & Beverage
  • In the Raw: Turning the Raw Cuisine Trend into Raves for your Restaurant
  • For a long time, the hotel industry's interpretation of "vegetarian cuisine" was a sad selection of scantily seasoned grilled or steamed vegetables, or ethnic dishes denuded of their spices to make them more palatable to an American marketplace. Vegetarian cuisine was perceived as a time-consuming specialty that really had little place in the high-volume, bustling kitchens of a busy hotel industry. Changes in Americans' awareness of healthful cuisine, as well as the industry's movement toward spas in hotels, are creating a need for better-tasting, interesting and cost-effective vegetarian alternatives. Raw cuisine is an ideal solution. Read on...

Robert Trainor
  • Food & Beverage
  • Motivation and Satisfaction: Ingredients for a Great Kitchen
  • You don't have to be very old to remember a time in the hospitality industry when baptism by fire was considered a rite of passage for kitchen staff. There were no training sessions, no orientation periods, and you were probably lucky if the top chef actually told you where the salt was. Too often, hazing and public humiliation were the "training tools" of choice. Many chefs thought: "Hey, I went through it and came out just fine. Why shouldn't my staff?" Today, that environment is fast becoming extinct. Kitchen employees and many in the top corporate offices of the hospitality industry have all arrived at the same business-building conclusion: Satisfied, motivated employees are productive, loyal employees. Today's cooks are not only concerned with the cuisine and what they can expect to learn from the chef; they are also interested in paying off student loans, health insurance coverage, 401k plans and a balanced personal life. So how does an executive chef attract and keep good people? How can we inspire, educate and motivate our staff while keeping true to our main objective of creating a dining experience and operating a profitable business? Read on...

Joanna Harralson
  • Food & Beverage
  • Projecting Food & Beverage Counter Profits
  • Whether your property has a morning coffee n' croissant cart or a more extensive food & beverage take-out venue, are you certain that the correct safeguards are in place to protect your profits? Here are some questions that could uncover weaknesses that can result in your venue's bottom line being compromised. Read on...

Susie Ross
  • Food & Beverage
  • Hotel Food & Beverage: The Interview Process
  • There are so many things you want to know about a person when you interview them, the most important being their work ethic. There are ways to find that out with proper questions and review of a resume. You want to set the stage from the beginning that you operate a professional business. It isn't just a caf'e, diner, restaurant or deli. It's your business and, if you want to take an aggressive approach, ask questions of your applicant that will reveal personality and the salesperson in her. This is assuming you want a personality that wants to sell and not take orders. Read on...

Al Ferrone
  • Food & Beverage
  • Hilton Hotels Corporation Eat Right
  • One thing we know for sure is that diet fads will come and go, but people will always have a desire to eat healthy. When the Atkins diet was introduced, everyone jumped on the bandwagon. Hilton Hotels Corporation did not. In addition, many manufacturers rushed to produce low-carb products. I've sampled some low-carb breads that were tasteless and so hard that I doubt a beaver could gnaw or digest it. I thought, "Who in the world would want to endure that kind of an assault on the taste buds and digestive system?" I'm sure that eating a loaf of this bread would cause anyone to develop jaw muscles that pit bulls would envy. Read on...

OCTOBER: Revenue Management: Technology and Big Data

Gary Isenberg

Hotel room night inventory is the hotel industry’s most precious commodity. Hotel revenue management has evolved into a complex and fragmented process. Today’s onsite revenue manager is influenced greatly by four competing forces, each armed with their own set of revenue goals and objectives -- as if there are virtually four individual revenue managers, each with its own distinct interests. So many divergent purposes oftentimes leading to conflicts that, if left unchecked, can significantly damper hotel revenues and profits. Read on...

Jon Higbie

For years, hotels have housed their Revenue Management systems on their premises. This was possible because data sets were huge but manageable, and required large but not overwhelming amounts of computing power. However, these on-premise systems are a thing of the past. In the era of Big Data, the cost of building and maintaining an extensive computing infrastructure is incredibly expensive. The solution – cloud computing. The cloud allows hotels to create innovative Revenue Management applications that deliver revenue uplift and customized guest experiences. Without the cloud, hotels risk remaining handcuffed to their current Revenue Management solutions – and falling behind competitors. Read on...

Jenna Smith

You do not have to be a hospitality professional to recognize the influx and impact of new technologies in the hotel industry. Guests are becoming familiar with using virtual room keys on their smartphones to check in, and online resources like review sites and online travel agencies (OTAs) continue to shape the way consumers make decisions and book rooms. Behind the scenes, sales and marketing professionals are using new tools to communicate with guests, enhance operational efficiencies, and improve service by addressing guests’ needs and solving problems quickly and with a minimum of disruption. Read on...

Yatish Nathraj

Technology is becoming an ever more growing part of the hospitality industry and it has helped us increase efficiency for guest check-inn, simplified the night audit process and now has the opportunity to increase our revenue production. These systems need hands on calibration to ensure they are optimized for your operations. As a manager you need to understand how these systems work and what kind of return on investment your business is getting. Although some of these systems maybe mistaken as a “set it and forget it” product, these highly sophisticated tools need local expert like you and your team to analysis the data it gives you and input new data requirements. Read on...

Coming Up In The November Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Architecture & Design: Authentic, Interactive and Immersive
If there is one dominant trend in the field of hotel architecture and design, it’s that travelers are demanding authentic, immersive and interactive experiences. This is especially true for Millennials but Baby Boomers are seeking out meaningful experiences as well. As a result, the development of immersive travel experiences - winery resorts, culinary resorts, resorts geared toward specific sports enthusiasts - will continue to expand. Another kind of immersive experience is an urban resort – one that provides all the elements you'd expect in a luxury resort, but urbanized. The urban resort hotel is designed as a staging area where the city itself provides all the amenities, and the hotel functions as a kind of sophisticated concierge service. Another trend is a re-thinking of the hotel lobby, which has evolved into an active social hub with flexible spaces for work and play, featuring cafe?s, bars, libraries, computer stations, game rooms, and more. The goal is to make this area as interactive as possible and to bring people together, making the space less of a traditional hotel lobby and more of a contemporary gathering place. This emphasis on the lobby has also had an associated effect on the size of hotel rooms – they are getting smaller. Since most activities are designed to take place in the lobby, there is less time spent in rooms which justifies their smaller design. Finally, the wellness and ecology movements are also having a major impact on design. The industry is actively adopting standards so that new structures are not only environmentally sustainable, but also promote optimum health and well- being for the travelers who will inhabit them. These are a few of the current trends in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.