Food & Beverage
Brian  Mitchell
  • Food & Beverage
  • Directing the Enthusiasm of Gen Y Sommeliers and Wine Waiters
  • The best thing about Gen Y sommeliers and wine waiters is their enthusiasm. And the worst thing? Their enthusiasm. Youth has ever been a period of intensely romanticized responses. No one has ever felt a love like this – captured such a clarity of insight – no one has ever felt so angst-ridden and bereft – no one has ever tasted a wine like this with such purity of focus and appreciation.No one has ever loved/lost/felt/tasted as intensely as this. Youth has despaired through history over this self-evident (to them, at least) truth. With Gen Y, however, this attitude is through the roof, living as they do in a social media-created echo chamber that consists largely (perhaps only) of like-minded tastes. Read on...

Elizabeth  Blau
  • Food & Beverage
  • It's Time to Rethink the Three-Meal Restaurant
  • We are living in a golden age of dining, so why are we still dealing with traditional three meal restaurants in hotels? In 2016, I think it’s fair to say that dining and restaurants have firmly entrenched themselves as key players in our culture. Chefs have long established themselves as members of the celebrity class. Every major network seemingly has some sort of cooking, travel or food related show. And hundreds and thousands of blogs, yelp channels, instagram feeds, and publications are dedicated to tracking, celebrating, and recreating it all. More important, rising costs in major cities, a sustained interest in local products, Read on...

William D. Kohl
  • Food & Beverage
  • Small Plates, Big Trends
  • Food Takes Center Stage Food and beverage is a hot topic. The success of the Food Network has elevated the profession of Chef to near cult status. Guests are more excited and knowledgeable about food and beverage than ever. They are dining out frequently and sharing their experience with others. In fact, sixty percent of postings on Instagram are about food and beverage. It is not enough to be good anymore. You have to be great. Your food has to be fresh, relevant and compelling or you will be out of business. Read on...

Laurence Bernstein
  • Food & Beverage
  • Does Your F&B Operation Amplify or Detract From Your Brand?
  • At the end of the day there are three main areas in which the hotel has an opportunity to trigger meaningful and memorable brand experience; service (especially the arrival/departure experience), physicality (especially the guest room experience) or tactile (especially the food and beverage experience). Yet many hotels pay little or no attention to the F&B operation as a brand amplifier. In fact, increasingly hotels are giving up on F&B and outsourcing the foodservice operation in one way or another. This article discusses how to develop experiential operationalization programs for F&B that leverage and amplify the brand at the same time. Read on...

David Wolf
  • Food & Beverage
  • Empowering Your Customer - Have it Their Way
  • Regardless of the reason, customers are becoming savvy to the age old phrase adopted back in the 1970’s “have it your way” in almost any dinning atmosphere across the continental United States. As an empowered hotel guest, one opens a menu at a restaurant and entertains the opportunity to choose their ingredients. Whether it be to lose weight, help fight off disease, or the presence of food allergies, this allows the diner to take ownership of what they are putting into tier bodies. Many of these are considered preference diets. Many can be more than a request for a vegetarian or vegan menu. Read on...

Erik Wolf
  • Food & Beverage
  • Today's New Food Traveler
  • Food is always an important consideration for travelers, for some more so than others. The food tourism industry is almost 15 years old and in this time, we’ve been able to identify changes in consumer behavior when it comes to food and travel. Some of these changes are driven by health concerns or religion, while others are driven by consumers’ obsession with food and drink. Still, there are some basic tenets of behavior when it comes to foodies and their purchasing decisions. There are actually 13 different types of foodies, and knowing which foodie(s) you’re targeting can make or break your marketing plan – and your bottom line. Read on...

Andrew M. Sims
  • Food & Beverage
  • Authentic Travel Experiences: Growing Culinary Tourism and F&B Strategy
  • Recent research shows that more and more travelers, especially among younger generations, are forgoing familiar but often cookie-cutter hotel brands in favor of boutique properties that promise unique, authentic local experiences that connect guests to the destinations they visit. This trend dovetails with the recent growth of culinary tourism – in which guests make travel decisions based on available culinary options – to put significant pressure on hotel food and beverage operations, which represent the second largest source of revenue for full-service hotels according to PKF Hospitality Research, to shift strategic focus toward culturally relevant, experiential offerings that resonate with today’s modern traveler. Read on...

Jonathan Wilson
  • Food & Beverage
  • Hotels Would be Wise to Meet Consumer Demands for More Casual Dining
  • 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. Read on...

Robert  Gerstenecker
  • Food & Beverage
  • Creating a Buzz by Cooking for Social Media
  • These are the facts; Facebook currently has 1.65 billion monthly active users. The microblogging website Twitter has 320 million monthly active users. Instagram has more than 400 million monthly active users and Pinterest has over 100 million monthly active users. Social media has helped shape the consciousness of the new millennials who actively participate in sharing every aspect of their daily lives. The world has shrunk to the size of a smartphone and we are now part of a global community that influences and is influenced by what we think, read, visit and eat. Read on...

John  Signorelli
  • Food & Beverage
  • Taking Advantage of the Fast-Casual Cuisine Trend
  • With the current, customer-driven focus on a more “fast casual cuisine”, including those of varied and authentic ethnic origins, the direction of today’s mainstream cuisine is one which tends to veer far from the classic protein/starch/vegetable triad located at “10, 2 and 6 o’clock” on the well-worn plates of many full-service or casual dining restaurants. This lasting trend of fast casual is more towards a cuisine which stays true to the items’ origins by sourcing authentic and better ingredients for their distinct flavors, resulting in an overall higher quality of food, served more quickly than any tablecloth-clad establishment can match. Read on...

Robert  Hood
  • Food & Beverage
  • How Casual Menus Raise Average Checks
  • Formal dining rooms conjure up an image of great state and formal occasions when glamour, over-pricing and the prestigious and almost elitist individuals would gather, dine and converse on a level that most of us common diners would feel out of place and somewhat alienated. The menu itself would be as grand, food spelt with French words and phrases muttered in strange accents that would help us to understand that as it was expensive, and it must be good. To the ‘grand restauranteur’ all of this meant that the diner could not see behind the curtain to the secrets of our industry and that the guests must be at all costs separated from mechanics of the menu. Read on...

Nikheel   Advani
  • Food & Beverage
  • Staying Relevant in a Fast Changing Industry
  • Luxury travel was once associated with formality, but in today’s modern world that notion is changing. More and more, high-end travelers are placing value on comfort, quality time, personalized service and unexpected experiences. These expectations apply to every aspect of the hotel-guest experience, particularly when it comes to dining.To stay au courant, five-star resorts must challenge their perceptions of luxury food and wine by constantly developing new concepts that delight and surprise guests. Hotels can continuously surpass their guests’ expectations by redefining industry standards. Gone are the days of stuffy dinner jackets and full course meals in formal dining rooms. Read on...

Mark Sherwin
  • Food & Beverage
  • Sonesta's Culinary Team Shares Its Experience with Local Cuisine
  • Sonesta offers casual dining with a sense of place throughout its US hotels, embracing local inspiration shared through our menus. In this article, the culinary teams share the results of their efforts to bring local flavor and authentic cuisine to our guests. Sonesta takes its menu inspiration from the destination – sourcing locally whenever possible and sharing the passion of the members of its culinary team. Our casual dining restaurants and outlets provide an experience of the locale through choices of regional items to be highlighted and the indigenous produce and seasonings used to deliver a plate to remember. Read on...

Lorraine Abelow
  • Food & Beverage
  • Seize the Culinary Craze With a Strong PR Push
  • Food has become a magnetic force that steers people’s travels and often dictates what hotel they choose. So, it is vital to get the word out through traditional and social media about your hotel’s offerings. With the exploding culinary craze, travelers are making decisions on what destinations to visit based on the cuisine they see covered in the media. Preferences, such as farm-to-table, locally sourced produce, and the innovative creations of chefs, are what your property should be publicizing through feature stories in important media outlets and social media channels. It is more critical than ever to publicize the cuisine at your hotel to reach the burgeoning “foodies” market. Read on...

Yuriy  Boykiv
  • Food & Beverage
  • Asian-Americans Represent Significant Opportunities for Hotels and Beverage Brands
  • Multicultural beverage marketing can be a difficult segment to break into — particularly for the travel and entertainment industries. Fortunately, there’s a special on tap. According to a recent Pew Research report, Asian-Americans are the fastest-growing segment of the marketplace. Since the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, 51 percent of new immigrants have come from Latin America and a quarter from Asia. Asian-Americans are projected to eventually overtake the size and importance of the Hispanic market. Read on...

MAY: Eco-Friendly Practices: The Value of Sustainability

Eric Ricaurte

In 2011, we visited the 10 hotels contracted in the room block for the Greenbuild conference in Toronto. As part of their award-winning sustainable event program, the conference organizers embedded green practices into the contract language for these hotels, who either had to comply with the requirements, explain their reason why they couldn’t implement them, or pay a $1,000 fine. Part of our consulting work was to gather the data and confirm some of the practices on-site. Read on...

Susan Tinnish

Hotels brands have actively engaged in large-scale efforts to become more environmentally friendly. Individual hotels have made great strides on property. Many significant large-scale eco-initiatives s are most easily built initially into the infrastructure and design of the building and surrounding areas. Given that the adaptation of these large-scale changes into the existing asset base is expensive and disruptive, hotels seek different ways to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices. One way to do so is to shift the focus from large-scale change to “small wins.” Small wins can help a hotel create a culture of sustainability. Read on...

Shannon Sentman

Utility costs are the second largest operating expense for most hotels. Successfully reducing these expenses can be a huge value-add strategy for executives. Doing this effectively requires more than just a one-time investment in efficiency upgrades. It requires ongoing visibility into a building’s performance and effectively leveraging this visibility to take action. Too often, efficiency strategies center on a one-time effort to identify opportunities with little consideration for establishing ongoing practices to better manage a building’s performance ongoing. Read on...

Joshua Zinder, AIA

Discussions of sustainability in the hospitality industry have focused mainly on strategies at the level of energy-efficient and eco-friendly adjustments to operations and maintenance. These "tweaks" can include programs to reduce water usage, updating lighting to LEDs, campaigns to increase guest participation in recycling, and similar innovative industry initiatives. Often overlooked—not only by industry experts but even by hotel operators and designers—are possibilities for hotel design and construction that can make a property truly sustainable from the get-go. Read on...

Coming Up In The June Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?
Hotels and OTAs are, by necessity, joined at the hip and locked in a symbiotic relationship that is uneasy at best. Hotels require the marketing presence that OTAs offer and of course, OTAs guest’s email when it sends guest information to a hotel, effectively allowing OTAs to maintain “ownership” of the guest. Without ready access to guest need hotel product to offer their online customers. But recently, several OTAs have decided to no longer share a data, hotels are severely constrained from marketing directly to a guest which allows them to capture repeat business – the lowest cost and highest value travelers. Hotels also require this data to effectively market to previous guests, so ownership of this data will be a significant factor as hotels and OTAs move forward. Another issue is the increasing shift to mobile travel bookings. Mobile will account for more than half of all online travel bookings next year, and 78.6% of them will use their smartphone to make those reservations. As a result, hotels must have a robust mobile marketing plan in place, which means responsive design, one-click booking, and location technology. Another important mobile marketing element is a “Click-to-Call” feature. According to a recent Google survey, 68% of hotel guests report that it is extremely/very important to be able to call a hotel during the purchase phase, and 58% are very likely to call a hotel if the capability is available in a smartphone search. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.