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Hotel Development Insider

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CHECK PLEASE! - New Demands at Hotel Restaurants

In an article from author, Jenna Tesse Fox discusses how new guest demands make running a hotel restaurant an ever-evolving challenge. Here are some tips from hoteliers and restaurateurs on what restaurants will need in the future:

  1. Wellness: Over the course of the pandemic, health and wellness have been top-of-mind and have influenced food and beverage choices, said Devraj Gorsia, director of operations at the Andaz Scottsdale (Ariz.) Resort & Bungalows. “Chefs will turn their focus to ingredients that have other benefits besides flavor, such as spices like turmeric that help inflammation, cinnamon to lower blood sugar, garlic for promoting heart health and cayenne to relieve pain,” Gorsia said.

  2. Adventurous and Healthy: Chuck Kazmer, executive chef of the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale, said that after nearly two years of staying in guests want adventurous meals—but also want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. “There will continue to be growth in the dietary preferences and lifestyles (vegan, paleo, etc.).”

  3. Natural Ingredients: The most popular ingredients going forward will be items that are naturally sourced and minimally processed. “As the earth begins to enter into a warmer climate, we must lower our impact on the earth,” said West Hollywood Hotels Food and Beverage Director Erin Reynolds. “The way we collect food can significantly help our planet and our bodies.”

  4. Top Tier: Davidson Restaurant Group’s SVP Greg Griffie is seeing demand for luxury meats, seafood and vegetables in the management company’s dinner-only restaurants. “High-quality spirits and cocktails will continue to grow in popularity as well,” he said. “Well-executed classics are still ‘in’ and will remain in style next year.”

  5. Priority Plants: Plant-based dishes will be an integral part of every good restaurant, said Richard Garcia, VP of F&B at Remington Hotels. “This not only requires imagination in the kitchen, but also specific know-how to ensure dietary needs are met and profitability goals are also made.”

  6. Tableside Payments: Jon Weitz, founder and president of Avocet Hospitality, said the company has started processing guest payments tableside. “We are seeing more of this transition across the country, but it is a trend that has been quite popular in Europe over the years,” Weitz said. “For our hotel/restaurant concepts, we are using Shift4. This trend not only enhances the customer experience with added convenience and security but also increases efficiency for the staff.”

  7. Contactless Dining: Danny Py, VP of food and beverage at First Hospitality, said technological advancements have helped restaurants increase their contactless options. “Embracing the quick-serve approach increases table availability in these environments and lowers overhead,” he said.

  8. QR Codes: The use of QR code technology and mobile menus in restaurants can have a financial benefit, said Dana Pellicano, VP food & beverage, global operations at Marriott International. “Mobile dining checks are traditionally 20 percent higher than traditional checks. Turns out the allure of a side of fries or a scoop of ice cream remains irresistible in any format!"

  9. Improved Efficiency: Saar Zafrir, interior designer of the restaurant in the soon-to-open Le Commérage Hotel in Brussels, said technology has helped improve restaurant efficiency, lag time and revenues. Reservation apps let guests select their preferred time slot, alert staff to dietary restrictions and seating preferences while helping the restaurant maximize seating. Tablets, meanwhile, send orders to the kitchen instantly and quickly calculate end-of-day reports.

  10. Ghost Kitchens: Some restaurants are using empty kitchen space to offer off-premises dining. “We’re also now seeing the rise of technology to help restaurants manage multiple delivery platforms from a single tablet, allowing for maximum exposure in the marketplace without the operational nightmare of managing different systems simultaneously,” said Heather Dratler, VP of marketing and brand integrity at Sage Hospitality.

  11. Customized Meals: With more extended-stay hotels blurring the line between residential and transient experiences, Gorsia said chefs are more open to customizing meals so these guests feel at home and can still follow somewhat of a routine.

  12. Prepared to Order: Instead of buffets, extended-stay hotel restaurants are cooking all breakfasts to order. Limiting guest access to the food does not limit options, said GM Niveesha Hill at the Hilton Garden Inn San Diego/Del Mar and Homewood Suites San Diego/Del Mar, but it controls safety and portion size.

  13. Engaging Experiences: The AC Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Airport is hosting events to engage extended-stay guests, like cocktail lessons, live music programming and wine tastings. “As a consumer, I would be more likely to stay at my hotel bar and drink with my favorite mixologist who knows how make my cocktail just the way I like it while enjoying live music or another educational/interactive element,” said GM Mychal Milian.

  14. Curbside Options: Garcia said guests are still avoiding restaurants operating at full capacity. As such, hotels should create a separate to-go/curbside experience. “Simply based on the current floor plan and space, they might not be able to build out a completely separate environment for each experience, but there should be something distinct in the guests' path, whether it’s dine-in, takeout or curbside options.”

  15. Pop-up Patios: Hill is seeing more outdoor dining spaces open up as guests seek fresh air while they socialize. “I believe that we will continue to see this in locations where we haven’t before.”

  16. Made to Measure: Rick Hertan, director of Cambria Hotels brand management for Choice Hotels International, said that restaurants at the upscale brand’s hotels are designed for varying sizes of meeting space—“in some cases, with the potential for a reduced kitchen size to reduce costs.” For restaurants with more space, on the other hand, the bars and restaurants have a signature design or ambience element to reflect the menu.

  17. High-Tech Design: Restaurants need “electrical outlets all over, TV screens everywhere [and] [high]-top tables that are bar-oriented but flexible for dinner,” Hill said. “Restaurant design is colorful and accessible, approachable and Insta-ready or photo-oriented.”

  18. Grab-and-Go: Pellicano said the pandemic has shifted roomservice from the traditional tray to a bagged option exchanged at the door or picked up from the lobby. “In many full-service hotels, roomservice revenue far exceeded budgets and overtook restaurants and lounges as the top revenue-generating outlet.”

  19. Adaptive Roomservice: Gorsia said hotels are adding new roomservice options to suit guests who want to avoid crowds and dine in private. “We offer chef-curated picnics that can easily be enjoyed al fresco or in-room.”

  20. RTD Beverages: Ready-to-drink beverages offer a hermetically sealed solution to the crafted cocktail, often by a familiar brand. “Many use high-quality ingredients to reasonably replicate a great bar experience, minus the garnish and fresh ice,” said Pellicano.

Original article by, Jenna Tesse Fox can be found in Hotel Management at:

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