Luxury hotels around the world are constantly in search of new concepts and trends which will improve the experience of their guests. In the year to come, we predict that your favorite luxury hotels will be changing the way their guests experience one of our favorite pastimes; eating! USA Today recently spoke to Beth Scott, the Vice President of Restaurant Concepts at Hilton Worldwide, about the changes we can expect to see. “The typical breakfast, lunch, dinner – appetizer, entree, dessert model is not something that our guests are responding to anymore.”
The typical guest of a luxury hotel is used to having options; whether it’s lunch at an organic restaurant, a specialized non-dairy coffee at their local cafe, or dinner at a macrobiotic restaurant, the choices are plentiful. However, when they check in, the same people are finding their food choices within the hotel limited, despite five-star ratings. Hotels have realized that unless they want to drive their guests away, they need become flexible to cater to more food demands. For example, at the new Westin New York Grand Central, an in-hotel concept called LCL: Bar and Kitchen will specialize in local, organic breakfasts, cutting the nearby Starbucks out of the equation.
Not only do guests know what they want to eat, they also know when they want it; a nutritious, on-the-go breakfast has become the favorite as opposed to a sit down breakfast involving heavy bacon and eggs. For the hotels that adapt, there’s a financial advantage to be gained in moving away from the traditional hotel dining room that sits empty between formal meal hours. “Formal sit-down hotel restaurants that are there 365 are a big snooze,”restaurant industry consultant Michael Whiteman of Baum + Whiteman told USA Today. “They have people when it’s raining outside and guests don’t want to leave.” Flexibility is crucial to the survival of luxury hotels, for whom food and beverage sales represents the second largest source of income after lodgings.
This means new trends like multiple portion size options per dish or glass, sustainable food initiatives and fresh alternatives. “There’s more demand for information about the source and integrity of the product and how it was handled,” Brad Nelson, the Corporate Chef at Marriott International told USA Today. “It’s not just about organic. It’s really about food with a story and the story behind the food.” For example, guests at the Westin Times Square can enjoy trendy freshly-pressed juices.
Source courtesy of USA Today.