Hotel service is more than just about a comfy bed for the night before a guest heads back out on the road. In fact, food and beverage service is a growing part of hotel offerings—and revenue. Accounting for about ¼ of the $200 billion hotel industry, foodservice income is growing 2%-3% every year.
To stay competitive with outside restaurants that may lure their patrons, hotels are investing significant effort into unique dining experiences, technology integration, and sustainable practices.
Embracing the “Always On” Consumer
The pervasiveness of technology has conditioned consumers to expect convenience wherever they go, but not every restaurant of food service provider has adopted technology to improve both front-of-house and back-of-house operations. Thankfully for guests, hotel foodservice is increasingly taking advantage of available resources for a better guest experience.
Some major brands are making use of existing messaging services or building their own chat solutions on top of these platforms. Guests can use their own devices to order room service or other assistance and communicate directly with hotel staff. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts uses this approach with their own branded chat. Other brands make use of standalone communication devices that don’t require a smartphone or for guests to install an app. One such solution is Kallpod, deployed at Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, and many other hotel brands—as well as sporting venues and convention centers.
Such communication tools improve the guest experience by reducing waiting time and delays, but also benefits the hotel and its employees by streamlining the communication channel and making it easier to serve the customer in a timely manner and with less room for miscommunication.
The classical hotel restaurant approach has featured white tablecloths and celebrity chefs, but the trend has shifted to more unique décor and cuisine, with the more eclectic tastes of up-and-coming chefs. Hotels in exotic locations are expanding the experience further with unique outdoor dining experiences and even private chef service in scenic overlooks.
Reducing food waste is crucial across foodservice, and perhaps even more in the hotel industry where so much food can be consumed not only in in-house restaurants and bars but in guest rooms, conference rooms, and common spaces. With an estimated $7 return per dollar invested, and an average 2-year cost recoupment, food waste reduction isn’t just great for consumers and the food supply chain, but is smart business for hotels.
These primarily consumer-driven shifts in hotel foodservice offer great benefits to guests and hotels alike: streamlining service, boosting guest experience and satisfaction, improving sustainability, and reducing company costs. Which of these practices can you adopt—or strive toward—to grow the revenue of your hotel foodservice?
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