Food and beverage (F&B) programs have always been an important part of the hotel industry, but their importance only continues to rise. A hotel or resort’s F&B offerings could make or break a consumer’s decision to stay at the property or host an event like a meeting or wedding. With this in mind, we’re highlighting some of the top hotel food and beverage trends, along with ways your property can bring them to the table.
“Clean up” your menus
For the last decade or so, “fad” diets and clean eating have been on trend. And offering healthier fare is still important. But aside from less fat, carbs, sugar, etc., consumers want to know where their food is coming from. “Organic” and “farm-to-table” have become major buzzwords in the F&B world. Capitalize on that by partnering with local farmers. Not only will consumers like knowing the source of their meals, they’re more likely to choose a restaurant that supports local agriculture.
Also consider offering gluten- and allergen-free menus. Trying to eat out and follow a restrictive diet can be daunting and stressful for some diners. Showing that you’re thinking of them and their needs will go a long way in attracting customers and building loyalty.
Honor the day
It seems like each day something is being “celebrated.” There’s a National Pizza Day, National Nutella Day and National Blueberry Pie Day (which, FYI, is coming up on April 28), just to name a few. Even the entire month of May is devoted to burgers. Capitalize on some of these “holidays” by offering specials catered to these days. Take Burger Month, for example: your property’s restaurant could offer a different specialty burger each week.
Mix it up with learning experiences
People love to learn new things. And in many cases, they’re willing to pay for this knowledge. Consider offering classes—like wine and cheese pairings or how to make craft cocktails—to your leisure guests or as add-ons to group packages. Take a cue from Quirk Hotel in Richmond, VA: they offered a liquor infusion class to meeting attendees as an alternative break activity—and charged $50 a head for 60 people1. That’s $3,000 extra in revenue. In fact, it was that unique experience that made Quirk stand out and persuaded the group to book their meeting at the property.
Cheers to beer
Craft brews are all the rage right now. Breweries are really stepping outside the box and experimenting with a variety of flavors and ingredients, and beer lovers are traveling all over to visit these brewers. Capitalize on that by offering combination packages with local brewers—you can provide lodging and transportation to and from the brewery and they can provide the guests’ entertainment with tours and tastings. (Plus, partnering with local businesses is never a bad idea—cross-promotion can really help drive revenue.)
Many restaurants are stepping up their game by offering beers from popular breweries, both local and national. Even better: partner with a brewery to offer an exclusive beer, or maybe hold a tap takeover (offering only beers from one brewery for a limited time). Limited releases and beer-related events are sure to bring in more customers to raise a glass. If you’re feeling adventurous, take it a step further and brew your own beer to offer on property.
Show love for local cuisine
While it’s a good idea to offer a variety of fare, it’s also smart to include regionally-specific items on the menu. Take Kiawah Island Golf Resort, for example: they’re based just outside Charleston, SC—also known as the Lowcountry—and their passion for their location is evident in their menus. Seasonally, they offer weekly oyster roasts—a true Lowcountry treat—plus Southern favorites like shrimp and grits.
Make it post-worthy
In an age where social media is king, people will take pictures of anything and everything to post online—one of the most popular things being food. So appeal to these photo-loving foodies and jazz up your presentation to attract them to your restaurant. Over-the-top food presentations are becoming a trend themselves. A solid example of this is Black Tap, a New York City burger and beer spot best known for their incredible milkshakes that have been topped with everything from cotton candy to a full slice of birthday cake (see the photo at the top of this post). People travel from all over and often stand in around-the-corner lines to get in. Media outlets can’t get enough of these photo-friendly shakes. And their social media following has increased astronomically in just a few months, all thanks to some eye-catching treats. Learn from Black Tap and pick a specialty item and really go for it. Offer something unique and customers will come—and post.
Ready to sink your teeth into hotel food and beverage trends and find out how to make them work for your property? Reach out to Lynn Kaniper at email@example.com or 609.466.9187 ext. 117 today.