From breakfast to bars and room service to restaurants, food and beverage remains an important part of a hotel’s business. Yet it is often one of the trickiest areas to get right.
In seminar Bite Sized F&B Hacks at the Independent Hotel Show at London Olympia on Tuesday 16th October experts will share tips and tactics to help hoteliers ramp up their food and beverage options.
Ahead of the discussion, speakers Graeme Nesbitt, Benjamin Palmer and Jayson Perfect talk about the areas they see growing in this area.
Guests ‘want to be able to get food any time of the day’ according to Benjamin Palmer, head chef at Glazebrook House Hotel, so forward-thinking hotels will have to adapt their F&B offerings and think beyond the traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner times to satisfy them in the near future.
“Customers with busy work and personal travel lifestyles don’t necessarily stick to our kitchen opening hours and this frustrates a lot of them,” agrees Jayson Perfect, managing director of Butcombe Brewery, which offers accommodation at eight of its pubs.
Self-service kiosks allowing guests to ‘grab and go’ snacks and small meals could work for some hotels, suggests Graeme Nesbitt, director of Food & Beverage at Handpicked Hotels while improving room service is one way to better cater for corporate guests or solo diners says Jayson Perfect.
“Some of our guests simply want the quiet and peaceful space on their own and we can restrict their options by feeling there is only the choice of sitting in the bar,” he says.
Health and nutrition
There is expected to be a greater focus on health and nutrition across all areas of hotel F&B to meet growing demand for healthier options from guests and to better cater for allergies and intolerances.
While menu labelling is now standard practice due to allergen legislation, the trend will push towards providing more dishes for those with specific allergies as well as including nutritional information.
“Food allergens and intolerances have had a big effect on menus, so we are now designing and creating allergy and diet-sensitive menus” says Benjamin Palmer.
“Health conscious food is on the up as people are watching what they eat and are sticking to diet plans.”
“Guests with dietary requirements no longer see just a few options for them on menus, so gluten and dairy-free alternatives are popping up all the time, which is a great thing,” says Graeme Nesbitt.
He suggests hotels ‘embrace scientific data’ and make it readily available for guests who are ‘extremely interested in which foods will improve such things as sleep quality, digestion, sports performance or reduce cholesterol’ to push things forward.
While a growing number of guests are looking to grab a coffee or a quick bite from a self-service kiosk during their hotel stay, just as many are hoping for an unbeatable dining experience.
“The hotel guest has become a more discerning individual who expects more than simply a room and well-appointed bathroom,” says Jayson Perfect. “They are after an experience from the minute they book to the moment they leave.”
“I think the fashion of ‘quick hotel food’ will change to a longer service where people will visit the hotel because of the restaurant, not visit the restaurant because they’re staying in the hotel,” says Benjamin Palmer who predicts that more hotels will bring in ‘named chefs’ to front restaurants to make them true destinations in their own right.
The notion of providing a dining ‘experience’ within a more formal setting is one that Graeme Nesbitt is behind, but for hotels with a higher proportion of mature leisure guests.
“It’s a very broad brush statement, but in my experience the more mature audience do tend to still enjoy getting dressed up for dinner and enjoy a more formal setting and food offering, such as a three-course menu,” he adds.
To register to attend the Independent Hotel Show at London Olympia on 16th and 17th October visit www.independenthotelshow.co.uk.