2014 is proving to be the year for creativity and innovation in hotel food and beverage. Four trends are relevant to raising your hotel revenue for group bookings.
Standard room service, needed by business travelers, is challenged by delivery time. In her article, Room Service-The Need for Speed and Beyond, Ann Bagel Storck interviews Chris Hunsberger, Executive Vice President of Product and Innovation for the Four Seasons brand. A few years ago, Four Seasons created a program of fast delivery (within 15-20 minutes) focusing mainly on business travelers. Today, this program amounts to about 20% of the brand's room service business, going beyond the business traveler to include transient guests and children.
Unique Menu Options
The world continues to be fascinated by atypical food. Renowned and house chefs alike are upping the game with unusual and tasty menu items. Teresa Tobat reports that The Daily Meal surveyed hotel publicists to find out the most popular room service items. While crab cakes and lobster rolls made the top 13, most items were comfort food like pancakes, pizza and burgers.The trend in 2014 is to present comfort food in new and interesting ways.
Meeting planners and group travelers often grab and go. Hotels that are thinking outside the box will provide room service options that are portable and interesting. Four Seasons Hotels mix it up with healthy and appealing choices such as "Remove the Cork," a wine and cheese basket that is packaged and delivered in under 20 minutes in a portable carrier for the guest.
Hotel brands, like Hyatt and the Omni, are finding online room service ordering a boon to business travelers, allowing them to schedule meals in advance and alleviate wait time. 25-30% of Omni room service meals are ordered digitally with dinner having the highest percentage.
In 2014, hotels are beginning to reimagine how they manage room service. Menus appease with comfort foods presented by chefs in unique fashion. Efficiencies are at an all time high with quick delivery facilitated by an online ordering option. 'Grab N Go' takes on new meaning with trendy, portable packaging. Providing meal solutions that are cognizant of the time and needs of the business traveler gives you credibility as a hotel that understands group business, increasing room blocks and gaining revenue!
Written by Sherry Cummins.