Design & Innovation: Hotel Food & Beverage

After guests’ rooms, the next most important aspect of any hotel is food.

Now let’s look at why hotel restaurants are usually deserted particularly in the evening.

I guess it’s because of what seems like a template, when it comes to what is offered at most hotels; the all-day dining place, the usual Italian restaurant, and the watered down version of a local restaurant. And like with the guests’ rooms, it’s becoming rather boring!

So we find that with the exception of breakfast, hotel guests are usually looking for places outside the hotel for a dining experience. The experience being the Key Word here!

There are of course exceptions to the rule and some hotels have successfully broken away from the usual “hotel food” stereotype and developed real dining experiences, that not only keep the hotel guests in, but also attract a lot of local residents.

So how did they do it?

Having worked on a number of hotel F& B re-imaging projects, it always starts by identifying the reasons why the current restaurants set up was not working. And I can safely say, the reasons are almost identical;

  • The lack of an F&B concept,
  • The F& B set up being designed as any other part of the hotel,
  • The restaurant conceptualized as eateries rather than experiences,
  • The neglect of local residents as potential patrons,
  • And of course location, location, location!

I think, if we start any F&B conceptualization by remembering that our culture is not only our buildings architecture, our costumes, our music but it is also our food;

Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are,” wrote renowned

gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin in 1825.

The type of food we eat, how we prepare the ingredients to make a certain

recipe and ultimately how we consume and share it, is very telling of the

actual essence of who we are and where we are from. Indeed food comprises

an intrinsic part of our cultural profile. Food encompasses everything that is

important to people; it marks social differences and strengthens social bonds.

Common to all people; yet it can signify very different things from table to



 Given of how important food is in any culture, hotels restaurants and all F&B outlets need to be conceptualized to heighten guests’ experience, they need to be a celebration of local food and international food. Signature restaurants are attractions and destinations. They become places people want to experience, places they will remember. Add to it a well-traveled world population with sophisticated palates and real concerns for environmental issues, hotels restaurants have their work cut out for them