1. What do you see as some of the major food and beverage (F&B) trends inspiring hoteliers?
In today’s progressive hotel industry, in order to be relevant, competitive and cutting edge, one needs to celebrate, embrace and be very active in the wellness evolution and be assertive to integrate the food and beverage offerings in this fast-growing movement. Overall, hotel guests (and employees & suppliers/partners) are demanding sustainable products, packaging and ingredients. We are experiencing an era of industry leadership in reacting to physical and mental wellbeing and revolutionary food and beverage trends and offerings. This is reflected in sourcing of ingredients, in creative recipes and impressive presentations for displaying across social media.
Plant based offerings in hotel menus will continue to be a major trend that are inspiring many hoteliers to not only answer to the growing needs of the potential guests but also doing the right thing in helping the environment.
A more sophisticated beverage option than smoothies are being rolled as “juicing” in many hotels using exotic fruits and vegetables, ingredients such as cactus, pomelo, yuzu.
There is great motivation on the part of hoteliers to prepare not just tasty food offerings but Instagram friendly dishes. Presentation has always been important but now it’s exploding with ideas such as colourful additions.
Our culture is changing, today's contemporary lifestyle choices are having profound influences in what we eat and drink and therefore what we want to get in hotels services.
- How are sustainability and social responsibility, both mega trends, being incorporated into the food and beverage functions within hotels?
Food and beverage functions in hotels are a natural extension of major concerns and actions being taken in sustainability and social responsibility. More and more our hotel guests are asking serious straight forward questions about where the food being sourced, how is it being stored and packaged and how much is being wasted. Our guests today expect us to not only serve the guests and the community but contribute to the local environment and therefore being socially responsible and do our part in saving the world.
It’s become a baseline to prepare a robust sustainability program that is transparent for all to see. Not using plastic cups or bottles or straws is not enough anymore. A deeper understanding and action is now a basic requirement (energy and water savings, green areas, lots of plants inside and outside hotel, planting trees, etc)
- In your opinion, is the ease of accessing food from outside the hotel via Uber Eats and Deliveroo etc, a threat or opportunity for hoteliers?
I truly believe that the essence of hospitality is to cater to our guests needs as in house as possible while creating profits from theses extra revenue streams. These “snacks” or “takeout foods” should be prepared by the team within a hotel team rather than outsourcing to external companies. Our guest will want the convenience and instant gratification of ordering from these Apps but the hotel can offer a tech savvy advantage with its own platform and offer pretty much anything a guest would want most of the time at an extra cost. I believe that hoteliers are more than capable to create concepts that integrate kiosks and food trucks as part of the daily operations for Individuals Groups and MICE.
- Tell us more about BeFood Hotels – a new F&B concept for hotels that you are developing
One of my latest ventures together with expert advice from the culinary community is “BeFood Kitchen”, an F&B prototype product that we are developing that addresses and supersedes the latest changes and trends in the industry. BeFood is all about diversity and a great mixture/assortment of options in the new hotel kitchens. The program offers guests, prior to arrival, the choice of a particular route/avenue of F&B choices that are reflected by a colour scheme. Every “lane” is a different colour and every colour signifies a lifestyle food choice such as Veganism, Vegetarianism, Halal, Kosher style, Gluten free, Sugar free. The guest will be able to combine and mix several options. What is truly magical about this innovative concept is the hotel can build a kitchen according to the specifications based on this concept. Those with existing kitchens would have to invest a minimum amount to adjust flow and equipment BUT the bottom line is that any good chef can deliver this concept.
- What benefit does attending events, like IHIF, bring to your business?
There are so many benefits. First of all, IHIF is the highest level networking event in our exciting and dynamic industry. The fact that you can not only set formal appointments and participate in structured events, the nicest thing is the spontaneous encounters with colleagues that you met once in a while and instantly there is a click and you are back on track doing deals.
The conference content is SPOT ON, always at the front of the latest developments with a superb collection of topics and speakers.
It’s the perfect place to exchange information and ideas. I always leave with much inspiration and great motivation to work hard and continue to improve what we love to do.
Ronit will be speaking on “The Impact of New F&B Concepts on Hotel Profitability” on Weds 4th March at 11.30am during IHIF. This session will discuss how the next generation of F&B concepts are inspiring hoteliers to change the rulebook and develop offerings that are enhancing the hotel experience as well as its financial performance.
For further information on this session and IHIF in general, please visit www.ihif.com