Hilton Worldwide has several new food-and-beverage options in the works for its Embassy Suites, DoubleTree by Hilton and Hilton Hotels & Resorts brands, designed to make F&B a true differentiator for the full-service brands.
Beth Scott, Hilton Worldwide’s VP of restaurant concepts for full service and luxury brands, outlined the company’s goals for each of the three new F&B concepts, both for guests and, as Scott said, “to provide owners with smart tools and solutions for their hotels.”
Versions of each concept currently are in testing phases at hotel properties, and several are under construction at new-build hotels under development. Scott said she expects all concepts to begin opening locations in 2013.
“None of these concepts are brand-mandated at this point,” Scott is quick to point out. “We have to be smart about how we find and apply these solutions—it’s not one size fits all.”
Embassy Suites: Brickstones Grill
Lunch and dinner have been brand-wide challenges for the full-service upscale brand; the made-to-order hot breakfast and evening reception have been successful signature F&B products, but Scott said some owners, particularly if they’re new to full service, couldn’t make lunch and dinner as profitable as they would like.
Some properties lease space to third-party restaurants for lunch and dinner; others develop their own restaurant in a space separate from the breakfast area with varying levels of success.
As Embassy Suites hotels developed in more suburban locations, Scott said many owners had difficulty leasing that restaurant space but still needed lunch and dinner options, leading the brand to develop the Brickstones Grill concept, which brings all three meals into a single space, shaving about 2,000 square feet off the overall footprint.
Details about Brickstones Grill:
• In new-build hotels, the Brickstones Grill space serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and incorporates the bar and managers reception area.
• Scott projects savings of about 2,000 square feet and $.5 million.
• Lunch and dinner menu focuses on contemporary comfort offerings, including pizza and burgers.
• Self-service offers flexibility to guests and reduces service and labor costs.
• Menu items are offered as single and family-size portions to accommodate business and leisure travelers.
• Retrofitting the concept into legacy Embassy Suites properties is possible.
DoubleTree by Hilton: Made Market
“Casual, earthy, grab-and-go” is how Scott describes the food available at DoubleTree’s new Made Market concept. “This fits so perfectly with DoubleTree because we do a lot of conversions,” she said. “The concept is a flexible kit of parts for conversions or new-builds that combines the bar, breakfast, lunch and dinner all into one space.”
A big element of the DoubleTree concept is choice. “Guests don’t want just one thing shoved down their throats,” Scott said. “We’ve gotten stuck in the appetizer, entrée, dessert, three-meal experience. We’re trying to get rid of that.”
Details about Made Market:
• Emphasis on carryout and freshly prepared food options.
• Bagged room delivery may be another option for room service.
• Dining space changes feel from day to evening.
• Available for conversions or new-builds.
Hilton Hotels & Resorts: Herb N’ Kitchen
Scott said F&B for the Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand is difficult to standardize, nor does the company even want to. “No two Hiltons truly are alike,” she said. “But there are some hotels that don’t necessarily need to provide that sit-down, full-service restaurant experience.”
She cited New York City as an example. “Say you’re there in New York, where guests want to go out and be in the city. We’re not silly enough to think guests want to dine in the hotel all the time. We need to provide for guests who do, but we also want to offer options.”
Details about Herb N’ Kitchen:
• Upper-upscale food items
• Kitchen is broken down into zones, including made-to-order items like salads, pizzas and hot entrees, and grab-and-go options.
• Hotels ultimately can choose different options, like buffets, carryout items and more.