Evolving snack trends force hotels to keep up

DoubleTree by Hilton’s Made Market serves items from national brands and local vendors with an emphasis on fresh preparation and ingredients.

The hotel minibar used to be guests’ main option for snacks while on-property, but fewer hotels are including the units in rooms. In addition, guests have become dissatisfied with the high prices hotels often charge for the candy, chips and other goodies. That snack void has been filled by grab-and-go set-ups.

While snacking has always been a necessity when it comes to food-and-beverage options at Hilton Worldwide hotels, what guests are looking for has changed, said Jonathan Wilson, VP, product innovation and brand services for Hilton Worldwide.

“Our guests aren’t just looking for a candy bar or bag of chips anymore,” he said. “They also want an array of healthy and local snacks, like fruit, protein-focused options and nutrition bars so they don’t have to change their diet just because they are on the road.”

Virtual Event

HOTEL OPTIMIZATION PART 2 | Now Available On-Demand

Survival in these times is highly dependent on a hotel's ability to quickly adapt and pivot their business to meet the current needs of travelers and the surrounding community. Join us for Optimization Part 2 – a FREE virtual event – as we bring together top players in the industry to discuss alternative uses when occupancy is down, ways to boost F&B revenue, how to help your staff adjust to new challenges and more, in a series of panels focused on how you can regain profitability during this crisis.

Snacks in lieu of a meal is another trend hotels are adapting their grab-and-go operations to satisfy.

“As travel continues to evolve, consumers want the opportunity to eat outside of traditional meal periods and the grab-and-go environment is perfectly suited for this,” Wilson said. “This type of food-and-beverage option allows hotel guests to eat dinner at 3:30 or 4 p.m. if it better fits their schedule, or to enjoy lighter eating later in the evening.”

Danny Williams, GM of the Wyndham Orlando Resort – International Drive, said he also sees guests who want to make a meal out of snacks.

“People are busy and they are looking at certain grab-and-go options that could certainly replace a meal,” he said. “We certainly have a variety of things that they could choose from and they could easily make a very fulfilling meal; certainly the prepared sandwiches, freeze-dried vegetables and baked chips, things of that nature, are pretty fulfilling.”

The Wyndham, which features two restaurants along with it’s lobby grab-and-go operation, also offers chocolates and sweets for those looking for a just a treat or who want to wrap up their quick meal.

The variety at Magnuson Hotels properties varies, but CEO Thomas Magnuson said some common items are bananas, apples, mixed nuts, beef jerky, candy and chips, with candy and chips being the most popular.

“Sales are mostly driven by hotel occupancy, but it’s an appreciated amenity,” he said.

Suggested Articles

The partnership aims to help restaurants streamline online orders from apps like GrubHub, UberEats, DoorDash, Chownow, Caviar, Postmates and others.

Two conferences traditionally held in the first half of each year are rescheduling for the second half.

In October, visitor arrivals were down 90.4 percent compared to 2019 and hotel occupancy was below 20 percent.