Grab-and-go F&B fills a niche

(Hotel food)

This is part three of Hotel Management's three part series on hotel F&B trends. Click here for part two: The evolving hotel breakfast.

For some hotels, the prospect of adding grab-and-go food options can create fear that the options will take away from other food options on a property.

"It’s possible that our newly-renovated market space has stolen some service from our restaurant,” said Jeff Johnson, director of F&B for the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis. “In return, though, the hotel gained a lot of share from travelers leaving the property to walk to coffee shops and other local places.”

The Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort and Spa has 12 different restaurants and bars in operation, two of which are open for breakfast daily, as well as its market option. Danny Williams, GM of the property, doesn’t feel that the market has a negative affect on the guests who frequent the other options. “There is an audience looking for different options at different times of day,” Williams said. “It is a popular fixture in any hotel, but especially so in a resort setting, and our guests would miss it if it were gone.” 

Speaking on the evolution of their breakfast options, Craig Marshall, GM of the Hampton Inn & Suites Memphis Beale Street in Tennessee said the grab-and-go options available right now are effective and always getting better. However, Marshall emphasizes consistency.

“Being affiliated with a brand, there are expectations to be managed,” Marshall said. “If the average property puts three items in a free breakfast bag, and your property is adding an extra three, guests are going to expect that elsewhere and that can cause problems. Hampton decided there are key components, and you can bend that as you get to know guests over a long stay.”

“The first breakfast that Hampton offered had very limited options. It was a roll, orange juice and coffee,” Marshall said. “Everyone was so excited when we added granola bars. As an industry, we’ve come so far.”