Grab-and-go food for on-the-go guests

Providing a quality breakfast is a focus for hotels, but sometimes guests are uninterested or unable to take the time to sit down for a traditional meal, or even to quickly hit the buffet. In those instances, providing a solution for on-the-go travelers is not only a must—it’s smart business.

The Hampton Inn & Suites Memphis Beale Street in Tennessee offers a free bag of pre-selected breakfast food for all guests staying at the property, consisting of an apple, bottle of water, a muffin, a breakfast bar and mints.

“If anyone asks for more, we can put it together,” said Craig Marshall, GM of the property. “Time constraints are the main factors. Some guests have early meetings and have to get on the road, and the bags help them start the day off with a full stomach.”

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Even without a free option, quick service “market-style” eateries are gaining popularity in hotels. The Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, Minn., has a Starbucks located in its market (pictured), which is able to bring in additional customers from a nearby parking garage not owned by the hotel.

“I don’t see a market where [grab-and-go] options wouldn’t work,” said Jeff Johnson, director of F&B of the hotel. In mid 2012, the property completed a renovation that expanded its small food station to an expanded market, where the addition of hot food options at breakfast managed to triple revenues for the space. “We were originally opened [in that area] from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.; now we are open until 10 p.m. and are considering keeping it open later.”

“Our Barista grab-and-go sees constant use,” said Danny Williams, GM of the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort and Spa in Puerto Rico. “The best thing to focus on, regardless of what you are serving, is to cut down on preparation time. Try to use items that take as little as two steps to prepare for the guest; make it as efficient as possible.”