top of page

Hotels eating in - Ed’s letter

Hotels are terrible at F&B. There’s not need to gasp and stagger back at this observation, it’s not a secret. The hotels themselves know this, which is why some of them are saving themselves the cost and the heartache and sacking it off altogether. You can go and fend for yourself at the local Starbucks for breakfast and, other than the trauma of having to get dressed for the pleasure, be happy to.

Indeed, such is the lack of interest from many hotels, that they will let you Deliveroo into their rooms, so you can, if it’s been a really tricky night, have your Starbucks latte brought to you. And if that’s not service then who knows what is.

Benefits to Starbucks aside, hotels have started to consider that maybe giving up on F&B as a bad job isn’t the brilliant idea that they thought it was. For one: done correctly, you can actually make money selling food and drink. I know in the current climate it may not always feel like this, but it’s true, you can. And money is very much in demand at the moment.

The second reason is around what it is you think you’re offering. If you’re a city-centre hotel and that city is London, you may feel that you’re fighting a losing battle with F&B and you may be correct. But selling your hotel as a destination, or as having a particularly interesting offering, and you can not only attract guests at a premium, but also draw in local residents. And you don’t have to change the sheets after they’ve been. Imagine.

This month’s IHIF conference in Berlin is the annual European hotel sector shindig and found itself thoughts turning very much towards F&B.

Alex Sogno, CEO, Global Asset Solutions, encouraged the sector to embrace F&B again, but emphasised the need to keep pace with the wider restaurant sector and innovate regularly, recommending renovation of F&B outlets every five years in urban settings.

He added that social media played a key role in the success of an operation, as well as staying ahead of trends for wellness and authenticity; guests want experiential dining with a local flavour. Jellied eels are a novelty to many, lest we forget.

Who among us would not want to stagger upstairs to bed after eating a great meal, taxi not required? Exactly.


bottom of page