Hamilton Beach Commercial Blog


6 Ways to Elevate the Hotel Bar

Of all the aspects of hospitality lost to COVID, the hotel bar was missed more keenly than most (second only, maybe, to the breakfast buffet). The bar is a uniquely convivial experience: a place to sit shoulder to shoulder with fellow guests and savor the experience of being somewhere unfamiliar but welcoming.

People want that opportunity to socialize again. That’s why it’s time to reinvest in the hotel bar and end any limitations on food and beverage services, hospitality experts say.

“International travelers want a great bar experience in particular,” Sloan Dean, CEO and president of third-party management company Remington Hotels, said at the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference. “Often they stay and dine in the hotel, whereas domestic travelers often don’t. So we need our food-and-beverage really dialed in.”

Here's a look at some hotel bar trends and opportunities to maximize revenue and guest satisfaction.

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Topics: Hotel F&B, hotel bar trends, hotel bar

2022 Hospitality Trends: A Big (But Bumpy) Rebound in the Hotel Business

Michael G. Medzigian, Chairman and CEO of Watermark Lodging Trust Inc., remembers the absolute devastation wreaked on the hotel business in 2020. His April occupancy rate plunged from 76% to 4%. His company furloughed 10,000 people and lost around $50 million in cash in the first month.  

It “took unimaginable effort to get to where we are now,” he said in The View for 2022: Insights and Expectations for the U.S. Hotel Industry, a recent webinar hosted by the Cornell Nolan School of Hotel Administration. And the journey’s not over: While Medzigian is generally optimistic, he sees more challenges piling on now than he’s ever seen before.

We distill four of the key insights he and other hospitality professionals shared in the webinar, to guide hotels through an encouraging but tumultuous year.

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Topics: Hotel F&B, hotel food & beverage, 2022 hospitality trends, Hotel FF&E

How to Increase Guest Satisfaction Despite Hotel Labor Shortages

“Expectations are resentments under construction,” said writer Anne Lamott. That’s especially true in the hotel industry right now, as staffing shortages force cuts in services.  

  • Guests expect a full free breakfast… and they get yogurt and a granola bar.
  • Guests expect sparkling clean rooms… and they see hasty housekeeping.
  • Guests expect to enjoy hotel amenities… and they discover the gym is closed and cocktail hour is canceled.

Guests were willing to lower their expectations for a while, Carolyne Doyon, Club Med’s president and CEO for North America and the Caribbean, said at the recent Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit. "You know, little things that would have bothered them pre-pandemic, they were accepting. But as we are moving forward, we're back to pre-pandemic expectations” — which can be hard to meet.

In the face of widespread labor shortages, how can you improve satisfaction and prevent disappointment (and, yes, resentment) in hotel guests?

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Topics: Featured, hotel breakfast, Hotel F&B, hotel labor shortage, hotel guest satisfaction

Is It Time to Bring Back Breakfast? Here’s How

Hotel guest satisfaction is holding steady overall, the 2021 J.D. Power North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study found. But guests have one big criticism: They miss breakfast. 

More than a third of hotels eliminated buffet breakfasts from May 2020 to June 2021, the study found. Satisfaction with breakfast offerings dropped across the board (except in the economy segment, which rarely offered hot breakfast pre-pandemic.)

"It is clear that guests expect breakfast service to resume, especially in limited-service hotels that usually provide complimentary hot breakfast," said J.D. Power hospitality practice lead Andrea Stokes. Labor shortages, food costs and COVID concerns can make this a challenge, however.

What’s the best hotel breakfast to keep costs down and satisfaction levels up? Here are some innovative approaches.

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Topics: Featured, hotel breakfast, Hotel F&B, hotel breakfast buffet

Four Innovations in Hotel Food & Beverage

A drink at the hotel bar. A lavish breakfast buffet. A perfectly planned wedding reception. A romantic dinner at the lobby restaurant.

Hotel guests worldwide had to give up these pleasures in 2020… and hotels felt the pain. Now, hotel operators are getting creative about F&B to win back their guests.

“The perceived value goes beyond portion size,” writes Matt Rinehart, Vice President of Food & Beverage, HRI Lodging in Lodging magazine. “Guests will measure value through the delivery of a thoughtful dining experience or to-go order that is consistent, guest-focused, and detail-driven.”

Here are four ways hotels are delivering just that.

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Topics: hotel breakfast, Hotel F&B, hotel food & beverage

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