Upscale hotels revolutionise their restaurants

Hotel restaurants treated as unique business entity
Hotel restaurants are often overpriced, underwhelming – and boring. So some upscale brands are attracting more guests and diners by partnering and experimenting with skilled restauranteurs.
They are trying to match concept with guests instead of simply following a template of leaving the type of restaurant up to the corporate revenue manager – especially important as food tourism takes off.
“Hotel restaurants often end up as a last-minute addition to the larger enterprise,” says Alex Taylor, senior vice president of restaurants and bars at Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants. “For hotel restaurants to be fresh and well received, they need to be concepted and treated as a unique business entity separate but compatible with the hotel.”
Four Seasons recently made a breakfast area at its Scottsdale, Arizona resort into a bar-restaurant called Proof, despite another bar already operating on-property. It has lower prices, appeals to younger people and has a more versatile concept, for locals as well as guests.
At the Four Season Resort Hualalai in Hawaii, pricy fine dining has been replaced by a California Italian concept called Beach Tree Bar & Lounge. Guests now enjoy eating there three or four times during their stay, not just once.
“No one likes fine dining more than we do; however, the fine dining scene, white tablecloth scene, the old stuffiness of it, is stale and going to the wayside,” thinks Luke Mathot of Fairmont Raffles Hotels. “Hotel lobbies and bars are coming back in vogue like when they were back in the day.”
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