The world tourism organization reported that 940 million people set off on a trip in 2010. Of these, 51 percent traveled for pleasure, 15 percent for business. The remainder traveled for various reasons such as family get-togethers, medical treatment, and religious pilgrimages (among others). These visitors are coming equipped with a more refined palate and are seeking out restaurants that will cater to their epicurean preferences.
What is an Epicure?
An epicure is someone who prides himself on his sense of taste. Who seeks out the most rare and unusual foods, the freshest, most luxurious, and most authentic.
Here is out our list of 14 hotel f&b promotions to get these food-lovers through the door.
1. Expert Aperitifs At Sheraton Hotels
Hotel guests are 66 percent more likely to order wine if there are premium selections offered. Sheraton Hotels tried out this theory, partnering with Wine Spectator magazine to create a high-brow beverage menu. After initiating the program, lobby bars saw an average 20 percent increase in revenue.
2. Top Chef Cooks For Guests at The Berkeley, London
Plenty of hotels have big names attached to their restaurant. But, at London’s Berkeley Hotel, head chef Marcus Wareing is actually in the kitchen of his restaurant (No. 69 on Elite Traveler’s Top 100 Restaurants list) cooking – a big draw for guests.
3. Sharing Local Favorites at Hotel Indigo
With their 2011 “Locals Know Best – Dish on the Dish” campaign, Hotel Indigo invited guests at Nashville, San Antonio, and New York to tell chef Curtis Stone about their favorite local eats for a chance to win a trip to NYC. The campaign promoted Hotel Indigo’s commitment to local foods.
4. Authentic Chinese Fare at Chicago’s Peninsula Hotel
With roughly 77 million Chinese nationals vacationing in 2012, authentic cooking appeals to homesick guests and epicures looking for the “real deal.”
5. California’s Hotel Healdsburg’s Bringing Out The Bacon
Making the most of their California wine country location, Hotel Healdsburg launched their Pigs and Pinot weekend in 2011, partnering with 60 wineries and 10 chefs to attract guests with pork dishes and wine pairings. Along with the final five-course meal, the hotel offered cooking classes and wine tastings.
6. Guests Hunt Their Own Truffles At Tuscany’s Monsignor Della Casa Country Resort
Monsignor Della Casa Country Resort touts their local ingredients by offering a truffle-hunting package where guests can dig for their own delicacies (later served in a truffle dinner).
7. Seafood Workshops at London’s Andaz Hotel
Guests looking to learn the finer points of preparing seafood could sign up for 2011’s classes at London’s Andaz hotel. The workshops, held in conjunction with the London Restaurant Festival, taught guests how to select and cook the perfect (and sustainable) fish.
8. Cheese Bar at Andaz 5th Avenue Hotel
Lots of hotels have bars – but not many have cheese bars. The Andaz 5th Avenue Hotel in NYC does, and they’re serving vintage flavors like the 1802 Beekman Blaak Cheese.
9. Cronuts Cross The Pond At Dublin’s The Marker Hotel
In NYC, people wait in line (or pay $100 scalper prices) to snag one of Dominique Ansel’s 300 cronuts baked each day. In The States, the cronut trend has been explosive, and now the croissant/doughnut hybrid is being served at Dublin’s The Marker Hotel with perks including free lunches and spa treatments for those who order them.
10. Guests Sample Local Snacks At Chicago’s Public Hotel
For true epicures, potato chips from a hotel vending machine aren’t going to cut it. At the Public Hotel in Chicago, the lobby minibar instead offers local snacks like Garrett Popcorn and Cora Lee Candies.
11. Chef Dives For Lobsters At The Caribbean’s Four Seasons, Nevis
Guests looking for truly fresh seafood will be pleased to learn that, Chef Andrew Donnerbauer leads guests on dives for spiny lobster on the Dive ‘n Dine package. Later, the seafood is served at the hotel’s nightly beach barbecue.
12. Picnics Perfected At NYC’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Lots of New York City hotels offer Central Park picnic packages, but few do it like the Mandarin Oriental. Here, a guest’s basket comes packed with locally sourced lunch and bamboo cutlery to dine with. On top of that, the hotel donates a portion of the proceeds to the Edible Schoolyard charity.
13. Forage For Eats At England’s Tudor Farmhouse Hotel
The Tudor Farmhouse hotel in Gloucestershire, England has enlisted the help of celebrity forager Raoul van Den Broucke to take guests on a nature walk and look for edible eats.
14. Chocolate Lovers Go To The Source At St. Lucia’s Hotel Chocolat
Here, guests who book the Total Cacao Immersion package take a tour of St. Lucia’s chocolate industry. The trip starts with a visit to cacao farms, then on to the factory for fermenting and drying, ending with a lesson in how to make your own chocolate.
These types of promotions can help to drive traffic to your hotel overall, one helpful strategy in helping turn hotel food and beverage from a cost center to a profit center — so long as you avoid the most common hotel F&B mistakes as well.