New food and beverage trends are finding a place on hotel menus because travelers today want to maintain their same eating habits when they are traveling for business or pleasure. . On a larger scale, these various trends challenge operators to keep current with the f&b trends and change their standards when the time is right. With a strategic sourcing or purchasing plan in place, it’s easy to handle the changing expectations of guests and deliver the right products at the right time ….and at the right price.

Even simple trends like free breakfast can have an impact on operations across the industry in certain levels. Take a moment and consider this…how many hotels offered a free breakfast 20 years ago? Today, it’s expected by travelers who frequent certain brands at certain levels. Research has demonstrated that, if the hotel rates are about the same, a guest will choose the hotel with the free breakfast. These expectations give operators important insights to consider.

How do you offer a quality breakfast at a reasonable cost?

Once an operator overcomes consideration for trial-and-error or even addresses a possible reluctance or fear of change, then their hotel can begin to explore new ideas that support the trends and keep them on track to be competitive.

The key is for operators to look to a strategic sourcing or purchasing resources like Source1 Purchasing to examine what they’re purchasing and see where they can save money. Operators need to identify the types of products that will help them engineer a food and beverage operation that delights their guests. If operators find the many other aspects of running a hotel operation to be all consuming of their time, they have the option to engage experts in the field of purchasing to guide them on new products, new trends, and special offers by nationally known brands.

Operators should consider the advantage of supporting new trends like gluten-free and organic foods that are in demand and may drive more sales. These products can help operators create a more desirable experience for their guest – a great source of word-of-mouth referrals.

According to an article on the Los Angeles Times website, the FDA has set specific guidelines for gluten-free products because one-third of Americans are embracing this diet. That’s a number that deserves the attention of all operators who offer food service. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. It is estimated that approximately 3 million Americans have been diagnosed with celiac disease, meaning they cannot digest foods containing gluten. Even people not restricted to this diet as a result of celiac disease are eliminating gluten from their diet.

According to an article on Celiac.com, numerous hotels, including the Ritz-Carlton chain, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Omni Hotels & Resorts, have been changing their menus and providing comprehensive training to their employees.

“For a number of years, there’s been a growing recognition of people with gluten intolerance,” says, Stephen Rosenstock, senior vice president of F&B for Omni Hotels. He also notes in the Celiac.com article that gluten-free options don’t have to cost hotels more money. It’s all about sourcing differently and planning for it.

More operators are responding to these new trends and searching for these gluten-free, organic and other specialty products at a reasonable price. Operators are looking to strategic sourcing and purchasing organizations to help them source products like Bars, organic fruits and vegetables and specialty ingredients. Source1 Purchasing helps their customers source these products via direct manufacturer agreement that deliver the most favorable quality.

It’s not just about Clif Bars. Source1 helps operators find the unique products and services that the brand or the operator defines to consistently maintain the overall guest experience including a signature dining programs. Operators have the flexibility and autonomy to select the products they need to keep their food and beverage program aligned with current trends. With the help of a strategic sourcing and purchasing organization like Source1, operators can identify the products that will help them create a unique and memorable experience at your facility.

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