Food and beverage (F&B) service in hotels is undergoing a transformation due partly to the rapidly changing needs of guests. Hotel operators have come to understand how trends are impacting all facets of their F&B operation from themes to the latest flavor preferences to the revenue shifts of traditional and innovative operations.  The trends support a shift away from room service and mini bars, and toward coffee shops, authentic recipes and natural, calming décor.

Last year, room service represented 1.2 percent of total hotel revenue, down from 1.3 percent in 2011, according to figures from PKF Hospitality Research cited in an article on the USA Today website.

However, this trend appears to have been on the horizon for quite some time. According to an article on HotelNewsNow, “Room service appears to be less favored by hotel guests as revenues have been in a downward trend since 2007. A 2012 PKF chart on U.S hotel room service revenue shows that last year’s revenues averaged $866/room compared with $1,157/room five years ago, which represents a decrease of 25.1 percent.”

Travelers today are very clear on the amenities they expect to find in the different level of hotel accommodations.  Guests want what they want.  And hotels need to deliver on the expectations. How does an operation meet the ever-changing needs of their guests? It’s as simple as staying current on cutting edge trends on all facets of hotel operations via industry research, publications and procurement resources likeSource1 Purchasing.  A strategic procurement company, Source1 provides the latest trends, access to national contracts and insights that are structured to allow a hotel operation to operate efficiently by saving time, finding the right suppliers and products, and controlling costs. More hotels are also seeing the demand for high-quality food with exotic flavors. Today, hotel guests want exciting food and are willing to pay if they perceive value. Imagine how a guest might feel if they found F&B options that reflected their lifestyle and preference like farm to fork, gluten free and low-fat ?

According to the USA Today article, travelers have been displeased with the escalated cost of room service for years. Hotels are listening and exploring new ways to provide F&B options that serve the guest via sourcing and procurement strategies. For example, guests at the Public Chicago can enjoy gourmet meals in less than 10 minutes with no delivery fee. The hotel staff simply leaves the meal in a bag on the doorknob. This method greatly reduces labor costs and OS&E investment for rolling tables, dishes, silverware and linens

Hotels like Hilton Worldwide, the Hudson New York and the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C., are experimenting with similar ideas, all focused on emerging trends of domestic and international travelers.

Other hotels are embracing the locally sourced food trend, making sure that their products are produced within 200 miles of their location. This concept that requires a fresh approach to procurement is a great marketing message, setting your food apart from the competition. Customers appreciate the benefits of this new trend toward the fresh food that is healthier and presented to accommodate their preferences. It all comes down to a simple guideline…identify and meet your guests’ needs.

Source1 Purchasing is ready to help operators implement new trends in all facets of their operations with sourcing and procurement strategies. To learn how an operation can benefit, contact Source1.

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