Friday, December 2, 2016

Forbes releases the top 10 food and restaurant trends of 2016

#Food #Restaruant #Trends #2016 #2017

Forbes magazine released the top 10 food and restaurant trends of 2016. Based on the options of five culinary experts, the trends were identified as the following:

  1. Asian Twists on Comfort Food - #kimchi, #Sriracha, #dashi
  2. Better Butters - #flavor
  3. Coconut Everything - #chips, #truffles, #water
  4. Cook-it-Yourself Meal Kits - #dish, #recipes, #flavors 
  5. Dukkah - #Egyptian, #seeds, #nuts, #spices 
  6. Farm-raised Fish - #sustainability
  7. Filipino Cuisine & Flavors - #lumpia, #adobo, #pancit, #halo-halo
  8. Miso - #umani, #marinades, #saladdressings, #snakes, #donuts, #icecrean
  9. Nut Cheeses - #nutmilk 
  10. Turmeric - #saladdressings, #cocktail 

Do you think some or all of these trends will stay in 2017? 

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The picture was downloaded from Foodservice Consultants Society International

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Convenience over Class: Serving Vino in Cans (by Kristen Rinck)

A recent trend has emerged in the beverage industry that pinpoints a change in attitude and behavior in consumers. Want to find out what this new trend is? Next time you are at a grocery store, walk down the wine aisle and look for something out of the ordinary. Between all of the wine bottles, something different will pop out: wine cans. It now seems that beer is not the only alcoholic beverage sold in cans. Within the past year, the creation and consumption of canned wine have greatly increased. In fact, canned wine sales have more than doubled in the past year, according to a Business Insider study.  The study showed that sales of canned wine reached up to a revenue of $6.4 million in 2015 and so far to $14.5 million in 2016. Although canned wine currently only makes up about 1% of the market, the growth rate is rapidly climbing, comments Sommelier, Andrew Jones. 
  

The idea of canned wine only began a few years ago. Andrew Jones, who started Field Recordings winery in Paso Robles, California, was one of the first winemakers to make the switch to cans. Jones states that using cans rather than bottles has no effect on the flavor of the wine.  In 2013, canned wine was only 5% of Jone’s business, and now it accounts for up to 40% of the wine produced by Field Recordings. (CBS, 2016) In 2015, Whole Foods took the leap and prominently began selling Presto Sparkling canned wine.  (Business Insider, 2016)

One of the appeals of canned wine is practicality. With canned wine, a consumer can easily drink on the go. Our world continues to become much faster pace and a product that enables a consumer to increase their time efficiency will flourish. With the change in lifestyle comes a shift in consumption behavior and needs. People are becoming much less concerned about the tradition of making wines look like upscale. (Business Insider, 2016) This means the romantic notion of popping a cork is no longer a necessity.

Another appeal of canned wine is cost. Cost is a socioeconomic factor that influences consumer preferences. Many people in their twenties, including myself, do not necessarily have the funds to purchase an entire bottle of wine for ourselves. Nor do many of us need a whole bottle unless we plan to go to a formal dinner party or potluck. Being able to have a single serving of wine in your own home is a huge advantage of canned wine. The current cost of a single can of wine is around $5 to $8.  Field Recordings also sells canned wine in 6 and 8 packs. (CBS, 2016)

            As a millennial that is just coming into their drinking age, I am very intrigued by this concept.  When my parents were my age, their options were limited to canned beer and bottled red or white wine. However, in 2016, there are multiple choices when it comes to choosing one’s beverage of choice. Millennials are always looking for something new, easy, and exciting. Canned white, red, and sparkling wine provides all of those assets. 

I believe that canning is where the future of wine is headed. Canned wines will never fully take over glass bottles, but they will become much more popular. Although great for special occasions, the ceremonial popping of the cork is no longer a necessity to be able to enjoy a glass of wine. Convenience and cost efficiency can be great motivating factors in consumers’ decisions on what type of wine to get. I believe that as more millennials reach the age of 21, the number of canned wines bought will increase. All connoisseurs of wine should try canned wine at least once and who knows; maybe they will be pleasantly surprised.

Would you ever consider switching to canned wine? Is the efficiency of canned wine a big enough pull to get people to switch over from bottles to cans?

About the Author

Kristen Rinck is a junior at the University of California State Polytechnic Pomona. She is majoring in Hospitality Management and minoring in Entrepreneurship and Small Business. Her emphasis is in event management, but she also has an interest in wine and beer. She is expecting to graduate in spring of 2018.  After graduation, she wants to move back to the Bay Area and work in the event, wine or beer industry. In her spare time, she enjoys watching sports, reading, cooking, playing with her dog, and spending time with her friends and family.

References 
CBS, San Francisco. (2016, October 17). Canned Wine Has Vino Lovers Popping Tabs, Not Corks. Retrieved October 19, 2016, from http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/10/17/canned-wine-has-vino-lovers-popping-tabs-not-corks/
Taylor, K. (2016, September 27). A master sommelier reveals 4 trends changing the wine industry. Retrieved October 19, 2016, from http://www.businessinsider.com/the-4-biggest-wine-trends-now-2016-9/#1-canned-wine-1 
* The picture was downloaded from The LA Times.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

2017 hotel trends: Some indications from AHLA 2016 Lodging Survey

Recently, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) and Smith Travel Research (STR) released the "2016 Lodging Survey.The goal of this biennial survey is to provide a current and comprehensive understanding of hotel operations, with the possibility of identifying the critical travel trends heading into 2017.
The survey covers a wide range of areas. I highlighted the key findings from the survey on Multibriefs.com, but here is a brief summary:

Technology

#Hotel #Trends http://bit.ly/112216 
  • Almost all hotels across various chain scales (from luxury to economy hotels) adopt central reservation systems (94-100 percent).
  • More hotels are using mobile apps for customer service, including checking-in into a hotel. 
  • 98 percent of hotels offer high-speed in-room internet service with wireless access, with fewer hotels charging for the service. 
  • Fewer hotels are using social networking sites for marketing purposes, dropping from 93 percent in 2014 to 87 percent in 2016.
Additional discussions for consideration:

Sustainability

  • A substantial increase in the number of hotels using high-efficiency/LED lighting.
  • 94 percent of hotels offer a towel/linen reuse program.
  • 47 percent of hotels participate in an amenity-recycling program.
  • A record number is set by the hotels using energy management sensors in rooms.
Additional discussions for consideration:

In-room amenities

  • A downward trend shows fewer hotels are offering shower-only rooms.
  • Only 10 percent use shower shampoo/conditioner dispensers.

Guest services

  • 85 percent of hotels that are located at an airport location provide complimentary airport shuttle service.
  • 62 percent of hotels offer complimentary breakfast — 80 percent among upper-midscale hotels, 96 percent among midscale hotels and 81 percent among economy hotels.
  • The percentage of hotels that provide room service dropped to 22 percent, but at the same, 21 percent offer alternatives to traditional room service.
  • 34 percent of hotels charge a fee for checking out one or more days early.
Additional discussions for consideration:

Property offering

  • 55 percent of luxury hotels and 25 percent of independent hotels have music/entertainment/nightclubs, much higher than other categories.
  • Large meeting space (over 10,000 square feet) is usually found in luxury, upper-upscale and independent hotels.
  • More hotels are offering free parking service, increasing from 72 percent in the previous survey to 85 percent this year.
Additional discussions for consideration:

Safety and security

  • 86 percent of hotels installed surveillance cameras in the lobby, the highest number ever.
  • Additional discussions for consideration:
Will you be able to see the 2017 hotel trends from this report? Please share your thoughts with us, as I share mine under "additional discussions for consideration."

Monday, November 21, 2016

Automation in Hospitality: A Blessing or a Curse? (by Joanna Stanley)

In recent years the world has become increasingly automated.  Tasks that were once performed painstakingly and methodically by humans are beginning to be completed by robots, machines, and programs.  Some people see this as a blessing.  Others see it as a curse.  In reality, it can be either depending on how it is used, which is why hospitality professionals must be aware of the current technology in order to learn how to use it, but not abuse it.

Hospitality is a people-centered business.  It is also generally based on service, not products.  As a result, hospitality is one of the most labor-intensive industries in the world.  Many of the services the guests require cannot be duplicated by a machine or a robot—at least not in a satisfactory manner.  When a guest orders their food at a restaurant they want a server present to explain menu items, answer questions and make recommendations.  When a business traveler arrives a hotel after a long flight and meeting, they want to be greeted by someone who is warm, hospitable and sympathetic.  Computer programs and machines can perform the actual function of taking a customer’s order or checking them into their room, but the warmth and friendliness is lost.  It is difficult for an establishment to communicate that they care about their guests through a screen or over a web chat.  A robot cannot show a guest that they care, even if they are able to perform the function necessary to take care of the guest’s needs.

On the other hand, there are many tasks and functions in hospitality that can be performed just as well, or better, by a machine than by a human.  Keeping track of sales and marketing data is one very important way.  In order to meet the needs of guests, businesses must first be able to understand what it is that their guests want.  Discovering and documenting these wants and needs is something that can, and probably should be done automatically.  By using computer programs, statistics and automated surveys, among other methods, hospitality corporations will be better able to keep track of what methods, products, and services have been successful in the past, and what might need to be reevaluated for the future.  For example, computer programs can monitor whether or not reservations increase after a hotel implements a new advertising campaign, or a restaurant can easily keep track of how many people buy a certain menu item when a promotion on that product is offered.  Without programs and systems to keep track of this type of information, operations would not be able to run as efficiently.  It would be far more difficult and time-consuming for hotels, clubs, restaurants, casinos and other operations to analyze sales, advertising data, and guest information.  With modern technology keeping track of this type of information is far less challenging and allows for easier analysis, which can lead to more efficient business operations.

Finally, automation may give hospitality operations a competitive edge, especially if it involves the latest technology.  Though customers still expect and require personal service at most operations, online ordering systems and automatic check-out make things more convenient for guests.  Also, technology can be fun and fascinating for guests, as long as it serves a purpose and meets some of their needs.  Being assisted by a robot, creating your own pizza on an iPad, or other similar activities would be fun for many guests and would be thought of as a novelty or a luxury that would cause guests to want to return in order to relive an interesting experience.  If used in this way, with attention still given to the true wants and needs of a guest, technology can add something that is lacking the important aspect of guest experience.

As professionals in the hospitality industry we must understand and use the technology that is available to us in order to remain competitive, but we also must be sensitive to the needs and wants of guests.  There is no automated system in the world that can do that for us.  As we move towards the future, what are ways that we can ensure that we minimize costs while also allowing our guests to have the most pleasant experience possible?  What are ways in which automation will enhance the guest experience, and in what ways will it leave them feeling like no one cares about them?  So is automation a blessing or a curse?  Time will tell, but if used properly, it will be more likely to benefit than harm the hospitality operations of the future.

About the Author

Joanna Stanley is a senior studying Hospitality Management and Nutrition at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.  She has loved cooking and baking ever since she was a young girl, and has long dreamed of opening her own restaurant.  When she isn’t studying or cooking she spends her time running (she completed her second half marathon this year), listening to music, reading and writing, playing the piano, and going on day trips with her family to Los Angeles.  Both of her parents graduated from Cal Poly Pomona as well, and she is glad to carry on the family tradition!


* The picture was downloaded from The Fiscal Times 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

How to sell your empty banquet rooms in three simple steps (by Akram Chahin)

Many hotels and restaurants struggle in selling their empty banquet rooms, especially during soft seasons and weekdays. Hotels and restaurants must learn how to maximize their sales and be efficient in booking their empty space. Based off of my experience during a project in collaboration with the sales team of DoubleTree Hotel, Santa Ana, I have developed a simple three-step process in order to achieve that goal: Analyze, Target, and Execute.

Analyze
Directors and managers of all departments should gather together and develop a marketing plan in which they should discuss the demographics of clients that would be a perfect fit for the hotel’s type of space and environment. They should also discuss how these demographics can achieve the organization’s goals in term of sales and occupancy rates. These targeted segments should be categorized and prioritized. For example; if the hotel is in a middle of a business area, corporate events should be their main target with social events being second, and then others to follow. The team should put together a communication plan in order to reach out to these targets and promote their services.
Target
Next, multiple teams should be put together using a variety of medias in their promotion strategy. Social media, telemarketing, and door-to-door visits are examples of the different types of media that teams could use to connect with their potential clients. A quick google search is a great, affordable, and basic way to gather contact information and create a lead sheet. An introduction gift is a great way to break the ice and promote your products/services. In the case of the DoubleTree hotel, it was a warm, welcoming cookie in a gift bag full of Halloween candy. A promotional flyer was included in the bag with a business card that included direct contact information of the sales manager. The door-to-door promotion strategy not only included an introduction gift, it was also followed by a brief set of in-person questions that were designed to learn about the clients’ needs and to see if the hotel could earn their business. These businesses were specifically chosen from the leads sheet that was created in the previous step.
Execute
Once a potential client has been identified, the sales team must follow up immediately thanking businesses for their time and most importantly use their skills to earn their business and close a deal. The beauty of an empty room is that it could be decorated and set-up in multiple ways catering to different types of events. It is the sales team’s job to plant the picture of the event in clients’ minds so they could imagine it before it even happens. Banquet and catering teams should do their best in throwing the best party/event that the client could get in town. Efforts to develop a lasting relationship and earn their continuous business is a key to booking rooms during the next soft season. It costs 5 to 10 times more to gain a new client than to maintain a current one. Therefore, serious efforts should be put into satisfying the current clients and their guests.
In conclusion, a strategic marketing plan should be put in place that involve analyzing the type of demographics that would be a perfect fit for your products/services. A team effort in approaching the targeted market and finding a way to communicate with them and potentially earn their business is a very crucial step. You have to go earn the business, the business won’t just come to you. Lastly, delivering what was promised and achieving high levels of guest satisfaction will result in repeated business, larger contracts, and increased customer loyalty.
How will you increase banquets/events revenues?
What can you do to earn new customers?
Which step is most important to you in the sales process?

About the Author
Akram is a senior student at Cal Poly Pomona. In his third year, His studies focus on Hospitality Management and Marketing courses. Akram had held many leadership and training positions in his 10 years of hospitality industry experience. Akram’s experience includes working at hotels, resorts, fine and casual dining restaurants, and attractions. Akram is known among his colleges to be personable, professional, and passionate about food and wine. With a level 1 Sommelier degree, Akram enjoys teaching about wine and food pairings, as nothing brings people closer to each other than food and wine. On his free time, Akram enjoys swimming, playing tennis, and racing motorcycles. Akram is expected to graduate in 2017 in hopes to occupy a management position in a luxury resort. Akram’s favorite brands include The Ritz Carlton, Adidas, and Express.

References

Dixon, M. (2010, July/August). Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers. Retrieved April 24, 2016, from https://hbr.org/2010/07/stop-trying-to-delight-your-customers
Fenn, D. (2010, August 31). 10 Ways to Get More Sales From Existing Customers. Retrieved April 24, 2016, from http://www.inc.com/guides/2010/08/get-more-sales-from-existing-customers.html

J.D. Power and Associates (2016, April 07). Hilton HHonors and Marriott Rewards Rank Highest in a Tie in Overall Customer Satisfaction with Hotel Loyalty/Rewards Programs. Retrieved April 24, 2016, from http://www.hotelnewsresource.com/article88694.html