Posted on: January 01, 2014
Posted by: Brigitte Diem-Guy, Vice President Sales and Marketing, SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts
I have to admit that a couple of years ago, my desire to eat dinner at a hotel restaurant instead of going out to experience local restaurants was practically non-existent unless I was in Las Vegas or in a middle of a serious snowstorm preventing me from leaving the hotel. Finding great local restaurants is even easier these days when I can just perform a quick search for more intriguing dining hot spots on my smartphone and then plug the address into Google Maps and go.
The stigmas of boring, middle-of-the road dining, overpriced and lack of atmosphere are still lingering however as a frequent traveller you may have noticed that in these past few years some hotel chains have made some drastic changes to on-site restaurants.
Luxury hotels focus on bringing in celebrity chefs and star architects to liven up the hotel restaurant. Some hotel brands are launching all-day market-style dining concepts using fresh ingredients, focusing on the rising Gen Xers and millennials, two generations dining out more often on average than their older counterparts and desiring everything cheap, fast and phenomenal.
Like every hotelier, SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts’ Food and Beverage team knows how integral a full-service hotel’s food and beverage program can be for the guest’s onsite experience but also for attracting local clientele. It’s all about exciting all senses, creating a contrast and positive emotions for patrons to return.
Launching a new hotel restaurant concept delivering a memorable dining experience involves great research and many disciplines. SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts recently opened Wild Sage Kitchen & Bar at the DoubleTree Hotel and Conference Centre Regina, the first restaurant based on a newly developed concept.
Here are some steps that ensured a successful launch of our new concept:
We set clear goals for our new restaurant concept including guest experience scores and of course revenue goals.
2. Research and Strategy
Researching current and emerging trends as well as guest demographics extensively support our strategies that include creating memorable dining experiences, delight all senses and making it easy for our guests to relax and also be productive.
3. Tactics and Deliverables
Delivering on our culinary strategy, celebrating the Farmer to Chef relationship and reflecting the best ingredients available locally, involve many tactics and above all strong collaboration between several departments. Our food and beverage team works closely with our design & construction as well as the marketing and operations team to ensure the interior design elements as well as messaging and collateral are all aligned to support our goals.
4. Testing, Testing and more Testing
Our culinary team tested numerous dishes extensively before finalizing our menu. A great example involved our Pizzas: Our chefs baked different styles of Pizzas in our Forno oven for over 8 hours non-stop before the team decided on the top choices that you will now see on our menu.
There are many tactics that need to be executed in order to successfully launch a new hotel restaurant to guests as well as the local community. One of our tactics involved a pre-opening tasting with food bloggers and food writers as well as social media engagement to support goal of making our restaurant a great destination for locals.
There were many more aspects involved but above all a large cross-functional team of extremely talented individuals that collaborated extensively ensured our successful launch.
We invite you to try one of our new restaurants and we’ll appreciate your comments!