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Adjusting Its F&B Approach

Hilton Garden Inn Unveils New Concept To Increase Guest Satisfaction, Owners’ ROI

Thursday, April 13, 2017
Dennis Nessler
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With a nod to the changing food & beverage demands of today’s travelers, Hilton Garden Inn has transformed its F&B concept with an eye on simultaneously increasing guest satisfaction while bolstering the ROI for owners.

The aforementioned changes—which are the second phase of a large-scale amplification program for the upper-midscale select-service brand—include healthier and more organic menu choices; enticing new flavors; around-the clock retail availability; and a more social setting for restaurant and bar service, according to the company.

John Greenleaf, global head, Hilton Garden Inn, spoke with Hotel Interactive® about what spurred the changes. “It’s an observation about what’s happening in the restaurant industry, not just the hotel industry. It’s also seeing what has worked in hotels. We’ve tried some things that are unique and had success with them,” he said.

The new F&B concept has launched in several Hilton Garden Inn properties, such as Arlington, TX; Spring, TX; Pensacola, FL; Silver Spring, MD; Seattle/Bothell, WA; and Krakow, Poland. Numerous other F&B upgrades will be implemented across the system throughout 2017 and beyond.

In addition, the brand last month debuted a revamped hotel design approach that provides six new, customizable hotel prototype options for each region of the world where Hilton Garden Inn operates.

As with the new regional hotel prototypes, the revamped F&B design can be customized to fit the needs of individual hotels. One of the highlights of the concept is the Garden Market, which will offer guests enhanced grab-and-go menu items 24/7, and Greenleaf noted a place “to relax, socialize or work.”

Among the options will be an upscale mix of healthy, indulgent and fresh foods, including fresh plates; locally sourced food and craft beers; snacks and beverages; and a specialty self-serve coffee bar. The new concept will replace the existing Pavilion Pantry in all locations within the next few years.

Greenleaf touted some of the benefits, particularly to franchisees. “If you’re an owner you have an opportunity to generate revenue, but more importantly have guests feel comfortable in the lobby of the hotel instead of having it look like a dining room that’s set for dinner but it’s not dinner time yet. What we’re really trying to do is the make the investment one that’s been reduced a bit for the owner by pushing The Pavilion into the hotel,” he maintained.
The new concept also features a refreshed breakfast buffet that will include a new, open-display kitchen for cooked-to-order food, while continuing to offer a hot and cold menu and local, daily specials. A beverage centric restaurant offering will provide signature cocktails, varietal wines and craft beers, complemented by appetizers, small plates, dinner entrees with local flavors and shareable desserts.

In-room dining options will consist of grab-and-go or “packaged delivery” options available for in-room delivery—creating a more on-trend, casual dining option that guests can enjoy at the time they desire.

The new program also puts an emphasis on localization, according to Greenleaf. “We’ve developed menu options for each of the 50 states in the U.S. If you’re in Texas, we have a Texas menu. If it’s appropriate for your market we can go in and put menu items to include in your Garden menu. So we’ve really pushed this to an extreme to make sure the hotels are comfortable embracing the concept and knowing it’s going to provide the guests with something they want,” he said.

Meanwhile, updates have been made to the Magnolia prototype that reduce the overall gross area of the prototype, but are designed to protect the open, airy feel of the specialization space, according to the company.

Greenleaf discussed some of the changes made to the Magnolia prototype, version 9.1, and the impact on the bottom line. For example, flexible meeting space includes an air wall that can be opened up providing access to the public space.

“The meeting room, which has an optional fireplace in it, becomes an extension of the lobby. So effectively instead of having to build a meeting room, which may not be used throughout the day, it’s now part of your bar space with an inviting fireplace in it. So we’ve reduced the number of square feet, but increased the usage of the square feet that are there and made it all about generating revenue through all day parts,” he said.

Greenleaf summed up the efforts of the new prototype and F&B concept. “We’re trying to really generate a much more useful space for owners and guests and do it more cost effectively,” he said.

Additional components of the large-scale Hilton Garden Inn brand amplification program will launch in the coming months.



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Dennis Nessler    Dennis Nessler
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