While food & beverage has long been a challenge for hoteliers, particularly in the wake of the pandemic and new health and safety protocols, Orchid Hospitality has come up with a unique branded solution that it believes can drive both profitability and guest satisfaction.
The Frisco, TX-based operator recently signed a contract to partner with franchise restaurant chain Boston’s Pizza and Marriott International on a new, dual branded concept. As a result of the affiliation, a new Boston’s Pizza Restaurant & Sports Bar will be unveiled within the dual-branded SpringHill Suites by Marriott and TownePlace Suites by Marriott in Shreveport, LA, which is expected to open this fall, according to Larry Williams, President, Orchid Hospitality.
There are currently some 400-plus Boston Pizza locations, the vast majority of which are in Canada with less than 30 locations in the U.S. Williams touted the potential benefits of the partnership for the hotel.
“I think it’s important to have that brand to help draw people in,” he said, later adding, “overall it can be a real win/win situation for us.”
Williams noted the new Shreveport hotel is a repositioning of an old 300-room Wyndham property. He added the six-story, 180,000-square-foot hotel is unique in that it’s a “lateral or horizontal dual brand.” The extended-stay TownePlace Suites portion will be located on the top three floors, while the upscale, select-service Springhill Suites brand will comprise the bottom three floors.
Meanwhile, the Boston’s Pizza will be a one-story, 30,000-square-foot venue east of the hotel that can be accessed through the hotel lobby. Williams noted the restaurant will operate as a separate legal entity and will be operated by Orchid Hospitality.
Williams was asked if the hotel would potentially see increased occupancy as a result of the restaurant and bar, which will stay open until 2:00 a.m., or vice versa.
“I think it’s going to be a combination of one playing off the other,” he said.
Williams pointed out that conversations regarding the Boston Pizza/Marriott partnership began as far back as November of 2019 and at the time were focused on a 145-room Four Points by Sheraton in Denver, CO, which will also be operated by Orchid Hospitality. However, when that project was delayed the focus last April turned to the Shreveport property.
He explained that Orchid—which currently manages 9 properties, primarily in the western portion of the U.S.—is quite bullish on the prospects for both the hotel and the restaurant this fall.
“Our estimation for the hotel is we feel we’re going to open at a good strong 65 to 75 percent [occupancy]. The [Shreveport] market seems to be pretty stable right now. Our goal is to fill up that extended-stay [TownePlace portion] with people staying five days or more. Having that core base of guests should help us too,” he said.
William further noted the property is in close proximity “to the busiest intersection in the Shreveport area” with shopping destinations and other nearby restaurants. Nevertheless, he added the city has seen little in the way of new dining options of late.
“There hasn’t been a lot of new restaurant development in Shreveport the last couple of years…I think by having something new that’s going to help,” he said.
Williams added of the city, “This is one of the bigger development projects they’ve had in a while, so I think they’re real happy with our commitment.”
He described the menu at Boston’s Pizza as “pretty expansive,” while emphasizing that everything is made fresh. Williams further added that the restaurant will include room service, as well as poolside service with an auxiliary bar where guests can charge directly to their room.
“It’ll be a restaurant that will feed the entire complex,” he said, adding that it will also include a drive up or to-go location for delivery services like Uber Eats, Door Dash and others.
According to Williams, the Four Points by Sheraton in Yuma, AZ, just opened with the Boston’s Pizza restaurant concept. He noted the layout of the brand’s restaurant has evolved to feature more open space and the bar and restaurant “kind of merged” together. Williams said the Yuma Boston’s Pizza location is projected to generate some $2.5 million in its first year of operation.
Williams insisted that he expects the Four Points by Sheraton Denver property—which is located in the Denver Gateway area some five miles from Denver International Airport—to come on-line in early 2022.
He noted that Orchid Hospitality has been pleased with every aspect of the partnership thus far.
“We’re real happy with the arrangement and very pleased with the way the franchise group at Boston’s works. Their fee structure and everything is very fair,” concluded Williams.