Hotel F&B seems to be dominated by overly complicated versions of things that should be simple. Why?
The talk around the hotel industry would make you think people just don’t order roomservice anymore. I’m living, breathing proof this isn’t true, because there are plenty of times when I’m locked up in a room during an industry conference trying to write stories and in need of a quick meal to keep me going.
But there is a depressingly common occurrence for me when I’m trying to get a quick and simple meal while doing some work: There simply aren’t any straightforward options. Too many hotels seem to think doing food and beverage right means having half a dozen cutesy twists on staples to grab guests’ attention.
Please resist this line of thinking. All of my best hotel F&B experiences are related to truly simple things executed well.
Here’s a quick example for you: Every year the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference is my busiest few days. It’s a truly hectic rush of meetings, general sessions, hauling video equipment and generally trying to avoid the beehive of activity in Times Square. But one thing I can absolutely count on to provide me a little calmness in the chaos is that the Marriott Marquis Times Square makes surprisingly good chicken wings and some enjoyable house-made chips.
There is absolutely nothing out of the ordinary about either of these other than their convenience, but knowing I can count on them in a pinch makes me honestly look forward to enjoying them.
Compare this to one of my co-workers, who was just talking about a recent trip to London in which he couldn’t even order a cheeseburger at his otherwise very nice hotel.
Maybe this is just me being the classless, boring American that I am, but the whole concept just seems so easy. Too many hoteliers and chefs seem to feel that their menus need to be an expression of their wonderful uniqueness. It’s not. Just give me something easy when I need it.
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