5 Food Tips to Send Your Hotel Over the Top
When most people think of hotel food, what comes to mind are runny eggs, slimy bacon, and packaged oatmeal. Aside from an in-house restaurant, the typical dinner fare at your local hotel chain may include a standard pasta or a fish and chips from frozen. Even though it gets the job done and fuels you for the day, it's unusual to consider hotel food as Michelin star quality. The good news is that, as a hotel owner, you have the power to change that preconception and make your establishment stand out above the rest. Here are five foods/ways you can take your hotel's food game over the top!
- Go European
- Good Fruit
- Variety of Grains
- Use Real Foods
- Local foods
Have you ever had the opportunity to travel abroad? Hotels in Europe have their food game locked down, and nobody in the US is doing this. Start with partnering with a local bakery to provide fresh bread items like croissants, chocolate-filled croissants, nut and fruit breads, and fresh loaves. If it's a dinner buffet, try a flatbread like naan for variety.
Many European hotels also offer a selection of cold meats and cheeses for breakfast. If you'd like to stick with standard "American" fare, at the very least, use fresh meats like bacon and sausage and prepare them in an appetizing way. Travelers come from all over, and offering an extended menu for breakfast will make those from overseas feel at home. You'll also set your business apart as a place to remember.
While most hotels provide a small selection of fruit, it is usually under-ripe and of limited variety. Many travelers come into the hotel after a day of eating out and crave something healthy. You will be doing them a service by providing a day-long fruit bar consisting of whole fresh fruits. Skip the tiny, waxy apples and go for a seasonal or unique variety. Bananas are also popular but make sure they are not too under-ripe; nobody likes biting into a green banana.
Don't forget to spice it up with more unusual or local fruits. Maybe you have a local peach grove you can source some fruit from. Berries are a great addition too. It might take a little more work, but providing this service will set your business apart from the competition.
Most travelers do not get enough whole and complex grains in their diet. To cut costs, most hotels will serve packets of oatmeal that are filled with preservatives. Try offering a selection of bulk organic grains (oats, wheat germ, bran, etc.) with flavorings on the side.
Another offering that most hotels need to up their game on is granola. Instead of the standard chocolate-rich trail mix, opt for a European muesli. This can be eaten as a cereal, put into yogurts, or consumed raw.
This might be common sense, but if you really want to serve your guests with a meal they will remember and come back for, you need to serve real food. The most common 'fake' food that comes to mind is the humble egg. Dehydrated or reconstituted eggs are gross and almost always either come out slimy or super dry. Real eggs are cheap and plentiful, and the cost trade-off is negligible, but the result is night and day. The same goes for the quality of ingredients as well. Spend a few more cents and get the good bacon and sausage, not the cheap frozen stuff from the big-box store. Similarly, fresh-ground coffee will always taste better than the pre-ground stuff that's been sitting on the shelf for months.
If you really want to set your hotel apart, try using as many local ingredients as possible. You'll not only support your fellow local businesses, but you'll be getting the best and freshest products available. Shopping local is also a great way to network with other businesses and is an excellent advertisement for your hotel.
Author: Paisley Hansen