The COVID-19 pandemic shifted many operations for the hospitality industry; hotels, restaurants, and more changed traditional ways of providing guest experiences to keep both guests and employees safe. Through these shifts, food and beverage trends that will stick following the pandemic have become more prominent throughout hospitality. Dana Pellicano, vice president of food and beverage, global operations—Marriott International shared four food and beverage trends to watch for the future.
1Reinvented In-Room Dining
“The pandemic provided an opportunity for a room-service redo: Over the course of the last year, and in many full-service hotels, room service revenue far exceeded budgets and overtook restaurants and lounges as the top revenue-generating outlet,” Pellicano says. “At Marriott International, we started reinventing room service five years ago—moving from the traditional service tray in select full-service/non-luxury branded hotels to a bagged option seamlessly exchanged at the door or picked up from the lobby. The pandemic accelerated this adoption, and dozens of more hotels migrated to this optional new room service format last year, offering food that boxes and travels well at prices more commensurate with today’s customer expectations.”
2Mobile Dining is Here to Stay
Pellicano says, “Within food and beverage, it’s mobile dining that really enjoyed a pandemic boom, as restaurant customers across the country were forced to master the use of QR code technology and mobile menus in their favorite fine-casual or traditional restaurant venue. For those that worry that mobile ordering will usher in lower check averages due to the inability to upsell, take note: Mobile dining checks are traditionally 20 percent higher than traditional checks. Turns out, the allure of a side of fries or a scoop of ice cream remains irresistible in any format.”
3Continued Rise of RTD Beverages
“Driven largely by the same trend that saw consumers comforted by eating in their room, Ready-to-Drink (RTD) beverages offer a hermetically sealed solution to the crafted cocktail, often by a familiar endorsed brand. Equally compelling is many RTD beverages use high-quality ingredients to reasonably replicate a great bar experience, minus the garnish and fresh ice,” Pellicano says.
4Sustainability and Responsible Sourcing Efforts
“In today’s world, there is an increased desire for sustainable and responsible sourcing of ingredients,” Pellicano says. ?At Marriott, we are working to help address some of the world’s most pressing environmental and social issues, including sustainability, food waste reduction efforts, reducing the use of single-use plastics and disposables across our operations, and working across our supply chain to ensure guests’ food and beverage experience is sourced sustainably.”