Hotel restaurants are routinely looking to new initiatives to increase revenue. Properties have partnered with outsourced food and beverage operators or created unique concepts to attract diners from both in and out of a hotel. Whatever their strategy, hotel restaurants have one thing in common–when competing with local eateries, hotels need to provide unique dining amenities guests can’t get anywhere else. Along with interior design essentials like comfort and aesthetic, hotel restaurants that showcase food and beverage displays can generate more regular and repeat customers, especially if customer interaction is integrated into those displays.
In this competitive marketplace, increasing revenue depends on driving people to buy a product. On-trend F&B displays provide visual cues to bring guests into a restaurant and entice them to stay. Vigilant Inc., a company that started 23 years ago as a manufacturer of cigar cabinets, now creates functional wine display systems for restaurants. The company’s owner and president Charles Griffiths says that when it comes to F&B display, hotels should focus on one simple metric—how much of a product they’re selling. “Having the wine on display puts it in the mind’s eye,” Griffiths says. “Back in the old days, guests were provided with a big wine list and the wine wasn’t displayed anywhere. People just assumed the wine must be somewhere in a big room.”
While showcasing expensive labels may draw in certain customers, the functionality of a display system has more potential to increase food and beverage revenue. For example, Vigilant creates wine display cabinets with refrigeration to both showcase wine drinkers’ favorite labels and indicate that those bottles are well-kept and ready for immediate consumption. “As pretty as it might look, it’s only as good as how it functions and works,” Griffiths says. “It’s important we spend time with the operator in making sure we provide a product that fits their space, décor, and style, but also takes care of that constituent that wants to have a great wine offering display for their customers.”
A wine lover may be more likely to sit and enjoy a bottle of wine when it’s refrigerated and displayed in an elegant casing instead of being tucked away in a back room. Griffiths adds, “If they went somewhere else where they feel as though they aren’t getting the best selection or quality of wine they want, they’re going to another place that’s more invested in it.”
Although F&B display systems can seem like a luxury product, hotels can benefit from investing in both functionality and design to drive increased revenue. Griffiths cites that within a year to a year and a half with the wine cabinet systems in place, restaurants, hotels, and clubs will see an increase in revenue. “For a restaurant or a hotel, this is a money-making opportunity. It might be an investment, but it’s not more of an investment than putting in other amenities.”
Photo: A Vigilant Inc. custom refrigerated wine cabinet handcrafted for the Ritz-Carlton, Chicago from white ash features dual glass doors to easily access the wine from both sides of the cabinet.