Hotel happy hours used to bring in the hordes to drink and eat as much as they could at cheap prices. Now it seems that the pendulum is swinging the other way as more bar managers are developing premium priced signature drinks to lure in guests as well as local customers.
A December report by the consulting firm Technomic showed hotel operators forecast 4.4 percent growth in their food and beverage sales in 2014. “Of the segments we track, hotel operators are among the most optimistic,” said Donna Hood Crecca, the senior director for the adult beverage resource group at Technomic.
“A number of hotel and lodging operations such as Fairmont, Marriott and Kimpton now offer unique drink menus including signature cocktails along with extensive spirits, wine and beer selections. It’s clear some hotels are prioritizing adult beverages as a way to differentiate their properties and drive traffic and sales,” added Hood Crecca.
“Hotel operators see opportunity in adult beverages,” observes her colleague David Henkes, Vice President at Technomic and leader of its Adult Beverage Practice. “A creative and operationally-sound drink program executed across the various outlets of a hotel property can add both value and enhanced experience elements for guests, as well as high-profit sales, all of which are particularly important in this challenging environment.”
Return to a by-gone era?
Before Prohibition, the hot spots for cocktail innovation were at the big-city hotels, such as the original Waldorf, The Plaza, the Hoffman House and the Knickerbocker. After Prohibition, the alcohol industry was run by the gangsters and all those bartender craft skills were lost.
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Filed under Bar, Dave Henkes, Hotels, Liquor, lounge, Marketing, Millenials, Press Release, Skinny, Spirits, Wine
For decades, most people had never even seen a jar of moonshine, let alone tasted it. These days, you can find it at stores and restaurants around the country thanks to loosened liquor laws and changing consumer preferences. Even the industry’s biggest distilleries are experimenting with moonshine.
Moonshine has been distilled in backwoods Appalachia since the 1800s. By its most traditional definition, the term means “illegal spirit,” Continue reading
As restaurant operators look to make sure that beverages continue to be a strong and growing element of their businesses, there are plenty of drink suppliers, product developers, and manufacturers looking at ways to help them boost their sales.
Hundreds of them are showing their wares during the four-day National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show that continues its run in Chicago. A two-day sister confab, the International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event, also kicked off Sunday.
Filed under Alcohol, Beer, Burger, Casual Dining, Dave Henkes, Fast Casual, Liquor, Marketing, NRA Show, Press Release, Skinny, Spirits, Wine
Does the future of fast casual lie in alcohol?
Fast-casual restaurants were once able to claim premium food, modern décor, and all-around upscale service as hallmarks of their category. But with more quick-service chains retooling in those areas to compete for post-recession consumers, fast casuals have been left to search for new ways to differentiate their brands.
For many, that search has turned up something typically better suited to fine- and casual-dining joints: booze.
Filed under Alcohol, Beer, Casual Dining, Dave Henkes, Fast Casual, Liquor, Marketing, Press Release, Quick Service, Skinny, Spirits, Wine
Aim to Beef Up Traffic, Margins By Avoiding ‘Veto Vote’ And Spurring Second Drinks
Shaken, stirred … or skinny?
It’s a question that could be asked at a growing number of restaurant chains seizing on the low-calorie-liquor trend spawned by Skinnygirl Cocktails.
T.G.I. Friday’s, Chili’s, Cheesecake Factory and others are slapping generic phrases like “skinny” and “slender” on cocktails as they target weight-conscious drinkers. And Champps Americana and sibling chain Fox and Hound this month unveiled a handful of drinks with fewer than 140 calories using Skinnygirl brand spirits on a lighter summer menu. Continue reading
Whether it’s the ambiance, celebrity sightings, exclusivity, cocktails or a combination of all of the above that attract consumers to nightclubs, it’s clear that the “cool factor” is a must-have for success. And one of the best ways to market a nightclub’s “cool factor” is via word-of-mouth, says David Henkes, vice president of Technomic Inc., Chicago. To do so, many operators are using guerilla marketing strategies such as boosting chatter on social media, which has become quite effective, he says. Online coupon sites such as Groupon and Living Social also can be used to attract consumers, though at smaller numbers than social media sites, says Adam Rogers, senior analyst for The Beverage Information Group, Norwalk, Conn. Continue reading
Filed under Alcohol, Bar, Beer, Dave Henkes, Hotels, Liquor, lounge, Marketing, nightclub, Spirits, Wine
The Sacramento region can’t get enough to drink, and big-box beverage sellers are pouring it on.
Total Wine & More and BevMo are in expansion mode, carving out their territories with an eye on coming-of-age millennials and older consumers with increasingly discerning palates where beer, wine and spirits are concerned.
Total Wine, based Potomac, Md., opened its third Sacramento-area location before Christmas in a shopping center along Folsom’s East Bidwell Street. BevMo, headquartered in Concord, opened its first local store on Arden Way in 1996, added six more over the years and plans to launch a flagship site in the region in June, said CEO Alan Johnson. That will bring the number of area BevMo stores to eight, including two apiece in Sacramento and Roseville. Continue reading