David Henkes of Technomic, Inc. oversaw a panel of hotel food and beverage experts during the 2016 VIBE Conference in San Diego. Next! Hospitality Advisors' senior vice president of food and beverage, Doug Zeif, Hyatt’s corporate director of beverage, John O’Connell, and Marriott’s director of food and beverage programs (global operations), Dan Hoffman, addressed the hotel segment and the opportunities therein. The first question the panel answered was simple: Why focus on lodging?
The first part of the answer to that question is that lodging is still attractive. And the second part is that it’s expected to outperform the broader industry going forward. From 2011 to 2015, the hotel segment experienced more growth than on-premise, and this trend is expected to carry on through 2016.
In 2015 the lodging industry generated revenues of $43,482MM. The upscale category accounted for the majority of those revenues with $23,723MM, or 55 percent. The midscale category came in at 32% while luxury account for 11% and economy 3 percent.
In terms of beverage alcohol sales, the segment generated the retail sales equivalent of $8,384MM. Wine, spirits and beer sales were strong in 2015, with beer generating the majority of beverage alcohol sales. In fact, beer accounted for 40% of these sales, while wine accounted for 34% and spirits making up 27 percent.
Spirit and cocktail sales, however, are growing.
Craft beer growth is having an impact on the presence of import beer on hotel menu, accounting for 44% of beer sales in Q3 of 2015. In comparison, also in Q3 of 2015, import beer made up 28% of beer sales.
Whiskey has been on an upward trend for the past few years, and this holds true for the hotel segment as well. Whiskey/Bourbon and Scotch whisky made up 51% of total spirit items menued at hotels in Q3 of 2015.
One way to make beer, wine and spirits work for the hotel segment is making the hotel bar a social destination. Another is to ensure that beverage alcohol solution fit multiple service areas. Of course, the key to a hotel becoming a social, spirits, cocktail, wine and beer destination hinges on customer engagement.