Undergoing a hotel chain-wide menu revamp isn’t easy, given the many market changes and tweaks required to keep so many units up to date. But Hyatt Hotels managed the introduction well enough to garner it the 2014 VIBE Vista Award for best hotel, cruise line or casino menu, presented by Campari America.
The customizable beverage menu provides the hospitality company with a platform to feature a selection of quality drinks across the chain’s multiple brands. Used in all lounges and bars at all Hyatt branded hotels and resorts. The menu’s objective is to reinforce Hyatt’s global philosophy and beverage strategy: “Beverage. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served.”
As part of this philosophy, individual hotels have the freedom to add seasonal and local beverages to the menu including locally inspired cocktails featuring natural, fresh and seasonal ingredients. Additional objectives include increasing beverage revenue by driving sales of wine, beer, classic and locally inspired cocktails, Zero-Proof non-alcohol drinks and low calorie Lite cocktails.
Strategies used to achieve these objectives include offering a large variety of selections, detailed descriptions of every drink, great photography and the ability of individual hotels to choose the beverage selections that best fit their market and geographic location. “Our customizable beverage menu supports Hyatt’s global beverage philosophy that adheres to a program of freshness and focuses on using ingredients that are seasonal and local,” said John O’Connell, corporate director of food and beverage for Hyatt. “The menu is also visually appealing with beautiful photography that really captures the attention of guests.”
Due to Hyatt’s multiple brands and numerous hotel and resort levels, three menu page designs were offered and a program execution guide was created prior to the menu launch. The program execution guides visually present the three menu designs, directions for adding customizable beverage lists and pricing, plus a detailed training plan for servers.
Hyatt categorizes hotels into levels depending on the geographic location and requires that each level feature specific wine, beer and spirit brands but always with the freedom to add additional selections. For example, Tier 1 hotels are required to carry a minimum of 24 and maximum of 48 wines and Tier 2 hotels are required to carry a minimum of 34 and maximum of 68 wines. Hyatt mandates that all locations include six classic cocktails in the menu including a Bloody Mary, Cosmopolitan, Margarita, Hendrick’s Lemonade, Manhattan and a Mojito, and units are also required to add locally inspired cocktails: Tier 1 hotels offer a total of 12 cocktails and Tier 2 hotels offer 15. The locally inspired cocktails can be designed completely in-house by local mixologists or beverage managers can use recipes already created by Hyatt.
Bottled and draft beer choices are featured in the menu plus regional and national selections and everything from premium favorites to local craft beer. The menu also features a selection of mandated Zero-Proof non-alcohol drinks and Lite cocktails including a Raspberry Mint Lemonade, Strawberry Fizz, Lite Mojito, Lite Margarita and Lite Cosmopolitan.
The results? Hyatt has experienced a six percent increase in beverage sales and guest satisfaction scores are up by 12 percent since the menu was introduced. The hospitality company attributes this in large part to the customized beverage menu that showcases a great depth and breadth of selections including many locally inspired cocktails featuring seasonal ingredients plus local and regional wines and beer.
The beverage menu has also helped Hyatt decrease costs by more than $1M over prior years because individual hotels and resorts know which selections will and won’t work for their markets. “The results speak for themselves,” said O’Connell. “The ability to completely customize a menu with selections and pricing that works for each market within our system has revolutionized our beverage program, helping us sell more drinks while also communicating our beverage philosophy that appears to be resonating really well with guests.”