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Hotel restaurants at a glance

17 March 2023

Hotel restaurants are often seen as a last resort or a backup plan, but many properties are striving to level up their culinary offerings with exquisite interiors and Michelin-starred cuisine. Food Forward Consulting assesses how hotel restaurants are rivaling standalone concepts.

Hotel restaurants have always suffered from a negative stigma. Despite chefs and restaurateurs doing their best to put an end to this prejudice, it still prevails.

This is mainly due to hotel restaurants being considered bland and pricey in the past; their old-school offering used to drive customers away. 

Nowadays, hotels are no longer considering restaurants as a way to feed guests but to keep them on the property. Here’s how hotel restaurants are rivaling standalone concepts:

Delivering a valuable dining experience

It’s all about reimagining the hotel restaurant dining experience in order to elevate it with valuable, customizable, and personalized options.

By creating an inviting space with a warm and pleasant ambiance, delicious dishes, and personalized service, hotel restaurants are managing to make moments memorable.

Furthermore, a signature Instagrammable design that reflects their menu adds flair to their offering.


Marketing to local diners

Although hotel restaurants benefit from regular foot traffic however, relying fully on guests is dangerous. The pandemic has revealed that hotels and especially their restaurants can no longer rely solely on tourists. It’s primordial for a hotel restaurant to be a local hot spot in order to draw in the community on a regular basis. Targeting locals guarantees income stability as it no longer relies on fluctuating hotel reservations.

Having a strong following can not only sustain a hotel restaurant but having a semi-full restaurant is a sign of popularity and success.  Once a hotel restaurant gains a reputation for being a great local restaurant, more hotel guests flock to it.

It is essential to convey the spirit of the hotel restaurant to guests and locals in order for them to understand what the venue offers, what is the concept behind it and what they are known for.

Diversifying restaurants offering

Having multiple restaurants within a single hotel enriches the guest’s overall culinary experience. By offering different cuisines and atmospheres, the hotel maximizes its business, retains guests on the property, and gives the outside clients something to seek.

It is essential for each hotel restaurant to have its own menu offerings, and physical location.  

Furthermore, tailoring each hotel restaurant to its particular location saves it from the clutches of standardization.

Elevating the F&B menu 

Although hotel restaurants haven’t fully shaken their outdated stigma, today’s landscape has evolved into a worldwide culinary renaissance. Hotel restaurants became moneymakers rather than amenities. That is why many hotels have been nabbing Michelin-starred chefs. The competition has become so fierce that the old hotel-dining model is no longer enough.

With health and wellness becoming a priority and influencing every aspect of people’s lives even their food and beverage choices, guests are demanding more from hotel restaurants. They are bored with classical dishes; they want adventurous meals that complement their healthy lifestyle.  Also, flavorful and creative plant-based dishes are becoming staple food items.

That is why chefs of hotel restaurants are focusing on ingredients that not only add flavor but are also beneficial to health, such as turmeric, which helps inflammation, cinnamon to lower blood sugar, garlic for promoting heart health, and cayenne to relieve pain. The ingredients that are in style are naturally sourced and mildly processed.


Furthermore, a limited beverage selection is no longer sufficient. Successful hotel restaurants are offering a beverage-forward menu that garners attention for its creativity and originality. High-quality spirits, and experimentally tasteful cocktails made with fresh juices, and in-house syrups, are the latest craze.

Hibachi Meat Being Served

Signing with international and homegrown dining chains 

Acquiring reputable franchises tends to be easier to operate as they offer support, manuals, and standards for a smooth implementation. That is why certain hotels are signing with franchises in order to benefit from their expertise as well as diversify their food and beverage scene and make it attractive to the local community.

Nowadays, hotels have F&B scorched into their DNA, so much so that they seek top-notch chefs who curate the best menu for a culinary journey of senses using the best ingredients. The once-tired category of hotel food and beverage is now a fierce competitor in luring hotel guests and neighborhood diners. In the coming years, hotel restaurants will continue to step up their game.

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