America's lodging landscape has undergone a revolution. Big chains are diversifying with different brands or concepts to capture a wider demographic, and with this, amenities like foodservice have garnered more of the spotlight in today's hotels.
Of the 76,600 hotels and lodging establishments in the United States, 58 percent are considered independent and do not have an on-premise restaurant, according to an August 2017 report by Chicago-based market research firm CHD Expert.
Yet, food and drink sales at hotel restaurants have been on the rise in recent years.
Hotels that have a full-service bar and restaurant provide the average establishment with an estimated 13 percent of annual revenue, according to IBISWorld, based in Los Angeles. In an increasingly competitive industry, some hotels have sought to position their restaurant as the hotel's main attraction with the aim of attracting travelers that would otherwise stay elsewhere.
The healthy economy may drive this number even higher this year, as the travel industry continues to be robust.
In addition, a number of food and beverage trends have been driving the lodging foodservice segment.
Hospitality company BENCHMARK, based in The Woodlands, Texas, attributes the proliferation of the farm-to-table movement, updated versions of traditional dishes and plant-based food offerings at U.S. hotels to Millennials. These more savvy consumers do their research when eating out, looking at sustainability, sourcing and ingredients, among other aspects of what they consume.
Consumers in all age groups are seeking more adventuresome fare when it comes to food as well as beverages.
Throwback cocktails, like Whiskey Sours, Manhattans and bourbon drinks are making a comeback, along with signature concoctions created by hotel bartenders and mixologists.
In addition, kitchens on display have made their way into the lodging industry, reports BENCHMARK. This gives diners a front row seat for the theater that is meal production.
Despite supply outpacing demand in some markets, experts predict the hotel industry will continue to show healthy growth, providing added opportunity for hotel restaurants.