Hilton Worldwide has launched an external version of a website that partners approved restaurant concepts with hotels in its pipeline and plans to open 500 new restaurants around the world in three years using the website, including 20 in the UK.
The scheme is designed to build on the food and beverage options that Hilton Worldwide already offers in 225 hotels in Europe, as well as being an opportunity for restaurateurs looking to grow their brand.
Since an internal launch in the USA the website has paired various hotels with well-known restaurant concepts stateside including Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at the Washington Hilton. Dino Michael, senior director, food and beverage concepts, Europe Middle East and Africa, Hilton Worldwide, told BigHopspitality the scheme had worked very well in America and had the potential to be just as successful in the UK because of the strength of restaurant brands here.
“Particularly in the UK we have got such a density of brands and concepts at every level whether it is fast casual, mid-scale, fine dining. It is about giving our owners and our owning community some choices. Every site is different and every region, I think, identify with different brands. For us it is about finding strategic partners across every territory – and in the UK we are spoilt for choice,” he said.
20 UK hotels
Michael revealed to BigHospitality that 20 Hilton hotels already in the pipeline in the UK for the next three years could have a restaurant concept chosen through the new website.
Although the 20 sites are all new-build hotels Hilton Worldwide has said the same website could be adapted to find new restaurant concepts for current hotels and Michael said the company was already looking at projects to refresh food and beverage offers in sites that are already open.
Hilton Worldwide has said they see restaurants as a brand enhancer to its hotels and approached the scheme from the point of view of what a prospective restaurateur would want. According to Michael this means ensuring the restaurant sites available are ground floor, front facing, with good natural lighting and have separate entrances.
Restaurateurs will have to have a proven concept that has worked for three years and will be asked to submit menu offerings, design elements and price points. Upon acceptance onto the website, the concept will be loaded for hotel owners’ review and potential hotel match opportunities.
Hilton Wembley and St. George’s Park
The available hotels are all over the UK and across all Hilton Worldwide’s brands, according to Michael.
“The ones coming up particularly Hilton Wembley and St George’s Park – they are very closely linked in terms of both being very football and stadium orientated,” he said.
Hilton Wembley will be located near the national football stadium and Hilton St. George’s Park will open in Burton on Trent near the UK Football Association’s new National Football Centre
Michael said Hilton Worldwide was not looking for one type of restaurant style for the hotels although some locations made it easy to know what the restaurant offer should be.
“We have moved on some way from the one-size fits all approach. I think that is something the industry was probably guilty of. It depends on project by project; for example at Hilton St. George’s Park it is very much about England, Team England and about the locality,” he said.
The website - www.hiltonrestaurantconcepts.com - is available now and it is expected 50 partnerships will be made in Europe by the end of the year.