Hotels have been criticised for running ‘sterile’ restaurants by an industry expert, who claims hotel dining is dead.
Jeffrey Young, founder and managing director of market analysts Allegra Strategies, said growth in the hotel dining sector is expected to remain stagnant over the next five years because many hotels have ‘dropped their game’ when it comes to running their restaurants.
With many situated in basements devoid of natural light and vibrancy, Young told BigHospitality that hotel dining will never be able to deliver the excitement of a ‘high street experience’.
“Hotel dining was aspirational many years ago and while there’s still a slither of the market occupied by high-end restaurants and celebrity chefs that are doing well, many hotels now are too sterile,” he said. “Visitors to the area would rather go and eat in the West End or the local high street than at their average hotel, where they know they’re not going to get a fast, vibrant experience.
“The banqueting capabilities of most are very average, and they’ve become a place where people will only eat out of convenience. Another part of the problem is that restaurants are set back from the street and lost to business from passers-by.”
While industry executives aren`t expecting hotel dining to grow within the next five years, 63 per cent believe the fast-casual dining sector to grow the most, likely as a reflection of the consumer`s desire to cut discretionary spending.
“Hotel dining is dead,” Young continued. “It may be okay for some celebrity chefs but no-one thinks hotel dining is growing. Only those that are aspiring within the Michelin star category will do well in the future. There’s still a long way to go to get hotels to understand they need to up their game.”