Raw Organic Bunch of Bananas Ready to Eat

2017 Is The Year Of Starchy Fruits

Last year – that is, what we will soon refer to as 2016 – was widely proclaimed as ‘The Year of the Pulse’, citing beans’ versatility as both an energy and protein source in addition to their potent health benefits. While many chefs are still searching for new and clever ways to infuse legumes into their menus, it is every hotelier’s duty as a benefactor for food innovation to be on the lookout for the best big thing. The common perception of ‘starchy fruits’ likely pertains to bananas and not much else. But with a bit of research, it should be readily apparent that there are several other contenders worth another glance. These include plantains, breadfruit, jackfruit, plums or even the many different types of squashes, pumpkins or gourds which technically fall into this category even though they are traditionally prepared in a manner similar to root vegetables. While you …

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Glasses of mulled wine in snow

In Vino Veritas Part LIII – Mulled Wine And Other Holiday Spirits

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and what better way to help put you in a very merry mood than with a holiday-themed libation. There’s something about this time of year that brings out our indulgent side. It starts with that extra slice of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, and then it’s a slippery slope all the way to through to the inevitable reckoning on January 1st and all the various proclamations of austere diets that only last for roughly two weeks. In any case, knowing that the holiday season is synonymous with decadence means that you should adjust your F&B offerings to better appease this primed audience, all in the pursuit of greater guest satisfaction and hopefully a few more dollars in your wallet. As this is a wine-focused column, I’ll focus on the beverage side of things, but also keep in mind that food has an equal role to …

lmaadminIn Vino Veritas Part LIII – Mulled Wine And Other Holiday Spirits
Waitress and waiters posing with food at buffet in restaurant

There’s No Such Thing As A Hotel ‘Job’ Anymore

As the gig economy continues to take hold in various industries, it is also changing how we think about our chosen line of work. The 9-to-5 office is eroding while working from home and working when you want behaviors are gaining widespread acceptance. The impacts for hotels are manifold. At its core, this freelancer economy promotes a transient approach to wage earning. That is, you get the exactly what you put into it and not a penny more. The more you work, the more money you make, with a few demand-based algorithms to keep rates attuned to market pressures. Further, there’s little emotional investment in the parent company – largely due to the disconnectedness of employee-employer relationship – nor are there any incentives to rise within the ranks of the corporate hierarchy. While it’s easy to see how this new system plays out for network-based enterprises like Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit …

lmaadminThere’s No Such Thing As A Hotel ‘Job’ Anymore
Untitled

Taking Notes of the Little Differentiators at a Hawaiian Luxury Hotel

It’s the little things that make a world of difference. This is doubly true in hospitality where all those small, subtle, innocuous touches may add up to something far greater and ultimately help your brand stand out from the pack. I strive to bring these into the limelight because they are often easier and cheaper to execute than the grander, large-scale renovations so often sought after to revitalize a brand. These little differentiators should not only be fun and interactive, but should evoke a strong sense of place unique to your hotel’s specific region. Today, we look to Hawaii as that region, and to the Halekulani as the hotel. A second stay at this marvelous property revealed many elements that were not immediately apparent from my stay there two years ago. This property is known as one of the finest in in the state, so I was interested in how …

lmaadminTaking Notes of the Little Differentiators at a Hawaiian Luxury Hotel
Old village Solutre-Pouilly with vineyards, Burgundy, France

In Vino Veritas LII – Look to the Loire

As a wine producer, France is so much more than Bordeaux and Burgundy – its two most prestigious growing regions and perhaps the only two that most people can name offhand. Wherever you can harvest grapes, the French are already doing just that, and there are many fantastic hidden gems (sometimes at bargain prices) waiting for you and your guests to discover, thereby helping increase meal satisfaction and revenue per table. From a North American perspective, the Loire Valley isn’t terribly well-known. While your patrons yearn for a bit of education to enrich their dining experiences, they don’t want to be force-fed a lecture. As such, when introducing an appellation, varietal, winemaking process or anything else from the vintner’s glossary of terms, start simple then expand only when prompted. What I’ve previously alluded to as a wine or growing region’s USP (unique sales proposition), the one for the Loire would …

lmaadminIn Vino Veritas LII – Look to the Loire
young caucasian businessman revealing a hidden tattoo

Are Tattoos Taboo In Hospitality?

This is a topic you should definitely review with your HR director. Does a sentence appear in your hiring policy to specify whether or not a candidate is permitted to have any visible tattoos? Or, while unwritten, have you or someone within your organization ever dismissed potential applicants outright on this basis? If you have answered affirmatively to either of these two statements, it may be time to re-evaluate your hiring practices. While discriminatory cases involving skin art have yet to reach the spotlight in our court systems, modifying an outright ban in your internal policies is nevertheless something to consider. In the past two decades, the tattoo parlor has moved from a badge for military personnel, ex-cons and Hell’s Angels to mainstream, at least in a North American context. Increasingly, millennials – and soon to be post-millennials – regard tattoos as a rite of passage to adulthood. In our …

lmaadminAre Tattoos Taboo In Hospitality?
Pouring water from bottle into glass on blue background

How Much Is Too Much For Hotel Bottled Water?

You’ve trained your bellman, concierge and front desk staff to a tee. Your guests immediately feel welcome at your property with the awful nightmare of security lines, air travel and bag collection finally behind them. They enter their guestroom, just starting to unwind, and then prominently displayed is a bottle of water with an unmistakably exorbitant price tag. And it is all for naught. Why is it that this one markup grinds guests’ gears more than almost everything else? Perhaps the wording of ‘unmistakably exorbitant’ offers a clue. When a commoditized item like bottled water, is commonly understood to be sold at a certain base price – let’s say $1 for 300ml for simplicity’s case – then any inflated price that’s paid forward to the customer will be instantly discernable. And when you charge, say, seven bucks for what generally costs only one in the supermarket, then it is builds …

lmaadminHow Much Is Too Much For Hotel Bottled Water?