October 16, 2012 Hilton slates a re-do of Hotel restaurants
Hilton unveiled their vision of what the hotel restaurant will look like. Hilton’s three standard brands, Hilton, Doubletree, and Embassy Suites are slated to have their restaurants redesigned. The biggest change of the three is to the Embassy Suite Flag. These concepts are slated to come on line in the United States starting in 2013, with the doubletree Tulsa and the Hilton NYC. These designs tailored for the American market are just one part of Hilton’s F&B plan, corporate spokespeople said they are slated to roll out 800 new restaurants across the world.
Embassy Suites will see the biggest change. Embassy Suites are marketed as up-market family brands. All rooms are suites, and there is a free hot breakfast, and free manager’s reception. Hilton’s concept is called “Brickstone grill’ it will take the place of full service restaurant, the breakfast buffet, and the bar for the manager’s reception. Hilton touts it as a way for Hotel owners to lower costs and consolidate staffing as there will only be one F&B outlet as opposed to three.
The other two new concepts are “Made Market” and “Herb N’ Kitchen” for the Doubletree and Hilton brands respectively. While the names are different the concept is essentially the same, a full-service restaurant and bar, with a grab-and-go quick service component. Hilton has been playing up the Embassy Suites changes while down playing these. It is understandable. Hilton acquired the doubletree flag and there have been problems ever since. This is mostly because Hilton corporate has limited to differentiate the Doubletree and Hilton brands. Their brand standards are almost identical.
At least Hilton knows it needs to do something. In my opinion, Hilton lags SPG and Hyatt in terms of quality and service. Maybe these restraint concepts are a way for them to bridge that gap. Hilton taking the “Wal-Mart approach” to hotels going for quantity over quality hasn’t been that successful for Hilton or Wal-Mart. Maybe this is a step in the right direction.