Hotel Restaurants New and Improved

Let’s face it, sometimes hotel food is simply not good. Hotels began recognizing this, and in response, revamped their restaurants. Joe Sharkey, a writer for New York Times Travel, discusses promising new hotel restaurants in his article; It’s Time to Admit It: Hotel Food is Getting Good.

“On the road, eating decently used to be a challenge. We have all been dished up airline food or airport food that a raccoon with the munchies would say “no thanks” to. But the truth is, food and beverage operations at hotels have in recent years become the brightest spot in business travel.

Years ago, many domestic hotel restaurants were places where dinner was a greasy steak washed down by a couple of Scotches. Or, if you really wanted to go all out, a faux French restaurant where the waiters looked like members of the Addams family, though without the sense of humor, and some of the other guests looked like the waxworks card-party scene at Norma Desmond’s house in “Sunset Blvd.”

“Pre-1980’s, food and beverage was pretty much deemed as a necessary evil at most hotels, and if you broke even, that was good,” said Robert Mandelbaum, the research director at PKF Hospitality Research. “It was like, we need to have a place to eat. So, we’re pretty much going to provide a basic all-purpose restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner to our guests; we hope we don’t lose money.”

The changes have been striking. Hotel restaurants have improved at all levels, from signature restaurants run by celebrity chefs that attract local business to high-quality takeout delis and even breakfast kiosks that cater to guests on the run.”