Guest satisfaction and hospitality has always been top-of-mind for hoteliers. That sentiment hasn’t wavered as shelter-in-place orders begin to lift across the country and consumers begin to explore traveling again. However, the COVID-19 pandemic introduced a variety of changes in guest behavior and expectations hoteliers are now having to adapt to.
Before the pandemic, 70 percent of business travelers and 68 percent of leisure travelers said foodservice offerings play an important role when choosing where to stay(1). Moving forward, guests will have a heightened sense of general sanitation and food handling practices they will be taking into consideration at the time of booking. Guests can expect hoteliers to take it back to the basics when it comes to their menu in response to new social distancing requirements and enhanced food safety regulations.
Operationally, hoteliers are focused on simplifying their menus to account for slimmer staff support and inventory considerations.
In its COVID-19 impact study, the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) states: “A limited menu that focuses on popular sellers allows customers to quickly make a decision and place their order…Reducing menus has also led to a reduction in the number of SKUs in the kitchen, which has made it easier on operators to manage inventory and place orders for ingredients.”(2)
Plate Small, Think Big
Menu simplification doesn’t have to mean boring, though. Adding exciting small plate, or tapas-style, options can help set hoteliers apart from their competitors, while supporting efforts to streamline their menus.
A mix of comfort food and on-trend flavors in smaller portion sizes can help hoteliers capitalize on dishes that maximize targeted products, while offering the flexibility to swap out less popular, inefficient dishes more quickly. Additionally, a variety of small plate options can support back-of-house teams by making it easier for them to replicate dishes at a faster speed without sacrificing quality.
Check out these five small plate menu ideas and beverage pairings to help build menu excitement and enhance guest confidence one small plate at a time.