Ah, the infamous hotel restaurant. Traveling through town, wondering where you can get a quick, easy bite to eat – but something that actually tastes good? Too often, hotel restaurants are disappointing, with the establishment more focused on hospitality than quality or taste. Thankfully, many hotels have been upgrading their eateries, including the Kimpton Hotel chain which features award-winning, “chef-driven restaurants”.
USA Today recently compiled a short list of hotel restaurant favorites from frequent travelers as well. Some reader favorites? The dining room at Portland’s Heathman Hotel (I concur!), the Weber Grill at Chicago’s downtown Hilton Garden Inn, and LaVelle’s Bistro in the Marriott Spring Hill Suites in Fairbanks, Alaska. Curious about other reader favorites? Take a look at the list here – and be sure to check reader comments for additional recommendations.
More interested in a great hotel bar? Details Magazine has rounded up their top ten favorite hotel bars for your review.
While travelers grimace at long delays and layovers, airport restaurants reap the rewards. According to a recent article in Fortune, in-house eateries see a spike in sales during bad weather delays, with companies like Starbucks, McDonald’s, Chili’s, and Quizno’s reporting a significant increase.
Rick Blastein, founder of OTG Management, which operates several Dunkin’ Donuts locations as well as proprietary snack shops like CIBO Express Gourmet Market, says the company posted double-digit sales gains in the last week of December, when snowstorms and wind caused flight delays at airports like O’Hare International in Chicago and LaGuardia in New York City.
However, sales only increase as long as flights aren’t canceled or terminals shut down, making passengers non-existent and supplies difficult to receive.
“Rain and wind and delays help us, but severe weather — blizzards, monsoons — hurt us,” says Les Cappetta, CEO of SSP America, a division of SSP, a British food service company that does $2.5 billion in annual sales through franchises like Einstein Bagels and Pizza Hut.
Despite the slight weather bump, airport dining has still declined, with some companies reporting “flat” sales in 2009.