Hotel Food and Beverage for the Holidays
With declining occupancy rates during the pandemic, hotels have found resourceful ways to let their food and beverage operations shine in an effort to affect lost room revenue. From the multi-year trend in boutique and independent hotels to create welcoming destination dining spots, these hotels have grown their capture rate of in-house guests as well as developed a loyal following of local diners. As quarantine and various capacity restrictions took hold, hotels and restaurants had to look to new, creative ways to keep kitchens running. This year has been the year for hotels to try new dining operations like to-go menus and creative, socially distanced events, the season for large family gathers is here with re-imagined dining options for these special days. Today we explore what some Nashville hotels are doing to navigate the holidays this year.
The season we have been prepping for all year is here. Hotels have adjusted their operations with creative programming giving guests a bit of normalcy while working to keep guests safe. The Fairlane hotel, a new hotel on Boutique Row in downtown Nashville, offered a unique event for Halloween. Playing off their wildly successful American Psycho immersive theater event that was held last year on their rooftop, the Fairlane team transformed their find dining restaurant, Ellington’s, into Dorsia, the ultra-exclusive restaurant from American Psycho. As in the book, reservations were promoted as almost impossible to come by, the menu was reminiscent of high-end 1980’s fare, and guests left with their own Patrick Bateman business card – printed on bone colored card stock, of course). Because of the success of the event in 2019 the dinner already had a bit of a following. The result? The event exceeded expectations and hosted 3 sold-out dates (within the capacity limits set by Metro Nashville Health Department). Additionally, because of the success of the dinner, The Fairlane will be transforming the penthouse to the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer-themed Misfit Toy bar. The bar will be decorated like the Island of Misfit Toys. It will be available to the public and for small, socially distant private events.
The Hermitage Hotel, known for luxurious and beautiful holiday decorations, will be offering a more family-focused program. This year, The Hermitage Hotel revived Afternoon Tea in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment in August. (The celebration events and media were assisted by Kurtz Hospitality Marketing.) The tea quickly became so popular, the hotel decided to extend its offering through the end of the year. Locals who had enjoyed events at the property over the years but had been distracted by the recent openings of multiple hotels were suddenly re-engaged to visit the hotel and take in the tea (and the special cocktails named in honor of Suffrage leaders). During the month of December, Afternoon Tea will be transformed to a Nutcracker Tea. Magical for all ages, the Nutcracker Tea will include special treats like classic Yule Log cake and thumbprint cookies as well as special entertainment. The Hermitage Hotel is also known for its grand holiday dining which has been re-imagined this year while still offering guests a variety of ways to celebrate the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners will be available for guests in the Capitol Grille (as opposed to the Grand Lobby). As with other holiday brunches this year, The Hermitage Hotel will offer dinner to-go for those that would prefer to dine in their own home. The Hermitage Hotel will also be offering whole pies to-go from the pastry team.
Other boutique hotels like Noelle and The Thompson will be offering Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners in their restaurants. They are anticipating more staycations this year as large family gatherings are being discouraged nationwide. Many hotels are focusing on more room packages and working to capture in house guests for holiday dinners. While all hotels and restaurants will be working through CDC guidelines for health and safety, the food and beverage offerings will look just a bit different. Hotels and restaurants have adapted to an ever-changing year to offer guests great experiences and warm hospitality.