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Winter 2009 | Volume 1



Talking F&B with



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s t Ch a i n D r i n k




World Class Beverage Program Wins Cheers Award >> PAGE 8

From gourmet cooking to grilling to selecting the perfect wine, Marlena Norris knows and loves food. Our series of F&B interviews with the Americas leadership team continues in a conversation with the HMG Vice President of Finance and Business Support.

When it comes to dining, Marlena Norris places top priority on impressive presentation and an ambience conducive to a long, relaxed meal featuring great food and good talk with friends. The Vice President of Finance and Business Support for HMG knows her wines and loves her seafood, and she shared a bit about her

WowFactor favorites in a recent interview.

Is A Must For A Great Dining Experience, in Norris’ Book Any foodservice experience in your background?

“I worked in restaurants waiting tables in high school, and again during the summers when I was in college.”

What does a great dining experience look like for you? “I love to be ‘wowed.’ I like great food and taking my time to enjoy it like the French do. The food in France is indescribably good and so much a part of their culture. One of the best meals I’ve ever had—it was four hours long—was when I was in Bordeaux on vacation. It was delightful to take that much time to relax and savor every delicious bite.”

What’s your favorite food?


“Seafood is fantastic—as long as it lives in water, it almost doesn’t matter what it is, I’m going to love it. I particularly like Mediterranean food, which features a lot of fresh seafood.”

How about your favorite beverage? “Wine. Cakebread Cellars Cabernet is my all-time favorite California wine. I’m a big fan of French wines from the Rhone and Bordeaux regions but can appreciate any good California wine. I’ve also fallen hopelessly in love with the Malbec grape from Argentina, and I like some of the good Pinot Noirs and Cabernets from Oregon and Washington as well.”

Favorite restaurant? “I really enjoy restaurants that offer Latin/Asian fusion cuisine, and one of the most spectacular fusion dining experiences I’ve had in the U.S. was at Nobu in Tribeca in New York City. I also like Bacar in San Francisco, which is a lovely restaurant that offers about 1,000 varieties of wine.”

When you stay at an IHG property, what are your expectations regarding F&B?

Any F&B “pet peeves?”

To be impressed and get that “wow” experience, at InterContinental Hotels in particular. For example, I had one of the best brunches I’ve had in a long time at the InterContinental Houston, and you can also always count on the InterContinental Cleveland for really good food and great presentation. How pretty the food looks on the plate is important—it says the chef and team took the time to make the dish look special for me and each person in my party.”

“Restaurants where the bartenders and wait staff are not familiar with the wine list and the wines themselves. I’m picky about wine—I’m the one the group hands the wine list to and says, “Let her order.” I’m all about aromas, flavors, how a particular wine is on the palate and what would best complement the food. In a great restaurant—especially one with an extensive wine list—there’s an expectation the wait staff will know wines and be able to accommodate my tastes. So it’s irritating when the server can’t make a good recommendation.”

“I’m all about aromas, flavors, how a particular wine is on the palate and what would best complement the food. In a great restaurant—especially one with an extensive wine list—there’s an expectation the wait staff will know wines and be able to accommodate my tastes.” When you dine at an IHG hotel, what do you usually order? “Seafood. And, I’ll occasionally venture over to lamb if it’s on the menu.”

Any recent standout meals at an IHG property? “At Nob Hill restaurant in the InterContinental Mark Hopkins in San Francisco recently I had a perfectly prepared lobster. Of course it was fresh, with the right texture and seasoning, and it wasn’t swimming in butter so that you could really taste the flavor.”

Do you ever order room service? “Not too often. Every once in a while I’ll use room service for breakfast, but I like to go out for dinner.”

Mineral water or tap? “Mineral water, sparkling. Pellegrino is my favorite.”

Do you cook at home, and if so, what’s your specialty? “I love to entertain and like to cook, especially during the holidays. I’m a big Food & Wine subscriber and enjoy trying the gourmet recipes they feature. And, my grandmother was a cook for 50 years. When she died, I collected a number of her recipes from various family members and had them published in her memory as a cookbook, titled Katie’s Kitchen. It really helped me work through the grief over losing her. “As for my specialty— don’t tell my husband, but I like to grill, especially lamb chops. I love using rosemary and thyme to bring out the meat flavor and making a rack of chops look irresistible.”

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Bold Marketing, Premium Positioning Help Propel SVEDKA Vodka As the U.S. election season moved into full swing in early 2008, a daring, decidedly non-political campaign appeared on the country’s spirits landscape. SVEDKA Vodka launched its “Join the Party” marketing initiative on Super Tuesday in February to capitalize on the number one conversation in America. Billboards and print ads featured witty and irreverent bumper sticker positions such as, “Help End Global Warming, Add More Ice” and “No Cocktail Left Behind.” The campaign’s messaging urged consumers of different political affiliations to come together, relax and put the “party” back in party politics. 4

The campaign’s centerpiece was the brand’s futuristic and outspoken “spokesbot,” the stunning SVEDKA_Grl. Created by special effects wizard Stan Winston—the visionary behind “Jurassic Park” and “The Terminator”—SVEDKA_Grl debuted in a 2005 campaign designed to position SVEDKA as the vodka of the future, garnering the brand an Effie award. “SVEDKA_Grl’s editorial voice brings wit and wisdom from the year 2033 to today, and she provides a bold visual signature in all our communications materials,” says Carl Brach, Senior National Account Manager for the brand’s parent, Constellation Spirits, LLC. “While our competition focuses on the past with a fairly formulaic approach, SVEDKA decided to make its mark by introducing future fun into the category.”

Capitalizing on ‘Cheap Chic’

Leveraging Brand Relevance

Such innovative marketing approaches are the norm for SVEDKA, which burst on the beverage scene in 1998 as the first brand to introduce “cheap chic” into vodka parlance. “In the same way that JetBlue, IKEA, Trader Joe’s and Target revolutionized their respective categories, SVEDKA shook up the vodka industry by providing a superior product at a reasonable price,” Brach notes.

SVEDKA’s long-term ability to connect with its target audience of young consumers who are “savvy experimentalists” continues to keep it in the media spotlight and fuel strong sales growth.

Consumers and the trade took notice, and for the past seven years SVEDKA has held the title of “fastest-growing spirits brand” in the U.S. SVEDKA also ranks No. 5 in the imported vodka category, in which it holds a nearly 10 percent share. Produced in Sweden (but doing most of its business in the U.S.), SVEDKA has the added benefit of positioning itself as an imported vodka at a domestic premium price, one of the key factors that led to its recent selection as house vodka for the World Class Beverage Program. “We’re excited about our partnership with IHG, and that SVEDKA has been selected as the official vodka of the World Class Beverage Program,” Carl says. “SVEDKA’s status as an import can help enhance the image of a hotel’s back bar while providing greater annual savings and increased profitability.”

Components of Success The brand’s high-voltage marketing can at times almost overshadow the impeccability of the vodka itself. SVEDKA is produced in a

The brand team’s marketing acumen plus the premium positioning were what prompted Constellation Brands, Inc., to purchase SVEDKA and its U.S. marketer, Spirits Marque One, LLC, from company founder and SVEDKA creator Guillaume Cuvelier and his co-partner, Belgium-based Alco Group, in early 2007. Constellation Brands is a leading international producer and marketer of beverage alcohol brands and the largest maker of wine by volume in the world. Its Constellation Spirits division has a portfolio of more than 185 spirits brands that include well-known names such as Black Velvet Canadian whisky, Paul Masson brandy and Barton vodka. “We intend to keep leveraging SVEDKA’s strong brand equity and building on our positive momentum,” Carl says. “We look forward to continued healthy growth of our unique premium imported vodka brand.”

“We’re excited about our partnership with IHG, and that SVEDKA has been selected as the official house vodka of the World Class Beverage Program. SVEDKA’s status as an import can help enhance the image of a hotel’s back bar — providing greater annual savings and increased profitability.” CARL BRACH, Senior National Account Manager – Constellation Spirits, LLC

to Category Growth Leadership centuries-old vodka-making tradition that uses the finest spring water available and more than three pounds of high-quality Swedish winter wheat for each bottle. The vodka is distilled five times in a 40-hour process that produces a super-smooth, clean taste. An award-winner since its inception, SVEDKA most recently won Gold Medals at the 2008 San Francisco Wine & Spirits Competition and the 2008 Monde Selection in Brussels. Stylish new minimalist packaging was launched in 2008 featuring a distinctive bottle shape and brightly colored graphics that create a bold, modern look. The new package is in use across the entire product line, including unflavored, classic SVEDKA and its four flavored vodkas: Clementine, Citron, Raspberry and Vanilla. 5


















InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa:

The Essence of Spain in Scottsdale

The InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa was designed to channel the austere beauty and rich culture of southern Spain’s Andalusia region. Nestled at the foot of picturesque Camelback Mountain, the new resort, which opened in November 2008, is situated in a prime spot on high-profile “Resort Row” in the heart of Scottsdale, Arizona.

InterContinental veteran who has held F&B positions with the InterContinental Hotels in Baltimore, Puerto Rico and Miami. “We’ve found this perfectly matches the resort’s overall relaxed, Mediterranean feel, and it’s not hard to do.

From the earthy interior and exterior color palette to its Alhambrainspired architecture and décor, the InterContinental Montelucia reflects its Spanish and Old World European influences. The physical design of the property clearly sets it apart from the competition. But the hotel team is differentiating the resort in another key way for its clientele of discerning world travelers—by providing luxury at a value. The resort’s food and beverage program creates an excellent platform to showcase both the Andalusian themes and the value-oriented philosophy.

The hotel’s primary restaurant is Prado, named for Spain’s worldrenowned art museum in Madrid. Set in the property’s Cortijo Plaza, the restaurant features a vaulted ceiling, exposed beams and weathered plaster walls. Its centerpiece is a rustic, brick-lined, open wood-fired oven— a working cooking station where Chef de Cuisine Claudio Urciuoli’s team prepares tapas and grilled items.

“For example, we keep our wines by the glass in the $7 to $12 range rather than $10 to $25,” he continues. “The World Class Beverage Program has played an important part in this, allowing us to get great wines at great prices, and we pass along the savings to our guests.”

Mediterranean Dining

“Our approach is to provide the top-quality food and beverage experiences our customers are looking for at reasonable prices,” says Food & Beverage Director Edwin Mendez, a seven-year 6

F&B Director Edwin Mendez

Spanish- and Mediterranean-influenced offerings such as Yellow and Red Gazpacho and a daily traditional Paella for two populate the menu. Under the direction of Executive Chef Francesco Roccato, the emphasis—not only in Prado, but throughout all the resort’s F&B outlets—is on ultra-fresh ingredients and simple but elegant fare.

Prado also features an outdoor terrace with a stunning mountain view. Guests desiring a more intimate, chef’s table experience may choose to dine in King Ferdinand’s Cellar, which is used for storage of Prado’s extensive wine collection and is available for private dining.

Celebrating Tequila Sophisticated, upscale Mbar is the hotel’s signature bar/lounge, located near the entrance to Prado. Billing itself as “the” tequila bar in the area, Mbar boasts a broad, smart selection of tequilas representing every distinct region in Mexico, at a range of price points and taste profiles.

Guests enter the beautiful Castillo Lucena wedding chapel through an impressive 16th century palace door from Spain. “We turned to the best to assist us during the pre-opening phase with the selection of spirits, development of specialty drinks and training and education of the staff,” Edwin says. Mbar, along with the other beverage outlets in the hotel, adheres to the tenets of the beverage industry’s growing “bar fresh” movement, which calls for using only the freshest ingredients and making individual drinks completely from scratch, including muddling fruit and cutting and squeezing limes and lemons.

A Picturesque Wedding Chapel

Mbar features a selection of the highest quality, premium agave tequila.

Two noted experts were called in to consult on the creation of Mbar. Master mixologist Francesco Lafranconi, National Director of Mixology and Spirits Educator for Southern Wine & Spirits of America, has helped create the other highly successful InterContinental signature bars, including RumBa at the InterContinental Boston, Grappa at the InterContinental San Francisco and XO Bar at the InterContinental Buckhead in Atlanta. Julio Bermejo, proprietor of the popular Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco, is America’s foremost expert on tequila.

In signature Prado, the emphasis is on wood-fired grilling with a Spanish accent.

The resort’s meeting and banquet facilities comprise 27,000 square feet of function space, including multiple ballrooms. Business centers primarily on small to mid-sized corporate groups and philanthropic events. “We tend to attract clients who are looking for personal service and a higher level of amenities, versus the ‘convention hotel’ experience,” Edwin notes. Weddings also are a specialty. Castillo Lucena is an elegant on-premise wedding chapel that doubles as a multi-function venue for dinners and parties. The hotel’s wide range of food and beverage options are winning accolades and repeat visits from local customers as well as in-house guests and residents of the property’s 34 privately owned villas, Edwin says. “Our goal is to have a positive influence on the Scottsdale restaurant and entertainment culture and to have our outlets become desired destinations for the entire community—the places where everyone wants to meet and spend time.”

Philosophy of Caring Orchestrating a food and beverage operation of the scale of the InterContinental Montelucia requires finely honed teamwork. Accomplishing that, Edwin notes, rests squarely on a philosophy of caring for the guest as well as for each other. “We extend the same emphasis on care and concern to each associate that we do to our guests,” he says. “It’s an example of doing the right thing— one of IHG’s Winning Ways—and it helps us ensure we are creating a Great Hotel Guests Love. Our customers tell us they can feel the difference when they stay with us.” 7

New Smoothie and Monin Gourmet Flavorings Ready-To-Drink Open the Door to Beverage Innovation Tea Products from Coke

Help Expand Growing Niche Businesses for Hotel F&B

Wondering about the “secret ingredient” behind that delicious specialty drink you just tried? Chances are it’s one of the many offerings in the Monin Gourmet Flavorings product line. Founded in Bourges, France, in 1912, family-owned Monin is the world’s leading provider of premium gourmet flavorings. The company’s extensive portfolio includes classic flavoring syrups ranging from Blue Curaçao to Peanut Butter, as well as tea concentrates, coffee flavorings, sauces, sweeteners and sugar-free and organic lines. Highly concentrated and made with premium fruit, nut and spice flavors, the versatile flavorings are flash-pasteurized to provide a long shelf life without refrigeration. The company has a strong service orientation and positions its flavorings as “an extension to the beverage department.” IHG turned to Monin to be a part of the team that developed the successful Non-Alcoholic Drink Menu. Monin is continually experimenting and introducing new flavors. Among the 2008 highlights: • Habanero Lime — Combining the fruity flavor and floral aroma of Habanero pepper with refreshing sweet-tart lime, this flavoring adds zest to traditional favorites such as Bloody Marys and Margaritas. It’s part of the Monin “Sweet Heat” flavor family that pairs a favorite fruit with a kick of pepper and includes selections such Spicy Mango and Chipotle Pineapple. • Açaí — The purple Açaí berry grows at the top of palm trees in Amazonian Brazil and is noted for its powerful antioxidant benefits. This increasingly popular and exotic fruit flavoring adds lightly tart berry and dried plum notes to punch up teas, lemonades, cocktails, smoothies and even mochas. • Just Pure Flavor™ Concentrates — These unsweetened flavorings are designed to easily add flavor to brewed coffees without sweeteners, sugar or dairy. Easy-to-use Just Pure Flavor concentrates come in five delicious flavors: Cinnamon Swirl, Chocolate Raspberry Truffle, Banana Nut Bread, Crème Brûlée and Vanilla Crème.


Innovative Astrology Promotion

‘Best Chain Drink


A delightfully intriguing concept, exquisite photography and unique merchandising materials combined to win the 2009 Cheers “Best Chain Drink Program” award for IHG’s successful Astrology promotion.

The prestigious 2009 Cheers Awards for Beverage Excellence were presented during the annual Cheers Beverage Conference January 20-21 in Miami. The awards, which are among the adult beverage industry’s highest honors for beverage program operators, were given out in 11 categories, ranging from Best Chain Wine Program and Best Chain Beverage Menu to Best Hotel Beverage Program. Jean-Pierre Etcheberrigaray, Vice President of Food and Beverage, accepted the award on behalf of IHG. Cheers award criteria center around the originality of a particular business’ beverage program as well as on its impact on overall sales and profitability. Weight also is given to how well the operator supports the program through staff training and unique customer-driven marketing pieces. The Astrology promotion hit squarely on all these points. Launched in late summer 2008 at company-owned InterContinental and Crowne Plaza Hotels in North America, the program features a specialty cocktail for every astrological sign. Ingredients and beverage profile are matched to each sign’s personality traits, such as a “Blushing Bride” for Virgo and a “Twisted Horn” for Aries, and the drinks

The Coca-Cola Company is world-renowned for its ability to tap into exactly what consumers want in non-alcoholic beverages, by keeping a keen eye on trends and lifestyles. From the beginning, the company has extended that skill to meeting the requirements of its retail customers as well.

“The smoothies provide an opportunity to generate incremental, highmargin purchases in a whole new consumer occasion day-part—on-the-go, afternoon snacks,” says Sasha. “Strong awareness of the Minute Maid brand helps ensure perception of the product as the highest quality.”

Two new products are excellent examples. Coke has just introduced a shelf-stable version of Minute Maid Smoothies that hotel operators have been asking for. And, the company’s popular new ready-to-drink Gold Peak Tea product is now available through a cutting-edge post-mix system as well as in glass bottles.

A Different Glass of Tea Gold Peak Tea has been a success in the rapidly growing ready-to-drink (RTD) retail iced tea category since its introduction several years ago. New, high-tech equipment from Coke is now allowing hotel restaurants and other foodservice outlets to offer high-quality RTD tea in a variety of guests’ favorite flavors.

“We believe Minute Maid Smoothies and Gold Peak Tea represent tremendous opportunities for HMG food and beverage directors to enhance departmental profitability by expanding into two exciting growth categories,” says Sasha Davis, Senior National Account Executive for Coca-Cola North America. “Both are products consumers want, and we’re now able to provide them in formats that offer efficient dispensing and storage while maintaining top-quality taste.”

“Our state-of-the-art equipment produces a branded, premium, post-mix iced tea with real brewed taste, superior to anything available previously,” Sasha says. “RTD tea is the fastest-growing beverage category in foodservice. Gold Peak can help HMG operators easily tap into this profitable segment. It’s a great way to convert tap water drinkers into beverage buyers.”

Making Smoothies Shelf-Stable

The product is a proven winner. The Gold Peak Sweet Tea flavor was No. 1 in overall volume across the board in the tea category in 2008, and the Gold Peak Green Tea flavor was the winner of a prestigious ChefsBest “Best Taste” Award in its category for 2008.

Fruit smoothies have continued gain popularity over the past 10 years as a growing number of consumers across a wide demographic profile enjoy the beverages as both an indulgence and a healthful, nutritious snack. Previously available only as a frozen product, the new shelf-stable version of Minute Maid Smoothies minimizes both storage requirements and staff handling. The product has a six-month shelf life, requires no thawing and is made with real fruit juice and purees.

For information about The Coca-Cola Company’s specialty beverage programs for Minute Maid Smoothies and Gold Peak Tea, contact Sasha Davis at 404-676-8460 or

Brings Home







Dr i n k

P r ogr a m

showcase a variety of vendors in the World Class Beverage Program. Eye-catching, conversation-starting merchandising materials include a menu shaped like an astrology wheel, a unique poster, bartender guides and a colorful take-home booklet featuring drink recipes and show-stopping photography. Development of the promotion was a collaborative effort between the Food & Beverage team and iMi, the agency that manages the World Class Beverage Program for IHG.

“The interactive nature of the astrology concept and materials really draws people into the promotion,” say Pamela Tweedell of iMi. “They love to turn the menu wheel and check for how closely the drink profile matches their birth date personalities. Even if you don’t believe in it, the idea is appealing and fun.” “Winning this Cheers award further builds momentum for the World Class Beverage Program,” says Jean-Pierre. “It’s another in a series of honors the program and its promotions have earned from the beverage industry. We’re proud of that recognition and its reflection on the talent, efforts and teamwork of our HMG hotels, iMi and the IHG food and beverage staff.”

Jean-Pierre Etcheberrigaray and Laura Hammer accept the Cheers award for IHG.


Foodservice Industry Examines More

le ib s n o p s e R y ll ta n e m n o ir v n E Options for Procuring Seafood

As the farm-to-table sustainability movement continues to gain traction in North America, foodservice providers are upping their efforts to educate themselves, meet demand and enhance their environmentally friendly purchasing and operational practices. One of the core elements of IHG’s Great Hotels Guests Love initiative is “responsible business,” including reducing our impact on the environment. HMG hotels continue to be urged to take measurable steps to incorporate green best practices, such as through buying locally grown produce, meat, dairy and poultry products whenever possible.

Friendly Farming Opinions vary widely on the environmental and health implications of farm-raised fish and shellfish. Opponents claim that fishmeal fed to farmed fish can contain dangerous chemicals and that shrimp aquaculture destroys mangrove swamps protecting barrier islands and coastlines. Advocates feel the environmental impact of fish farming is overstated and that responsible aquaculture is as sustainable as any form of agriculture. A growing number of retailers are using their marketplace clout to demand seafood that is farmed more sustainably—by protecting marine habitats, reducing or banning antibiotics and toxic chemicals and treating waste water, among other steps. Both Wal-Mart and Whole Foods are among the retailers selling products certified as sustainably provided by such non-profit entities as the Marine Stewardship Council.

Going with Frozen

Using seafood from sustainable sources is another, somewhat more complex, area of opportunity. Following is a brief roundup of some of the issues, opinions and debate on the subject within the foodservice industry.

Defining Sustainable Seafood The Vancouver (B.C.) Aquarium’s sustainable seafood awareness program Oceanwise defines “sustainable seafood” as that which is abundant and resilient, well-managed and has minimal effect on habitats and animal interactions. Approximately 70 percent of all marine fish studied are fully exploited, over-fished or in urgent need of management, according to the program, and populations of all large fish have been reduced 90 percent since industrialized fishing began. So, what are the environmentally friendly options for F&B program purchasers? Oceanwise recommends choosing sustainable alternatives, such as sablefish (black cod), Dungeness crab, Albacore tuna (which is caught by ocean-friendly trolling-and-line versus trawling nets) and farmed mussels, scallops and oysters.


While restaurant menus across the U.S. and Canada continue to showcase fresh fish from distant origins, a group of chefs and foodservice vendors are promoting an eco-friendly alternative: increasing the amount of fish frozen at sea, allowing its transport by ship or truck rather than air. According to a recent article in the Washington Post, shipping seafood by air generates 10 times the greenhouse gas of transferring it by container ship and five times as much as shipping by truck. What’s more, a growing number of seafood experts agree that fish frozen properly at sea and handled correctly is actually fresher than raw. The overall message for F&B managers, as debate regarding sustainable seafood continues and technology improves, is to be aware of the issues as well as the increasing alternatives and options, making eco-friendly choices whenever possible.

Plaisir deMerleVineyard Produces South African Wines for Discerning Palates

IHG Initiates First International Printing of

Th e

I n t e r C o n ti n e n t a l K itc h e n

South Africa’s Western Cape Winelands region rolls eastward from Cape Town on the country’s southwest coast, nestled among ruggedly beautiful mountains. Steeped in culture and history, the region offers excellent examples of 17th century Dutch colonial architecture. The area’s climate creates near-perfect conditions for wine-growing and is home to a thriving and world-famous wine producing industry. Midway in the region and standing apart from the nearby ranges are the soaring peaks of Simonsberg Mountain, which separates the well-known Stellenbosch and Paarl wine districts. Tucked amid its sloping, rocky hillsides is one of the country’s largest “wine farms,” Plaisir de Merle. This picturesque, historic gem dates to 1693, when its Huguenot founder Charles Marais was granted the land after fleeing religious persecution in France. The name literally means “pleasure of the blackbird” and derives from the founder’s hometown, the small village of Le Plessis Marly in France.

The InterContinental Hotels & Resorts 60th anniversary commemorative cookbook, The InterContinental Kitchen, has been translated into Spanish. The book is a collection of exceptional recipes from the seasoned chefs of InterContinental Hotels worldwide, published to celebrate the occasion of the brand’s founding in 1946. The Spanishlanguage version of the cookbook has been shipped to InterContinental Hotels in Miami, Mexico and Central and South America. Today the nearly 2,500-acre estate has earned international acclaim for its white and red wines, produced from its state-of-the-art cellar. IHG’s World Class Beverage Program features two of these: Plaisir de Merle Chardonnay— pale, straw-colored wine with aromas of toasted almonds and honey— and Plaisir de Merle Cabernet Sauvignon, dark and ruby-colored with sweetish, plummy aromas and a dry finish.

2009 marks another 60-year milestone for the InterContinental brand: on January 1, 1949, the fledgling InterContinental Hotels Corporation opened its first property, the Hotel Grande in Belém, Brazil. The event launched the early expansion of InterContinental hotels along founding parent Pan American World Airways’ routes in Latin America.

Plaisir de Merle is a showpiece for owner Cape Legends, which has an impressive portfolio of quality, award-winning wines from several boutique estates dotted around the Cape Winelands. Cape Legends is wholly owned by Distell, South Africa’s largest liquor company.


beverage briefs HMG F&B and iMi Launch 2009 Version of World Class Beverage Program

New Logo Connects F&B to Great Hotels Guests Love

New still and sparkling wines highlight a slightly modified version of the World Class Beverage Program for 2009. The core offerings and components remain unchanged for this year.

Food and beverage has the power to elicit passionate responses and form an instant bond between a guest and a hotel. While the fabulous bed and thoughtful amenities naturally contribute to creating a great stay, it’s often the dining experience that guests remember, and talk about. To highlight that emotional connection at full-service HMG hotels, the Food & Beverage team has developed a new logo for internal use. Its theme reflects the role food and beverage plays in creating Great Hotels Guests Love. The logo carries the tagline: Great Hotels Guests Love/F&B, The Power of Love. The design features a stylized, heart-shaped absinthe spoon that symbolizes F&B’s transformative capabilities.

The program is adding a house Pinot Grigio—Maso Canali for InterContinental and Crowne Plaza Hotels and Ecco Domani for the Holiday Inn brand. A new category also has been added—Prosecco, the dry, sparkling wine from Italy that continues to grow in popularity. InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn hotels will feature Martini & Rossi as the house Prosecco. Villa Sandi Il Fresco will be included in the program as an additional Prosecco selection for InterContinental and Crowne Plaza hotels.

“Each employee in the food and beverage department of every full-service hotel plays a role in delivering engaging experiences that help create Great Hotels Guests Love,” says Laura Hammer, HMG Food and Beverage. “We will use the new logo on materials being sent to property F&B teams as a reminder that their actions have the power to move us toward that goal.”

Coming Soon!

“We want to express our continued appreciation to our World Class Beverage Program suppliers, who have helped us make the program a success,” says Jean-Pierre Etcheberrigaray, Vice President of Food & Beverage. “We also thank our HMG hotels for their ongoing great support of the program specifications, which contributes to the World Class Beverage Program’s overall effectiveness.” Questions about the World Class Beverage Program should be directed to Laura Hammer at IHG (770-604-8283, or Pamela Tweedell at iMi (770-928-1980, ext. 211,

Jean-Pierre Etcheberrigaray | Vice President of Food & Beverage Laura Hammer | Office Manager 3 Ravinia Drive Suite 100 Atlanta, GA 30346

Pamela Tweedell | iMi Ann Wilson | Writer ThincFactory | Design & Layout

+1 770 604 8283

Spirited 2009 - Volume 1  

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