StiR.mag #3

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StiR.mag #2 Indian Concept & Cuisine Lighting Design F&B Branding Pop-up bars

EDITORIAL TEAM Eelco Böhtlingk - Catherine Ker - Jessica Lu - CONTRIBUTORS Mona Alagha Zarra Barki Stuart Clarke Richard Cohn Adam Crocini Hannah Davies Sean Kaplan Mira Kurniawan Fayaz Nazeer Jonathan Ong Kevin Quinn Joep Sondeijker Maya Vincelli Dian Widjaja WITH OUR GRATITUDE John Gogarty Colleen Hart Anu Saxena Alex Shockley


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StiR.mag #1 Concept Deep Dive Listening Bars Phillipines Cuisine Wellness trends Loyalty marketing






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An in depth look at the development of Regale Bar & Restaurant for this new & iconic Curio Collection.

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Jessica rounds up festive traditions worldwide through the lens of food.

The successful pilot and roll-out of an improved F&B Retail experience.


Exploring the rich and colorful roots of the cocktail.







A revealing interview of two Public Relations icons.

The role and impact of F&B in sustainability, a local and global perspective.

Three macro trends uncovered through the lens of F&B brands. 05



It is hard to believe that the end of the year is upon us. As we close out a year of incredible recovery, award-winning efforts, and headline worthy openings, I encourage all of us to pause and celebrate around your dinner tables with your closest family and friends (or co-workers!). In celebration of the season, we begin this issue by looking into holiday traditions from around the world, highlighting how food and the table are the constant in bringing people together to share in time-honored traditions, create new memories and appreciate the past. In addition, we highlight the power of a strong retail experience and how a thoughtful approach to product and merchandising not only drives guest satisfaction, but also helps to increase owners’ return on investment. We will also go back in time to understand the genealogy of the cocktail and its influence on modern mixology and then look to the future with thought provoking and informative content on innovation and sustainability. The food and beverage industry continues to evolve alongside our guests’ interest and education in this space. We look forward to sharing new insights and perspective in the year to come. Until then, wishing you all a happy and healthy new year filled with great memories and great meals. ADAM CROCINI SVP, GLOBAL HEAD F&B BRANDS



THE NEW & IMPROVED LOBBY Over the past few months, the Global Brand F&B team worked hard on creating new and compelling content for the launch of the new lobby pages. The changes are dramatic and with expanded and contemporarized resources there is something for everyone, whether you are based in a Hampton Inn in Barcelona or a Curio Collection in Atlanta. New Content Highlights: •

Updated Brand Program Guides

Food Safety Program Resources

F&B Partnership Guidance

Sustainability Toolkits

Free Access to BarSmarts Training

F&B Concept Framework & Guide

Introduction to Acoustic Design

Lighting Design for F&B

Music Programming Guide

F&B Brand Identity Guide

As we build out and sharpen the content over the following months, we're keen to hear what you look forward to most. Drop us a line at






By Jessica Lu, Joep Sondeijker, Dian Widjaja

The end of the year and the start of the next is a time of great reflection, connection, and resolution. Regardless of where in the world, people come together to celebrate another year passing, and at the center of this togetherness exists the fuel and vessel through which people connect – food. With the holiday season coming up, we decided to take a global dive into the quirky and interesting traditions that exist to bring us closer and offer a fresh start into the new year.




Right Mooncakes from Hilton Singapore Orchard’s Ginger Lily Restaurant. Bottom A typical holiday spread during Lunar New Year.

Chinese New Year 2023 falls on Sunday, January 22nd, 2023, starting the Year of the Rabbit. Centered around ushering the new and auspicious into the year, it heralds the arrival of spring and is popularly recognized as the Spring Festival with celebrations that last 15 days. A time to worship ancestors and pray for good harvest, it is steeped in traditions and rituals, one of the most important being the significance placed on the Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner (年夜饭) or Reunion dinner (团年饭). Several generations of the family gather together to have a meal no matter where they are, and in China alone, the Spring Festival is the biggest annual human migration in the world with over 400 million people returning to their rural homes across the country, emptying major cities.

is simply prepared with ginger, scallion and soy sauce. In Mandarin, fish 鱼 (yú) has the same pronunciation as 余, which means “surplus” or “extra”, therefore symbolizing abundance. The typical Chinese New Year blessing is 年年有余 (Nián nián yǒuyú), wishing the recipient to have a surplus every year. Half of the fish is eaten for dinner and the leftover is kept for the next day. This is to prolong the surplus and ensure that the future will be prosperous as well.

MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL – EAST ASIA Mid-Autumn Festival, Zhongqiu Jie (中 秋节) in Mandarin, also known as the Mooncake Festival or Moon Festival, is another significant Chinese holiday.

To bring in luck and prosperity to the new year, traditional dishes each with deep-rooted meaning and well wishes are prepared. This includes spring rolls, dumplings, noodles, steamed chicken, sticky glutinous rice “Nian Gao” and the one must have steamed fish. A whole fresh fish such as a grouper or pomfret

In 2022, Mid-Autumn Festival fell on September 10th. The festival is a joyous celebration with family reunions, mooncakes, parades, and lanterns. Mid-Autumn festival is also celebrated broadly in other parts of Asia - Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore - but often carries a different name. The date of the festival is a full moon, hence it’s called the Moon Festival. On the 15th of each lunar calendar month, the moon is at its roundest and brightest, symbolizing togetherness and reunion in


Chinese culture. The festival is a time to enjoy the successful rice and wheat harvest with food offerings given in honor of the moon. Today, it is still an occasion for outdoor gatherings among friends and relatives to eat mooncakes, sip tea and admire the moon, a symbol of harmony and unity. Mooncakes, or yuè bĭng (月餅) are small baked cakes with a thin golden-brown pastry skin, traditionally hand-crafted with wooden molds and filled with a very dense red bean or lotus seed paste and imprinted with various symbols. The most traditional filling lotus seed paste, is often paired with a salted egg yolk center to symbolize the bright moon.

syrup), jalebi (swirly orange strings of flour coated with syrup), achu murukku (sweet murukku) and kesari (semolina pudding).

DEEPAVALI - INDIA Bright colors, tantalizing aromas and the light of a thousand oil lamps fill the streets near the end of the year. As one of the major Hindu cultural festivals, Deepavali or Diwali celebrates the triumph of light over darkness and is also known as the “Festival of Lights.” The festival usually lasts five days and is celebrated during the Hindu lunisolar month Kartika. Hindu families across the world transform their homes into beacons of light, exchange gifts, share feasts and perform prayers to deities such as Lakshmi, the goddess of fertility and prosperity. As welcome signs at the entrance of Hindu homes, beautiful floral drawings on the floors are created using colored rice flour. Known as kolam in Tamil (or rangoli in Hindi), they are a means to ask for blessings from the deities. While the stories behind the celebration differ across India (and its neighboring countries), they all have one thing in common—delicious, decadent Diwali sweets! Indian sweets savored during Deepavali are mainly milk-based and ghee-based. Known as palagaaram in Tamil, these include laadu (tiny, deep-fried balls of gram flour that are rolled together with seeds/ nuts and spices, then soaked in a sweet


Top A spread of Deepavali treats including Kaju Katli, Gulab Jamun, Peda, Laddu, and Gujiyas.

AMERICAN THANKSGIVING – UNITED STATES Occurring on the fourth Thursday of November, Thanksgiving is an annual holiday celebrating the harvest and gratitude of the year. The centerpiece of the celebration is a bountiful feast that is traditionally made up of distinctly American dishes. Popular dishes include mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and – the holy grail of the event – the Thanksgiving turkey. The American Thanksgiving turkey is traditionally roasted in the oven but can take on other forms including deep fried and smoked. The Thanksgiving turkey is such a staple that there is even have an event centered around pardoning turkeys. Every year, the president broadcasts The National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation, in which the President is



less of how lentils are incorporated into new year celebrations, it is clear that the power of lentils is an ingrained tradition of many Latin American countries. Maybe this year try some lentils for that great promotion or winning lottery ticket.

A NEW YEAR’S TOAST – WORLDWIDE Nothing is more synonymous with celebration and New Years than champagne. As the festivities begin, one of the most important activities is a popping cork followed by a bubbly pour and New Year’s toast. presented with a live domestic turkey that is “pardoned” from being eaten that year. Unfortunately, some turkeys are not pardoned and instead are subjected to a traditional wishbone game where two individuals grab a side of the wishbone and break the bone apart while making a wish. Whoever breaks off the larger part will have their wish granted.

LUCKY LENTILS – LATIN AMERICA The start of the new year often symbolizes new beginnings with the hope that a new year will bring new money. Countries all over Latin America lean into this hope that more lentils will bring them more money. There are many ways in which lentils can be used to bring in good fortune. In Peru, handfuls of lentils are put in pockets and wallets at the end of the year so that money will be plentiful going into to new year. In Chile, twelve lentils are wrapped in money bills to improve wellbeing. And in Mexico, a bag of lentils is left outside the front door before the new year begins. Alternatively, in many Latin American countries, people take a more traditional approach – eating the lentils as the clock strikes midnight. Regard-


The Champagne New Year’s toast has a tenured history dating back as early as 1500 years ago during the reign of Julius Caesar. Champagne was originally only for the wealthy, religious, and elite as procuring the bottles was a bit of a specialized and dangerous affair. Only a specific type of grape from the north of France could be used and additionally, the risk of a shattered bottle was high during travel. Today, champagne is a lot more accessible, and fits right into to the quintessential New Year’s tradition – the New York City Ball Drop, a new year’s kiss, and a clink of champagne.

EUROPE JELLY DOUGHNUTS – GERMANY Spending New Year’s Eve in Berlin will allow you to debunk one of the most enduring myths of the German capital via a culinary food tradition: in June 1963, former US president John F. Kennedy gave an impassioned speech by the wall in West Berlin where he mistakenly declared, “Ich bin ein Berliner”, which in German means “I am a jelly doughnut”.

Overleaf A classic Thanksgiving Turkey. Left Spoonfuls colored lentils.




Bottom Left Champagne being poured into flutes. Bottom Right Krapfen, jam filled and sugar dusted.



In fact, the proper German term for a doughnut with jam filling is a Berliner pfannkuchen or “Berlin pancake.’ These doughnuts are beloved all throughout Germany, and can go by many othernames including ‘Krapfen’ or ‘Kreppel’. No matter what you call them, one of the most ubiquitous flavors is a doughnut filled with rosehim jam and sprinkled with icing sugar. These are particularly associated with New Year’s Eve parties, and tradition demands that for every eight doughnuts filled with jam, you slip in one filled with mustard (senf) to play a trick on an unlucky guest.

MELOMAKARANO – GREECE The sweet & savory pastry ‘melomakarono’ is an egg-shaped dessert primarily made from honey, orange juice, cinnamon, walnuts & olive oil and is well enjoyTop Melomakarano sprinkled with nuts and cinnamon Bottom Risalamande topped with hot cherry sauce


ed over Greece around Christmas time. Greeks swear the pastries are healthy and representative of the Mediterranean diet, as honey, walnuts and olive are good for you and your health. So you can feel slightly less guilty when you eat 12 of these ball-shaped delights.

CREAMY RICE PUDDING – SCANDANAVIA You can’t spend Christmas in Denmark without being served the nation’s favorite Christmas pudding so called ‘risalamande’ – a cold rice pudding with whipped cream and chopped almonds served with a hot cherry sauce. Inspired by the French classic dessert, “riz à l‘impératrice”, rice shaped in molds and decorated with raspberry jelly, risalamande gained popularity after World War II as the addition of whipped cream would prolong the use of the expensive rice at the time.

The best part of the dish is the built-in game that is played around the dinner table. The trick is while serving this rice pudding, whoever has the whole almond, gets the ‘almond present’.

MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA CHRISTMAS IN LEBANON During Christmas, Christians in Lebanon build manger scenes in their homes called a Nativity crib, which is often more popular than a Christmas tree. People plant chickpea seeds, wheat grains, lentils and beans, or cotton wool about two weeks before Christmas and continue watering them every day until Christmas day. These shoots are then placed under the Christmas tree, or in different parts of the house to signify the rebirth.

To accompany this celebration, families enjoy the quintessential Lebanese dish, kibbeh, a lamb-rice dish that comes in many forms from raw, fried, baked, and stuffed. This is usually enjoyed at the grandparents’ or eldest son’s home for the traditional Christmas lunch.

CHRISTMAS IN EGYPT - EGYPT Egypt is the country with the largest Christian population in the Arab world. In accordance with the Orthodox tradition, the Coptic Church in Egypt celebrates Christmas on January 7. During Advent, a time of waiting and preparation for the birth of Christ, Egyptian Copts fast from meat, poultry, and dairy products for 43 days. Christmas Day is usually celebrated by visiting relatives, neighbors and friends and usually give their hosts ‘kahk’, a small and circular shortbread covered with powdered sugar and can be stuffed with walnuts, pistachios, or eaten plain.

Traditional fried Lebanese Kibbeh balls



Kahk Eid Cookies 18

No matter where you are in the world or what you celebrate during the end of year holiday season, food will always play a big part in how we share and connect. The Global Brand Food and Beverage Team at Hilton wishes you Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!





A HIDDEN GEM IN THE HEART OF THE OLD TOWN Regale Bar and Restaurant at Hotel Saski Kraków Curio Collection occupies an unrivalled, position in at the heart of an iconic restored hotel in the most prestigious part old town of Kraków. First established as a hotel in 1818 by Maciej Knotz, a merchant and philanthropist, the property has always been at the center of cultural life. The hotel is located in walking distance to Wawel Royal Castle, one of the most historically and culturally significant sites in Poland, and the building has hosted the brightest icons of culture and music. Legendary composers Liszt, Brahms and Paderewski played in the ballroom, and innovation abounded as Knotz’ enthusiasm for fine food and wine saw him introduce firsts to Polish society - Tokaji Hungarian wine and the snooker table.

A full restoration of this iconic property has been undertaken with these musical and cultural traditions at the heart of the design of the 117-room hotel. In cooperation with world-famous Kraków-born photographer Ryszard Horowitz, corridors and rooms are decorated with portraits of musicians and composers such as Louis Armstrong, Krzysztof Penderecki, Aretha Franklin and Czesław Niemen. Saska Hall, the historic ballroom where famous musicians played, has been repened with frescos restored by hand. The creation of Regale Bar and Restaurant at the center of this property has been a significant and thoughtful addition – an elevated and activated venue, serving the hotel and city residents.



CURIO COLLECTION BY HILTON IS: A remarkable collection of hotels – destinations to themselves, with independent characters, high-end design and premium service. CURIO COLLECTION GUESTS ARE: Independent Travellers – in search of authentic experiences, local discovery and making lasting memories. Curio’s guests expect access to premium amenities and the ability to explore places, foods, and cultures.


CURIO COLLECTION RESTAURANTS & BARS ARE: Individual – Authentic – Local. A distinctive provision, placing experience at the heart of the offer, providing extraordinary products, service and ambiance. Restaurants and bars are a destination in their own right – a culinary offering attracting curious in-house guests and locals alike. PROGRAM ACTIVATION: Restaurant | Speciality Restaurant Concept (Market-Driven) | Bar/Lobby Bar | Grab ‘n’ Go | In-Room Dining

REGALE BAR & RESTAURANT Overleaf Interior design, Regale Bar & Restaurant, Hotel Saski Krakow, Curio Collection by Hilton. Interiors by db Group. Right Bartender puts the final touches to the ‘1820’ signature martini at Regale Bar & Restaurant

With four additional restaurant, bar and casino venues around the perimeter of the building, the role of Regale was always designated as the all-day lobby bar and restaurant of the hotel. The main purpose of the venue is to provide a full-service breakfast to guests, and then an appropriately-paced destination space for each following day part, late into the evening. Regale is a space with a very welcoming feel, with polished service and a vibrant and considered atmosphere. It is an authentic and accessible first foray into the cultural and culinary life of Kraków for visitors to the city, and also for local Kraków residents to meet and feel right at home.

REGALE: ORIGINS OF CONCEPT Regale started its life as a concept and branding package (restaurant and bar prototype) not specifically designed for Hotel Saski Kraków Curio Collection by Hilton. Its suitability for this project was clear due to the clear guidelines on purpose and ethos and was customized and refined for this unique, world-class hotel.






AUTHENTIC We are knowledgeable and act as a gateway into the local cultures and trends of the destination and its surroundings. We are the conduit to connecting our guests to the destinations they are in. We carefully and thoughtfully enhance the menus with local flavours allowing guests to gently immerse themselves authentically.

Tastefully partitioned from the main entrance lobby, Regale is open in character and in design. The hotel’s common spaces gently echo the destination’s culture, with intimate quieter areas and more social seating - considered hubs for both business and leisure.

INSPIRED Whether it be the delicate masterpieces from the kitchen, or the ‘Sunset Ceremony’ drinks trolley doing its rounds pre- dinner, this venue lifts your spirit by discovering authentic hidden gems and capturing treasured moments with intuitive, meaningful and unique touches. SERENE Despite being on the ground floor, we energetically shift the gravity of life weighing you down by offering you a serene and calming environment, no matter how you turn up. Take a seat where your mood takes you and enjoy being replenished by the surrounds, the menu and the calming service. SOCIAL If you choose, our bar and restaurant is a venue to see and to be seen. Refined cocktail hour sits alongside relaxed light lunches, coffee meet ups and dinner. Sumptuous cocktails and meaningful menus create profound social experiences where you can make lasting memories both as a participant or a voyeur.


Regale is a space where the senses are delighted with the fresh aroma of espresso in the morning, with the local and seasonal breakfast buffet laid out on a gently-lit pink quartz table. The venue is entirely flexible into the day and night – guests can enjoy a locally-inspired lunch with family after a long travel, zen out with a good book, or enjoy a refreshing glass of wine after a successful business encounter. Visitors may also treat themselves to a leisurely afternoon with tea or choose to settle in and enjoy the Sunset Ceremony, when the cocktail trolley makes its way around the space with bartenders crafting locally-inspired cocktails tableside.

In the evening, Regale is wonderfully lit and becomes a trendy, yet intimate place to spend time with friends, family and loved ones. Evenings are filled with business and social gatherings as guests unwind from a long day or celebrate a new deal.

Photos Sublime house cocktails have a local Polish influence and are here to fascinate, surprise, and captivate the senses. Alongside these, bartenders serve timeless, classic cocktails in our a signature style, capturing the glamour of bygone ages. Wellknown recipes are redefined and creatively reinvented in our own unique way.

The space boasts several delightful features that add to the impactful experience at Regale. An internal courtyard acts as an extension to the bar and restaurant, where guests may enjoy Regale’s full menu – and a secret bar, the Knotz Room, hidden across the corridor from the main space has a special significance as it is named after founder Maciej Knotz. Here guests may have a more intimate bar experience, with a speciallycreated cocktail list served in with local canapes and bespoke service rituals and serviceware. While it has a name and a brand identity centred on a ‘K’ cipher, the entrance of the secret bar is unmarked, adding to the mystique.



DEPLOYING THE REGALE CONCEPT PACKAGE AT HOTEL SASKI: LOCAL AND REGAL The beauty of using the existing concept package is that the brand identity, purpose of the space and assets were fully fledged, and yet flexible enough to mould for this stunning project.

Right Elegant leather restaurant menu covers with hotstamped gilded Regale ‘Relax – Relish – Reconnect’ roundel.

The concept package has been deployed artfully at Hotel Saski, with key decisions specifically taken for the property that emphasise the local story and Polish provenance, giving a true sense of place. At the bar, Regale’s curated selection of local vodkas, wines, traditional tinctures and home-made infused spirits capture the authentic traditions of Krakow as well as innovative trends. To add to this, the kitchen is helmed by Roman Pawlik (one of the city’s best chefs) who masterfully displays his passion for historically significant dishes and local producers in every menu. Every detail has been considered, from the materials used in the space to the bespoke music playlist that weaves together Polish and mainstream European music from several decades to great effect.



In addition to the local story, the Regale concept has been adapted to fit the majesty of this stately and historic property, which was actually dedicated by Knotz ‘to the Hungarian King’ when it was founded. The aspirational and luxurious aspects of the ‘Regale’ name have been emphasised and detailed.

Left Marinated salmon compressed cucumber / yuzu dressing / Polish wasabi. Right Bar programming at Regale Bar and Restaurant and the Knotz Room ‘secret bar’ has been masterminded by Pawel Moskwa with an expert team of bartenders. Magical touches and flair lift the experience. Mixology is brought to the tables by the bar’s bespoke cocktail trolley. Bottom Pniew beef tartare Porcini essence / pickled pearl onions / egg yolk cream / chives.

Food menu sections, ‘to tempt, to feast, to delight’ set out the stall, and the breadth of the drinks menus set very high standards, with wine and spirits lists that range vastly in complexity, price point and geography. The wine and spirits menu cover all major local Polish products and also the very best listings of

Champagnes, fine wines, Scotch whiskys and European liqueurs. To top this off, every single special occasion can be taken care of in the secret standalone Knotz bar, where a personal, bespoke service can be given by the resident mixologist.



BRANDING EACH TOUCHPOINT Throughout the experience, the story of the Regale concept, the specific cultural history of the hotel and the location within Kraków’s old town are emphasised in visual story-telling and branded touchpoints. The brand guidelines are centered on a regal, confident and modern colour palette of green, gold and pink and the Anthurium Regale leaf motif works with these to give the space an elevated and luxurious feel. From the outside of the building, the softly lit Regale signage in the windows gives a warm and welcoming glow, and guests are greeted by Team Members dressed in the brand colors. History and modernity come together as managers are dressed in fashionable suiting with brass Regale leaf pins and bartenders show off trendy leather detailing on their aprons with the name of the venue stitched on the back of the collar as an additional cue to the concept. The embossed pink and green leather menus in muted shades are chic, and the embroidered napkins on the tables add another exquisite detail. The name of the Bar & Restaurant is branded and stamped onto cocktail garnishes and perfectly clear cubes of ice in the cocktails – and another key piece of visual messaging is the bespoke cocktail trolley with a stunning brass Regale logo that circulates the floor and elevates the experience.


Branded Regale ice stamps add a bespoke touch to cocktails




The cocktail has a storied history. From the original punches of the 17th century and Pre-Prohibition favorites like the Old-Fashioned to the modern cocktails we see in the world’s best bars today, it is worthwhile to understand the original formula and consider its familial relation to the cocktails present on menus of today’s leading bars. Let’s start at the beginning.





The origin of mixed drinks can be traced back to the 17th century, but explicitly where and when is up for debate. The clearest indication of the beginning of drinking culture is tied to the original punch. Derived from the word “puncheon”- a barrel container for wine or spirits, typically used for storage on trading ships – punch was a popular beverage for British entertaining that was adopted by British sailors who were forced to turn to mixtures of juices, spices, and spirits for their drinking during their travels in the tropics, where climate was not friendly to store their conventional drink of choice, ale.

Left A depiction of a punch party in the 1700s Right The book, Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl, a historically informed tribute to the punch bowl written by David Wondrich


According to David Wondrich, famed liquor historian and author of Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl, the first known written reference to punch appears in a letter sent on 28th September 1632 by Robert Addams. A tradesman stationed in India who worked for the British East India Company, Addams penned his friend at home in Britain, “I hop you will keep good house together and drincke punch by no allowance.” Wondrich chronicles the history of punch culture, including its travels from the East Indies to social parlors of London in the mid-1600s. Concoctions of spirits, tea, sugar, citrus, and spices were served in opulent punch bowls and permeated British high society for nearly a century. Thanks to the frequent trading between the tropics and the British isle, spirits like rum and Arrack were readily available to those who could afford the import. Many of the recipes in Punch, over forty in total, pay homage to the social communal drink but also provide evidence of the transition of drinking culture from wine and beer to spirit-based mixtures. From this resource and many others, it is clear that punch recipes were the building blocks of mixing drinks, but for ubiquitous use in bars and taverns, the large format recipes would need to be adapted for individual consumption. Enter, the basic cocktail formula.



PRE-PROHIBITION AND THE EMERGENCE BASIC COCKTAIL FORMULA By the early 19th century, the punch bowl was downsized to a single cup portion, and with that, the contents of the individual portion began to evolve, solidifying the craft and profession of bartending. On May 13th, 1806, editor of New York newspaper The Balance and Columbian Repository, Harry Croswell responded to a reader’s letter to the editor, inquiring – what exactly is a cocktail? He responded, “A cocktail, then, is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters.” This simple yet illuminating response has been quoted and referenced endlessly by modern cocktail enthusiasts. Moreover, this basic formula has laid the foundation for modern cocktail experimentation and contemporary imbibe culture. The basic cocktail formula includes the following critical ingredients: Spirit – a base spirit of any type, think vodka, gin, rum, tequila, or whiskey Sugar – in a literal sense, raw sugar, or in the form of simple syrup. Alternatively, a substitution of a liqueur that leans sweeter or a use of a fresh sweet product, for example – strawberries or honey. Water – the use of ice for dilution in stirred cocktails, a cocktail that experiences natural dilution while served on the rocks, or water in liquid form as used in large format punches Bitters – an infusion of bark, flowers, roots, plants, and other natural products in alcohol, typically seen in two forms –


high proof, administered in dashes, or amari, a bittersweet liqueur originating in Italy, used in greater volumes than its high proof relative. Many of the world’s most adored cocktails fit within this formula, including one of the oldest documented concoctions – the Sazerac. According to New Orleans’ own website: “In 1838, Creole apothecary Antoine Peychaud invented the Sazerac in his shop at 437 Royal Street. The name of the drink comes from Peychaud’s favorite French brandy, Sazerac-de-Forge et fils. Somewhere along the line, American rye whiskey was substituted for the cognac and, in 1873, bartender Leon Lamothe added a dash of Absinthe.” The Sazerac is a perfect example of a cocktail that illustrates the basic formula. See recipe (right). To break it down into its parts: the spirit is rye whiskey, the sugar is simple syrup, the water is in the form of diluted ice, and the bitter component is, obviously, the Peychaud’s bitters. This formula prevailed for much of “The Golden Age” of cocktails in the United States – until, abruptly, the 18th Amendment passed on January 19th, 1919, banning the manufacture, sale, and transport of alcoholic beverages. Though underground speakeasies, much of the exchange of ideas and recipes was muffled until the repeal of Prohibition in December of 1933. However, curiously enough, one of the most impactful and significant guidebooks for bartenders ever published managed to emerge during these dark ages.

SAZERAC Rye Whiskey, simple syrup Peychaud’s bitters



THE GOLDEN RATIO: THE ADDITION OF ACIDITY Jerry Thomas, considered the “father of American mixology,” publicly introduced the concept of acidity in his infamous book: How to Mix Drinks, or The Bon Vivant‘s Companion in 1929. This bartenders’ guidebook spun off from the original cocktail formula of spirits, sugar, water, bitter to include acidity. Many cocktail enthusiasts and practitioners of the trade consider this moment in history as the birth of the craft cocktail.

Right Jerry Thomas’ Bartender’s Guide

We’ve learned so far that while the original formula laid the foundation for many recipes bartenders know and love, it is obvious that many other favorites – from margaritas to the gimlet, do not adhere.

honey is only 97% as sweet as pure sucrose). Its good practice, therefore, to adopt a more flexible ratio of 2:1:1-.75 during experimentation, meaning: 2 parts spirit, 1 part sour, and a flexible range of .75 to 1 part sweet (adjusted uniquely for each drink to achieve perfect balance). Let’s take a well-known cocktail recipe to illustrate a deviation from the golden ratio to achieve a perfectly balanced cocktail. The Pisco Sour recipe, courtesy of Death & Co., elects for a 2:1:.75 ratio. In place of a full part sweet, this recipe opts for a proportion of .75 parts, resulting in a perfectly balanced, not overly sweet, libation.

What’s missing from this formula? Very simply put, acid, and by proxy, balance. Thomas’ chapters dedicated to “Sours,” “Fixes,” and “Daisies” include various types of acidulants in its recipes – ranging from lemon and lime (citric acid) to milk (lactic acid), pome fruits (malic acid), or shrubs (acetic acid). So, how does this historical playbook impact modern cocktail craft? Well, its paved the way for what we like to call, the golden ratio: two parts spirit, one part acid, one part sweet. This 2:1:1 proportion is best suited for any experimentation with products behind the bar, whether you are a seasoned bartender with decades of experience, or a novice to the role. Of course, adjustments within this ratio are necessary, as there are different levels of acidity for different acidulants (for example, lemon has a pH of around 2, while lime has a pH of approximately 2.8) and different intensities of sweetness by volume for the ‘sweet’ component (for example, in equal amounts,


Through the 20th century, other cocktail enthusiasts extrapolated from the formula and claimed that more than a basic formula sat at the basic of cocktail culture’s family tree. Famed bartenders Alex Day, David Kaplan, Nick Fauchald and Devon Tarby, of

PISCO SOUR Pisco, Lemon juice, Lime juice, Simple syrup, Egg white, Angostura bitters 37


James Beard nominated bar Death & Co, publicized this concept in their book Cocktail Codex: Fundamentals, Formulas, Evolutions. According to their website, “Cocktail Codex simplifies the complex cocktail universe, declaring that there are truly only six fundamental recipes at the root of them all.”

THE SIX “ROOT” COCKTAILS THAT FORMED THE COCKTAIL FAMILY TREE So, what are these six “root” cocktails? According to Cocktail Codex, they are the: Old-Fashioned, Martini, Daiquiri, Sidecar, Whisky Highball, and the Flip. They declare, once a bartender can complete these six root cocktails, they can adopt the respective mechanics, technique, style, and balance to create new – yet related – adaptations. Following their roadmap can lead to a seemingly complex and innovation beverage menu that is simple for all bartenders to execute with confidence (so long as they have a full understanding and mastery of the six roots, of course!). Their scientific approach claims that in each drink, every ingredient falls into at least one category: Core is the primary flavor; balance enhances the core with sweetness, acidity, or both; and seasoning adds another dimension and complements or contrasts with the core. We will reference recipes for these six “roots” below, then provide six “branches” – innovations or adaptations of the “roots” – that have grown from their parent cocktail.


ROOT: Old Fashioned CORE: Whiskey or Bourbon BALANCE: Sugar cube SEASONING: Angostura bitters

OLD FASHIONED INGREDIENTS: 2 oz Rye or Bourbon 1 Sugar cube 2-3 Dashes Angostura bitters

DIRECTIONS: 1. In a double rocks glass, muddle the sugar cube or sugar with Angostura bitters 2. Add Whiskey and ice and stir well 3. Garnish with an orange peel

BRANCH: Julep CORE: Bourbon BALANCE: Simple syrup SEASONING: Mint

MINT JULEP Bourbon, mint, simple syrup










BARTENDER ESSENTIALS: 10 BOOKS TO LINE YOUR BOOKSHELVES Whether you are an aspiring or seasoned bartender, the sheer volume of bartender literature is overwhelming. Here is a list of what we consider to be the most essential reads to line your bookshelf (in no particular order):

1. The Craft of the Cocktail: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Master Bartender by Dale DeGroff 2. The Cocktail Codex by Alex Day by Nick Fauchald and David Kaplan 3. The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique by Jeffrey Morgenthaler 4. The Joy of Mixology by Gary Regan 5. Death & Co.: Modern Classic Cocktails by Nick Fauchald and David Kaplan

6. Imbibe! Updated and Revised Edition by David Wondrich 7. The Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock 8. The PDT Cocktail Book: The Complete Bartender's Guide from the Celebrated Speakeasy by Chris Gall and Jim Meehan 9. The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book by Albert Stevens Crockett 10. The Bar Book by Jeffrey Morgenthaler and Martha Holmberg

Left Two Popular Bar Books, The Cocktail Codex and The Joy of Mixology. Right Famed Bartender, Jerry Thomas, advertising his famous “Blue Blazer” flaming cocktail.

From the original formula onward, history has provided no shortage of guidance to reinvent, innovate, or adapt the classic recipes that guests know and love. What’s clear from the cocktail trailblazers of the past and present is a need for a solid foundation of knowledge to achieve a perfectly balanced drink. If a bartender understands the basic cocktail formula, the golden ratio, and the six root cocktails, the bounds are endless. From there, opportunities to weave in seasonally fresh ingredients, new or emerging spirit brands, unconventional infusions, or house made products seem less intimidating and entirely achievable, allowing our bars – and bartenders – to push the boundaries of a contemporary beverage experience.





Enhancing the guest experience is foremost in everything we do. After all, that’s how every Hilton brand earns repeat guests. Our hotels’ profitability should naturally come with that loyalty. That said, we must actively compete for every traveler’s dollar creatively without relying on fluctuating room rates. That’s where food and beverage comes in. We have the capability to influence incremental revenue through innovative programs that entice extra spend on high-quality meals, snacks, beverages, sundries, and locally inspired products. This year, Homewood Suites is taking the retail experience from a simple transaction to one that makes a real impact on the bottom line through an invigorated product mix, transparent pricing and an inviting retail shopping experience. In fact, Homewood has elevated the retail experience to the same priority as the five other elements of the F&B ecosystem: breakfast, the Welcome Home Manager’s Reception, in-suite cooking, grocery service, and the outdoor kitchen. Rick Colling, Global Brand Head for Homewood Suites, says, “evolving the Suite Shop makes perfect sense for several reasons: consistency and reliability for the guest, simplicity and efficiency for our operators, supply chain availability from our vendors to our hotels, and additional revenue for our owners. We are the upscale extended stay choice, and we are thrilled to evolve our Suite Shops to support this elevated position.”




The Homewood Suite Shop Evolution product mix features 80% new and elevated products while maintaining 20% everyday guest favorites that are proven best sellers. In addition, the “We’ve Got What You Forgot” program ensures we’ll always have available the essential items that guests may have forgotten from home and the “Pick 6” program provides guests with an attractive value proposition when purchasing six alcoholic beverages (where allowed by local law). To ensure success and supply availability for all, Homewood Suites hotels are required to maintain 131 different product facings of foods, beverages, and sundries that are purchased through vendor partners Vistar, Coca-Cola, and regional alcohol distributors. Vistar, Coca-Cola, and Hilton Supply Management, each have robust programs for monitoring and predicting snacking trends. That information is then used to routinely update the Homewood Suites product mix to reflect relevant trends and greatest sales potential. In partnership with Hilton F&B and Hilton Supply Management, vendors


also guarantee product availability, timely delivery, and excellent customer service. In fact, Vistar’s fill rate has jumped from 60% to 85-92% due to our focus coordinating with both our supplier and distribution partners and their ability to navigate the widely unpredictable supply chain. The elevated Suite Shop launched brandwide in June 2022. How is it going so far? Our pilot hotels experienced an increase

in their Suite Shop Revenue per Occupied Room (RPOR) of $0.75 per room. To put this into perspective, a hotel that averages 85 rooms sold per night would make an additional $22,950 of Suite Shop revenue under these circumstances. Since the launch, some hotels are already reporting that their retail revenue has doubled and, in some cases, tripled!

Sister brands are impressed. All-suites and focused brand teams are carefully watching the success of the Homewood Suites retail program and beginning to take steps to implement similar programs. By standardizing the product mix at more hotels, all hotels can begin to enjoy even greater buying power and improved fill rates.

Left The “Pick Six” program that allows guests to choose their own alcoholic beverage pack. Right A sample rendering of the Suite Shop products on a shelf.




Maya Vincelli is the newest addition to the Hilton Food & Beverage Team as our expert on retail products and merchandising. Here’s what she has to say. “The Hotel of the Future is all about more support of the Guest. Being savvy and thoughtful while anticipating the guest’s needs and desires will feel warm and welcoming without feeling disjointed. Taking advantage of the high standards and quality that already exist in our food and beverage portfolio and tailoring the retail experience to the brands will create a congruency between all of our already robust services. The retail spaces will feel purposeful, curated, and ready to surprise and delight. As we look towards the horizon, the lens of health and wellbeing becomes a focus through our offerings. Quality, simple ingredients in food offerings will continue to play a critical role in our success. Creating brand standards for retail allows owners to create their own success story. Those brand standards will have


core required products curated for each brand personality and goals. Through the brand’s programs and resources, we will also provide context and assistance regarding local, sustainable, and innovative products that aren’t on the Approved Products List. We will also provide guidelines on updating spaces, creating welcoming environments and choosing products that support the brand identity, overall food and beverage being offered as well as current and retail trends. Our Hilton Supply Chain Management team has been working diligently on creating relationships with suppliers and distribution partners to secure great pricing and availability for the product mix to make things easier for owners and general managers, and more profitable. Working on seasonality is a major goal. Our operators already do such a great job at celebrating the seasons, so the retail stores will participate in that as well through opportunities with Limited Time Offerings coming soon”

Top A sample retail lineup for cooler and freezer space in the Suite Shop. Bottom A sample retail lineup for ambient shelving in the Suite Shop.





The Europe Middle East and Africa, Brand F&B team, recently commissioned CADA Design for a 360- degree look at the F&B Retail landscape. Below are some of the high-level findings. Access the full report through the QR code on the right.

Click or scan to access the full EMEA F&B Retail trend research report.

Time for tequila Tequila consumption in the U.S. has grown +40% in the last five years. Sales of tequila have grown 54% year on year to reach $1.25bn by the beginning of 2021. Tequila is now seen as a clean, well-balanced and aromatic drink, favored by cool, hip and sophisticated food and drink lovers. In fact, Tequila is so hot it will soon overtake vodka in popularity and demand6.





By Alex Shockley & Eelco Böhtlingk

Our role in accelerating climate change is better understood than ever before. We see the worsening impacts of a changing climate on the livelihood of the communities in which we operate. Whether impoverished urban communities in developed countries or those living in developing nations without the means to survive extreme weather events, this is hitting the most vulnerable communities the hardest.

Eelco Böhtlingk (EB): Alex, thank you for lending your expertise to outline how we in F&B can do better. Starting with the question on everyone’s mind: What would you recommend our hotels do to reduce the environmental footprint of their F&B Operation? Alex Shockley (AS): While there are many ways F&B teams can reduce their

Hilton‘s sustained focus to lower contribution to the climate crisis remains a core global objective. This means that everyone has the duty to pursue ways of working that reduce our collective carbon emissions. Whether that it is through eliminating singleuse plastics or to secure investment for lower emissions technologies – it all counts. In the world of Food and Beverage, there is a lot we can do. To explore different ways we can make an impact, we’re interviewing Alex Shockley who is championing our Hilton Supply Management efforts on Environmental Social & Governance (ESG).

Alex Shockley, Director, Responsible Sourcing & Sustainability, Hilton Supply Management.



Right Rainforests are often the victim of expanding land use for agriculture. For example Brazil, where cattle farming is the leading cause for the deforestation of the Amazon.

environmental footprint, there are two opportunities I want to highlight – purposeful ingredient selection and reducing food waste to landfill. By capitalizing on these two opportunities, teams can significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, serve delicious and high nutrient meals, and even save money. EB: It makes sense to consider the ingredient mix of our menus and how that relates to carbon emissions. You mentioned food waste, can you tell us how that relates to carbon emissions? AS: Did you know that food waste is the United States’ most common material sent to landfills and incinerators? When we leave food unconsumed, all the production, transportation and handling is wasted and creates unnecessary carbon emissions. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that food loss and waste in the US embodies 170 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent GHG emissions each year.1 This is equal to the CO2 emissions produced by 42 coal-fired power plants, and this estimate doesn’t even account for landfill emissions or the harmful methane emissions from food waste rotting in landfills.

EB: That should make food waste definitively a priority for our hotels to tackle, for several reasons. If a hotel wants to tackle food waste, what do you recommend? AS: Our hotels have access to great resources already to help them reduce food waste. Check out our Food Waste page to learn more, and here are some of my favorites:

EB: What is the significance of purposeful ingredient selection? AS: As I mentioned, we can create more environmentally responsible dishes - often without anyone realizing it is healthier because the taste and presentation are so appealing. Consider meat-based dishes – the United Nations estimates that 14% of man-made greenhouse gases are attributed to livestock. We can easily blend plant-based foods into these recipes and reduce the proportion of meat, ultimately cutting down carbon emissions. This is particularly true for beef, which is the highest producing meat for greenhouse gas emissions.



• Train your F&B teams by reviewing food prep techniques and educating on the importance of food measurement • Maintain appropriate portion sizes – the average person consumes < 1.2 lbs. of food per meal • Identify a food recovery partner in your local community to receive food donations • Think creatively to repurpose leftover items and ingredients (such as turning rice into Arancini or bread into bread pudding) • Leverage the Hotel Kitchen Toolkit developed by World Wildlife Fund in partnership with AHLA, designed specifically for full-service hotels • Get ideas from the World Resource Institute’s Cool Food Program, which provides healthy, nutritious food ideas that are also low carbon.

Top Knärzje, A beer brand created around the fight against food waste and brewed from organically sorted bread Bottom A winnow food waste monitoring setup in a commercial kitchen.

EB: Are there any innovations in technology to support our hotels?

EB: What is a low-carbon menu option for someone that still wants beef?

AS: There are many technological advancements that support the reduction of food waste. Consider partnering with waste measurement companies such as Winnow and Leanpath to take a deeper look at food management through AI technology. In just four weeks, Hilton Tokyo Bay reduced food waste by 30% through Winnow’s software and solutions.

AS: One of my favorite menu options for beef lovers who are open to trying a lower emissions alternative is the “Blended Burger”. The Blended Burger replaces 30% of the beef in a burger with ground mushroom, increasing moisture, texture, and taste. It even defeated traditional burgers in blind tests, all while generating less CO2! Give it some additional flavor by adding a runny egg, avocado or a blend of spices.





Our activity to feed the world utilizes an enormous amount of global resources to support core industries like livestock farming, commodity agriculture, and fishing. All told, food and agriculture contributes to roughly 24 percent of humangenerated greenhouse emissions. This is not an impact that shows any signs of reducing. With a growing population and rising consumption there is a growing pressure to use land in a sustainable way. Globally there is a lot of attention in reducing the pressure on our ecosystems whilst growing the food the world needs, in this sidebar we explore some of the ways the food and agricultural sector is exploring ways to reduce their impact.

WASTE AND DIETS As Alex explained earlier, addressing waste and diets is a core effort and one that hotels can pursue today. By eating food lower on the food chain and ensuring what gets grown, gets eaten is a powerful way to reduce land use and associated emissions.


Explore the following topics as explore by Project Drawdown, for a global point of view: Plant Rich Diets, Reduced Food Waste (or browse to

PROTECT ECOSYSTEMS By protecting land and ecosystems for farming or other activity, we stop activities that release carbon from before they start, this includes farming principles but also shows how it is preferred to use land that has previously been cleared for a new hotel instead of clearing nature to make way for development. In addition, by improving the productivity of farmland, existing agriculture may reduce the pressure on other, nearby landscapes, sparing them from clearing – our decisions who to source from decide who we give more economic means to grow food responsibly, or not. Explore how the following ecosystems benefit global carbon emissions and why they should be protected: Coastal Wetlands, Forests, Grassland and Peatland



An estimated 100,000+ Orangutangs have lost their life due to deforstation in Borneo, predominantly to make way for Palm oil plantations.

SHIFT AGRICULTURE PRACTICES This is a big one – improved agriculture practices can lower emissions from cattle pastures or land used to grow crop, including emissions from manure, fertilizer use or the disturbance of soils. Some solutions even improve the resilience of our food systems to climate impacts, a


critical quality in a time where we start to see extreme weather and other impacts on food security. Our sourcing decisions and education of our supply partners are the route to more viable sustainable sourcing options where these are not yet existing.

Out of all our ecosystems it is those underwater that we are at risk losing first. Fishing activities, agricultural pesticides, fertilizer runoff and the warming climate are some of the most significant threats.






John Gogarty

Colleen Hart

Bio: John Gogarty, president of Coyne PR, has created integrated award-winning consumer marketing programs, including many Food and Beverage programs, for clients such as Disney, Red Robin and Hard Rock International. A partner of Hilton’s global communications team, John services Hilton brands worldwide.

Bio: Colleen Hart serves as Director, Global Enterprise Communication at Hilton, focusing on promoting Hilton as an innovative, customercentric company for both Leisure and Business Travel, including supporting the Global Brand Food & Beverage team. Prior to Hilton, Colleen supported the PR for several major F&B brands, including Darden Restaurants, Hormel Foods, Kraft and Fannie May Chocolates.



As an expert on hospitality marketing with nearly 30 years of experience, we sat down with John Gogarty and our own PR expert Colleen Hart to learn more about the importance of public relations for hotel F&B.

AC: How much of a PR campaign should be focused around social media channels versus more traditional media?

Adam Crocini (AC): You have spent quite some time in the food and hospitality industry. How has it evolved over the last decade?

CH: Social media channels are extremely accessible but can be time consuming to manage day-to-day. Consider your strategy before creating new accounts and make sure you have a communications and content plan to support. For managed properties, connect with your Regional Marketing or Communications team for guidance. For franchise properties, reach out to your Brand Performance Support teams to point you in the right direction.

John Gogarty (JG): There’s been a seismic shift in the marketing and PR industries. Sixteen years ago, there were probably 400 reporters on any given subject. When we would launch a new campaign, there were dozens of writers that specifically focused on food at daily newspapers. Today, reporters are responsible for multiple subjects, or beats, and social media influencers are acting more and more as reporters. Colleen Hart (CH): My first major PR internship was in 2005, and I remember staffing a panel themed around educating clients on blogs and “The Facebook”. My generation developed a connected online world that has now become an integral part of my everyday work and strategies, which has been pretty wild to experience. What I’ve come to love about PR is that it’s always evolving. You have to stay sharp and continue to educate yourself on new media, new tactics, new influencers. The way we garnered media attention in 2005 is vastly different from our strategies today.


JG: All PR campaigns should aim to reach a mix of traditional and social channels. Traditional media isn’t dead, but it has changed. Are people watching the Today Show? Yes. Are they reading newspapers and magazines? Yes. But those people are also active on social media, and it’s the news on these sources that are being re-shared.

AC: Why is it so important to have a strong PR strategy or campaign? JG: Having a credible third-party recommend your restaurant, bar or service influences opinion, builds reputation and drives business. PR wields an unbelievable amount of power if you create a strategic plan. CH: The first step in developing a smart PR strategy is to determine who you are targeting and aligning on your communications objective. Are you looking to attract a younger clientele? Do you want to appeal to more locals? And what is the one message you want customers to hear? Next, with those two answers in mind, think about the channels in which

you can reach your target and align on the best time to launch your strategy or campaign. The smartest PR strategies combine multiple channels, including social media and on-and off-property marketing efforts. For additional guidance, tools and PR templates, visit The Comms Shop. AC: What do you think we can do better to support a good PR strategy? What are some best-in-class examples? CH: PR is here to amplify and raise awareness to the amazing creativity and unique creations that your teams are delivering every day. Our most successful campaigns have involved close integration with either the Brand F&B teams or on-property teams. Common ingredients of success include many of the following: 1) Consistent guest experience 2) Unique or stand-out concepts 3) Highquality visual content, with video becoming increasingly important 4) Responsiveness of F&B team to media requests and interest, which is often last-minute with tight deadlines. JG: We’re living in an Instagrammable world, so something over the top and visually stimulating is great. The ‘World’s Most Expensive Burger’ or the ‘$100 Martini Made with Real Gold’ breaks through a lot of the clutter because there’s that wow factor. It is so outrageous and so expensive that even if you only sell 100 of them, it garners a ton of media coverage and puts your restaurant or bar on the map. We also have success in celebrating national and international days and months. There’s a day or even a month for everything. Use that. It’s National Pistachio Month? Roll out a new pistachio ice cream that gives PR an opportunity to do something with the local TV station looking to fill a spot. Have some fun with it.

AC: What are the biggest mistakes and things we should avoid when trying to build a PR campaign? JG: Dare to be different. Think back to the first pumpkin spice latte. It garnered significant news at its onset and now every restaurant and brand has pumpkin spice something. It’s hard to break through that clutter, because now it’s almost expected. Don’t be expected. Create something no one has seen or done before. That’s what’s going to be newsy. CH: Always have your legal team review external facing materials. If interested in mentioning another brand, restaurant, or a celebrity, make sure that they have reviewed and approved all communications before distributing. Be aware of local, national, and international news and issues, and avoid proactive outreach to reporters during a crisis. Other useful tips can be found on The Comms Shop. AC: In a world of likes and shares, how do you measure the success of a good PR campaign? CH: While PR can be hard to measure, we set media coverage goals, including media targets, key message pull through, number of media attendees (if applicable), number of executive interviews (if applicable, etc. and consider programs a success if they meet or exceed those metrics. JG: PR is building a brand. It’s creating campaigns that are talked about and shared, and goals can vary from campaign to campaign. When it comes to results, it’s important to remember that PR needs a bit of time to breathe before you can say it didn’t work. It’s all about planting seeds that will yield some good crops down the road.


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NATURE NURTURE AUTOMATION By Hannah Davies, Fayaz Nazeer

While the industry is recovering from a most challenging period, we are seeing fascinating developments that are driving the world of hospitality in new directions. What we have might have taken for granted in past decades is now being questioned and challenged, right to the core — and the winners will be those who commit to educating themselves and their teams on the opportunities that are being presented right now.



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Led by hospitality professionals and lovers of food and drink, our industry is passionate about understanding how we grow and create our produce and ingredients.

How do we ‘thrive better’ in this fast paced modern world?

That said, this very ‘human’ industry is not averse to asking for a little help, and fast-developing technologies are stepping in to change the game, whether the particular game is delivery services, kitchen preparation or real life experiences.

We know that we need to respond nimbly to new food movements and sentiments around diet, provenance and climate change — and these days we are not only looking to nature for the answers. Technology is giving more than a helping hand.


How we choose to nurture ourselves is changing with genuinely smarter and more efficient food stuffs coming onto to market. Harnessing their power will be the foundation of many new consumer products and experiences. A period of reflection during the pandemic has also allowed us to consider how better to care for ourselves and our hospitality kin. Our fragile hospitality human ecosystem relies on the finite strength of body, soul and spirit. The recent lessons learned are causing a huge shift in organizations, big and small and the impacts will be far reaching.

Within the next 10 years our industry is likely to be unrecognizable from today in many ways – the metaverse will entirely change our world. Read on to find out more and join us on a journey of discovery.

PART 1: NATURE GROWING: GIVING MOTHER NATURE A HELPING HAND It is a staggering fact that world populations will grow from 8bn to a projected 10bn by 2050. Two-thirds of these people will live in cities and 90 percent of the growth will be in Asia and Africa1. When combined with the devastating effects of climate change and the huge increase in consumer demand for fresh produce for better health, technology is the only answer to sustaining populations in the long term. We are entering an era of reimagined farming, complete with space-age robotic irrigation systems, GPS enabled tractors, ‘intelligent’ silos, drones for crop management and innovative high-tech seed technologies. Even the definition of ‘farm’ has been stretched beyond previous imagination; We are now in a time when hyper-local, urban and technology-enabled farming is taking off. ¹ United Nations report, 2017 ² Bloomberg, Pursuits + Green. ‘Vertical Farms Rush to Improve Kale Salad on a Path to Profitability’, August 2021



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CUTTING-EDGE ‘VERTICAL’ URBAN FARMS Aerofarms or Plenty in the U.S. are popping with claims of 400% more efficiency than regular field farming. These vertical farms grow fresh food indoors, usually in stacked trays or vertical planters and focus on efficiency by employing technology such as robots, sensors and LEDs as sun replacement, with algorithms to optimize lighting and growing conditions. Energy and engineers replace conventional field hands in these facilities, and the upside is pesticide-free produce, cleaner water and a local product close to the paying customer market. These ‘novel farming systems’ are at the vanguard and we will see collaborations between agriculture, science and big business determine the future of production, not necessarily in typical outdoor farm settings

Hilton hotel properties in the United Arab Emirates will shortly be introducing innovative, onproperty hydroponic vertical farms to grow their own microgreens, lettuce and other ingredients. The hydroponic technique employed will eliminate the need for soil to grow crops and will reduce the amount of water needed by 90%. By having the farms located on property, the carbon footprint will be minimized and freshness and quality enhanced.

‘REDUCETARIAN’ REVOLUTION: MORE THAN A MENU CHOICE ... IT’S A LIFESTYLE CHOICE For years, the vegan and plant-based movements stood on the sidelines. It’s all change here as the vegan and plantbased movements have found their voice and their moment – ‘Reducetarian’ is going mainstream. What do we mean by ‘Reducetarian’? n. Someone who reduces the amount of meat and dairy products they consume without becoming fully vegetarian or vegan.` These mainstream Reducetarian customers are confident with plant-based options and meat alternatives. By making small adjustments to life with a view to ‘doing less harm’; travel plans, fashion choices and even social lives are being radically altered and these changes are even being considered quite normal, particularly amongst millennials and Gen Z groups. The change in attitudes is giving restaurateurs confidence to reposition with many world-class players making big commitments — stellar fine-dining restaurants like Eleven Madison Park by Daniel Humm and Geranium by Rasmus Kofoed have cut out meat from their menus entirely. Previously seen as sitting at one extreme of the market or the other, the Reducetarian movement will become central from 2022 onwards. The biggest players in quick service, Burger King and McDonalds are already playing in the plant-based space, but we will now see an explosion of plant-based quick service restaurants set to hit the dining scene, e.g., Neat Burger and Ready Burger.



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SMART PROTEINS AND FATS: LEVERAGING LABORATORY LEARNINGS IN THE REAL WORLD It is well acknowledged that meat and fish alternatives hold many keys to unburdening natural environments by removing stressors associated with farming and production. The success of Beyond Meat’s initial public offering in 2019 is well known, and while the share price has fluctuated, there is no denying that the market for meat alternatives is established and proven. The global forecast growth for meat substitutes is predicted to grow, from $13 billion in 2022 to $235 billion in 2032. Hubs of innovation are now popping up across the globe, notably in Israel, where companies are grasping the opportunities. The country boasts companies generating alternative fish proteins, e.g., Sea2Cell cultured blue tuna and Plantish plant-based 3D printed salmon. Israel can also now claim to be the home of a world ‘first’ as Future Meat Technologies has established the first-ever cultured ‘meat plant’. The industry is moving out of the laboratories and into the real world.


Globally, there are 24 Michelin star restaurants with full vegan or plantbased menus. Since 2021, even traditional stalwart, France, has a vegan Michelin star restaurant: ONA by Claire Vallee.

So now it is just to be seen whether these alternatives can be made tastier — both for people and the planet — and there are incredible innovations happening in this space. The next big wave of innovation is tipped to be cultured plant-based fats, made artificially by precision fermentation, structured to exactly to match the taste and mouth feel of animal fats. Melt & Marble based in Sweden is at the forefront, engineering microbial metabolism in the fermentation process to dictate the structure and properties of its plantbased fats. Through this process, they claim to be able to mimic any fat structure and even create new and better fats.

NATURE’S BOUNTY: REDISCOVERED, RE ENGINEERED AND REPOSITIONED And finally, we would not be doing nature any justice not to mention the hottest new ingredients dished up straight from nature to your plates.

From top to bottom right Example of kelp. Smarter use of koji. Potato milk as a new (allergen-free) milk alternative. A revival of forgotten citrus fruits.

GETTING MORE RESOURCEFUL WITH OUR RESOURCES A good grounding in home economics has always prepared chefs well for the economy of the restaurants, hotels or industrial kitchens … and now the rules and techniques we have long applied at home have even more relevance in professional hospitality environments. The supply chain challenges, rising food costs and lack of labor have driven an drop in menu items versus pre-pandemic. Shorter menus are here to stay, providing savings for business owners, and with the unexpected and unintended consequence that guests actually prefer to be relieved of the burden of choice. Meanwhile, smart, cost-effective product replacements have been used to drive profitability, often becoming the hottest menu items on the market, e.g., chicken wings, poultry and cost-effective cuts of meat and fish. Simultaneously restaurateurs are becoming more vocal about a zero waste aspiration and using ancient techniques such as fermentation and dry aging to use and store what might otherwise have ended up in the dumpster.


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experience, consumers are increasingly trading up from average quality drinks to splurge on premium spirits and expensive, quality wines.

Wellness is well and truly in the spotlight in 2022. The focus is on living well and healthily… well, most of the time anyway.

Similarly with spirits, customers are seeking new experiences and so new categories of spirits are coming to the fire. Bourbon and Tequila for example are the hottest categories across the globe right now, really giving vodka and gin a run for their money. It is well acknowledged that meat and fish alternatives hold many keys to unburdening natural environments by removing stressors associated with farming and production.

Gone are the days of the thoughtless consumption of calories, alcohol, salt and fats, today’s customer is far more savvy. When it comes to drinks, guests are experimenting with abstaining from alcohol, happily shifting between sober nights and drinking occasions. With new terms such ‘sober curious’ and ‘dry-dating’ coming into common usage.

Dating platform Bumble calls out the dry dating trend as here to stay. When surveyed, 34% of UK users were more likely to go on an alcohol-free date now than before the pandemic and 62% of its users prefer going on dates without alcohol as they believe this increases the likelihood of forming genuine human connections. This trend is going to drive even more variations of no and low wines, beers, seltzers and ready-to-drink products coming onto the market, and it will also define the shape and direction of cocktail and wine lists across the globe.

SOMETHING GOOD These days, these more mindful - more occasional - drinkers are also playing smart with their spend. As alcohol is being considered a less frequent treat

Time for tequila Tequila consumption in the U.S. has grown +40% in the last five years. Sales of tequila have grown 54% year on year to reach $1.25bn by the beginning of 2021. Tequila is now seen as a clean, well-balanced and aromatic drink, favoured by cool, hip and sophisticated food and drink lovers. In fact, Tequila is so hot it will soon overtake vodka in popularity and demand6.


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The Alchemist Copenhagen, serving 50 mind bending dishes alongside multi-sensory provocations.



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We are seeing a similar amount of change in the world of food.

It has long been recognized that spaces that are well designed can make us genuinely feel good. Whether it’s considered lighting, audio quality and levels, color palette, materiality or the like, the interplay of all these elements are proven to lift the soul and increase positive thoughts and energy.

We all recognize cravings for foods that make us ‘feel good.’ Recognizable comfort foods really bring us back to a simpler time in life and these remain ever-popular on menus. Fun plays on dishes with retro flavors will run and run into 2022. Alongside this, there is a move towards ‘smarter’ food, actually engineered to make us feel better. Manufacturers are now harnessing the power of food to make consumers feel better, even in the retailed snack market. The smallest, molecular-level particles like collagen and amino acids are now being added and championed as key ingredients in food stuffs, billed as ‘super molecules’ to increase energy, boost relaxation, endorse metabolism, and even enhance cognitive functions in the case of ‘Nootrophics’. These days the lines between food and supplements are truly blurred and this will be an area of development into the next decade.


What we will see in this decade is consideration of the entire ‘scene’ – a revolutionary decade in creating impactful and immersive experiences through whole body and mind, sensory stimulation. The secret weapons? Integrated technology, discreet speakers, bespoke playlists, optimized acoustics, multi-sensory elements, choreographed experiences. and bespoke food and drinks menus that are paced and designed to match the mood, whatever the time of day, season or occasion. Of equal importance these days, is the idea that the materials really do matter. Ethical restaurant and bar design has really been turned on its head with venues being designed ‘for disassembly’ — from ‘end to beginning’ and not the other way around. Adaptability and recycling of the

build components is considered and decided up front. Similarly, recycled natural waste products such as shells and coffee grounds are being re-purposed into hyper-sustainable/local furniture and restaurant accessories, with a great deal of thought put into the perceptions of material selection and the storytelling of the interiors as part of the restaurant guest experience. Thoughtless use of one-off and unsustainable items will not be tolerated by guests in the future and surveys prove that guests are evermore seeking hospitality experiences that align and amplify their ethical beliefs and personal values. How this will manifest in restaurant and bar design, is an increased use of natural materials, with fairtrade and vegan replacements moving into the mainstream. Designs capitalizing on energy and water efficiency and a low-chemical approach are also high on the agenda.

IT’S A LABOR OF LOVE: INVESTMENT IN HUMAN CAPITAL AND TAKING CARE OF OUR OWN It is clear that as our industry is recovering, our leaders are rebuilding better, healthier and smarter work environments with more considerate hours and welfare standards locked in. Operators understand that priorities have changed, building in a high level of personalization and customization into team members’ schedules and ways of working. The workforce is empowered by better skills training and job development. UK operator, Youngs, a well-established multi-site pub and bar group, just launched Ram Agency with a ‘pick your shifts’ approach. Ram offers casual workers the ultimate in flexibility with super-flexible, low- to no-obligation offers of work. Casual workers can use the agency to select where and when they work with very few restrictions, working across various locations and settings from day to day.


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NURTURING NEW NEEDS Our guests have new needs also and, as operators, we need to ensure these are addressed and taken care of in our concepts, programming and scheduling. ‘Bleisure’ is here to stay. The pandemic morphed our business and leisure lives into one, and returning to the workplace now seems quite old-fashioned. Now that a balance between the two is not only seen as possible, but preferable (and sometimes enabled by employers), hospitality is doubling down on ‘bleisure’. Hotels, restaurants and bars have a new focus on creating more of a lifestyle / residential ambiance with the additional bonuses of great coffee and fast wifi. These venues then transition to trendy night spots ­ — moments together are precious and any excuse can be made to take the day seamlessly from co-working to evening celebration.


Bridging the Generations: A New Era of Dining Out Of equal importance is the drive to embrace new generations now out and about and spending big on experiences. Gen Z’s time has come and the casual dining market knows it. These curious diners are interested in new and unique experiences that combine authentic foods, fusion cuisines, exhilarating ambiance and easy service. Gen Z values customization, impactful experiences and fast service and they are huge consumers of social media. Cliches and assumptions however need to be put to the side – it is true that short attention spans are an issue (8 seconds on average), but social media content on Tiktok, Snapchat and Instagram must be created with authenticity, relatability and personality at the heart to catch their interest and make the connection.



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AUTOMATION AND TECH-CELERATION The final section of this deep dive into trends covers a new era of robotics and technological advancement that is accelerating into a world that is quite different from today.

GO-BOTICS It is this decade that we are truly going to see owners and operators find genuine efficiencies and savings by installing robots, automated cooking systems and super-smart monitoring ‘time and motion’ sensors to drive savings. These systems will alleviate back-of-house pressures, giving the team time back to focus on what matters, the guests. C3 leads with $20m funding for Nommi — a robot already in place in the Sa’Moto Restaurant and Wavemaker Labs have created multiple robots for U.S. and global brands, including; Piestro, Miso Robotics, Bobacino and 800˚ GO.


For a while now, robots have been seen delivering plates and clearing tables (Selfridges’ Din Tai Fung has an army of bots), but the newest advances are seeing robots placed in kitchens, assembling mise en place prepared by human colleagues and even being trained to taste for seasoning in recipes. Artificial Intelligence has also got a part to play in analysis of high pressure service areas to make savings and drive speed and efficiencies. Satis is a technology that will predict ghost kitchen delivery times and packing/product consistency through live camera feeds, therefore reducing refunds and waste. Similarly, Technomic and Tastewise offer smart decision-making for menu content, taking in multiple data points from reservations, social media and reviews. The power is put in the hands of restaurateurs as they can zoom in on popular items and target segments, applying all the learnings to powerful marketing schemes.

Top left Not all novel ideas become a success. Doordash recently ceased operations of Sally, the salad robot. Top right Chick-Fil-A uses Kiwi bots in a 1-mile radius of their shops. Bottom left C3 is using CoCo for robot delivery in LA. Bottom right GrubHub is using Yandex Rovers on university campuses.

OLD KID ON THE BLOCK, NEW HUSTLE Delivery services matured rapidly through the pandemic as customers became ever more demanding of convenience and speed. The ghost kitchen 2.0 has now arrived – a real life food court, driven by physical customer visits, but fronting for numerous ghost kitchen facilities behind the scenes. Doordash Kitchens is collaborating with Nimbus, opening a ghost kitchen facility that also functions as an experience-driven, ‘IRL’ food hall. Both local and national brands sit together in this new Brooklyn hotspot – the upside being that local guests get all their desired choice and range, and restaurant brands get a new delivery hub without the hassle of committing to more brick-and-mortar locations of their own.

Customers and operators have had some time to consider the consequences of the world moving heavily into the delivery model – delivery costs and margins. As the drive towards home deliveries continues to grow, the incentive to use the large players is not always there for the food businesses or customers. Restaurateurs are taking back control with their own 'delivery co-ops', financed by contributions from diners and the restaurants themselves. Drivers are paid sustainable wages, topped up with tips. This makes everyone a winner, including the guest, who benefits from more local and sustainable food and drinks choices at their fingertips. Finally, the robots will be released into the wide world very soon. ‘Last mile’ food and drinks deliveries by robots are going to be seen very soon in urban settings.


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RETAIL: SPOT ON AND TUNED IN Retail in the hotel space is going to become an ever-more important means through which guests discover the hotel’s unique positioning. A distinct retail décor, style or way of life can speak volumes about values. Retail can ‘top and tail’ the hotel experience – setting the scene on arrival and then providing essential, highly portable merchandise to take home. Typically hotel retail relies on analogue systems for stocking and analysis. With increasing availability, technologies offered by Wundermart and No Brick are starting to get within reach – a smart, modular retail system with opportunities to apply branding and unique personality. The retail offer is pretty, but also more than just a smart looking unit. The integrated technology allows for automatic ordering and stocking, cashless purchases and customer behaviour analytics. We will even see checkout-free convenience stores in hotels very soon - the market is creating more unmanned convenient retail solutions, equally driven by tech independents and the retail giants such as AmazonGo. In these coming years, we will see Amazon market its customer insights intelligence and scanning technology to any takers — and early adopters will have the confidence they can win. The art will be delivering this with a fully rounded brand experience to balance the technology.


Hotels are increasingly embracing their role as curators of niche products. For example, Hoxton Barcelona's Bodega' lives and sells the dream. This well-designed ‘onestop shop’ sells Spanish snacks, wines & craft beers, a fully curated culture immersion.

N.F.TREATS: THE METAVERSE AND BEYOND The Metaverse will be used for gaming, social interaction, media and entertainment, commerce, virtual tourism and education. It replicates most real-world activities in an entirely virtual space. What does the Metaverse mean for restaurants? The Metaverse is in its infancy, but increasingly restaurants are looking to put the Metaverse to use, over and above having a play around with a gimmicky ‘Metaburger’ on the menu. Businesses such as McDonald’s and Panera Bread have already reserved their digital presence within the Metaverse to begin their experience. Independents are getting in on the act too. NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) are digital assets that represent real-world objects like art, music, in-game items and videos. They are bought and sold online,

frequently with cryptocurrency, and they are generally encoded with the same underlying software as many cryptos. Restaurants and bars will be grabbing the opportunity to own NFTs but also use them as an alternative currency for products and services. Pickl is the first UAE restaurant to enter the Metaverse with plans to have a virtual restaurant that will replicate the full customer experience. There will be brand themed games, purchase virtual apparel and Pickl-inspired NFTs, which can be redeemed for physical items or used as virtual clothing to customize an avatar. Pickl will be integrating a real-life delivery service so guests can order the food in the Metaverse and receive it direct to their door in reality. So our world is braced for the changes coming towards us, and how restaurateurs and ownership groups respond to the challenges and opportunities of the modern world will be a direct reflection of engagement in these topics here and now.


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