Staying Local from a Food and Beverage Point of View

By Ian McPhee Hotel Manager, Ritz Carlton Kapalua | December 25, 2011

Over the years, Hoteliers have provided value to the luxury traveler via various amenities -- from thirsty bath robes and opulent spa escapes -- to bespoke mini-bars, personal butlers and the latest in technology at one's fingertips. These however, have become industry standards at high end properties across the globe and for the guest whom the dollar amount is not a question, The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua augments world-renowned service with island-savvy and innovative approaches, offering both tangible and intangible added-value for our guests.

The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua remains an impactful, active community partner with the island of Maui and the Aloha State -- taking great pride in existing harmoniously with its breathtaking, natural surroundings. As a result in March, officials from the Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism, Department of Health and the state's Chamber of Commerce named the renowned resort hotel one of only a few 'Green Certified Businesses' in Hawaii.

The islands of Hawaii are bountiful with fruits and vegetables, while also offering an abundance of fresh fish in its surrounding waters. From the top of the Big Island and Kona, to the mountain sides of Kula in Up Country, Maui – Executive Chef John Zaner has embraced staying local with our menu selection throughout the resort, an ethos subscribed to by the Ritz-Carlton brand as well.

Creative and Innovative - The Botanical Vegetable and Herb Gardens at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua

The Ritz-Carlton has taken the organic approach to cultivating herbs and vegetables that are featured throughout the resort's dining outlets, creating a true 'Garden-to-Table' experience for our guests. Not only do these efforts support environmental preservation, but they also provide our guests a socially-conscious, delicious and healthy dining experience grown just steps from where the flavorful dishes are relished.

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Pumpkin seed crusted ahi sashimi

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.