Andrew Freeman & Co. released this year's 2011 Hospitality Trend List of trends in hotels, food and drink and marketing:

Hotel Trends:

Mood Lighting
 – Digital art in guest rooms and public spaces can be customized endlessly to provide an actively changing source of interest. It can be swapped out seasonally and it can be altered to match the mood any time of day or night. It can also be customized for special onsite events. Catch guests fancy again and again and again… 
Examples: Kimpton’s EPIC Hotel (Miami, FL); The Stanford Court Hotel (San Francisco, CA) 

When We Say Relax, We Mean It – Hotels are shedding the layers and going casual. It’s only a matter of time before hosts and concierges ditch the full fledged uniforms and adopt a corporate casual dress code. Expect to see people behind the front desk in jeans and unique branded shirts or blazers, and less formal and friendlier service style. 
Examples: Axel Hotels (multiple locations worldwide) 

Heavy Petting – Dogs are the new kids. Offer dog walking services, provide pet food and a menu of doggie in-room amenities including water bowls, beds, food dishes and toys.  Put a sign in the lobby that introduces the daily pets in residence.  Guests with pets are lapping it up.
Examples: Hotel Palomar (nationwide) 

The 2011 Collection – Hotels are partnering with fashion designers for the hippest new hotels, creating a truly unique experience. Expect bedrooms and public spaces to be dressed like never before. 
Examples: Betsey Johnson’s Eloise Suite at The Plaza Hotel (New York, NY); Maison Moschino (Milan, Italy)
DYO Design – Chalkboard walls, white boards and removable paint give guests artistic outlets and creative license to really personalize the experience. Not to mention something to talk about.
Examples: Jupiter Hotel (Portland, OR); white boards and markers at Hotel Keen (Palo Alto, CA)

So Long Slim Gyms – Always the afterthought, workout centers will take center stage with spa partners and fitness gurus chiming in on design, equipment and class schedules.

Examples: Scheduled local hikes at The Lodge at Sonoma (Sonoma, CA) in conjunction with Raindance Spa (Sonoma, CA) 

Green or Envy – If you don’t go green, you’ll be envious. Many corporations and companies now require that hotels and convention centers offer Green Meetings. In-room amenities should not only be ecologically friendly and based on organic ingredients but they should come in recyclable, biodegradable packaging. If you don’t make the grade, you don’t make the green.
Examples: Starwood Hotels (nationwide); Hotel Monaco’s Earth Care program (San Francisco, CA)

Edible Arrangements
 – The 100 mile diet is now moving to hotels and spas as they embrace the same philosophy. They are pulling ingredients from the kitchen to create beauty and health treatments and offering farmers markets tours and cooking classes.
Examples: Chef Banks White’s Berkeley Farmers Market Tours at Hotel Shattuck Plaza (Berkeley, CA); The Grape Escape spa treatment at Raindance Spa (Sonoma, CA)
For Eatsakes! – Bring home a taste of your trip as hotels provide a small taste of the experience by selling customized and special locally produced edible souvenirs. Some hotels are even creating an entire marketing hall experience (see Marketing 101 Day or Night). 

Examples: Adour Macarons at St. Regis New York (New York, NY); Jeffrey Chodorow’s Food Parc at the Eventi hotel (New York, NY); The Plaza Food Hall at The Plaza (New York, NY) 

Club Bed – Hotels sport dual identities as they offer multi-use spaces that function as dance clubs and music venues. Jet-setting guests are drawn to the scene while locals provide a steady stream of traffic even during the low season. 
Examples: Tao at Venetian (Las Vegas, NV); Infusion Lounge at Hotel Fusion (San Francisco, CA) 

Bust a Movie – Some hotels include movie theaters for private screening events or even movie nights for guests and locals. Guests like the perks, but owners like the profits that come from an alternative revenue source. 
Examples: Crosby Street Hotel (New York, NY); The Pearl Hotel (San Diego, CA)
Book a Room – Creative sales and marketing teams have read between the lines and started brokering exclusive book deals which can lead to onsite book launch parties (and the marketing/pr potential that comes with them) and signature in-room reading. Hotels can hold book signings in the lobby, install a lending library, rent kindles and preload kindles with the reading of choice for any guest. 
Examples: Rosewood resorts partnered with Random House, HarperCollins and other publishers to offer books not yet available in bookstores 
Duvet-Vous Couchez Avec Moi (Duvet-Sleep with Me)
 – Hotels across Europe have been outfitting beds with featherweight slip covered comforters in lieu of full sheets. It cuts down on laundering and is faster to make while providing a clean and modern aesthetic. Expect to see them more frequently in the US.
Examples: Art Hotel Koln (Cologne, Ger.); Hotel Alstadt (Vienna, Aus.)
Table Tends – Bartenders at hotel bars and restaurants move tableside (and offer room service) in the ever-growing appetite to watch the show. We’ve moved from the tableside flambé to DIY drinks and in-room bar service. 
Examples: tableside Bloody Marys at Aurea at The Stanford Court Hotel (San Francisco, CA); Room Service Bar Cart from Bar Pleiades at The Surry Hotel (New York, NY)
Credit App – As hotels embrace and adopt modern technology, guests will be able to check in and check out with the swipe of a phone. Call for room service – and have it billed to your phone – your iphone. Hotels will work with services similar to Paypal and Bling Nation to provide direct billing to mobile devices. You'll be able to swipe your phone to enter your room too. 
Flight Attendance – Hotels offer guests a smooth landing by providing remote check-in at the airport upon arrival. 
Examples: The Peninsula (Beverly Hills, CA); AnaYela (Marrakesh, Morocco)

Smaller Is Better – Hotels are giving more love to groups of all sizes, especially the smaller ones.  From intimate weddings to small business retreats, guests will see more ease in booking and complimentary incentives come their way as hoteliers are continuing to look for ways to fill their rooms and meeting spaces throughout the year.
Examples: Kimpton Hotels & Resorts’ Small Groups Made Simple program; River Terrace Inn’s More, More and More Meetings Package (Napa, CA)

Restaurant trends

The Pie’s the Limit – Move over cupcake, make way for pie, as pies in all sizes move from the State Fair to seriously craveable fare. Decadence is endless with everything from, savory, sweet, individual deep-fried pies, bite-sized minis and even pies blended into shakes.  
Examples: Pie Happy Hour at Hill Country Chicken (New York, NY); the Crispy Creamy Chewy Chunky Dessert of the Month Club at Buttercup Grill & Bar highlights their signature pies (multiple locations, CA) - photo courtesy of Hill Country Chicken  
New Mom & Pop Shop – Realizing the time is now, and if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it your way; partners united in passion are opening self-financed and self- built restaurants. These are small places with less than forty seats, designed by friends or family, where the owners’ hands touch every ingredient and every part of the restaurant. Driven purely by their vision, they offer no compromises and present unique experiences you won’t likely find elsewhere. 
Examples: Hand-poured concrete tables and steaming homemade potato rolls along side Caesar Salad Soup at eVe (Berkeley, CA); Garden Grown Herb Salad Topped with Homemade Curds and Whey with Eucalyptus Oil at Sons & Daughters (San Francisco, CA)
You’re the One – Single purpose restaurants are serving variations on one thing. Don’t be surprised to see the Peanut Butter Palace, French Dippity Dog or even The Big Biscuit, serving biscuit sandwiches and benedicts, opening soon. 
Examples: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches at American Grilled Cheese Kitchen (San Francisco, CA); Sliders at SliderBarCafe (Palo Alto, CA)

Shrink Wrapped – 
Traditional meals are going way of the fun size snack pack. Smaller portions are perfect for smaller wallets and eating on the run. Look closely for mini–pizzettas and bagels, two-bite hotdogs, miniature tacos or burritos, cake truffles bound with frosting, even pot roasts and pot pies all done in less than ½ size. Small is big. 
Examples: Mini Tenderloin Sandwiches at The Capital Grille (Palm Beach, FL); Miniature Strawberry Crepe with Cream Cheese at Level III - JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square (San Francisco, CA)
Marketing 101 Night & Day - Restaurants and high-end quick service food providers join with farmers, artisans and specialty purveyors reinventing the food hall. Restaurants are also expanding by opening quick-service windows – opening a “window” of opportunities. Come one, come mall.
Examples: Marketplace at Eataly (Turin, Italy and New York, NY); Italian Ice and Italian Subs at Freddie's Pizza and Pasta Parlor (Chicago, IL)

Desert Menu – Restaurants abandon descriptive menu jargon (like cooking method, sides or adjectives) instead highlighting only the key ingredients. You don’t know exactly what you’re going to get, but trust us, it’ll be good. 
Examples: Plate Shop (Sausalito, CA); Eleven Madison Park (New York, NY)
Talk Dirty to Me – In search of simplicity and pure flavors, chefs are abandoning sauce. Instead find powders, crumbles, dusts, and dirts crafted from cookie crumbs, dried mushroom powder, dehydrated beets, and anything else that can be dried, ground or crumbled to add intriguing texture. 
Examples: Radishes in Edible “Dirt” (toasted malt) at Noma (Copenhagen); Le Jardin d’Hiver and its Soil at Atelier Crenn (San Francisco, CA)
Fire it Up! – Extending way beyond wood-fired pizza, restaurants all over are roasting vegetables directly in embers and slow-roasting whole animals or large cuts of meats over wood-burning fire. 
Examples: Tokyo Turnips Roasted in Embers, Shaved Raw and Bonito Poached at Saison (San Francisco, CA); Wood Roasted Whole Chicken at E&O Trading Co. (San Francisco, CA); Oak Roasted Whole Young Pig at Poggio (Sausalito, CA) 
Haute Dogs
 - Hot dogs are the new burger as chefs re-imagine them with boutique-style sausages and gourmet toppings. Hot dogs will escape from specialty stands and venture into restaurants as chefs dress them up for service. This wiener is a winner. 
Examples: Canard Saucisson with Duck Sausage, a Layer of Pate and Red Wine Mustard at Brats dogs & wieners (New York, NY); Organic House Merguez with Lamb and Pork, Fig Chutney, House Mustard and Arugula at Show Dogs (San Francisco, CA)

Ahhhhhhh Veg Out! – Even meat-minded chefs are vegging out as flexitarian goes mainstream. Meatless Mondays and vegetable based tasting menus are gaining traction as guests realize it’s not all about the meat on the plate. There’s nothing to beef about. 
Examples: Monday vegetarian and vegetable centric tasting menus at Dovetail (New York, NY); Daily vegetarian Menu at Zaré at Flytrap (San Francisco, CA)

It’s Fry Time to Eat Your Veggies – It’s the revenge of the dreaded vegetable as we discover those yucky vegetables everyone loves to hate taste really good – fried. New favorites include Fried Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts Chips and Kale Chips. Forget the potato chip – try it with turnip instead. Bet you can’t eat just one. 
Example: Fried Cauliflower Sandwich at Rainbow Falafel and Shwarma (New York, NY)
Chefs are Going Soft – Soft serve plays hard ball as chefs and restaurants dress it up in designer duds. We’ll see savory soft serve, soft frozen fruit, high-end interpretations and cocktail driven creations.

Examples: Coconut Water Soft Serve with Brownie Bites at  Belly Shack (Chicago, IL); Crunchy Salty Sundae Made with Banana Fruizo, Bananas, Pretzels, Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips at Simply Peeled (New York, NY)
Press Junk-it 
– Munchies are moving to the forefront as chefs reinvent junk food in gourmet ways. We’re waiting to see what talented chefs come up with as they reinterpret Cheetos, Bugles, jerky, Slurpees and Fun Dip. We’re all junkies for junk food. 
Examples: Cereal Milk Ice Cream at Momofuku Milk Bar (New York, NY); Truck Stop Charcuterie Platter including House-made Turkey Jerky at Hub 51 (Chicago, IL)

Pop Goes the World – And the chefs follow suit with spiked, salty, sweet and savory popsicles in exotic and alcoholic flavors. Pop Rocks! 
Examples: Sugar Snap Pea with Orange at Sol Pops (Portland, OR); Sangria Ice Pop at Orozo (Boston, MA)
Cultural Integration
 – Yogurt moves from snack to staple as it takes leading roles in sauces, dips, spreads and desserts. Expect to see it in new form including: sundried, freeze-dried, smoked and pressed as well as cultural variations like skyr (from Iceland) and Lebanese labne. It does a body good.
Examples: Knisa Lamb Chops with Smoked Yogurt at Zaytinya (Washington, DC)

Swede Inspiration – Thanks to Noma and Nordic innovation, northern ingredients and culinary trends are headed south. Call it the Scandinavian Invasion. 
Examples: Grilled Rabbit Terrine with Skyr at Uchi and Uchiko Restaurant (Austin, TX); Maine Skate Wing with Gooseberries, Butter Beans, Salsa Verde, Fresh Black Eyed Peas at étoile at Domaine Chandon (Yountville, CA)

Our Daily Bread
 – Chefs are reexamining the bread basket and serving special house-made breads with intention and attention – including special plateware and butter service. It’s certainly not “plain white bread.”
Example: Fresh baked Popovers at Wayfare Tavern (San Francisco, CA); Sweet Potato Bread at Baker & Banker (San Francisco, CA)

Going Belly Up
 – Goat & lamb belly gain on the ever-popular pork as prices rise and chefs and guests look for the next favorite ingredient. There’s no such thing as a belly flop. 
Examples: Lamb Belly Watercress BLT at The Lonesome Dove (Fort Worth, TX); Goat Belly Confit at Girl and the Goat (Chicago, IL)  

Hot Ingredients in 2011:
Say PIMENTO CHEESE! – Its smooth, spreadable and spicy and it has nostalgia--we’re bringing it back (Pimento Cheeseburger photo courtesy of Brick & Bottle, Corte Madera, CA)
In the NECK of Time – Lamb, beef, goat or pork neck

Show Me the WHEY– Chefs are cooking with whey in salads, sauces and as a cooking medium
Je Ne Sais KUMQUAT– Kumquats appear in salads, relishes and desserts  
Thank You For SMOKING– Smoked olive oil, smoked butter, and smoked cumin finishing dishes
HAY There Pard’ner – Hay is for roasting, smoking and even braising
Pop Star – Sweet or spicy flavored POPCORN pops up on dessert menus, bar tops, scattered across ceviche or as a crispy crust on meats or fish
HUMMUS Among Us – As a sauce, spread or ingredient
PRETZEL Logic – Homemade pretzel sticks with sauce, pretzel wrapped sausages, pretzel buns and chocolate tarts with a pretzel crust
Who You Callin’ HONEY? – Partnerships with beekeepers provide signature honey to be featured in sauces and dressings
Drinks trends:
Omakase Cocktail – You pick your poison, but let the bartender mix the drink. Super talented bartenders now custom-create a drink based on your flavor or liquor preferences. You’ll never know what hit you.  
Examples: Copa d’Oro (Santa Monica, CA); Fifth Floor (San Francisco, CA) 
Shrub Your Enthusiasm
 – What was old is new again as do-it-yourself bartenders bring back the old-fashioned house-made fruit flavored vinegar syrups known as shrubs and add them to cocktails.
Examples: Champagne Shrub at The City Tavern (Philadelphia, PA)
Everything is Better with Bacon - In a process called fatwashing, ambitious bartenders and mixologists are infusing liquors with fats and savory flavors. Bacon-infused bourbon, brown butter rum and chorizo-infused tequila… Now we drink the fat, not just chew it.
Example: Jamesey’s Breakfast Cocktail with Bacon-Infused Scotch with Maple, Lemon and Grand Marnier at Proof (Washington, DC) 
"De" Still my Heart – Micro-distilleries are the movement of the moment when it comes to artisan spirits proving that the more things change, the stills are not the same.  Small-batch distilleries are making it big as bars and restaurants keep it local when they select their whisky, gin, vodka, bourbon and rye. Call it the all new microbrew. 
Examples: House Spirits Distillery (Portland, OR); Leopold Bros (Ann Arbor, MI)
Cherie, Sherry – Sherries and port make a comeback as they take a leading role along with other low-alcohol fortified wines in cocktails. Bartenders love their sipping potential, enhanced food friendliness and aromatic properties. Guests like being able to order more than one drink. â€¨â€¨

Examples: Smoke Signals Cocktail with Tennessee Whiskey, Manzanilla Sherry, Pecan Syrup, Lemon Juice, Bitters, and Smoked Ice at Laurelhurst Market (Portland, OR) 
Get Off the Bottle – As alternative packaging takes off in the wine industry, expect to see more and more restaurants offering wine not by the bottle, but poured from kegs, barrels, taps and even canteens. 
Examples: Natural Process Alliance delivers and refills wine in canteens at multiple Bay Area restaurants
Getting a “Head” on the Game – Private label and house custom-blended wines are common enough – now chefs are doing customized signature brews. 
Examples: Lüke Fru at Lüke (New Orleans, LA) Picán IPA at Picán (Oakland, CA)
Root for Beer Floats – Something’s brewing in the sweets kitchen as restaurants introduce beer based desserts. 
Examples: Cherry Kriek Beer Ice Cream at Café Boulud (New York, NY); Tecate Cake at Kiss My Bundt Bakery (Los Angeles, CA)
Un-Tapped Potential
 – Non-alcoholic drinks offer new ways to boost beverage business with homemade root beers, fresh seasonal lemonades in never tried before flavors and studied mocktails; shaken not stirred. 
Examples: Saltwater Taffy Lemonade at David Burke restaurants (New York, NY); Ginger Lime Soda from Pranna Restaurant | Bar | Lounge (New York, NY)

Top Drinks in 2011:

SOURS Patch Kids – And not just the Pisco variety, but rum and tequila too - photo courtesy of FIVE (Berkeley, CA) â€¨â€¨A Lighter Shade of Whiskey – WHITE WHISKEY or “white dog” are being used in cocktails for their lighter flavors
We All Scream for EGG CREAMS – It’s the revival of the old classic, a chocolate soda, no cream and no egg 
We Hear a RUM-bling Going On – Tiki drinks, rum punch, and riffs on the ever-popular mojito not to mention growing appreciation for aged rums 
SANGRIA, I Just Met a Girl Named Sangria – House-made sangrias
Going Coco for COCONUT WATER – Appearing in cocktails and blended juices
Super-Cali-MEZCAL-icious – There is growing appreciation for fine mezcals taken neat
Some Like it Cold – COLD PRESS COFFEE that is
Tom & Harry Make a Comeback – Tom Collins, Harvey Wallbangers and other RETRO MAD-MEN ERA COCKTAILS make a comeback
Marketing trends

Love the One You’re With – Keep in contact with fans to keep them coming in for more. Embrace all the tools available including direct mail, email, social media channels, as well as grass roots marketing and traditional PR efforts. Find your personality and express it. Highlight key personalities and build the personal connection. 
Examples: SVEDKA Vodka - "R. U. Bot or Not" campaign on social networking sites; Ritz-Carlton Hotels tweets last minute deals

Face Time – Make a guest’s experience unique by offering truly distinctive service and building a relationship. Adopt innovative training techniques to differentiate service styles and ensure happy, returning guests. Improv classes give staff insight in how to react best, life coaching for staff members makes for happy staff – ensuring happier guests. 
Examples: Andaz 5th Avenue (New York, NY); Elysian Hotel (Chicago, IL)
You’ve Got Mail – We’re set to see snail mail return, as we’re all overwhelmed with email, strategic selective and well-planned use of direct mail, gets attention and gets them in the door. 
Get Your Just Rewards 
– Guests now expect the right to customize everything. Be flexible and go with the flow. Hotels allow guests to “pick your perks” and select from a range of options. Restaurants can provide a personalized experience going the extra mile to recognize repeat guests and add an unexpected touch for special celebrations. 

Examples: Pick your Perks at Kimpton (hotels nationwide); Rewards at Marriott (nationwide)

Pump Up the Volume – Reality TV has trained us all to expect to be entertained. Guests want a full experience and expect more from food & wine; or from a hotel. Provide educational opportunities, competitions and interactive events that keep everyone tuned it.

Examples include seasonal or cultural celebrations, bartender show-downs, guided tours and classes. 
Examples: Attack of the Killer Tomatoes Heirloom Tomato Wine Dinner and silent screening at Carneros Bistro & Wine Bar (Sonoma, CA); SF Chefs (San Francisco, CA)
Text Appeal – Texting is the new form of communication for reservations, confirmations and ticketing. Wente Vineyards texts fans for last minute deals on concert tickets. Modern hotels text confirmation upon booking and room number upon landing. 
Examples: Avista Resort (Myrtle Beach, SC); Wente Vinyards (Livermore, CA)
App-Lause – Creative marketers are making the most of apps and the popularity of the new ipad. We’re already seeing the ipad wine list. Expect hotels to have ipad walking tours (sponsored by local restaurants and galleries), restaurants can create an appealing platform for recipes for food or cocktails.
Examples: Guest registration at The Upper House (Hong Kong); Ordering food, Requesting a waiter on ipad at Hilton San Diego Bayfront (San Diego, CA); IPad Concierge at The Iron Horse Hotel (Milwaukee, WI)

Bed Time Stories – Guests want to know the stories behind a dish or an experience. What was the inspiration for the dish on the menu? What’s the connection to this art? Why were these materials selected for the design? Tell the story - and they'll tell their friends. â€¨â€¨Examples:  Grand Cafe Brasserie & Bar Chef Sophiane Benaouda will introduce a series of French regional dinners inspired by his recent travels around France (San Francsico, CA)

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Why Hire An External Meeting Room?



By Anna Norman-Butler, Marketing Manager at Avanta 

Business centres provide a wide range of fully equipped meeting rooms. These rooms are available for use by both internal serviced office clients as well as external companies that just need the benefit of a professional meeting room on an adhoc basis.


So why do businesses use external meeting rooms


A recent survey by serviced office group Avanta showed that the majority of theirmeeting rooms were booked by external organisations for training purposes and offsite strategy meetings. 

External meeting rooms are ideal for offsite strategy meetings and training events, offering a more creative and productive atmosphere away from the familiarities of the normal office environment. Organisations can take their employees out of their day to day work surroundings to strategise and/or learn new techniques to enhance their organisation's competitive abilities. 

What are the benefits of using an external meeting room?

There are a number of benefits to using an external meeting or training room. Many companies have found having access to a variety of different sized rooms, locations and the ability to pay for them as and when they are need, helps them keep business costs to a minimum. Many business centres also offer a daily delegate rate, allowing external companies to benefit from cost effective room hire and full catering at competitive prices. 

Many small and medium sized companies have also seen a number of benefits when hiring an external meeting room. A business centre provides a far more professional environment than a coffee shop or hotel lobby for an SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) hosting a client meeting, and is often a more cost effective option with a larger number of attendees. 

Most business centres will hire meeting rooms by the hour half day or full day on a per room basis, with prices starting from around £19 an hour in central London for a 4 person room, much cheaper than a round of coffee and bagels for 4. The choice of meeting room layouts and locations available is endless; this ensures that you can meet your client somewhere that is convenient for both them and you.

How Flexible Is The Meeting Space?

Meeting rooms can be used for a vast array of different purposes, and perhaps slightly more inventive, purposes. Last year serviced office provider Avanta hired out a number of meeting rooms for non conventional purposes, including a TV commercial, several product launches, fashion showrooms for London Fashion Week and a Bollywood movie. Some meeting room providers can even offer a more glamorous option such as bar or restaurant, a superb venue for a presentation, product launch, or evening drinks event.

The flexibility provided by an external meeting room space, and the benefit of having a dedicated business centre team, mean that almost any request can be serviced by your meeting room provider

So whilst external meeting rooms are still being used the majority of the time for more conventional business purposes, there is no end to the options available, and with the flexibility of many business centres and meeting rooms you can always find the perfect venue and location, no matter the request.

Article Summary:
Discover how external meeting rooms provide a more creative and productive atmosphere away from the familiarities of the normal office environment. With many serviced office providers offering external meeting rooms in variety of different sizes and locations find out how external companies benefit from cost effective meeting room hire.

Author Bio:
Anna Norman-Butler, Marketing Manager at Avanta managed Offices and writer on room tips and tools. Avanta provides professional meeting rooms for large corporations and small and medium sized companies.

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