Embassy Suites Hotels is launching a new innovative restaurant concept, Flying Spoons. Part European-style café and part American coffeehouse, this new concept in hotel food & beverage expands upon the “fast casual” concept made popular by Panera Bread and other bakery-cafes and creates a new segment: “Hip Casual.” Embassy Suites is accommodating the changing needs of guests by providing a range of convenient, fresh dishes and beverages to fit a variety of schedules: from eating on the go to eating smaller, more frequent meals.
“For three years we’ve been studying guests’ changing eating habits: guests who eat on-the-run, guests who replace meals with a specialty coffee drink and even those who eat at non-traditional times of the day,” remarked Jim Holthouser, senior vice president, brand management, Embassy Suites Hotels. “We’ve taken these habits into consideration and have beta-tested a variety of new layouts, dishes and restaurant concepts in a sampling of hotels throughout the brand. Flying Spoons is the evolution of that research and we think we’ve created exactly what guests have been requesting.”
This new concept was first introduced as “Marketplace” in 2006 as a part of the brand’s new Design Option III prototype. Flying Spoons is the evolution of that concept and is designed to meet the needs of developers and owners looking to give business and leisure guests a complete food & beverage solution for every situation and hotel location, from airport to suburban and urban/city center hotels. The new concept offers hotel developers flexibility and cost efficiencies not afforded with a traditional hotel restaurant.
Flying Spoons will be strategically located in the hotel lobby and shares space with the brand’s complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast and Manager’s Reception, a reduced labor model and reduced square footage. The restaurant will cost an estimated 30 percent less to develop than a traditional atrium restaurant. The brand’s first Flying Spoons will debut in late 2008 at the Embassy Suites Jackson-North/Ridgeland, Miss., which will also be the brand’s first Design Option III prototype to open.
“We worked very carefully to make sure this restaurant offered developers flexible options and cost efficiencies by sharing the hotel’s back-of-house facilities and equipment and a reduced labor model,” added Holthouser. “From a development standpoint, this is definitely a more viable F & B alternative for markets where guests have a plethora of dining options right outside the hotel’s door or is a part of a mixed use project.”